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Old 12-04-2015, 02:36 PM   #1
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New to cichlids looking for advice

I currently have an empty 75gal with 2 ac 110s on it. I'd like to get into cichlids, preferably jack Dempseys. So my questions are how many can I have (I was told the more the better but I'm sure there's a max) and what other cichlids can go with them? Any other advice would be appreciated as well


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Old 12-04-2015, 04:59 PM   #2
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It doesn't work that way with American cichlids.To be honest I don't believe in crowding Africans either.JD's reach nearly 10" and are aggressive cichlids.Id honestly say only one pair of JD's would be acceptable in a 55.Trust me you don't want to see big American cichlids tearing into one another.For a 55 id recommend acaras or something similar.Something in the cryptoheros area maybe.


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Old 12-04-2015, 05:06 PM   #3
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I have a 75, so if I had a pair of JDs what else could go with them?


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Old 12-04-2015, 05:26 PM   #4
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It doesn't work that way with American cichlids.To be honest I don't believe in crowding Africans either.JD's reach nearly 10" and are aggressive cichlids.Id honestly say only one pair of JD's would be acceptable in a 55.Trust me you don't want to see big American cichlids tearing into one another.For a 55 id recommend acaras or something similar.Something in the cryptoheros area maybe.


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I mostly agree... Ive found out very recently that they push for territory. I didn't really always see them in such an aggressive state as i only kept smaller or less aggressive species before, or wet-pets. Now, trying to mix larger fish with the power to kill... A challenge. JDs are pretty mean, not top of the scale, but i wouldn't think it would work super well. Especially if they wanted to breed.

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I have a 75, so if I had a pair of JDs what else could go with them?


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I think a pair would be good. They have personality.

Bottom feeders are the only things that could live long-term. Dithers will get eaten, cichlids will probably be killed by a pair.

Anything in the Synodontis genus should work provided it is of the right size. They are durable and they clean up the tank well. They also push back against fish that try to terrorize them. My old Syno Eupterus actually sparred with my male Texas of equal size. Synos are nocturnal, mostly, which should help keep them out of the way.

If you want to try dithers, i would go with Giant Danios. They are fast and agile and should live. Not Tiger Barbs, they will die when sleeping. The JD will probably grow big enough to eat a lot of the Tetras but Buenos Aires might work, as well as some of the other ones.

If you want to try cichlids with them, avoid anything large, overly aggressive, underly aggressive, or too small. I would say that Cons would be a good bet except they would probably pair up with the Jack Dempseys. If you have a pair of JDs already then you could add a male Con. Lots of hiding places will help.





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Old 12-04-2015, 05:59 PM   #5
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As of right now I have an empty running tank. Rehomed all my fish so I could start fresh with cichlids. I really like how JDs look but I want an aquarium full of life and color so maybe JDs wouldn't be the best choice


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Old 12-04-2015, 06:04 PM   #6
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As of right now I have an empty running tank. Rehomed all my fish so I could start fresh with cichlids. I really like how JDs look but I want an aquarium full of life and color so maybe JDs wouldn't be the best choice


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Full of life and color? That seems like an African Cichlid tank to me.

Centrals are for aggression, personality, size, and subtle beauty. Not really colorful or racing around the tank...

Look into Peacocks and Mbuna for fish that are colorful and very active. They are Cichlids but they are from Africa instead of the Americas.


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Old 12-04-2015, 06:08 PM   #7
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Mbunas tend to be on the smaller side ride?


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Old 12-04-2015, 06:21 PM   #8
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Mbunas tend to be on the smaller side ride?


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Im not the African Cichlid man, at all.

I basically know the general groups: Tropheus, which are colorful and horrifically mean; Peacocks, colorful and pretty peaceful; Mbuna, colorful and not overly mean but not nice; and Shellies, which are mostly white white stripes and stuff. There are Haps as well but i know nothing about them.

I think that out of the ones i listed, Shellies are smallest, then most Tropheus, then Mbuna, then Peacocks. Haps can get pretty big i think?

Mbuna can live in a 55.

As some of the other for advice on Africans.


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Old 12-04-2015, 06:25 PM   #9
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Well you gave me more info then I knew, thanks. Hopefully someone will chime in with some other advice


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Old 12-05-2015, 01:13 PM   #10
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I have a 75 gallon african mbuna tank and love them. Tons of activity and colour once they grow a bit, and its interesting to see the social pecking order establish. Always some chasing, but rarely do i see any real damage unless something is really wrong with the stocking. You want to keep only one male of each species because other males will be attacked and chased until there is one. Which means the plan is usually to buy more than you plan on having in the end so that as they grow and males start showing up, you can remove them and have a good male/female ratio. They dont have sharp teeth like the americans, as they are mostly herbivorous. But they dont back down and can be very relentless if it decides a fish needs to go lol Dwarf varieties tend to be as small as 4" and the larger ones ive ran across get around 6". Most around 5" generally speaking. This is for the Mbuna side of africans, not including peacocks and haplochromis species which can tend to get larger and more open water swimmers. Those also tend to be more peaceful depending on the species compared to the boisterous mbuna. With 75 gallons, it is usually recommending 18-20 being the max to spread out aggresion, so you could easily get quite a few colours in there. Be sure to have alot of rocks and places to claim/retreat into

I love my tank and think it makes a great show tank in my living room. Feel free to check out my album if you're interested in some of the different fish i have in mine. Mine are all still pretty young with the biggest being around 4" and youngest additions around 1.5"
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