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Old 06-24-2006, 12:21 PM   #1
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Chcilids ?

Can someone please explain to me what the difference between tropical freshwater fish and chcilids is?
ie, Do they need different water qualities?
Ive seen clown loaches & plecs in with them in another persons tank and Im beginging to wonder if they are not as different as I first thought.

Thanks muchly in advance.
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Old 06-24-2006, 12:49 PM   #2
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Moved to Cichlid forum.
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Old 06-24-2006, 12:54 PM   #3
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Cichlids are a tropical fish...they are found in lakes, rivers and streams in the Southwest US, South and Central America and Africa.

The cichilds on the Western Hemisphere are known as New World and enjoy soft water. The cichlids from Africa are from lakes of former volcanic activity and enjoy harder water.

Although plecos and loaches prefer softer water and are easier to house with the New World cichlids, I've seen folks with plecos (not loaches) in African tanks with little problems.
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Old 06-24-2006, 02:56 PM   #4
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Bill hit the nail right on the head. Some individuals keep clown loaches with semi-aggressive Africans without a problem. It should be closely monitored and only done in a large tank.
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Old 06-25-2006, 04:31 AM   #5
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Oops! Didnt spot this forum. Sorry Jchillin!

Firstly thank you for the info

As a complete newbie to the cichlid topic - Im assuming then that they are fine to keep with tropical fish as long as the tank companions are not of a size which would fit in their mouth very easily
Also - the tank companions should prefer the same water type as that of the cichlids.

Ive got a 150 gal (uk) (6ft x 2ft x2ft) which has been stocked with a BN plec, clown plec and a small schoal of tertras at the moment. Its wayyyyy under the max capacity of the tank as its been running for a couple of months.

Im looking to add a couple of 'show fish', ones which are unique in the tank and have a bit of character. The cichlids look ideal for this.

As said above - any info is very welcomed as this is something I want to get right for the fish.


***EDIT***
Oh side note - I think I may give the impression from above that Im waiting on people to do my work for me. Thats not the case, Im searching through this forum as well.

Found a lot of info so far - understand that agression is high in a lot of chcilids and the need to pick the right one for the benefit of the tank is very important. Mbuna (?) chcilids apparently are a lot smaller and the 'labs' (have to find more on that) are quite docile.

As said - its 670 ltr / 150 uk gal - so plenty of space for territories. Will keep reading looking for small colourful chcilids that I could look after.
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Old 06-25-2006, 07:31 AM   #6
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No worries Tomiam...this forum is fairly new and you did not give the impression that I'm your employee.

Everything you posted above is correct and you didn't miss a thing. Compatibility, both in water parameters and aggression are absolutely essential in planning your stocking choices.

You may want to look into the SA cichlids since you have the correct tank for them at the moment.
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Old 06-25-2006, 11:27 AM   #7
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Since you are keeping small plecos and tetras, stay away from African cichlids. Even though the yellow lab is a docile mbuna, they are still far more aggressive than a tetra. When we say that an African is peaceful, that is their temperment towards other Africans. The African Cichlid (specifically Lake Malawi) is in a class of it's own. They generally should not be mixed with non-Africans. It can be done (ie: Clown Loaches and Plecos) but caution must be exercised.

There are MANY beautiful New World Cichlids that would look great in your tank. German Blue Rams are gorgeous in their adult state and they are peaceful community fish. Angels are also beautiful and look very nice when you have several.
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Old 06-25-2006, 10:47 PM   #8
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Personally I think african cichlids specifically would pose a threat to the current algae crew. Being this the case I back fishfanatic and would avoid an african cichlid stock unless you're informed from a reliable source that identifies particular species which would be compatible with your plecos. There are so very many specifes of "New World Cichlids" that are breath-taking, but you have to find what appeals to you and would be healthy to the existing community.

If you decide on a cichlid species, then prepare the tank before-hand. The more rocks and caves the better, though different species have different preferences. Also, keep in groups in order to distribute aggression.

To answer your first question, tropical fish require warmer water than, say Goldfish for example. Cichlids thrive in the tropical waters- so there is no difference.
2nd question; Yes, the climate in Lake Tanganyika (Golden Julie) differs from that in Panama to Mexico (Convict), so you can understand why they may not get along so well.

My first planning question to you would be what kind of tetras and how many? Second, have you dont any research as to where you BN and Clown Pleco come from? I havn't, but instict tells me the South American Amazon, though please correct me if I'm wrong. Being this the case, build around what you have. There are fish from this area that are mild-tempered and may let your tetras live a few months. Also, if you choose to stick with one particular location of the world, consider setting up a biotope so these fish can really thrive.
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Old 06-29-2006, 04:03 PM   #9
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there is another way of going. The dwarf cichlid. Like the Apistogramma's you could keep 10 to 11 differnt spices of them in a large tank like your. Also the Krib is a way to go both of these pices will go with the German blue Ram and can be housed with the tettra's you have and other comunitty fish. They spawn realativly easy and make great eyye stopers when there with fry swimming around the tank with there little guys and gals.
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Old 06-30-2006, 05:10 PM   #10
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Thank you all very much for your info
I called my LFS and they also recommened apistogrammas. However they did say that they are not stocking any at the moment. Im happy to wait for them as they give good service and so far.. the quality of the livestock has been very good.
Anyway.. Im off on a Saturday morning trip to a few other aquatic centres around my way (Bristol, UK) to see what is about and pick up some bits n pieces.

Thanks once again for the advice. Think ive wrapped my head around whats good and whats not for my tank now
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