Central American Cichlids • 125 gallon tank build questions

Discussion regarding only Central American Cichlid species. (Guapotes, Jack Dempseys, Red Devils, Firemouths, Convicts, Texas Cichlids, etc.)

Moderators: CjCichlid, Iggy Newcastle

125 gallon tank build questions

Postby pmarino27 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:05 pm

Hi Everyone!

So this is my first foray into taking fish keeping serious and I have a few questions as I want to do it right.

Quick background - haven't had a fishtank in quite sometime but am really looking to get back into it. As a teenager/young adult I had a 55 gallon tank with an oscar that lived for over 10 years. I know (now) that that tank was too small for him but back then I had no idea (as I was just a teenager).

Anyway, I have done a lot of research this time and learned a lot of things (tank size being one of them obviously) but would love some feedback from experienced fish keepers as that is (imo) the best type of knowledge and advice to get.

So for my new tank, which is 125 gallons (6 feet long), I am planning on doing a SA/CA Cichlid build. I am a big fan of Oscars and really enjoyed my last one but they are so messy, so I am skipping them this time around. A few new main fish I have really started to like while doing my research are: Flowerhorns, Jaguar cichlids, Green terrors, and Electric blue jack dempseys. I know I can't have all those in my tank. I have also read a few different accounts of the EBJD being a bit fragile (comparatively speaking) so I think I am going to pass on them for now until I get more experience.

I think I am leaning towards FH and Jaguar as my two top choices (if possible), so my questions are...

Can I have the following build in my 125 gallon tank: 1 flowerhorn, 1 jaguar cichlid, 3-4 clown loaches, 1 pleco (advice on what kind would be welcomed), and 5-6 of a shoal fish (again, advice on what might work best here is definitely welcomed!) - hoping these could help spread aggression between the main two fish?

I am not trying to over crowd the tank but also would like a decent amount of activity in it as well (at all levels of the tank if possible). ANY advice or feedback on this would be extremely appreciated. Also feel free to suggest any tweaks to that build that might work better that I can consider.

I also have a question on what filter to go with. It looks like it will DEF need to be a canister filter (which will also be a first for me). From doing some research it looks like the Fluval FX6 is an option (and maybe the best). Do you think the Fx6 is the way to go or could I get away with the FX4 (or any other options)? I would rather over filter then under filter which is why I am looking at the FX6. That said, its def expensive and if I could get away with the FX4 and save around 100$ I wouldn't be upset. It would help keep me closer to my original budget as there were a few additional expenses that I overlooked initially that I will most likely need to address (additional floor support - better to be safe then sorry).

Thanks in advance to anyone who is able to provide some advice and feedback on my questions above. REALLY looking forward to the discussion :)
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:18 am
Location: New Jersey

Share On:

Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter

Re: 125 gallon tank build questions

Postby Oscar6 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:44 pm

While a 125g may be considered a big-ish tank, it really isnt for large, territorial cichlids. A strong male Jag can reach 18ins, thats the width of a 6ft 125. Too small for a really big Jag, even by itself. Mixing cichlids is always a gamble, trying with FH is really tough. They are hybrid terrorists, and eventually will attack just about anything else. Clowns are soft water fish, and although it takes years, they too grow to well over a foot long. The only real SA cichlids that can hang with CAs are Umbees(too big for 125) and Festae(true Red Terrors). Pleco is a coin toss. Big common or Sailfin may survive, but a huge addition to tank bioload. If you want a community of sorts, think smaller fish, ones that maybe top out at 8-10ins. Just realize that a lot of CA fish dont take kindly to others. An FX4 wont cover a well stocked 125 alone. Neither will an FX6 imo. I have both. I like to run a couple of Aquaclear 110 hobs in conjunction with a good canister. The ACs ae a good mechanical filter,they move a lot of water. FX4 and a pair of big hobs will cover a 125 for life. 2 or more filters are always a good idea. Should one unexpectedly fail, you have coverage to preserve cycle and protect fish
1500 gallons of South and Central American cichlids. Some with a "wee" bit of attitude.
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:07 pm
Location: Ontario

Re: 125 gallon tank build questions

Postby sandrock » Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:29 pm

if you are going to get a pleco I would get a decent sized bit of bogwood for it.they don't need it in there diet as algay wafers and pleco pellets should provide everything they need nitrition wise but they may find it beneficial Remember that the common plec can get quite big but should be fine in a 6ft tank.i would avoid some of the fancy plec's as some can be a little finiky. if you are looking for a plec you may be able to negotiate a decent price on a large common as local fish store often gets them brought in when they have out grown peoples tanks and get stuck with them. there were at least 6 foot long ones in with there giant gourami last time I visited. (tanks at least 12ft x 4ft x 4ft)
if you decide to keep clown loaches then be warned they can get quite big (have seen 12 inch ones) in the aquarium bigger in the wild and need to be kept in groups of 6 or more ideally. they are a peacefull fish so shouldn't cause any problems in a community tank but as for how the ciclids would react to them I couldn't say as they are not fish I have had much experience with.
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:51 am
Location: uk

Return to Central American Cichlids

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests