South American Cichlids • New 75G stocking idea

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

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New 75G stocking idea

Postby spoopykitter » Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:09 pm

Hello everyone! I'm making another post here cause a while back I asked on the topic of putting an Oscar in a 75, but with numerous people's words, I'm definitely willing to hold off on an Oscar until I can get a bigger tank. After getting myself further immersed in the hobby, I've come up with another idea that I can hopefully receive backing from you guys for. I've been thinking about getting a 75 for a while, but I've been holding off until I'm sure of what I can fit in the tank. The idea I have right now is putting a single Severum in (not sure what Severum exactly yet, I'm not familiar with all the different types) with a small school of Congo Tetras, and maybe something to occupy the bottom of the tank if possible, like a catfish of some sort or a Dojo Loach. I'd greatly appreciate any feedback you guys have, or alternate suggestions, and can't wait to read your responses :D
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Re: New 75G stocking idea

Postby spoopykitter » Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:27 pm

After some more thought, as far as what could occupy the bottom of the tank, I've come to the thought of 3 Pictus catfish and/or a Senegal Bichir/Dojo Loach. To clarify, I'd want the Bichir the most out of these, then the Pictus cats, then the Dojo. If I could get the Bichir in combination with the Pictus cats, that would be the most ideal for me, however if the Pictus cats would be too much for the tank I'd be happy with just the Bichir as well. However, if I could keep a Dojo with my Pictus cats, I'd take that over the Bichir by itself, but not the Bichir with the Pictus cats. I know with the Bichir I'm running the risk of the Congos getting eaten, but it's a risk I'm willing to take as long as I can get the Bichir small and used to dry food to minimize that risk as much as possible. I do plan on using more than adequate equipment along with keeping up on maintenance, which I'm certain would be high with a setup like this. Also, for the Severum, I've decided on a Red Shoulder Severum for now, but if anyone has any better suggestions, I'm all ears :)
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Re: New 75G stocking idea

Postby spoopykitter » Mon Dec 14, 2020 3:50 pm

And a final update, I'm going to have to bail on the idea of a Dojo, because for whatever reason they're illegal to own in Michigan :( :-?
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Re: New 75G stocking idea

Postby Auballagh » Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:15 pm

Looks like you're working this out. But, why stock your 75G aquarium with non-SA fish?
This post in the CA section of the forum, with my stocking recommendations for it may help to inform,
https://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/vie ... 3&t=453023
Instead of stocking with the Silver Dollars - a little shoal of 4 or 5 Pictus Cats in your tank to serve as active/busy dither fish, would look pretty cool. 8)
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Re: New 75G stocking idea

Postby spoopykitter » Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:30 pm

Hey, thanks for responding, it really means a lot! Yeah, I've worked most things out, but as of right now, I'm just looking for people's takes on whether or not this would be a good idea. Personally, I don't have a big issue with mixing fish from different continents, I usually buy the types of fish that I'd want to own the most, while being able to house as much as I can and also comfortably. The idea I had for this tank was to have one big centerpiece fish, the Severum, with a fairly small sized schooling fish that isn't too big, but also isn't small enough to become food, like the Congo Tetras. And as is a staple in all of my tanks, there has to be at least something occupying the bottom, my intentions being a Senegal Bichir and, if allowing, 3 or 4 Pictus Cats. And with including the Bichir, that I don't want to deviate from that stocking too much, as I really like the sound of it on paper, my main question now is simply if this would work in a 75 and be a successful aquarium, or if I have to make some adjustments to my plans :)
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Re: New 75G stocking idea

Postby Deeda » Mon Dec 14, 2020 7:08 pm

What type of substrate will you be using? I've not kept Bichir's before but do see the recommendation to not keep them on gravel to avoid the possibility of them swallowing it and becoming impacted.
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Re: New 75G stocking idea

Postby spoopykitter » Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:25 pm

Sand is my personal favorite substrate, it's what I have in all of my tanks and I don't intend on changing that! Not until I move out of my current place into my own, at least :D I'll definitely be sticking to black sand for it
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Re: New 75G stocking idea

Postby fishboy75 » Wed Dec 16, 2020 2:33 am

Hi, I have a recommendation for you. Since you're not averse to mixing continents how about some Australian Rainbowfish instead of the Congos? I feel like the Congo tetras are a little shy and easily intimidated while the Rainbows are very hardy and extremely active. They get up to 5 inches so have good size as well so less to worry about if you get a Bichir. There are many awesome rainbows available but these are my favorites:

Millennium Rainbow- Glossolepis pseudoincisus, males are a beautiful red
Boesemani Rainbow- Melanotaenia boesemani, front is bluish- grey, rear is orangy- yellow
Turquoise Rainbow- Melanotaenia lacustris, turquoise blue upper body over a white belly

A group of 5 or 6 would probably work in that size tank. Good luck with whatever you decide on!
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Re: New 75G stocking idea

Postby spoopykitter » Wed Dec 16, 2020 6:51 pm

Hmm, I really like that suggestion actually! I do have two questions though, first off, would I be able to mix together different types of Rainbows? And my second question would be if I could potentially add more than that? I know they need clean water to thrive, but regardless I'm getting 2 HOB filters with 800 GPH total, and I'd also do water changes whenever I'd need to, though I would need a recommendation for how often :)
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Re: New 75G stocking idea

