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Old 05-30-2007, 01:37 AM   #1
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30 Gal African Cichlid Setup

So I'm setting up my new 30 gallon tank. I want to have african cichlids, preferably bright and colorful, my gf likes em.

I have one small 1.5'' jewel cichlid, but i'm not sure what else to put in it. I'm open to anything, just want to have em happy.

Also, what type of rocks or decorations would be best?

One other question, do cichlids need to be with others of the same kind? Or are they ok just being alone?

Thanks!
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Old 05-30-2007, 03:13 AM   #2
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For Africans a high pH is good, so you could get Texas Holey Rock and other limestone. Any rock is good rock, they'll be happy to dig, find/make caves. The more they can lay out territory the better they'll do, so all sorts of caves and rubble will make them happy. The only rock I would say to stay away from is fool's gold/iron pyrite. It can drop the pH and release heavy metals.

Most cichlids don't really school. They'll pair up (male/female), and then those pairs become even more territorial during breeding. So if you want to breed them trying to get a male and a female of a species would work...but the territory in a 30 gallon would be a huge problem. The fish will be much happier with one of each species than getting three of each.

As far as species goes...perhaps try yellow labs. They're an African that is fairly peaceful for an African tank. The problem is the jewel may simply pound on them.

Edit: Ok, I did a little looking and I think a yellow lab would be in trouble. I knew the jewels were a bit aggressive, but it seems like they're perhaps as bad as Dempseys. I'm sure there will be some other suggestions, but a lab probably wouldn't be a great suggestion unless you have a tank with little aggression (they happen, I was given a cichlid tank I still can't believe). I'm sure people will have some other suggestions soon though.
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:39 AM   #3
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There really aren't a lot of options for an African community tank when you're dealing with anything less than 40 gallons or so; just not enough space/territory to keep aggression at an acceptable level.

What about keeping just a single fish, rather than trying to keep multiple fish?
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Old 05-30-2007, 09:59 AM   #4
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I'm not a fan of Malawi Cichlid tanks being under 30 gal. IMO it just does not provide enough room for these aggressive fish. Even the most docile of Mbuna (labs) are aggressive compared to other fish like Tetras. Have you looked into Shellies? They are from Lake Tang and stay pretty small. Or maybe German Blue Rams and other community fish?
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:58 PM   #5
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so if i didn't have the jewel in there what would be my best bet?
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Old 05-30-2007, 10:13 PM   #6
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I agree with not keeping africans in anything less than 50 gals. Territories become an issue and aggression results. If you were to trade the jewel cichlid in, I would look at dwarf cichlids such as rams or apistogrammas. They are beautiful colorful fish and are a fantastic addition to your tank IMO.
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:48 PM   #7
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So i picked up a couple shell dwellers today, i'm not sure what the name is, they are the small goldish ones. I also bought some shells online.

Is there any decent place to buy shell dwellers online?

Also, how many can a 30 gallon handle and what species would be best?

thanks!!
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Old 06-01-2007, 08:05 AM   #8
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Gold coloration probably means you've got ocellatus.

As far as how many fish you can keep, that'll really depend on the species you've got. You might only be able to keep a pair or two of the occies; with N. multifasciatus, you could keep many (they live in colonies).
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Old 06-03-2007, 01:21 PM   #9
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i have a 30 gal tank with over 50 fish, started with just 3 pairs almost 1 year ago, shell dwellers dont grow big, i have a big pile of rocks for my fry to hide in & lots and lots of shells all around. all they need is good water and a good diet & you'll have fry galore, you can even sell each one for some $$ or trade them to your lfs for credit
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:22 PM   #10
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I am a little concerned that you baught fish and dont know the names of them. That probably means that you didnt do enough if any research on the fish. When keeping fish especially cichlids it is very important to do your research that way you know that your setup will support the fish and you are not setting your fish up to be a snack for a Tank/ Dinner mate. Everyone Please Do your Research.
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