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Old 02-05-2014, 12:08 PM   #1
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What size tank?

I'm daydreaming and planning out what I want for my next tank and I'm not sure what size I would need to get.

I'd like to have larger cichlids with an oscar as the centerpiece and maybe 3-4 other "smaller" 6-8" cichlids like a firemouth, convict and something along the lines of a blue acara. I'd also like to have a Raphael catfish.

For stocking along those lines what size tank do I need to plan on getting? Also, would it be better to get a smaller tank with fewer tank mates as far as a big tank looking too empty?
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:14 PM   #2
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125 gallon minimum IMO
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:51 PM   #3
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I understand the answer is basically "not much" but what would fit with an Oscar in a 75g?

I was expecting to hear at least 125g to accomodate the other tankmates. Does a 125g with Oscar, Firemouth, Convict, Acara and Raphael sound like a good stocking plan? Would everyone get along well enough and show enough movement/life for the tank to not look big and empty?
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:53 PM   #4
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Nothing else in a 75, just an Oscar.

It sounds fine, a bit boring IMO as they are all super common species, but that's just me
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Old 02-05-2014, 01:01 PM   #5
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Nothing else in a 75, just an Oscar.

It sounds fine, a bit boring IMO as they are all super common species, but that's just me
I guess it seems less boring to me because I'm so new to the world of cichlids. I've been keeping fish for a long time but always just 10-30g community tanks with standard guppy/platy/tetra fair.
What other neat fish would work in a set up like this as alternatives?
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:03 PM   #6
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What size tank?

Ok here's the guidelines I have always followed. In a 55 only 1 Oscar absolutely nothing else. In a 75 you can have a Oscar and 1 smaller tankmate like a single Firemouth. In a 90 gallon an Oscar and 2 small tankmates is acceptable. If you want all the fish you have listed a 125 will be fine for a Oscar and 3 small tankmates. Or 2 oscars.

So basically if you can only get a 75 I would suggest the Oscar and 1 either convict or Firemouth Cichlid and make sure you have at least 180 gallons per hour for filtration on it and keep up on weekly water changes.

Also don't let anyone tell you a fish is overdone of its what you want then go for it! Oscars are so common and popular because of their intelligence and personalities you will not regret getting one!!!
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:18 PM   #7
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I would try to go with some mbunas from Lake Malawi. Great colors, personality, and you could probably fit 30 in a 75 gallon with good filtration.
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:22 PM   #8
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Don't go to the dark side of the Africans if anything their are way more people on here that do Africans stay with new worlds you won't regret it!
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:45 PM   #9
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Don't go to the dark side of the Africans if anything their are way more people on here that do Africans stay with new worlds you won't regret it!
Lol, I don't see myself going with Africans. Honestly, I think they're beautiful but really don't have an interest in keeping them. I think the tank setups bore me. Either wide open or all rock.
I like the look of a South American tank. It seems more lush and pleasant to me. Plus I just find the amazon fascinating anyway.

And if I'm gonna go with a species only tank, I'm going big. Lol

Plus, like you said, fish like Oscars have a reputation for having personalities that make them more like a pet than just a brightly colored showpiece.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:47 PM   #10
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My oscar will play with a ping ping ball
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:49 PM   #11
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I'm not trying to put down oscars, it's just that they are very overdone and most people don't realize how many species that are out there that are awesome and don't get as much attention. Chocolates, pearsei, and bocourti are all gentle giants who open up your possibility of many different tankmates, especially if you are thinking a 6' tank like a 125
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:00 PM   #12
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Their are other large cichlids its true oscars are just colorful and amazing and if you have never had one try it! But their are others out there, Severums, jack Dempseys, chocolates, if you want a solo fish look into Red Devils, zebra tilapia or Midas Cichlid those last 3 are highly aggressive but intelligent.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:30 PM   #13
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I just found out about chocolates. They seem like cool fish. In fact, I thought of possibly considering them as oscar tankmates.
As for the devils and terrors, I think I'd rather have something a tad more docile with a couple tankmates.

Convicts probably are super common but I have to admit I've wanted one ever since I learned about them when researching for my 30g. I just think they're really sharp looking and I hear they're fiesty without really being aggressive.

What about anostomus?? Would they be suitable or would they be food?
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:12 PM   #14
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Here's an ideal tank setup for you go buy a 125 gallon with a large canister filter. I recommend a sand bottom and you could keep a Oscar chocolate Cichlid and a convict in there with no problem! That would look very good IMO.
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:15 PM   #15
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I'm not trying to put down oscars, it's just that they are very overdone and most people don't realize how many species that are out there that are awesome and don't get as much attention. Chocolates, pearsei, and bocourti are all gentle giants who open up your possibility of many different tankmates, especially if you are thinking a 6' tank like a 125
A lot of times its not that people don't wanna try new stuff, its the budget we are on and ordering online just isn't feasible for some so they just go with what's closer to them
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:24 PM   #16
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Here's an ideal tank setup for you go buy a 125 gallon with a large canister filter. I recommend a sand bottom and you could keep a Oscar chocolate Cichlid and a convict in there with no problem! That would look very good IMO.
I like this idea! And with a 125g I may even put in a Raphael cat too.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:25 PM   #17
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A lot of times its not that people don't wanna try new stuff, its the budget we are on and ordering online just isn't feasible for some so they just go with what's closer to them
This is true too. Especially when a young oscar will cost less than ten bucks. Lol
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:29 PM   #18
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Haha exactly I mean they are cheap, everywhere and have great personalities what's not to love! But if you do that in a 125 I think you could add in a Raphael cat just keep up on weekly at least 30 percent water changes. Preferably 50 percent.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:43 AM   #19
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I think I've decided I want a 120 gallon. Almost as big as the 125 but with a smaller footprint (only four feet wide instead of six).

With that stocking list...MY NEW DREAM TANK!!!
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Old 02-06-2014, 02:51 PM   #20
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What size tank?

That's going to be a problem. The 6 foot allows for territory space that's why you could have more tankmates. You really should try to do a 125 if you want all those fish. The 6 foot length allows the cichlids to have more territory so there won't be any fights or less fights.
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