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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I have a 65 gal tank that used to house my goldfish, But have been slowly selling them off over the last few months. Now the tank has 2 goldfish left that will be sold asap. The tank has gravel, a few fake plants, and a Tidal 110 filter. I would like to keep a few pairs of dwarf cichlids in this tank so I will have to switch the gravel to sand and buy a lot more decor/caves. My question is what types of dwarf cichlids could I keep together. This is in my living room so preferably different colored species. I would also like to buy pairs or trios of each type. I am open to suggestions but I would prefer to keep SA dwarf cichlids not African dwarfs (ie kribensis). Any suggestion? Also tips on keeping them together? Should I do a planted setup? I do water changes every 2 weeks to a month and would like to keep it that way not doing a weekly do to overstocking.
 

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I'd suggest keeping an open spawning species, such as a Laetacara or Dicrossus, along with a cave spawner like Apistogramma or Nannacara. This ensures that they won't kill each other competing for spawning sites. I keep a lot of floaters and Java moss in my dwarf cichlid tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok I like the look of the Dicrossus. Any Issues when keeping pairs? How many pairs could I add?
 

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There shouldn't be be any problems keeping pairs. In a tank that size you could easily fit 3 pairs of D. filamentosus, the most readily available species. They're happiest in blackwater conditions, however. D. maculatus has more reasonable water requirements, plus they grow larger and are more expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What about 2 pairs of apistogramma and 2 pairs of Laetacara or Dicrossus.
Could I do 2 different species for the apistogramma pairs like a apir of cocatoides and a pair of trifasciatus?
 

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A few things first D. filamentosus if i remember correctly require very soft acidic water; you haven't mentioned your water type. trifasciatus are harem breeders and some what aggressive; cocatoides are less aggressive but larger and have stronger bite (they are also harem breedres). cocatorides are fine with white water; i think trifasciatus require softer more acidic water to breed but not 100% sure. borelli are less aggressive smaller and rather pretty apisto (also harem breeder) and do fine in white water.

I think i would start by deciding what kind of water you have and what temp you want to keep it at and then look for appropriate fishes. Some of these will do fine in soft water that is more neutral (ph 7-7.2, gh 7-10) and some require very soft acidic water (ph 4.5-6.5 gh 1 kh 1); also some of the fishes mentioned do well at lower 70s others high 70s and some are pretty flexible.
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Also landscaping becomes more critical if you are going to have multiple species - you need to have places where the fishes can hide or not see each other. Also with the apisto this ability to hide is critical for harem breeders as male frequently kill female and vice versa depending on breeding mode. I'm not sure how many you can fit in your 65 as it depends on floor space - if you have a small tall tank then not so many. In a standard 29 (12w 30 long) one group is all you can have in a heavily planted tank with good landscaping (drift wood, rocks, ...) for some of the more aggressive species. For the passive species you might get away with one or two more females (for harem breeders).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A few things first D. filamentosus if i remember correctly require very soft acidic water; you haven't mentioned your water type. trifasciatus are harem breeders and some what aggressive; cocatoides are less aggressive but larger and have stronger bite (they are also harem breedres). cocatorides are fine with white water; i think trifasciatus require softer more acidic water to breed but not 100% sure. borelli are less aggressive smaller and rather pretty apisto (also harem breeder) and do fine in white water.

I think i would start by deciding what kind of water you have and what temp you want to keep it at and then look for appropriate fishes. Some of these will do fine in soft water that is more neutral (ph 7-7.2, gh 7-10) and some require very soft acidic water (ph 4.5-6.5 gh 1 kh 1); also some of the fishes mentioned do well at lower 70s others high 70s and some are pretty flexible.
-
Also landscaping becomes more critical if you are going to have multiple species - you need to have places where the fishes can hide or not see each other. Also with the apisto this ability to hide is critical for harem breeders as male frequently kill female and vice versa depending on breeding mode. I'm not sure how many you can fit in your 65 as it depends on floor space - if you have a small tall tank then not so many. In a standard 29 (12w 30 long) one group is all you can have in a heavily planted tank with good landscaping (drift wood, rocks, ...) for some of the more aggressive species. For the passive species you might get away with one or two more females (for harem breeders).
Tank has nothing right now. I can add argonite, if needed, to buffer the water. Currently my water is around 7.0. This is a display tank so needs colorful fish. Mbunas and other Africans seem way to complicated so these are second best looking.

