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Old 10-10-2008, 04:30 PM   #1
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Stocking a 20 gallon

I just recently picked up a 20 gallon marineland kit, and would like to use this tank as a pure cichlid aquarium.

What would you suggest my stocking list be for the tank?
My only real guidelines are that I would like the fish to be very colorful and active!

Thanks!
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Old 10-10-2008, 04:56 PM   #2
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Apistos, rams or shell dwellers.
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Old 10-10-2008, 05:35 PM   #3
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okay thanks, i'll look into those.

would yellow labs work? i really like those.
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Old 10-10-2008, 11:36 PM   #4
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no they wouldnt. with apistos or rams your prob limited to one pair.... shell dwellers up to 6 or so.... i think apistos are more impressive then yellow labs anyways.
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:27 AM   #5
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Definately no yellows. Like mgamer says shelldwellers, apistogrammas, bolivian rams, blue rams. I am going to try shell dwellers myself next. They are awesome IMO.
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Old 10-11-2008, 06:15 AM   #6
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Is the tank a 20H or a 20L? I think you would be fine with a trio (1 male, 2 females) or quartet (1 male, 3 females) of apistos in the tank. They are harem spawners and would prefer to be in the ratios that I gave for best results. Take a look at double reds/triple reds, trifasciata, borelli, agassizii for species options.
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Old 10-11-2008, 11:35 AM   #7
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if it's a 20L then you have lots of choices.

Cookie Cutter - 20-gallons (long)

I would do the dwarf pike cichlids. One pair, but I like predators and I already have a tank with some pretty fish. Speaking of which. I am keeping bolivian rams and they are awesome. They're not quite as colorful as the GBRs but they are hardier and they have a ton of personality. You could keep those too.

oh and kribs! You could raise kribs in there. They breed pretty easy and are super colorful and unlike convicts people might actually want their fry.

If your gonna plant now is the time to mix in the plant friendly substrate.
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:19 PM   #8
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wow, it seems like theres so many possiblities.

would this work?

Species Profiles -- Cichlid-Forum (1 pair)
Species Profiles -- Cichlid-Forum (1 trio)
serpae tetra (5)
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:31 PM   #9
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No, if you read the profiles you would have seen that the Neolamprologus leleupi will most likely eat shell dwellers, which are the second ones that you want a trio of in your tank.
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by da9k1ne View Post
wow, it seems like theres so many possiblities.

would this work?

Species Profiles -- Cichlid-Forum (1 pair)
Species Profiles -- Cichlid-Forum (1 trio)
serpae tetra (5)

well I don't know that much about africans. Somebody else would be better suited to explain the yellow labs. I do know that the inch per gallon rule doesn't apply to cichlids. Cichlids require territory. That's why your tank's footprint (area=length x width) is more important than the overall gallons.

Also it's a bad idea to mix and match rift lake cichlids and south/central american species. They have completely different water and habitat requirements. The two cichlid species you picked there may be compatible (i don't know much about africans), but the serpae tetras would not be. Most SA/CA (central/south american) species require soft acidic water (ph < 7.0). Especially tetras. Most rift lake cichlids requre hard alkaline water (ph > 7.0 usually 8+). This means that for a rift lake tank you are going to want to use buffers in the tank such as limestone, crushed coral etc to keep the ph up. This elevated ph will kill most acidic water species like tetras. ALso the rift lakes are really rocky and you need lots of rocks in a RL tank. On the other hand SA/CA species need water that is usually softer and more acidic than most tap water in the USA. This means that you will need to use plants, drfitwood, and non buffering rocks in your setup to try and get the ph down.

There are some african cichlids that enjoy water parameters similar to those of SA/CA cichlids. These are the riverine cichlids like the kribensis (Pelvachromis pulcher) and the jewel cichlid (Hemichromis bimaculatus).

