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Old 09-13-2017, 12:39 PM   #1
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New to cichlids

So I'm moving in December to a newly built house. I want to completely tear my tank down from a heavily planted garden to a cichlid tank.

What are the best cichlids for a 46 bowfront tank?
My pH usually sits between 7 and 7.5
I got my sand and rocks and some ideas there but have no idea what cichlids I could keep. I don't want angelfish and I know I can't keep discus. I prefer to have a bunch of smaller ones than a couple bigger ones.

Any idea on which livestock I could roll with? Any combinations to avoid?
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:43 PM   #2
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Also, I'm not looking to breed them. I don't have enough hours in the day to care for fry and not enough tanks to separate them.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:45 PM   #3
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You could do 8- 10 Bolivian rams and a big shoal of tetras and corys
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:57 PM   #4
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I've had rams with very little success where I'm at. Petco and Petsmart are the only places that carry them. My LFS doesn't deal with rams anymore. So getting reliable rams is hard. I currently have Tetras and Cories. I was looking for a all cichlid tank.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:07 PM   #5
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Africans?
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:11 PM   #6
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Yeah, I guess Africans lol. I like the look of the apistos and Kribs. They seem to be the smaller of some of the ones I've seen. Like I said, I'm completely new to cichlids besides angels and rams. I never wanted to dive into them until now, so it's like explaining it to somebody who has never had a tank before.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:17 PM   #7
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The labidochromis look amazing as well
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:36 PM   #8
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Apisto are sa/.ca. kribs are Africans. Not sure you'd want to keep them together. I'm not all that into Africans so I can't really offer much advice. I do know you really should have a 4 ft tank with most Africans. Wait until someone else comes along. Pm tmrcexotics, he's an African guy.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:44 PM   #9
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Awesome thanks brookstore. What about non African cichlids? Is there a wide variety?
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:48 PM   #10
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Saw this picture on Google trying to get ideas
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:08 PM   #11
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I think you could pull it off with a massive structure of stacked Texas holey rock, create tons of hides and caves, almost model it as a sw reef rock pile.
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:22 PM   #12
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My LFS sells it $1 a pound so it turns out to be a pretty decent price. Wouldn't that stuff raise my pH up? It already sits at around 7-7.5, I think possibly higher (test kits are hard to tell sometimes). I do have a lot of large river stones like the one in the picture I attached already in my planted FW set up. It's my current cave for my juvenile BGK. Like I said, any rocks at my LFS for $1 a pound and they have pretty much everything for rocks. Would the holey rocks work the best?
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:23 PM   #13
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Texas holey rock will have very little effect on your ph if you make weekly 25 - 35% WC''s. At best might raise ph to 8.0. Your local rock yard or landscape companies will likely have them
for 25 cents a lb. And a much wider selection. Big holey chunks are better than smaller ones. I keep both New World and African cichlids. I favor the New Worlds. If going New World, non breeder, for a 45 gal. Would be, singles only: Electric Blue Jack Dempsey, Salvini
"female", Fire mouth, 8x Columbian tetras, Bristlenose or Gold nugget Pleco. If you go African: All male, Dragon Blood hybrid Peacock, Sunshine Peacock, Yellow Tail Acei and Red Fin Borleyi, a red top Hongi, Yellow Lab, synodontis. Multipunctatus. Aquascape: mixed river rock and Texas Holey rock. Driftwood if Plecos are included. The holey rock won't hurt the New Worlds. Although I do have my favorites regarding Africans, they aren't very challenging and far too common. Pictured is my mixed cichlid tank. It should give you a pretty good look at what a holey rock & driftwood scape looks like. There are a few New Worlds and Africans visible. Most are hiding, night light photo. When your tank is up and running send updates.
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:35 PM   #14
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I like that scape a lot. I have an ABN pleco right now and that's the only fish I won't give away.

After looking up all those fish you mentioned, those Africans look amazing.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:40 PM   #15
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I forgot to mention Williamsi Blue Lips and OB Peacock. Just snapped these photos of them. I included an older photo of my Tangerine Dragon Blood. Remember you can mix New World and Africans if you carefully research each species for possible points of compatibility. Important to stock them together as juveniles. All of these Africans grew up in a fairly rough neighborhood full of big New Worlds.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:24 PM   #16
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Seems like some of the New World's have softer water requirements. I really don't want to have to deal with lowering my pH and getting an RO unit. Personally the African's just have a better look to them in my eyes and after reading up about some of them, I really would like some yellow labs.

I'm trying to get one of you to basically stock it for me so I can see my options. Like how many will work in a 46 bowfront. Like what somebody said earlier, Africans prefer 4ft tanks. I wouldn't mind settling for New World (if you would even call that settling) but the Africans are really eye popping.

This tank is going in the living room so I want it to be a show piece sort of tank, so the more colors the better.

I forgot to ask about substrate. Would PFS work with them?
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:42 PM   #17
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Most New Worlds today are raised in fish farms and have adapted to ph ranging from 6.0 to over 8.0. No real worries. I use swimming pool filter gravel. There was a very recent thread discussing substrate.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:50 PM   #18
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So PFS wouldn't make any difference? Just personal preference at that point? My LFS said they sell 10 yellow lab babies for $20. I don't think my tank could handle that many of them though
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:18 PM   #19
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I've got 1 male yellow lab. He is very active and a nice addition to the tank. 9 more just like him would be boring to me. Your tank could handle 10 Y.L's and one smaller variety synodontis catfish.
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:25 PM   #20
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Problem with Africans, imo, they lack personality. Eat, sleep, fight.. color is there but of you're not up for aggression, could be constant, than may want to re think
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