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Old 06-27-2012, 10:09 AM   #1
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cichlid for 20g

I'm looking to get a larger fish to live in my 20g with a rainbow shark (4"). There is an albino sucker in there with him now, but he will be moved. I am thinking an EBJD or possibly a fire mouth. I want something that will get big with a large personality too. I can upgrade tank size down the road, but 20g is gonna have to do for about a year. how big do tiger oscars get and how fast? I love working with my tank so frequent water changes are fine by me (to prevent stunting)
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:26 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrawdy
I'm looking to get a larger fish to live in my 20g with a rainbow shark (4"). There is an albino sucker in there with him now, but he will be moved. I am thinking an EBJD or possibly a fire mouth. I want something that will get big with a large personality too. I can upgrade tank size down the road, but 20g is gonna have to do for about a year. how big do tiger oscars get and how fast? I love working with my tank so frequent water changes are fine by me (to prevent stunting)
I don't think you could have a oscar or a EBJD. I think a EBJD needs a little more but I don't know about the firemouth. Oscars get pretty big at a medium pace. They are huge poop machines though some people have a 20G has there feeding tank.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:35 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Fishie

I don't think you could have a oscar or a EBJD. I think a EBJD needs a little more but I don't know about the firemouth. Oscars get pretty big at a medium pace. They are huge poop machines though some people have a 20G has there feeding tank.
I am going to up the tank to prob a 55 gallon by next summer (or sooner craigslist willing) but I want to go ahead and get him up to about 6 or 7" in the twenty before I drop a two inch fish into such a huge tank. bad idea? I guess growth rate is what I'm curious about. I really wanted an ID shark but that is definitely out of the question. I am really interested in oscars and jack dempsey because they are so owner-responsive and have personalities.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:39 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jdrawdy

I am going to up the tank to prob a 55 gallon by next summer (or sooner craigslist willing) but I want to go ahead and get him up to about 6 or 7" in the twenty before I drop a two inch fish into such a huge tank. bad idea? I guess growth rate is what I'm curious about. I really wanted an ID shark but that is definitely out of the question. I am really interested in oscars and jack dempsey because they are so owner-responsive and have personalities.
Jack dempseys would do great in a 55 gallon same as the firemouth. I don't know together but they would fit as for the Oscar I would get more opinions on size tank because I always hear different tank sizes. I got rid of mine got to big. Jack dempseys do have personalities one of my favorite fish!
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:59 AM   #5
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55 is not big enough for an Oscar.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Labenator65000
55 is not big enough for an Oscar.
these fish live 15+ years man, by the time it outgrows a 55g upgrade I will probably be able to afford a larger tank. I think it's completely feasible with regular water changes to start this size fish off in a smaller tank. I am probably going to go with a regular JD, but my question is how fat should I expect top have to upgrade from a 20g. if it's close to a year or more, I'm going to go for it.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:17 AM   #7
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Don't buy your fish until you have the appropriate tank to put them in. Your rainbow, although it can be crammed into a 55, really requires a minimum of 75 gallons. Trust me, been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

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by the time it outgrows a 55g upgrade I will probably be able to afford a larger tank.
This is pure speculation on your part. Fishkeeping is about what the fish need, not about what we want. Please do the right thing for the fish.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:21 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by LyndaB
Don't buy your fish until you have the appropriate tank to put them in. Your rainbow, although it can be crammed into a 55, really requires a minimum of 75 gallons. Trust me, been there, done that, got the t-shirt.
Agreed. I have the tee-shirt, too. If you Google what Oscars look like in an undersized tank, you will see that they will become deformed. 55-75 is a starter tank for an Oscar. 90-120 after a year or two. I would lean towards the upper end of those two ranges, respectively. Typically, Google is generally not a reputable source of information for aquaria, but in this case even if you Google "tank size for Oscar" you will find that the majority really agrees with these tank size recommendations.

