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Old 03-13-2014, 12:55 AM   #1
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Starting a Cichlid Tank

Ok, I have a 60 gallon tank with 2 fluval aqua clear 70 filters. Currently the tank is empty with just 2 plecos and a snail. I know I need a lot of rocks and sand but I do have some questions. The guy at the LFS wouldn't really answer any questions I had. So here we go.
1. What type of sand should I use for the tank?
2. I dont want huge cichlids and want to be able to have at least 10 to 15, What species dont get super big?
3. Ive heard different opinions on what fish are compatible, but really, what fish would be compatible together.
4. I really want a vibrant color tank, what are the best vibrantly colored compatible cichlids?

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Old 03-13-2014, 01:02 AM   #2
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And I have no idea what I want as far as south American, African, central America...etc. I dont want a crazy aggressive tank, but semi-aggressive would be ok.

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Old 03-13-2014, 01:09 AM   #3
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Well africans are super bright coloured but agressive and south american cichlids are semi aggressive(with some exeptions) but i like south american the best. So depends what you want
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:51 AM   #4
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Do you think maybe i should just get a bunch of assorted cichlids as juveniles? Because im 100% ok with having a juvenile tank and letting them grow up together.

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Old 03-13-2014, 10:39 AM   #5
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Did you want african or south american?
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:55 AM   #6
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You will be far better off to actually do some research, determine which specific type you want and then research compatible species, rather than simply dumping a bunch of random assorted cichlid juveniles into a tank.

What are the dimensions of your 60 gallon tank?
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Old 03-13-2014, 11:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dixiegirl89 View Post
Do you think maybe i should just get a bunch of assorted cichlids as juveniles? Because im 100% ok with having a juvenile tank and letting them grow up together.

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That's the best way! But I would add a few at a time over a week or two. To keep the bio load fairly low.
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Old 03-13-2014, 11:37 AM   #8
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The more hiding places you have the better, it will keep agression lower
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:47 PM   #9
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Well I looked up as much as I could about compatible species and mostly everything points to just getting them as little guys and letting them grow up together. I really like mbuna and African. The dimensions of the tank is 48x25x12.

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Old 03-13-2014, 01:31 PM   #10
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That's the best way! But I would add a few at a time over a week or two. To keep the bio load fairly low.
No, its not! That is the incorrect way.

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The more hiding places you have the better, it will keep agression lower
Also not true, hiding places do nothing to reduce aggression. What they do is provide a spot for those who are the target of aggression to disappear to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dixiegirl89 View Post
Well I looked up as much as I could about compatible species and mostly everything points to just getting them as little guys and letting them grow up together. I really like mbuna and African. The dimensions of the tank is 48x25x12.

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Alright, so you have a 4' long tank, that means you can keep Africans (FYI mbuna are Africans). However not all Africans are compatible, just because you buy them as juveniles and throw them together in a tank. That might work while they are juveniles, but as soon as they start to sexually mature, you are going to have dead fish. So now that you know you want Africans, you need to make some additional decisions, do you want river or lake Africans (not compatible with each other), do you want peacock or mbuna (one is generally a carnivore, the other a herbivore - so while they can, with the proper set-up be kept together, you need to adjust their diets accordingly). I don't recommend it for a beginner.

In a tank that size, if you go with African Lake cichlids like mbuna or peacocks, I would recommend that you select no more than 3 species to keep together. Selecting species in which the males have different coloration will help in reducing aggression between species and also help to prevent hybridization. Are you going to keep a single sex or a mixed tank? If a mixed tank, you need to be keeping a ratio of about 1 male to 3 or 4 females of the same species. African Lake cichlids do not form pairs. If instead you intend to keep African River cichlids, then you may need to think about some other things like dither or target fish.

Properly keeping cichlids DOES NOT involve randomly buying a bunch of random juveniles and throwing them together in the same tank. If that is what all your research is showing you, you need to pick a better source to research from.
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