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Old 07-02-2014, 10:31 PM   #1
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Dwarf African cichlids

Is it possible to house dwarf African cichlids in a 20 gallon tank. I know they only get to a maximum of just 4 inches and my tank is 24 inches long and 14 inches high. Could they be happy in there? Do I only add like 4-5 or more/less? I know they could survive in it but I want them to be happy with that size tank. I welcome all opinions because I've never kept cichlids before. I figured this would be the best place to start...


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Old 07-03-2014, 12:54 AM   #2
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Which dwarf Africans are you considering? The only Africans really suitable for a 20 would be Lamprologus multifasciatus shelldwellers. One or two males and several females, sand substrate, and several dozen escargot shells would be fine.
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Old 07-03-2014, 01:00 AM   #3
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Old 07-03-2014, 01:14 AM   #4
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That looks like melanochromis auratus. It's known to be aggressive.


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Old 07-03-2014, 01:18 AM   #5
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Yes I'm aware of that. I just wanted to know if it's possible to keep em in a 20 gallon tank


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Old 07-03-2014, 01:22 AM   #6
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Would say no. Pelvicachromis pulcher could work but are aggressive during breeding. Shell dwelling cichlids would be a better option.


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Old 07-03-2014, 02:37 AM   #7
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You could keep a single auratus in a 20, anything else would be killed. They're one of the most aggressive mbuna species, and claim a relatively large territory, actually much larger than a 20.
There aren't any Malawi cichlids suitable for a 20, just the Tanganykian shelldwellers. There are a few species that may work as a pair (assuming you can get a pair w/out them killing each other in that size tank), but the multi's would be the best bet in the long run. They're colonial fish, while the pairing types are more likely to eat their own fry.
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:47 AM   #8
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Can I add a lot at the same time so they don't establish territories, maybe like 5-6?


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Old 07-03-2014, 10:52 AM   #9
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I have a friend with a 36 gallon tank with electric blue tetras, tiger barbs and dwarf African cichlids, and they're not bothering each other. An auratus is one of the cichlids they have in the tank. That's why I'm trying to be explicit when it comes to all the possibilities to house them in a 20 gallon


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Old 07-03-2014, 11:21 AM   #10
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Auratus get 6" and are not a dwarf species. There aren't many dwarf species from Malawi, and I don't know of any common species that can be kept on a 20 gallon.

Just cause someone else did it, doesn't mean it should be done not trying to be mean, just being honest


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