Personally, I wouldn't mix a Rainbow Shark with any Cichlids. I had one in with relatively mild fish, and one day all I found was a husk.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LyndaB
Don't buy your fish until you have the appropriate tank to put them in. Your rainbow, although it can be crammed into a 55, really requires a minimum of 75 gallons. Trust me, been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

This is pure speculation on your part. Fishkeeping is about what the fish need, not about what we want. Please do the right thing for the fish.
I have a coworker that had a jack dempsey for five years. in that time, his fish grew from 2 1/2 inches to 5 inches, he says. I am definitely speculating as I haven't the experience with JDs, but that seems like a completely manageable growth rate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Labenator65000

Agreed. I have the tee-shirt, too. If you Google what Oscars look like in an undersized tank, you will see that they will become deformed. Personally, I wouldn't mix a Rainbow Shark with any Cichlids. I had one in with relatively mild fish, and one day all I found was a husk.
the aggressive thing is a good consideration.


you guys are super super elitist, but let's get real: there is a tank at petsmart FULL of JDs for $2.50. They don't know anything about these fish really, which is what brought me here. I think my (albeit limited) understanding of full grown size and care will probably allow me to provide a better lifestyle than most of the fish in that tank will face. Not ideal--I get it. but honestly, I think in regards to fishy interest I will be saving it and prolonging its life. I fully intend to either upfit the setup requirements as they are needed or give it away to my LFS if I cannot.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:03 PM   #10
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Sounds like you have your mind made up and prefer to learn by experience. Well, I did that, too, but I wish I had taken advice of others early on. Do what you think is right. We are only trying to help you.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Labenator65000
Sounds like you have your mind made up and prefer to learn by experience. Well, I did that, too, but I wish I had taken advice of others early on. Do what you think is right. We are only trying to help you.
I certainly appreciate your help. I've learned a lot, and am mostly just sad that they sell these larger fish to clueless aquarists with no desire for more than a 10g.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:52 PM   #12
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you guys are super super elitist, but let's get real: there is a tank at petsmart FULL of JDs for $2.50.
Personally, I take great offense at being called not only elitist, but super super elitist. We take fishkeeping seriously. We want you to take it just as seriously. We certainly can't force you to do the right thing, but we sure hope you do.

Every lfs has fish in inappropriate tanks. They have to. Those are also very short-term tanks. Upgrading whenever it's financially feasible OR when the fish looks like it's outgrowing its tank, does not make your situation a short-term one. It makes it a poorly planned one.

Good luck to you.
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:33 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jdrawdy

I certainly appreciate your help. I've learned a lot, and am mostly just sad that they sell these larger fish to clueless aquarists with no desire for more than a 10g.
It's frustrating to just get into this profession after you have determined to do so, but then find that often the only source of good solid advice can be found on speciality user groups, and even then has to be sifted from a flurry of less-than-optimal advice. LFS are often not very good sources of solid advice.

I recall when I first started in the hobby that I proudly posted my new stock and my new tank setup, only to be told that my tank was too small for my stock, and the selections in my stock were not compatible with each other. I got cheesed off about it as well and voiced my opinion of others' opinions on my choices. After hearing more opinions, and doing more research, I was eventually convinced and begrudgingly returned most of my stock, and upgraded or replaced a good amount of gear. To relate, I started out with a Tiger Oscar and a few other totally incompatible fish in my 55, and I ended up returning nearly all of the stock, including the Oscar. Today, I have far from a perfect setup in the eyes of some, but I'm trying to follow the generally accepted best-practices. There is much more peace of mind knowing that I am doing the best I can, and not taking any unnecessary risks.

Folks here that have posted over a 1,000 posts and/or have been a member here for several years give good solid advice. Advice is one of those things that you can take and follow, or go your own way. Enthusiasts (probably a more suitable label than "elitist") are serious about the ethical treatment of fish, no less than the treatment of dogs or cats or other pets, so these folks won't take lightly when something less than ethical is suggested as acceptable.

Just take your time, consider all input from all folks (even if it's not what you want to hear), and do what you think is right.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:37 PM   #14
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Please don't take offense to what these guys are telling you. They are here to help you and only want the best for you and your fish.


