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Old 07-26-2019, 02:43 AM   #1
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55g African Cichlid Tank?

Hey everybody!

So long story short, I entered a raffle for a 55g aquarium kit when buying a Rainbow Cichlid for my 75g SA Cichlid tank. Well, I won! And well, I didn't really think about having another tank but now I do.

So now I've been doing research on things I haven't kept before, something different than a normal tropical setup. African Cichlids came to mind. I watch the aquarium youtuber KGTropicals and they get their cichlids from an online breeder. I contacted said breeder about what he would do with a 55g stock (Malawi) and the images I attached are his exact list, a mix of all 3 types of malawis and claimed they should all be compatible.

I don't wanna doubt his knowledge, especially seeing as I'm no AC expert myself, but I'm a bit nervous about spending this much money for chaos and death. So this leads to my question: Does this look okay? What are the chances of this working out long-term?

Other ideas I had were:

6 Discus (also pushing it, I know. If you have thoughts on this idea please say)

Saltwater Tank (not reef, this would be my first saltwater setup)

One thing I should mention is I'm a college student who will only be home at least once every 2 weeks. I have family who watch after and feed my fish but they refuse to water change. This is why I've always stocked my tanks only moderately. Would the discus idea or african cichlids idea be eliminated right away with this water change schedule? I always heavily overfiltrate but I understand it isn't always enough.
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Old 07-26-2019, 09:25 AM   #2
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Just keep in mind the bigger the fish the larger or more frequently the water changes will be. How long will they be going without a change?
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Old 07-26-2019, 01:05 PM   #3
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Usually 2 weeks.
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Old 07-26-2019, 01:11 PM   #4
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Well, I'd eliminate discus for sure. They need frequent water changes and six is somewhat crowded for a 55 gallon for adult discus.
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Old 07-26-2019, 01:12 PM   #5
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I figured as much, thought it was worth asking though. Thanks for saving my money lol.
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Old 07-26-2019, 01:15 PM   #6
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What about shell dwellers? Cute little cichlids that live is shells. They're easy to care for from what I've heard.
Can you wait til you are done with school to get fish?
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Old 07-26-2019, 01:18 PM   #7
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I've never been interested in shell dwellers honestly. Can't say why. And yes I technically could but I would just end up going back to school the next year anyways. I've got about a month of summer left to get this going. If I wait until I GRADUATE that's 3 years waiting with a tank kit that I dont think I have the self-control for haha.
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Old 07-26-2019, 01:23 PM   #8
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Lol yeah waiting is the hardest part of fish keeping.
I understand, they stay close to the bottom it's not much activity.
Have you considered a trio of livebearers and letting them fill the tank? Mollies or swordtails are a great size for a 55g. Platys are smaller but come in every colour.
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Old 07-26-2019, 01:31 PM   #9
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Yeah I've kept all the standard livebearers in my 29g at one point or another. I've really had experience with all the standard tropical setups which is why I was looking for something new like the Africans, saltwater, etc. I assume you don't think 2 weeks is enough to keep ~10 Africans? (Also thank you for your time and suggestions)
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Old 07-26-2019, 01:47 PM   #10
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You would have to have some powerful filtration, live plants (hopefully the fish don't dig them out) keep it low stocked and do a large water change.
Dwarf cichlids might be your best bet. If you don't like shell dwellers then some more colourful options would be: cockatoo cichlids, kribensis cichlids, you might be able to get away with yellow labs, African butterfly cichlids.
Do some research and see what you like. Or if any of these sound like they would be good for your setup.
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Old 07-26-2019, 03:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaraB View Post
Dwarf cichlids might be your best bet. If you don't like shell dwellers then some more colourful options would be: cockatoo cichlids, kribensis cichlids, you might be able to get away with yellow labs, African butterfly cichlids.

This is a good suggestion. Since you're new to African Cichlids you might want to wait until you can be with the tank more consistently. It's not just water changes: there could be sudden aggression problems to deal with, which I doubt you'd want to leave to your family.


I might consider a South American setup with Bolivian Rams as the centerpiece cichlids and then some tetras and corys you've never kept. You can always convert it to an AC tank when you're in more permanent digs in a few years.
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Old 07-26-2019, 09:41 PM   #12
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I'm definitely NOT a cichlid expert but we have Kribs(kribensis) in our 125g which are becoming a favorite with me.
Buy them in trios 1M & 2F, have plenty of *homes*(mine have cichlid caves, skull decorations and a stacked rock *wall* to choose from) mine seem to like nibbling on the Hornwort put in for fry protection but also like their flakes. I find the males.fin colouring varies enough that they don't all look the same so a single species tank is ok.
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Old 07-26-2019, 09:56 PM   #13
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My mistake
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Old 07-27-2019, 03:13 AM   #14
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Funny you suggest Bolivians. I got one in my 29 with some tetras right now. I guess by just turning down your suggestion I'm not helping lol. So here are some different fish I'm interested in:

Electric Blue Acaras
Firemouths
Tiger Barbs
Black Ruby Barbs
Gold Barbs
Rainbow Sharks
Cockatoo Apistos (ty for suggestion)
Neon/Cardinal Tetras
Severums
Texas Cichlids
Emperor Tetras
Phantom Tetras
Electric Blue Jack Dempsey

None of these are really my first choices but I guess I'm gonna have to wait on those. Again, saltwater is always tempting....
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Old 07-27-2019, 08:21 AM   #15
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Jack Dempsey needs a 75 gallon tank at least or else they develop spine issues.
Tiger barbs would look great in a heavily planted tank.
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Old 07-27-2019, 10:45 AM   #16
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You'd have to keep the large cichlids as a single in your size tank. The medium sized you could put a few. Small sized you could put multiple.

As far as schooling fish, make sure you get ones that are larger or full bodied if you get a large cichlid to keep them from getting eaten.
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Old 07-27-2019, 03:26 PM   #17
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Yes I'm aware they would have to live alone. I'm open to it.
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Old 08-19-2019, 01:23 AM   #18
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Id go with white/ yellow labs.
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