South American Cichlids • New to Larger Tank and Larger Cichlids

Discussion regarding only South American Cichlid species. (Oscars, Geophagines, Discus, Apistogramma, Green Terrors, Angels, Severums, Pikes, etc.)

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New to Larger Tank and Larger Cichlids

Postby CinBos » Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:48 pm

Hey everyone. Wanted to introduce myself before I went on. My name is Cory and several individuals from the Tropical Fish Keeping Forum turned me on to this forum. Been doing a lot of reading throughtout this site, and boy you all have a lot of good advice.

I am new to larger tanks. I just received a 125gal tank from a friend with the stand and 3 HOTs. I also just purchased a Marineland 3 stage canister that cycles 530gph. I also just purchased 2 powerheads that cycle 1050gph. I still need to get other various items like gravel/substrate, rocks and plants (fake or real). Also need to get a glass lid for the tank. Thats everything I have so far, everything sound good so far?

The largest tank I have ever owned was a 30gal, in which I had some smaller cichlids in it. Now I would like to step it up with the 125gal and gets some larger cichlids. I had a few in mind, but I figured you all could point me in the right direction. Also I had some other fish in mind and I wanted to see if you all could point me in the right direction of what cichlids I should be looking at. Here are all the non-cichlids I was thinking about:

Trinidad pleco (hypostomus puntatus)
Sailfin pleco (glyptoperichthys gibbiceps)
Columbian shark (arius jordani)
Clown loach (botia macracantha)
Whiptail cat (farlowella gracilis)
Black ghost knifefish (apteronotus albifrons)
Maybe some sort of inverts like lobsters and/or crabs

Some of the cichlids I have been showing alot of interest in are of the Lake Malawi and Central American species.

So what do you all think? Any advice on the setup regarding filtration and pumps? And any advice on what cichlids would be a nice fit for those I mentioned above?

I hate to repost this, but I was advised to by a few others in the General African Forums.
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Postby jd lover » Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:59 pm

personally with your current stock list id say your pretty much out of room and especially since alt of them are bottom dwellers id say its crowded
no medicine works better than clean water.
no such thing as too much clean water, so go do a water change now.
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Postby CinBos » Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:28 pm

jd lover wrote:personally with your current stock list id say your pretty much out of room and especially since alt of them are bottom dwellers id say its crowded


I'm not going with all of the. One pleco, one cat, and so forth. Not all of them. But I am really diggin the Black Ghost Knife, very intrigued by that one.
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Postby Adrian101 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:25 pm

I responded in your central American question.
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Postby red_alley_cat » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:12 am

stay away from the columbian shark they need to go into brackish water as they age and everything and anything will become a meal as they are fierce predators. I have 2 ghost knives in a 125 gal and they dont bother each other. They are housed with peaceful cichlids though (various peacocks).
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Postby neutrino » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:02 am

Filtration all depends on how many fish. I've had a single HOT Magnum keeping a 50 gal tank crystal clear years, but it's usually only lightly to moderately stocked. I find, though, that unless you considerably overfigure your filtration in the first place (which a lot of people prefer to do) it can sometimes take a little tinkering to work out exactly how much filtration a particular tank really needs, mainly because each tank is different in terms of fish load and other factors. (btw-- the HOT Magnums are nice little filters as far as quiet, durable, etc. but pretty limited in terms of media volume; yes, you could run a bunch of them on a large tank if you wanted, but three HOT magnums, for example, would probably equal one decent sized canister in terms of media volume)

A 125 gives you so many options for fish it's hard to cover them all except in a general way.

Central American cichlids are so diverse in size and temperament that personal preference between one person and another could be very different fish and displays. Options for a 125 could include whether you want a small group of one species, a community of several fish of multiple species (such as some of the smaller Central Americans) or just a large pair or single large centerpiece species. Would take some research because they vary so much not only in size but also aggression and/or tolerance of other fish in their tank. (Something similar would be true for South Americans, although, generally speaking, there would more of them you could mix and match)

As far as Malawi cichlids, there are also options but somewhat simpler. Mbuna are generally a bit smaller, but tend to be somewhat to highly territorial/aggressive, which is usually managed by crowding them, which can mean a very active, very colorful tank that can be almost reef like in rocky aquascaping. Malawi haps and peacocks are also colorful and active and can also be crowded to diffuse aggression, though they tend to be anywhere from a little bit to significantly larger than mbuna, depending on species, and they generally need more open area in the tank than mbuna. To some degree you can mix haps and peacocks with mbuna if you're careful about which species you put together.
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