Temperature is around 72 - 74. If needed I am not averse to buying a heater.
 

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Temperature is around 72 - 74. If needed I am not averse to buying a heater.
Do you know gh/kh/tds - with a ph of 7.0 chances are you will want to avoid those fishes that require very soft acidic water. However many of the sa fishes still require soft water. btw nannacara are nice fishes with a lot of personalities but not quite as colorful as some of the other dwarf cichlid. Angelfishes might be an optoin (but would require warmer temps - i recommend 78) but again a lot depends on tank dimension. keyhole cichlid is not super colorful but are very docile and interesting. kribs are an interesting fish but you don't want to mix them with sa cichlid but they are robust and fast breeders with incredible durable parenting (i.e, expect a lot of frys to survive with no effort on your part).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Do you know gh/kh/tds - with a ph of 7.0 chances are you will want to avoid those fishes that require very soft acidic water. However many of the sa fishes still require soft water. btw nannacara are nice fishes with a lot of personalities but not quite as colorful as some of the other dwarf cichlid. Angelfishes might be an optoin (but would require warmer temps - i recommend 78) but again a lot depends on tank dimension. keyhole cichlid is not super colorful but are very docile and interesting. kribs are an interesting fish but you don't want to mix them with sa cichlid but they are robust and fast breeders with incredible durable parenting (i.e, expect a lot of frys to survive with no effort on your part).
I do not know gh/kh/tds. But as I plan to change gravel to sand that will change. Right now I would like to figure what fish I will put in the tank then adjust tank to fit the fish. The tank is a 65 gallon that is 36 x 18 x 25.


I did some more research into african cichlids. Do you think I could do a peacock tank? Or maybe peacocks acie and yellow labs? Need to look into it more though. They need pretty hard water so lots of lime stone and some type of buffering substrate and then something to boost the mineral level.

I changed the name of this thread as that isnt really what I am asking....
More like what type of cichlids can be put together to make a tank look very active and colorful.
 

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Not to say anything bad about the ideas so far but to throw in some thoughts on my favorite fish which has brought me back around to the forum again!
A 65 with Africans can be nice but if you want to lessen the load a bit, I might suggest going to some really tame cichlids which you can keep multiple breeding pairs in a 65.
I highly favor rainbow cichlids as they are so very much against fighting! The name still seems to be debated, so I stick with the old name of herotilapia multispinosa until the pro folks really decide!
African were my thing for years but they are a bit too much challenge when I wanted to go less work, so the rainbows suit me fine for their nicer traits. Nice color as they change from gold to black as their modd changes!
 

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Unless you intend to buy an ro unit making water softer is very difficult; however making it harder is easier but i would really target the fishes to your tap water esp given that there are a large range of fishes available - there are some extremely lovely central american cichlid which lean towards harder water as well as africans. I presume that is 36 long 18 wide and 25 deep - which is to say a tall 40B.

I do not know gh/kh/tds. But as I plan to change gravel to sand that will change. Right now I would like to figure what fish I will put in the tank then adjust tank to fit the fish. The tank is a 65 gallon that is 36 x 18 x 25.


I did some more research into african cichlids. Do you think I could do a peacock tank? Or maybe peacocks acie and yellow labs? Need to look into it more though. They need pretty hard water so lots of lime stone and some type of buffering substrate and then something to boost the mineral level.

I changed the name of this thread as that isnt really what I am asking....
More like what type of cichlids can be put together to make a tank look very active and colorful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So you suggest doing SA cichlids? Any colorful ones I should look into? yes a taller 40b. Any species that could work there?

Maybe Firemouth cichlids and peacock cichlids? Oh wait I thought peacock cichlids were african not SA?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Aquarium co op has a video on stocking a 55 gal tank. One of his suggestion was an african cichlid tank with 8 yellow labs, 13 demasoni, and 8 purple acei. Would that be ok in this tank?
 
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