Cichlid thats best for me.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:16 PM   #1
jtilley
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Cichlid thats best for me.


Hey guys,
So i have had neons danios mollies platies guppies dwarf gourami and ghost shrimp before and i have had great success with them. I have actually had guppies have fry in my tank and captured some and am watching them grow right now. Its so cool.

But my real question is what cichlid should i get in a while when i decide to move on from my current tank stocking list. It probably won't be for months but i want to know what you guys think is best for me. Here's some information to help you.

1: i have a 20 gallon long tank with a aqua clear filter fluval heaters a bubbler that i have no idea about. The gravel is white-tan in color and is like most any other. I have 2 major decos that are a fake log and rock that fish can go inside should they chose too. Right now i have 3 plants i would like to keep because they are awesome but i am willing to part with if necessary.
2: i want to put 2-4 fish that are cichlids in this tank. I just want to move on to something thats harder thats why. 1 breed only.
3: i want it to be colorful!
4: if i could have a school of smaller fish like danios or neons that would be great. I think they are refer to as dither fish or something.
5: i really want to breed some cichlids that have parental care because i hate that my current fish eat their children. Thats just weird to me.
6: i dont want to be overrun with fry my lfs won't take till 1 inch so take that into consideration. They could only have so many at a time or I'll have to cull or get a growing tank or make a arrangement at the lfs. I dont really want to do that. I like to take the group all at one time if possible.

I think thats all. Please recommend breeds so i can look up about them on google. I welcome all suggestions.
Thanks. If you want to share personal experiences thats fine too.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:02 PM   #2
mark546
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Kribs or rams would be neat. Convicts are the easiest starter cichlid and breed easy. A pair would be fine in a 20L.

If you just want something colorful 4 yellow labs would give you color and be fine.

Brichardi are easy to get along and 2-3 would be fine.

As for tank mates especially if you develop a pair have hardy tankmates. Most small plecos are fine. All small sydontis species are fine. Larger cories would be fine. Inverts most likely will not make it long.

Also if you want to breed a pair have multiple caves to choose from. Terra cotta pots just big enough for the pair are my favorite. More specifically the tube shaped ones from hobby lobby. Crack the bottom out with a hammer.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:27 PM   #3
fishkeeper01
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Well I wouldn't say I'm an expert on cichlids but I have had my fair share. If your tanks only a 20l that's small by cichlid standards. You could do a convict pair, or do some research and look into dwarf cichlids(whether they are african or central/south american is up to you). If your looking to have tankmates then I would suggest a pair of rams with small dither fish like tetras or something. $ yellow labs will be too crowded. My advice yo you is do some reasearch and see what you like.
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:05 AM   #4
jtilley
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Its 20 gallons not liters thanks for your comments i will research the breeds you have suggested. Please anyone else reading this feel free to comment i will still be checking back. Please post any suggestions you have if your reading this.
Thanks josh
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Old 10-08-2013, 01:19 AM   #5
jtilley
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Does anyone know anything about apistogramma they look very cool is that a doable species for my tank. Does anyone have any experiences with them?
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:37 AM   #6
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Advice you are getting is spot on...Rams would be great as would kribs(although I've never personally had kribs). I have 3 rams in a20m long with some guppies & plecos and plenty of plants. They get along fine although I suspect some of the guppy fry get eaten.
Apistos are a good fish too....I have some Nissenji in a different 20 long....I've heard they can be tough to raise but I have not had any problems...That tank is potting soil with a healthy sand cap and plenty of plants and decaying leaves. Some guppies in here as well....Downside on Apistos is they can be difficult to find...Where in the states are you? (just a general idea i.e.state)
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:55 AM   #7
Hunter P
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apistos or rams but get more plants and better substrate and light for your live palnts and lose the fake decor!
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:06 AM   #8
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I am liking how kribensis looks. I wouldn't have thought you could keep them with guppies is that possible? I have java moss and fern. And a amazon sword. Those are my plants and yes i want more but i cant see changing the substrate as a feasible option sense they are doing well. And my deco looks pretty good for fake so it doesn't bother me. And I'm on a budget here. Im in North Carolina.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:01 PM   #9
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Rams, kribs, keyholes, Nannacara anomala, Laetacara curviceps, dorsigera, and thayeri, any of the Apistogramma species, and buffalohead cichlids would all be good starters. As for dithers, get something that stays near the top (zebra danios, guppies, black neon tetras, and such), as most dwarf cichlids stay near the bottom, and the presence of fish overhead will 1) keep the cichlids feeling secure, and 2) will ensure that the dithers don't get mauled when the cichlids have fry.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtilley View Post
I am liking how kribensis looks. I wouldn't have thought you could keep them with guppies is that possible? I have java moss and fern. And a amazon sword. Those are my plants and yes i want more but i cant see changing the substrate as a feasible option sense they are doing well. And my deco looks pretty good for fake so it doesn't bother me. And I'm on a budget here. Im in North Carolina.
Kribs are awesome. You should be fine. Even keeping them with guppies.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:09 PM   #11
roadmaster
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Might would help to know whether your water is soft acidic,or hard alkaline.
Some species will do better in soft water,other's do better with hard water.IME
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:21 PM   #12
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if your wanting to keep your plants, south american cichlids would be the way to go. theres only a few african species that can tolerate the ph required to keep plants healthy. rams might be the best bet, but i dont have much experience with them. kribs are a pretty good choice but they might eat at your plants as mine did. but its really up to you, just do some research first.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:27 PM   #13
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i have kribs with rummy noses, rasboras an an angel fish. they are really neat but can get territorial when they are breeding. just chasing in my tank. some one is eating my plants but i think that it may be the rummy noses. soft water, sand bottom, plants & driftwood.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:31 PM   #14
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Personally, I wouldn't put kribs in a 20 with other fish. They will be fine until they spawn, then they'll terrorize or kill any other inhabitants to protect their fry. I would recommend at least 30-40 gallons per pair for kribs. I know a lot of sources say different, but I've lost an entire tank of livestock to a pair of recent krib parents because they felt cramped. Never had an issue when they have more space. If you can get larger tank, kribs are awesome.

Rams are a great choice, they are very colorful and get along with most other fish. I generally do a pair of rams per 20 gallons, though you could do more if your tank is heavily planted. In my experience, rams are the most peaceful cichlids you can get.

I would avoid any African rift cichlids, whether Malawi or Tanganyika. 20 gallons just isn't big enough and most are not well suited to a planted tank without a lot of forethought and effort.

For South American or West African river cichlids, you'll need dense planting and lots of hiding spots or caves.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:26 PM   #15
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Convicts and your plants won't mix. Unless you want to deal with fry every 3-4 weeks I would go with another cichlid.
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