The thing about cichlid tanks, especially in a 20 is that they can be mean as **** and territorial. You need to research the species. If they are considered agressive, which most cichlids outside of dwarves and angels are, then you need to limit the tank to one species. If they breed then they will kill everything in the tank, and might even if they don't. There are some species which may acceptable tankmates for cichlids and they vary from species to species. Most often it is a bottom feeder like pleco, corydoras, or upside down african catfish.
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:43 PM   #11
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thats a shame. i'd really like to build my tank around the yellow pair i listed above.

what else could i put in there that has alot of color? i'm sorry for all the questions im totally new to cichlids and dont want to do anything wrong.

i would also be willing to build my tank around one larger fish such as
Species Profiles -- Cichlid-Forum
or
Species Profiles -- Cichlid-Forum

i appreciate all your help. any pictures of smaller tanks would greatly help as well!
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:50 PM   #12
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kribs are really colorful and would work well in your tank.



german blue rams are VERY colorful and would work well in your tank.



bolivian rams are not quite as colorful but are really cool. I have 5. They're also hardier than the GBRs.



jewel cichlids are really prett

There are a ton of colorful apistogrammas species and they would all work well in your tank.


Thats just some ideas to get you started.
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:52 PM   #13
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Also it's a bad idea to mix and match rift lake cichlids and south/central american species. They have completely different water and habitat requirements. The two cichlid species you picked there may be compatible (i don't know much about africans), but the serpae tetras would not be. Most SA/CA (central/south american) species require soft acidic water (ph < 7.0). Especially tetras. Most rift lake cichlids requre hard alkaline water (ph > 7.0 usually 8+). This means that for a rift lake tank you are going to want to use buffers in the tank such as limestone, crushed coral etc to keep the ph up. This elevated ph will kill most acidic water species like tetras. ALso the rift lakes are really rocky and you need lots of rocks in a RL tank. On the other hand SA/CA species need water that is usually softer and more acidic than most tap water in the USA. This means that you will need to use plants, drfitwood, and non buffering rocks in your setup to try and get the ph down.
It's true that it is not a good idea to mix Africans from the 3 lakes with SA/CA cihclids as is most of the other stuff you said but having an improper pH will not kill tetras. Maybe if they are wild caught but even then generally the most that happens with an improper pH is that spawning doesn't occur.

You don't need to have plants and driftwood in a tank with all tetras and SA/CA cichlids but certainly plants can be beneficial for removing nitrates from the tank. Many people keep fish such as neons, cardinals, angelfish, plecos, and discus (all SA fish) in bare bottom tanks with tremendous success. Generally these are breeding setups. Having an acidic pH is very beneficial for discus though it isn't necessary. An acidic environment helps to prevent many types of pathogens from living in the tank and it encourages spawning activity in many SA fish.
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:53 PM   #14
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It's true that it is not a good idea to mix Africans from the 3 lakes with SA/CA cihclids as is most of the other stuff you said but having an improper pH will not kill tetras. Maybe if they are wild caught but even then generally the most that happens with an improper pH is that spawning doesn't occur.

You don't need to have plants and driftwood in a tank with all tetras and SA/CA cichlids but certainly plants can be beneficial for removing nitrates from the tank. Many people keep fish such as neons, cardinals, angelfish, plecos, and discus (all SA fish) in bare bottom tanks with tremendous success. Generally these are breeding setups. Having an acidic pH is very beneficial for discus though it isn't necessary. An acidic environment helps to prevent many types of pathogens from living in the tank and it encourages spawning activity in many SA fish.
I stand corrected. I'm pretty new at this myself. I was just trying to pass along what I've found. Also I like the idea of keeping fish in as close to their natural habitat as possible. Sorry if i provided bad info.
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Old 10-11-2008, 02:38 PM   #15
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I stand corrected. I'm pretty new at this myself. I was just trying to pass along what I've found. Also I like the idea of keeping fish in as close to their natural habitat as possible. Sorry if i provided bad info.
You are right. Their "natural habitat" would need to be recreated if they were wild. However, nearly all fish available in a LFS or commercially available fish are not bred in the same conditions as they would be in the wild. With that in mind, their "natural habitat" is what they were raised in and it is often water that is slightly alkaline and moderately hard. This is why commercially available fish are much hardier than wild caught specimens. They are much easier to acclimated and are more forgiving in general.
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Old 10-13-2008, 03:50 PM   #16
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my bad wrong thread.
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