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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 20g that I'm not thrilled with right now, I was thinking about getting a bunch of clay pots, drilling holes in them and kind of stacking them vertically in a pyramid and putting a few dwarf cichlids. In my mind I feel like it would spread them out vertically a bit, which may temper their aggression. Do you guys think if I laid it out right I could do like 6-8 Apistos/Rams/Kribs or even Checkerboards. I just want a nice little colony of dwarf SA cichlids.
 

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Absolutely not.

There is so much wrong with that idea that it is even hard to start the list of reasons for my answer. Kribs are not from SA, they are from Africa and get to ~4" in length. It is not the height, it's the floor space each fish / pair needs to establish their territory. I recommend you read up on each species on your list and learn more about their requirements.

In a 20g, you might be able to keep a single pair of either German Rams or Apistos, IF you do a lot of things right as they are not the easiest of fish to keep alive. IF you really know what you are doing and have a heavily planted, stable tank you just might be able to keep 2 pairs.
 

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A pyramid shape would definitely spread them out but I'm not one that finds pots like that very attractive in an aquarium so I don't use them. There is a product called ciclid stones that serve the same purpose that look much more natural but they can become expensive rather quickly. I can't offer much help on fish selection other than if you get a krib, and it's male, whatever tank he is in will become HIS tank even if he is the only krib. About once a month their breeding instincts turn on and they can become very aggressive to anything in the tank. Their bellies will turn a pretty purple/red berry color during this and also anytime they become agrivated. They aren't shy about culling your community to fit their population needs either especially with smaller, more peaceful species. Other than their "time of the month" they usually hang in the shadows monitoring the rest of the communities activities, peacefully. Mine does anyways. He's at least 2.5 years old and roughly 3.5-4 inches.
 

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They are not colony animals. To attempt to keep them in a colony means a lot of fighting until the dominant pair have taken over the aquarium.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I had a feeling that it wouldn't work, I was just wondering if someone tried anything like that.
 

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Yeah, I would settle on one pair that you like the best. Add some mid and upper level dithers. I would avoid cories as they hang in the lower level - same as the cichlids and will get pounded, esp. when the cichlids are spawning or protecting spawn/fry. a few ottos would be okay too. In a nicely planted tank, a pair of dwarfs with a few colorful dithers is an impressive site.

good luck with it.
 

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I agree with most of the previous comments....a single pair of Apisto's would be OK or a single pair of Krib's but not both....
Would add a dither fish like Beckford pencilfish to add activity to the various layers of the tank..
Fake cichlid stones get expensive - try splitting a coconut in half and you have 2 caves for about $3.00 (look for videos online)

You mention a colony and Cichlids.......Without committing heresy (this IS The Planted Tank) how about a colony of dwarf African cichlids from lake Tanganyika-specifically Neolamprologus Multifasciatus...They are shell dwellers, stay small, relatively non-aggressive, relatively easy to care for and are fun to watch and a small colony would be perfect for a 20 long.

You CAN have plants but these fish enjoy a higher pH and tend to sift and move sand constantly....it is one of the things that make them fun to watch...they spawn relatively easily. I have java fern and small piece of bolbitis in my tank and it does OK.

That's my two cents...Good luck and keep us in the loop on what you decide!
 
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