South American Cichlids • Changing from Malawi to Planted SA Dwarf Cichlids:

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

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Changing from Malawi to Planted SA Dwarf Cichlids:

Postby KelB » Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:16 pm

Hello all...

I have had aquariums literally my entire life (grew up with a 55g that was everything from Malawi cichlids, general community, CA cichlids, SA sichlids, at various points). I have previously kept a 30g reef tank, and have been keeping Malawi cichlids of different types consistently for about 20 years (with and without plants). I currently have a small planted tank with a male betta, as well as a planted tank with neons and nerite snails.

It has been a while since I have had a large scale planted tank and any SA cichlids, but I am currently working to swap my 90g tank from Malawi cichldis with Texas Holey rock, a little manzanita, java fern, annubias, and vallisneria over to a heavily planted SA with driftwood (and the manzanita I already have). I run an Eheim 2217 cannister filter, two Cobalt neo-therm heaters, Current USA LED light (currently one for SW since the blue based lights bring out the colors of haps and peacocks, but I have ordered another better suited for plant growth), and a Hydor Evolution circulation pump, and have pool filter sand for substrate.

I am planning on keeping my java ferns, adding more vallisneria, hygrophillia, and annubias (still all pretty easy plants). I don't plan on doing any super specialized lighting or co2 injectors or anything... I want to keep it fairly low-tech...

As far as fish go, I'm considering the following:

20 - neon tetras (or maybe cardinal tetras)
2 - bristle nose plecos (I actually already have these guys and will be keeping them)
8 - corydoras catfish of one of the medium sized species (possibly the Sterbai corys)
4 - bolivian rams
4 - apistos (a. cacatuoides probably)

Does anyone see any major problem with that stock list? (Overstocked?) Would adding four angels (starting with very small juvies) crowd things too much? (I would maybe drop the apistos from the list to facilitate keeping the angels...) I'll probably add a few nerite snails also because they're just such awesome little creatures... I look forward to hearing y'all's thoughts and to posting pics as I make the change over!
KelB
 
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:54 pm
Location: Metro-Atlanta, Georgia

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Re: Changing from Malawi to Planted SA Dwarf Cichlids:

Postby mambee » Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:12 pm

I converted my 90 gallon Malawi tank to a small fish community tank many years ago and am very happy with it. Your overall stocking level is fine, but the rams and apistos may clash as they are both cichlids occupying the same real estate. I would stick with the Bolivian rams. Angels can be problematic in that they would snack on any small tetras. Angels also do better in larger groups due to bullying. I couldn't keep 2 angels in a 90 but have no problems with 6 in a 150.

My favorite tetra is the rummynose, and you should consider a school of these.

Heavily planted with lots of driftwood will help break up sight lines, which is good.
150 Gallon:
Geophagus, Angelfish
90 Gallon:
Bolivian Rams, Rummynoses, Corys, Dwarf Loaches, Neons, Glass Catfish
mambee
 
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2003 9:54 pm
Location: Hartsdale, NY

Re: Changing from Malawi to Planted SA Dwarf Cichlids:

Postby KelB » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:21 am

Thanks for your input, Mambee! I had thought about rummynose tetras as well... Would a school of them in addition to everything else be too much, or would I be able to keep both them and the neons or cardinals?
KelB
 
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:54 pm
Location: Metro-Atlanta, Georgia

Re: Changing from Malawi to Planted SA Dwarf Cichlids:

Postby mambee » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:58 am

I think that your stocking would be fine.
150 Gallon:
Geophagus, Angelfish
90 Gallon:
Bolivian Rams, Rummynoses, Corys, Dwarf Loaches, Neons, Glass Catfish
mambee
 
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2003 9:54 pm
Location: Hartsdale, NY

Re: Changing from Malawi to Planted SA Dwarf Cichlids:

Postby BratmanXj » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:52 am

KelB wrote:As far as fish go, I'm considering the following:

20 - neon tetras (or maybe cardinal tetras)
2 - bristle nose plecos (I actually already have these guys and will be keeping them)
8 - corydoras catfish of one of the medium sized species (possibly the Sterbai corys)
4 - bolivian rams
4 - apistos (a. cacatuoides probably)

Does anyone see any major problem with that stock list? (Overstocked?) Would adding four angels (starting with very small juvies) crowd things too much? (I would maybe drop the apistos from the list to facilitate keeping the angels...)


I would double check water parameters. Neon/Cardinal tetras and most Ram species require 80 deg water temps and Apisto and Angels are mid-high 70's. Various species of Corys are low to mid 70's water temps.
BratmanXj
 
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:00 pm
Location: Chicagoland


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