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Old 09-27-2020, 08:39 PM   #1
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Looking for 1 Cichlid in my 29 Gallon (First Cichlid)!

Hello! I recently got into cichlids, and have a spare 29-gallon aquarium. I was mostly a freshwater community tank keeper for about 4 years but never kept a cichlid. I wanted to try cichlids because I realized how beautiful they are!

I am not interested in dwarf cichlids, I am looking for something a bit larger. I know I am a bit limited because my tank is pretty small (30 x 12 x 18) and there's not much "turning" area as it is only 12 inches front to back. I wish to keep 1 cichlid alone in this tank. :fish:

The tank will be a bare bottom aquarium for the sake of easy maintenance. It has a HOB filter (Aquaclear 70) that has a turnover rate of 300 gallons per hour. It has a lid and a light. No heater though.

So, I've been thinking maybe one fire mouth cichlid. Correct me if it is too large for the tank. Are there any other types of cichlids I can keep single in my 29? I thought of one convict but I do not really like the color, I want something colorful, like a fire mouth.

Thanks in advance to any who give me suggestions!
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Old 09-27-2020, 08:42 PM   #2
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Firemouth are cool. Some types of African mbuna only get 4.5-5" too. Cobalt blue zebra is pretty. Def need a heater on there tho
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Old 09-27-2020, 08:44 PM   #3
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Firemouth are cool. Some types of African mbuna only get 4.5-5" too. Cobalt blue zebra is pretty. Def need a heater on there tho
Ohh ok. Heater shopping, here I come! I never bought a heater apart from those little ones that came with 10 gallons. Any brands you recommend? Also how many watts? I heard from 100-150 watts for a 29 gallon...

By the way, let's not turn this into a heater discussion! Cichlids still as the main focus, please
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Old 09-27-2020, 08:44 PM   #4
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Most cichlids of the type your thinking of or i suggested like to dig and forage in the substrate. Sand or small gravel so they can do that is suggested too
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Old 09-27-2020, 08:46 PM   #5
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Haha! If your house is moderately warm then prob a 100 watt is sufficient
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Old 09-27-2020, 08:46 PM   #6
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Most cichlids of the type your thinking of or i suggested like to dig and forage in the substrate. Sand or small gravel so they can do that is suggested too
Oh, ok. I'll get some small grain gravel, just maybe a 1-2 inch layer just so they can exhibit their natural behavior.
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Old 09-27-2020, 08:47 PM   #7
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Read the reviews on heaters, all the brands I own have a mix of great and horrible. All I've seen say the same things. I guess cuz I don't buy $200 units, lol
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Old 09-27-2020, 08:49 PM   #8
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Yeah, they love to dig. Not all of them. I think I have 16 different species of cichlids and about half love to be interior decorators
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Old 09-27-2020, 08:49 PM   #9
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Read the reviews on heaters, all the brands I own have a mix of great and horrible. All I've seen say the same things. I guess cuz I don't buy $200 units, lol
Haha yeah, I'm not planning to get some large heating system too.
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Old 09-27-2020, 08:54 PM   #10
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Okay, I have a few more questions lol

1. Do I need a lid (are they jumpers)

2. Do I need an airstone for him or will the Aquaclear 70 be enough surface movement?

3. What food do you recommend for him? I never purchased any cichlid food and have no idea which brands are good.
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Old 09-27-2020, 08:58 PM   #11
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My wife said we have 18 species, lol. Yes for lid, they aren't really jumpers but when scared they will jump. Honestly on food, some of mine like sinking pellets. Some floating. And they almost all like the Tetra cichlid crisps. Some just like pellets more. You may get some tiny containers of one at a time and see what gets it excited. They love to eat. If they don't act starved all the time then something is wrong, haha!
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Old 09-27-2020, 08:59 PM   #12
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Aq70 prob move the water enough btw
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Old 09-27-2020, 09:00 PM   #13
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My wife said we have 18 species, lol. Yes for lid, they aren't really jumpers but when scared they will jump. Honestly on food, some of mine like sinking pellets. Some floating. And they almost all like the Tetra cichlid crisps. Some just like pellets more. You may get some tiny containers of one at a time and see what gets it excited. They love to eat. If they don't act starved all the time then something is wrong, haha!
Wow, thanks! I just have one more question. I heard about "dither fish," would my tank be large enough to accommodate some of them with my firemouth? If so what species do you recommend?
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Old 09-27-2020, 09:03 PM   #14
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I only have dithers, giant danios, in my 100 g African tank. For a Fm, I think it's not necessary. I used them before I got it fully stocked to defer some aggression. But your fish will be alone. You could put a few fish in there, as long as they're too big to eat imo
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Old 09-27-2020, 09:04 PM   #15
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You'll love the cichlids too, loads of personality and so colorful. They are a blast
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Old 09-27-2020, 09:04 PM   #16
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I only have dithers, giant danios, in my 100 g African tank. For a Fm, I think it's not necessary. I used them before I got it fully stocked to defer some aggression. But your fish will be alone. You could put a few fish in there, as long as they're too big to eat imo
Thanks! I kind of like the idea of dither fish because it will replicate their environment more because they don't live alone in the wild, you know what I mean? Are giant danios too large for my 29?
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Old 09-27-2020, 09:19 PM   #17
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I think you could keep 3-5. One site says 30 gallon. I've kept Buenos aires tetra with cichlids before no problem. Same as the giant danios
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Old 09-28-2020, 11:01 AM   #18
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Why don't you get two or three Firemouth Cichlids rather than dither fish. The cichlids would be much happier with others of their kind. And I'd put both gravel and caves in the tank for the Firemouths to use.
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Old 09-28-2020, 11:23 AM   #19
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Why don't you get two or three Firemouth Cichlids rather than dither fish. The cichlids would be much happier with others of their kind. And I'd put both gravel and caves in the tank for the Firemouths to use.
Yes, I have thought about that but aren't they aggressive? If I get two, I think they would probably have to be a pair if I don't want them to fight. If I get 3 and there are at least one male and female, I'm worried that they will pair off and bully the other one... What is your view on this?
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Old 09-28-2020, 11:25 AM   #20
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If they pair off to breed, all bets are off on the survival of anyone else in a 30" tank
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