120 gallon SA/CA community stocking thoughts

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an interest in aquariums or fish keeping!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Oct 14, 2021
I have a 120 gallon tank(48x24x24) with a 30 gallon sump. I’m moving some fish around from other tanks as well as picking up some new. Anyone have any thoughts on the following setup? Suggestions welcome. Thanks

1 ellioti
1 blue acara
1 festivum
1 chanchito
1 Krobia xinguensis
1 royal acara
1 bristlenose pleco
4 pearl gourami
6 zebra loach
9 spotted headstander
9 black ruby barb
You have some interesting selection but I think you have too many cichlid species and you would be better off with fewer species and large group. Some cichlid are social and others are very territorial still I would drop the festium and add more Krobia xinguensis; as well as pick between the royal acra and blue acara. Also the gourami and barb are not SA fishes (as well as the zebra loach). I would not mix the gourami with the cichlid even though it is more likely to spend time near the top while the cichlid you chose are more focused towards the bottom.
I am aware the barbs and gourami are not cichlids. Neither are the headstanders or loaches hence “community” tank. I am using the barbs and headstanders as dither fish. Since the gourami take up a decent amount of space I have no problem tossing them for more cichlids or just to have the tank jive better. It’s also two different fish temperaments and even different food so no loss there to change it. I already own them but they can live in another tank. How many Krobia are you thinking? Still a single Ellioti or add more? From my experience the festivum is a very peaceful community tank friendly cichlid. You think there would be problems between the two acaras or are you thinking to add to their stock by adding to one and canceling the other? I only have 120’gallons to play with but it’s not a 6 long it’s a 4 long.

Toss the gourami
Toss the chanchito
I’d rather do blue than royal if I need to pick
50/50 on festivum

Blue acara

How many of those do you think I can pull off?
I could also swap out the Ellioti for there cousin, firemouths. I hav 2 a friend is looking to swap.

I could do
2 fire mouth
2 blue acara
4 Krobia
Dump the barbs and slightly increase the headstanders to 12. Does this seem like a decent plan?
I have not owned fire mouth or ellitoi but my understanding is the elioti is more interesting and less aggressive. With the blue acara you are likely to have some conflict between them and the fire mouth.

4 krobia sounds good. The festivum are said to get quite cranky as they get older. I suspect your is young. I have angels which are rather grumpy as a group and festivum are quite a bit worse. However they might not dinker with other species.

My understanding is krobia and ellioti are social fishes and having several is good - i am planning a 450 with 6 to 8 krobia. If you keep the elloti or get firemouth i would drop the acara.
I have a 120 with 8 angels and 6 clown loaches and it is quite crowded my clowns are only a couple of years old so not that large - 5 to 6 inches.
The krobia are fairly passive and bulky enough that your current fishes are likely to not be too aggressive torwards them but the firemouth is aggressive enough that it probably would pick on them.
You just have too many species that as adults will want their own territory.


  • 120_march_27_2021.jpg
    251.4 KB · Views: 21
I could dump the acara and perhaps do 4 ellioti and 4 Krobia. I ask have yet another tank and could do a small group of ictus catfish instead of the loaches. Thanks again for you time and input. Much appreciated
I think i would stick with 2 ellioti in case they are aggressive towards each other then there is room for them to spread out if you have 4 it would be a bit harder depending on how you scape the aquarium Just remember that young fishes are usually quite docile but once they become sexually mature behavior will change and a bit depends of course on the sexes of the fish which you might know for quite a while. Conversely if you do get 4 be prepare to remove a couple of needed. A 120 has some room but not really that much i have 8 angels in my 120 and after a big fight one or two will go to the far corners will they can't be found by the others to heal up but it is not unusual for bickering to occur daily among them.

The krobia are said to be much more passive but they will occupy the same space as the elloti near the bottom.
Top Bottom