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Old 03-06-2013, 01:49 AM   #1
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So many questions. Much advice needed!!

I am a new member and I have so many questions. I don't even know where to start! Because of a variety of topics in this post, I hope my post is alright being posted in the 'Saltwater Reef Aquaria' due to the latter part of this.

I have 2 main freshwater tanks consisting of a 10 gallon vertical hexagon tank and a 20 gallon rectangular tank. My 10 gallon tank has 3 African Cichlids, 3 South American Cichlids, and 1 Pleco. My 20 gallon tank has 2 Oscars, 3 African Cichlids, and a Pleco. I am also working on setting up a 55 gallon tank.

My first question is about African Cichlids compared to South American Cichlids. I have heard so many different stories I'm not sure what to do. Right now I had to separate one of my SA (Firemouth) cichlids because he would never leave a small spot behind the filter; I have a feeling he was picked on so much and he even started to float and could only try to swim down. Since I have removed him from the 10 gallon tank and put him in a small temp tank, he has improved almost 100%. He is able to swim like normal and has actually became more personable when feeding, unlike ever before.

They have been just fine in the tanks I have them in, except for this incident, but is there a better suggestion of placement?

My second question is about the Oscars and African Cichlids. There are so many different suggestions to go by on how many fish per tank or how many inches of fish per gallon. What would be a good recommendation? Also, I am setting up a 55 gallon tank and deciding whether to keep all freshwater and if I did so I would be 100% on moving the Oscars and African Cichlids into the 55 gallon tank, move the SA cichlids to the 20 gallon, and try the 10 gallon with community fish (the girlfriend was "nice" fish ) lol.

OR--->My other option, which I have really wanted to try my hand at, is a 55 gallon saltwater tank. Is it worth trying the 55 gallon as a saltwater tank and keeping my freshwater tanks as is (with suggestions on fish placement)

I know it's a lot to process, and especially since it's a first post from someone new. Any advice is welcome!
Thanks!
-D. Shaffer
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:59 AM   #2
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Oh wow! Um.. I don't want to come across rude in saying this but I see trouble in your future! I would actually take all the African cichlids you currently have and put them in the 55gal I would recommend you finding another large tank for the Oscar and other South American cichlids I would make the 10 gallon either a planted tank with some shrimp or small fish and keep the 20 as a quarantine tank. You may need it when your fish start to mature and personalities clash.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:15 AM   #3
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Oh wow! Um.. I don't want to come across rude in saying this but I see trouble in your future! I would actually take all the African cichlids you currently have and put them in the 55gal I would recommend you finding another large tank for the Oscar and other South American cichlids I would make the 10 gallon either a planted tank with some shrimp or small fish and keep the 20 as a quarantine tank. You may need it when your fish start to mature and personalities clash.

Don't worry about rudeness at this point. I understand I may have made a few wrong turns getting to where I am now and that's why I'm asking advice. I can work in another tank for quarantine. At this point though, one Oscar is 5 possibly 6 inches long while the smaller is only 3-4. The larger one keeps getting larger and the smaller, not so. And just recently the bigger one has been nipping at the smaller? I'm not sure why but again, I'm looking for answers. The 3 African cichlids in that tank are all about 4 inches long.

Maybe I should have mentioned that all the fish I have are relatively young. Even all the fish in the 10 gallon are pretty new, with all the African cichlids being 2-3 inches long while the SA cichlids are at 2. Nothing is set in stone at this point, so I am very open to suggestions and learning.

Maybe I am wrong, but if I'm to put the 55 gallon to freshwater, wouldn't it be better to put the Oscars in the 55 as they are known to get pretty big? I have enough cover in the 20 gallon where the cichlids seem happy for now. If I am wrong say so, but I've always been told that fish will only get so big in relation to the tank size?
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:20 AM   #4
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Fish will continue to grow internally no matter how big of a tank they're in. When you have a fish in a small tank they usually suffer from what's known as stunting. It's when their insides literally out grow their bodies and leads to early deaths. The reason why I said to put the Africans in the 55 is because ideally you need at least a 75 gal for the oscars. From what you've just told me if I were you I'd be looking for that ASAP. The larger one (from what you posted) is already showing signs of aggression towards the smaller one and I can understand why. They're squished in too small of living space.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:38 AM   #5
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I can see where I have put myself into a position where I would run into trouble in the future. See when starting out my first tank, I did not know that African Cichlids and SA Cichlids clashed.. not until I finally did my research and heard about problems with the two.

So now I have two different kinds of fish that can potentially grow to decent sizes, and only one tank big enough. Yikes, and I hate to say I do not have quite enough room at the moment to acquire another larger tank. I really don't know what to do now.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:52 AM   #6
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Don't be so hard on yourself. Honestly it wasn't too long ago that I myself were in a similar position. I had mixed Cichlids too. South American, Asian and Africans not too mention a few others that had no business being in there. I lost a few really nice fish because I didn't know any better. You've got a couple choices, look at your options. You can juggle them around and find a used large tank or if that's not feasible you could always list them for sale or see about trading them at a local fish store? Worst case scenario (if you really don't want to part with them) buy a big Tupperware container and set it up with a heater, air pump and filtration until you get the tanks sorted? The good thing is you're looking for answers. That right there shows you care
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:37 AM   #7
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Those tanks are way to small. The minimum tank size for an oscar is 75 gallons they're nasty fish. Get the africans a 75 and get the rest of them a 125 gallon.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:27 AM   #8
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Those tanks are way to small. The minim tank sizefor an oscar is 75 gallons theyre nasty fish, i personally just find this a cruel post... Get the africans a 75 and get the rest of them a 125 gallon. Or honestly get rid of all your fish.
Hey dimmer its alright we all make mistakes. I have my Oscar in a 90 gallon with another cichlid which im getting rid of soon. Its a beautiful Cuban cichlid if you're interested dimdim haha. But anyways the Oscars are really aggressive and really should be by themselves. But I had another Oscar I had to return after my brother gave it to me since my two couldn't get along in a 90gallon tank. But the different types of cichlids struggle living together due to the pH of the water they like to live in. If I were you though I would get rid of all the fish and use any store credit your lfs offers you to start the 55 gallon sweet setup! Good luck!
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:28 AM   #9
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Saltwater not sweet haha sorry!
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:39 AM   #10
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I may be interested jn the cuban pm me
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