cichlid in planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 06:53 AM Thread Starter
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cichlid in planted tank

can somebody recommend me a small colourful african cichlid for my 40 gallon tank? i always have bad luck with south american cichlid (low pH requirement).

my tank's pH is about 7.5-8
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 04:18 PM
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hmm you can try the red jewel cichlid. They are not from the rift lakes of west africa but they live in the rivers in east africa. I think they don't harm plants. You can also try peacocks from lake malawi but they get too big for your 40 galllon. Most mubna species enjoy eating plants.


o yea u can also try the lake Tanganyikan shellies http://cichlid-forum.com/articles/sh...ler_corner.php or kribs. i think these will do fine with plants

this article might also help http://cichlid-forum.com/articles/plants_101.php
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 11:52 PM
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Tanganyikan cichlids are need a ph in the high 7's or low 8's minimum along with the addition of salt, which isn't really optimal for plants. We have a 20 long species tank with N. multifasciatus and they are awesome, no real plants though. We have to add so much salt mix to the water to keep the multis happy that we've only managed to keep a dwarf lily alive.

Maybe you could try a pair of kribs? They don't require the addition of salt and are pretty adaptive to different water conditions. When/if they breed the ratio of male:female fry is determined by your ph so that could be an interesting experiment too
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 12:24 AM
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I would suggest going with Pelvicachromis Pulcher, or the Krib also. They are quite adaptive, especially since most of the ones for sale are tank-rasied, and are of the F1-F2 geneartion. They are colourfile, nice, and also very personable.
Most africans, from what i've read (though I don't know first hand) will eat plants, or outgrow your 40.


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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
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hello everyone, thanks for the response. i'm a bit confuse too because african cichlids tends to grow big. so as for now my choices are :

- Red jewel cichlid, will it grow too big? some reading said it will go 5 inches.
- Neolamprologus multifasciatus, i'm not too fond with the color there.
- Kribensis, i might consider if i can find some in LFS here.

any more thoughts?

what about Julies?
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 02:20 AM
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Check out Neolamprologus brichardi from lake Tanganyika, very interesting behavior
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 02:27 AM
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Julies are rock/cave dwellers and are going to need more hardscaping rather than a planted tank. Also with them you're going to need to add the same salt that the multifasciatus will need.

More than the look of the fish you need to figure out what fish will work with the setup you want to end up with. If you want a high ph planted tank you need to be looking at plant species that tolerate the higher ph, then start looking for fish that don't eat those plants and also do well with the same water specs. If plants are secondary, start choosing fish who need conditions similar to your water and start working on figuring out where to add a few nice plants to the scape.

Another bit of advice, it's often hard to fight the conditions you start out with. If you go with a fairly involved planted tank the water conditions may soften a little naturally and the ph my drop with the addition of CO2 and driftwood, however you're still not going to have idea conditions for fish that need super soft water (like apistos).

I think you're going in the right direction trying to choose an african species whose needs already mimic the conditions you have. You just need to decide how involved you want to get with the plants IMO.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 04:38 AM Thread Starter
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Neolamprologus brichardi is a nice candidate.

valerietheangel, yes the wide choices are confusing at first but narrowing them down is pretty hard to do without the help of experienced cichlid keeper.

keep'em coming...
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 01:29 PM
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If you are willing to stick with one species, Ps. demasoni are very pretty and have lots of personality. They won't outgrow your tank, but due to aggression it is usually suggested to start with 12 or more juvenilles. They will eat softer plants (as mentioned for other africans), but there are a lot of plants you can have with them.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 01:44 PM
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Pseudotropheus demasoni looks good but i have fissidens fontanus in my tank. will he leave them alone?

Pelvicachromis taeniatus looks beautiful.

thanks for the choices guys, i took notes and will do some search in LFS soon.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 02:32 PM
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I have P. demasoni and would not recommend them for a planted tank.
A fish tank with plants, yes, but not a planted tank.

Kribs or Butterfly Cichlid (A. thomasi) get my vote. Both are small, peaceful and pretty common.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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what about Altolamprologus calvus?
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 03:34 PM
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x2 on Pelvicachromis taeniatus. There are some beautiful strains of these, much nicer looking than Kribs IMO.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-26-2008, 02:16 AM
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red jewels are deadly and breed just like any other african. my neighbor had a couple in his huge 210 and they dominated the tank, killed all the tiger barbs and should really be kept in species only tanks. beautiful but deadly
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