African Cichlids - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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African Cichlids

Hey everybody, I tore down my planted tank a year ago and haven't been on this site much since. I want to start over, but I'm going to college this fall and don't want to leave too much work behind for my family, so I'm thinking about an african cichlid tank. I'm completely new to this genre? of fishkeeping, so any advice is much appreciated. I have a 37 gallon tall (standard 29 gallon footprint, couple inches taller) tank.


Edit: It has the footprint of a 29 gallon, not a 20 gallon tank.
(30L x 12W x 23 T)

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 10:38 PM
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Check out www.cichlid-forum.com. That place has all the information you need to know. Be aware, though, you're going to be very limited with the tank you have. You still have some options, though. Check out the library on that site and I believe they have a cookie cutter setup for a 20 gallon, which is what you'll want to use since that's the footprint for your 37 gallon. Cichlids need room to spread out, the height doesn't do much for them.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 10:41 PM
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Indeed. You will be very limited with a small footprint tank. African cichlids are very territorial and one dominant male could easily claim the entire tank for territory and terrorize all the other tankmates to death. I know from experience. I made the mistake of doing before reading. But now I know and did keep cichlids for awhile but have now bit the bait for planted tanks.

that site Sierra linked is awesome. Definitely a great resource.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick replies, guys. Turns out I made a mistake in the size of the tank; the footprint is that of a 29 gallon tank, so much longer.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 11:05 PM
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A 29 gallon footprint is still not large enough to house most african cichlids. You'd be very limited to the types of cichlids you kept. It is possible to keep cichlids, but you would need to rely on a very busy aquascape and overcrowding to reduce aggression. Doing this would require over-filtration. Anyway, check that site. You'll learn lots
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 11:38 PM
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You can keep lots of Tanganyikans in a 29, mbuna aren't going to work long term. I'm a novice at plants but an old hand with Africans. Lemme know if I can suggest some species to go with or stay away from.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 11:42 PM
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Yes, I failed to mention I was speaking about mbunas. Thanks BRR
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 12:28 AM
 
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Demasoni's - the are great in planted tanks, are small, very pretty - a bright dark blue and black stripe - breed readily

You can mix in some yellow labs for a few years - the labs will get too
big but they mix well in temperment and labs grow slow.

I have two tanks of these guys - one species only and one mixed with the yellow labs - just gorgeous easy to care for fish.

http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?showtopic=165243

That link has a lot of pics of a young tank - the males are darker.

Thats my 2c

Tim
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 12:53 AM
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From what I recall, Demasoni's get fairly large (~4") and are extremely aggressive.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 01:30 AM
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I'm raising some Pseudocrenilabrus nicholsi. They're pretty neat.
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/article...o_nicholsi.php
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/profile...es.php?id=1440

They'll live in soft or hard water.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 01:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moogoo View Post
From what I recall, Demasoni's get fairly large (~4") and are extremely aggressive.
Not as Mbunas go. And they dig less than any others, which is why they are popular (for Malawi Africans) in planted setups. Obviously, you need plenty of room, shelter and time on your hands, but they are among the best behaved of the bunch in my experience.
Please look at this thread: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ph...-tank-56k.html
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 03:04 AM
 
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I have 4 african tanks -

1) All male mostly malawais - 125 gallon with anubias and ferns
2) Demasoni and Yellow Labs - 55 gallon with anubia, ferns and floaters
3) Mixed Africans - 90 gallons all rocks
4) All Demasoni and algae crew - plants plants plants everywere.

I have 5 South America tanks

1) Oscar, Pikes, Convicts 1 Male JackDempsey- 125 gallon - plants yea right.
2) All Convict tank with two visiting Jacks - 75 gallon plants everywhere
3) Geophagus and 3 foot fire eels with assorted oddities - 150 gallon - had a sword in there - think they ate it.
4) Big Red (Midas Cichlid) 55 gallon - whatever he wants in there
5) Bordo Curvado - crooked lipped albino oscar - ditto

JackDempsey pairs can and killed whole tanks - hence the male who is about 6 inches long - who will Kill any fish in the tank when he is with a mate - is now segregated

Big Red moved from tank to tank until I got tired of seeing every fish in the tank cowaring in one corner while he gloated.

Same story with albino oscar. - Mean Mean Fish

My mix africa tanks are really really mean - but there are so many that they seem to have a swell time - ate every plant I have tried

Same story with the all convict tank - mean as hell and they like it. Mow down my plants

I "used' to have twice as many african tanks - but mbunas can wear you down - the most violent african I ever had was Auratus - males are so aggressive you can't keep enough females around to dissapate the energy - Auratus are the yellow and black striped ones in just about every box pet store out there. Dug up every plant I tried.

I have 2 tanks of Demasoni cause I like them that much - the only fish I have actually planned a tank around.

A really nice balance of personality, aggressiveness, socialabilty, color, size, and plant friendly - and without a doubt the cuteness factor of the babies is beyond cool - wife pleaser, chick magnet, warm and fuzzy

Add to this list 6 high tech planted tanks with assorted community fish, shrimp tanks, blue lobster tanks etc.... 6 mid-tech planted tanks with
rainbows, bala, danios etc...

And some more assorted dozen or so 10gallon rcs, snails, moss tanks...

My point - if you want to know what cichlids are gonna be worth the investment in a planted tank - I have made all your mistakes for you :-)

Here is the recepie -


55 or larger
Bottom layer of eco, baylees better bottom, flourite - any will do
A layer of eco-african
Lots and Lots of rocks and caves.
Lots and Lots of plants - especially floaters and grassy stuff for babies to hide
Atleast - min 8 Demasoni - the more the better
4 Yellow Labs
Algae crew

Viola - stunning tank that is a show stopper - and really really fun to watch.

Now that is way more than 2cents worth -
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 03:08 AM
 
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Clarification -
adjust accordingly for your smaller tank :-)
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 02:32 PM
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Another vote on demasoni and labs:

http://picasaweb.google.com/kevchem0...56413030439458

That's a 72 bowfront. Currently holds 15 demasonii, 4 labs, 3 SAE, and 1 clown pleco. It's had that stocking for the last 5 months - not one death. There is a pecking order and territory disputes among the demasonii, but no damage.

As far as size/growth, mine started small (the only way to avoid the sticker shock!) - less than 1/2". Most are still less than 1", so I'd call that slow growing - compared to my SAE's at least.

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72g bowfront planted, CO2, 4x - T5HO, Eheim 2213 and 2217, 2 angels, pristella tetras, blue tetras, betta, albino bristlenose pleco, albino cories. Sword, vals, hygros, ludwigias, java moss and fern, anubias

2g Mac-quarium. Clown gravel, fluorescent plastic plants, and 2 guppies.
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