Postby fishboy75 » Wed Dec 16, 2020 9:09 pm

You can definitely mix them, I just find a group of one kind to be more striking than a mix of different ones. I dont think I would go much higher than 6. They really are very active and get a good size. You have to remember the Severum is also a very large fish. Will get a solid 8 inches and is very thick bodied. Some would probably say adding the Rainbowfish would be too much once they all reach max size. And the more I think about it no way would I add the Senegal Bichir to that mix. They get up to 14 inches. I would hold off on one until you get a 6 foot tank. I would also like to offer an alternative to the Dojo loach, not because of size but because of temperature requirements. They really are a cold water species. They can live in warmer water but they won't thrive and could cause health problems if kept too warm for an extended time. Some loaches that are cool that would fit in are Botia almorhae- Yoyo Loach, Botia histrionica- Burmese loach and Botia kubotai- Burmese Border loach. All these guys get between 5-6 inches, are very active and definitely cool looking. And yes you can mix them. I think you should decide between having loaches or the pictus cats which are really cool as well. Side note on the pictus cats- make sure you quarantine them for a few weeks. They are notorious for getting ick.

As far as water changes go, you should get a nitrate test kit or even better the API Master kit which has tests for Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, pH and High range pH. You want to do your best to keep nitrates no higher than 20. In a lightly stocked tank that might mean 25% a week or in an overstocked tank could be 50- 75% twice a week. Just have to test your water and get a grasp on how quickly the nitrates rise. Also, probably a good idea to get tests for General and Carbonate hardness. Dont have to test that all the time but its nice to know what your tap water is made up of. Maybe this could be a last minute holiday gift request haha.
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Re: New 75G stocking idea

Postby Auballagh » Wed Dec 16, 2020 11:31 pm

Wow, well done 'fishboy75'. Now we're talking!
And, I see we just basically want an active community tank with a an interesting spread of fish in it? Great!
I really like the idea of stocking with those Rainbow Fish. They are pretty, and are very active in an aquarium.
As an alternative New World species, don't overlook the Buenos Aires Tetra. They are a common species in the fish trade, and tend to be fast/tough enough to handle (non-dedicated/predatory) cichlid aggression. Another solid, tough species that works very well in community tanks is the 'Black Widow' tetra.
With the amount of other fish you are apparently interested in for this tank... may I suggest downsizing just a bit in your choice of cichlid species? A Severum will put on some size in there. And with that size and power, an individual with anti-social, mean/aggressive tendencies can put some serious pain on the rest of your community in the smaller confines of a four foot long 75G tank.
So, how bout this interesting fellow?

https://www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/ ... hp?id=2576

These guys are not known to be very shy, but they don't take aggression to unmanageable levels either, in a community tank.
And, believe it or not.... an individually kept Convict cichlid in a 75 gallon tank, often works out great for everyone (when stocked with sturdy/robust occupants like you've been recommended) kept with him. I would recommend getting an individual male. The males of this species get quite pretty with some size (long flowing fins and that 'nuchal hump'!).
And definitely, for long-term success? Do not place ANY SPAWNING PAIRS of New World Cichlids in this community tank!!! :o
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Re: New 75G stocking idea

Postby spoopykitter » Thu Dec 17, 2020 3:09 pm

I really like the idea of a Convict on paper, but would it really leave the Rainbows alone? I just know they're typically an aggressive species, and I'm not experienced enough to know how they react to rainbows, nor have I found much on the topic online. If I make a decision on another cichlid, would a Firemouth be a good choice? From what I've read they're very peaceful for a cichlid. Oh, and don't worry about me getting 2 of any cichlid, even if there was a type of cichlid where I could have 2 in a community setting, that'd just be too much fish for the tank with the other fish going in as well.
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Re: New 75G stocking idea

Postby fishboy75 » Thu Dec 17, 2020 4:35 pm

I would have to defer to Auballagh as it relates to keeping a single Convict. My only experience with them was a breeding pair in a "community" cichlid tank 25 years ago. To say it was constant warfare would be an understatement. I think Firemouths in general are more peaceful but can also be somewhat shy. Although the presence of the Rainbows should make it feel more secure. You have a number of different directions you can take so I guess you have to make up your mind on what fish is your favorite. A blue acara is another option as well as Angelfish but the Rainbows might prove too active for the Angel. You could keep a pair of smaller cichlids like Kribensis in a community setting and they will prove very entertaining. The same goes for Bolivian Rams and you probably could keep 3 pairs in a 75. The options really are endless.
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Re: New 75G stocking idea

Postby spoopykitter » Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:34 pm

I think that idea settles it then! If someone can confirm that a lone Convict most likely won't be aggressive towards rainbows, that will definitely be my choice, but if not, I'll happily settle with an Electric Blue Acara. Summing the whole tank together, there'd be either one Convict or one Electric Blue Acara, 6 Boeseman's Rainbowfish, and 4 Spotted Pictus Cats. I think that would be a pretty solid stocking :D
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Re: New 75G stocking idea

Postby spoopykitter » Fri Dec 18, 2020 2:00 pm

Actually, after further research, I learned that the Blue Acara and Electric Blue Acara are two entirely different fish! Were you referring to a true Blue Acara or an Electric one, fishboy75? I now know the Electric is more docile, but I find the single vibrant color to be slightly less attractive than the very vibrant and shiny spots the regular one gets. If the true Blue Acara will work better than a Convict would, that'll settle the final stocking plan right there. However, if both are too risky the EBA will take their place :)
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