Jack Dempseys are great fish and are full of personality. Your tank will be able to house one for a short time but you will need to upgrade sooner than later to provide a healthy environment for it. Don't base growth rates on speculation cause IME jacks grow at all kinds of different and crazy rates. I have four jacks total and 2 grew to 5" in less than 6 months and the other 2 didn't reach the 4" mark till close to a year. I've had ones in the past that were 7" in 7 months.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:56 PM   #15
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I Googled Oscar in small tank and freaked at what came up
Can I keep a Oscar in a 2 gallon tank?
Are there any small or miniature oscars?
Is a ten gallon good for one Oscar?
I also saw pictures of deformed oscars. I wanted to add that EBJDs are very sensitive and are better of bought at larger sizes because those are the strong fish that have survived
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:22 PM   #16
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Personally, I take great offense at being called not only elitist, but super super elitist.

Good luck to you.
I'm sorry if I offended you, I did not mean anything by that. For what it's worth, I only meant to type super once.

Good advice IS very hard to find. I am new at this, and I first came to the internet for advice through Google. There are some ridiculous things on there, and I feel terrible for the fish that they keep. People describe 5-10 very large fish in a 20 or 30 gallon tank. I read a question asked about why 3 irridescent sharks in a 10 gallon tank kept bashing their heads on the side of the tank... sad stuff y'all. I shouldn't have come to a cichlid forum expecting you guys to condone anything but optimum conditions. I am trying my best to accommodate the most "pet" like fish that I can. The sporadic aging one of you guys mentioned was a very good consideration. Any suggestions as to what I should get? I got a third tank today, twenty gallon tall. I got it and all the gear for free, so what the heck. I'm a newbie but I'm addicted hard. I've set up 3 tanks in the past 7 weeks.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:45 PM   #17
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You have "the sickness" my friend. It only gets worse before it gets better. It happens to all of us. I went from no tanks to 4 in a matter of 4 months.

Given the fact that your tanks are smaller.....look at some of the dwarf species. Rams, keyholes and apistos are all pretty cool fish. They would allow you to have a few fish in the tank an would be able to thrive without being cramped.

Check out this link and browse around to get some ideas.

http://www.segrestfarms.com/index.cf...up&groupID=106
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:18 PM   #18
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Although I love the larger new world cichlids, I refuse to keep them, as I can't afford a larger tank. I keep dwarf cichlids like mentioned above and love them. Look into shell dweller cichlids. They're from lake tanganyika in Africa and are quite aggressive, highly social, and easy to breed! If those interest you, then a specific species would be neolamprologus multifasciatus
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:17 AM   #19
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Get an african leaf fish or spotted climbing perch. They are SWEET looking and from what i hear have the personality of larger cichlids.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:35 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by jdrawdy View Post
I have a coworker that had a jack dempsey for five years. in that time, his fish grew from 2 1/2 inches to 5 inches, he says. I am definitely speculating as I haven't the experience with JDs, but that seems like a completely manageable growth rate.

That's not a normal growth rate at all. I have and have had several JD's and an EBJD and they usually grow to about 6-7" in the first year if in good conditions.
the aggressive thing is a good consideration. If they don't then it's a strong possibility that their living conditions were not very optimal.

I'm not against starting a bigger fish species in a smaller tank while it is little, it's not a bad idea, just be prepared to upgrade sooner rather than later. Smaller water volumes also mean frequent water changes.

And between oscar and JD I would definitely choose the JD because oscars get much larger and likewise need much larger accommodations.


you guys are super super elitist, but let's get real: there is a tank at petsmart FULL of JDs for $2.50. They don't know anything about these fish really, which is what brought me here. I think my (albeit limited) understanding of full grown size and care will probably allow me to provide a better lifestyle than most of the fish in that tank will face. Not ideal--I get it. but honestly, I think in regards to fishy interest I will be saving it and prolonging its life. I fully intend to either upfit the setup requirements as they are needed or give it away to my LFS if I cannot.[/QUOTE]
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