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Water Conditions and Cichlid Options? Help me out...

969 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  GitMoe
Ive been considering Cichlids in one of my tanks that is now empty after removing all the fish. Ive heard all the myths and Cichlids and how fussy they can be with water conditions but a few people on here have told me thats not necessarily true all the time with some species. I was on the hunt to find a chart with a species list and water conditions required but cant come up with anything over the last week. I researched a lot but still dont have all my answers so Im asking now. Here are my parameters in the tank...

36 Gallon Tank

KH - 4
GH - 220 (crazy hard)
No2 - .1
NH3/NH4 - 0
PH - 8.4

I have zero interest in messing with the parameters. The listed parameters above are extremely stable and haven't fluctuated in weeks and weeks since Ive been watching it really closely. So I want to know what Cichlids I can put in this water. The tank isn't heavily planted but there are a decent amount right now. I'll post a pic of the tank when the light comes on in a little while. Any help greatly appreciated....
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Central and South American cichlids will not do well with those parameters. You should consider the smaller African Rift.
Central and South American cichlids will not do well with those parameters. You should consider the smaller African Rift.
Species suggestions?
Here's the tank...

Sorry for the terrible phone pic. Still not sure where the camera is...
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Species suggestions?
The Tanganyikan species are very interesting, and are available in smaller sizes that may be suitable for that size tank. I would look at brevis, leleupi, julidochromis, tretocephalus, or brichardi. You will need lots of rock and might as well remove all plants. Either stock very high to overcrowd and minimize temperment issues or very lightly to provide each a territory. I found it better to go with light loads with the Tanganyikans while Malawaian tanks are usually very heavily stocked. You can also include a trio of Blue Flash killie. If you want something more peaceful and very striking, look at the calvus and keep it simple.

Malawian chichlids generally require more space than 36 gal unless you stock a pair or two only, and even then aggression might be an issue.
Removing the plants isn't an option. I love the plants in there and I plan to keep them. Thats why Im on The Planted Its sounding more and more like this might not work out unless somebody comes up with the perfect suggestion and experience to back it up. Im not interested in re-stocking this tank with Barbs again like it was before...
I would suggest Tanganyikan as well.Look for the shell dwellers which are on the smaller size.Of course you would have to add shells in to the tank as well for them to dwell in.
Things like the brevis, calvus and Blue Flash would probably not disturb the plants too much. Give the calvus a cave and the brevis some shells and they will probably leave the plants alone. Throw in a synodontis petricola for cleanup. All four will live well in your water, and the cichlids are reasonably peaceful. And, they are all very interesting fish in their own right.
Shellies do not bother the plants. Good choices.
I have some Australoheros oblongum juvies available. They come from Paraguay, and their natural habitat is hard/alkaline water similar to the Malawi cichlids. Nothing like them in aggression or behavior though, and not inclined to eat or tear up plants as long as you feed them regularly IME.
I made up my mind on this tank. Cichlids wont be involved. They are beautiful fish but not what Im interested in right now and not in a tank this small. Appreciate all the help. Without your suggestions and knowledge I wouldnt have been able to make a decision.
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