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Old 08-23-2013, 11:39 AM   #1
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Stocking advice

First want to say that this site has been an enormous help in my growing fondness for this hobby. You folks helped walk me through all my new tank syndromes with my daughter's 20 gallon that I bought her for Christmas. 8 months, a fish-in cycling (which I'll never do again) and two early bouts of ich later we now have a thriving community tank with 4 black skirted tetras, 4 orange wag Platys and 8 rummynosed tetras.

So my question, and here is where the Cichlids come in. I've added a 40 gallon breeder (planted, driftwood, several large rocks, sand/flourite substrate) which is close to completing its fishless cycle (nitrites have spiked, now waiting for nitrates to increase). I was thinking about Keyhole Cichlids as my anchor fish. I was planning on getting four of them. Everything I've read (alot) about this particular Cichlid says that although they can grow to be 6", that a 30 gallon tank is just fine for them. I can't help but wonder though if a 40 gallon will be enough for 4 - 6" fish over time. A bigger tank is not an option at this point, I could go with two, but I've read it's best to have a minimum of four to increase the possibility of a pairing.

In addition, the Keyhole, as you know, is not known as an aggressive fish, and my hopes were to over time add a small school of tiger barbs (green and regular), and a bristlenosed pleco.

I would appreciate the thoughts of a Cichlid expert on this potential set-up.

Thanks very much.

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Old 08-23-2013, 02:21 PM   #2
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Location: Boise, ID
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Sounds like you have a pretty good plan to me. I would think a 40 breeder would be large enough for that setup. Keyholes are pretty shy so just make sure you have plenty of cover so they feel safe. From what I've experienced with my Keyholes they are incredibly peaceful. Tiger Barbs will be just fine with them. I'd say most barbs, rasboras or tetras could be kept with them no problem. I have Lemon Tetras in with mine. I also have a relatively new setup with Tiger Barbs and a couple Honduran Red Points that has worked great so far, so I'm sure the Tiger Barbs could handle anything a Keyhole would dish out if you end up with a breeding pair.
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