South American Cichlids • 75 Gallon Stocking Ideas

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

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75 Gallon Stocking Ideas

Postby ncm13579 » Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:52 pm

I was wondering if someone could help me determine if the following is acceptable for a permanent 75 gallon tank (I cannot upgrade the tank to a larger size).
- 1 blue acara (not electric blue)
- 1 Red-Spotted Gold Severum
- 6 boesemani rainbows
- 2 pictus catfish

If anyone has other suggestions for a 75 gallon tank that would be great. Again, these fish need to be able to fit in the tank at their full size because I cannot upgrade to a larger tank.
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Re: 75 Gallon Stocking Ideas

Postby fishboy75 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 11:45 am

This is a popular setup on here right now, haha. The severum will grow too large for the 75 eventually.
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Re: 75 Gallon Stocking Ideas

Postby Auballagh » Wed Jan 06, 2021 12:47 pm

Whew.... the 75G is definitely getting a workout lately!
That, and variations on a recent, suggested stocking scheme as well.... :roll:
So, here's what I can offer,
As mentioned, a Severum will push the limits of a 75G tank. At up to 7-8 inches in adult length, they are actually a pretty sizable fish. Fortunately, while their body type is certainly not as compressed in width as say an Angelfish, the body cross section of the Severum is not excessively wide, either... (Hericthys, etc.). And fortunately also, the Severum is considered a 'low aggression' kind of cichlid. Which means its a decent candidate for stocking in a community tank. But, far from ideal for keeping with anything you may want. Plus, the Severum is definitely a fan of it's veggies. Individual fish may vary in this, but they will ALL nip, bite, gnosh and possibly outright DESTROY any live, aquatic plants put in an aquarium with them. This is one reason the Blue Acara, or smaller Convicts, T-Bar or Cutteri cichlids remain popular for stocking in planted tanks.
- Rainbowfish! Wow, those are certainly quite hot now. Nothing wrong with that, but why not try an active, dither fish species that has also worked in keeping with New World cichlids instead? That would be the 'tried & true' Buenos Aires Tetra (BAT) -(Hyphessobrycon anisitsi). I really like the way those larger growing Tetras look. And, that is a dither fish species that belongs in the same aquatic biotope as a Severum. They sorta go together, y'know?
- Pictus catfish. Okay, I know for this very social species that stocking with 4 of them is good, 6 is better and 8 (or more) is getting just about right. Beware though, people come away frustrated with the Pictus catfish a lot. This catfish species is definitely sensitive to poor water quality. 5 PPM Nitrates or lower? Whew... water changes are gonna be something you are going to be doing a lot.
-
So, to summarize?
- One Cichlid
- At least consider BAT as a suitable New World dither fish
- More Pictus Catfish
- Say hello to more (and higher quantity) water changes!
-
Hope this helps?
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Re: 75 Gallon Stocking Ideas

Postby ncm13579 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 1:48 pm

Auballagh wrote:Whew.... the 75G is definitely getting a workout lately!
That, and variations on a recent, suggested stocking scheme as well.... :roll:
So, here's what I can offer,
As mentioned, a Severum will push the limits of a 75G tank. At up to 7-8 inches in adult length, they are actually a pretty sizable fish. Fortunately, while their body type is certainly not as compressed in width as say an Angelfish, the body cross section of the Severum is not excessively wide, either... (Hericthys, etc.). And fortunately also, the Severum is considered a 'low aggression' kind of cichlid. Which means its a decent candidate for stocking in a community tank. But, far from ideal for keeping with anything you may want. Plus, the Severum is definitely a fan of it's veggies. Individual fish may vary in this, but they will ALL nip, bite, gnosh and possibly outright DESTROY any live, aquatic plants put in an aquarium with them. This is one reason the Blue Acara, or smaller Convicts, T-Bar or Cutteri cichlids remain popular for stocking in planted tanks.
- Rainbowfish! Wow, those are certainly quite hot now. Nothing wrong with that, but why not try an active, dither fish species that has also worked in keeping with New World cichlids instead? That would be the 'tried & true' Buenos Aires Tetra (BAT) -(Hyphessobrycon anisitsi). I really like the way those larger growing Tetras look. And, that is a dither fish species that belongs in the same aquatic biotope as a Severum. They sorta go together, y'know?
- Pictus catfish. Okay, I know for this very social species that stocking with 4 of them is good, 6 is better and 8 (or more) is getting just about right. Beware though, people come away frustrated with the Pictus catfish a lot. This catfish species is definitely sensitive to poor water quality. 5 PPM Nitrates or lower? Whew... water changes are gonna be something you are going to be doing a lot.
-
So, to summarize?
- One Cichlid
- At least consider BAT as a suitable New World dither fish
- More Pictus Catfish
- Say hello to more (and higher quantity) water changes!
-
Hope this helps?


Are there any options in which I can keep 2 cichlids in the tank, maybe something a little smaller than the acara or severum? Not necessarily a pair, but 2 compatible species. I know I am limited with my options since 75 g is a little small.
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Re: 75 Gallon Stocking Ideas

Postby fishboy75 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 2:00 pm

There definitely are. Can have a single angelfish and some Bolivian Rams. They have quite the personality in a smaller package; easy to keep and entertaining. Could also have an Angel with a Rainbow cichlid. There are quite a few options depending on what you like.
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Location: Syracuse

Re: 75 Gallon Stocking Ideas

Postby ncm13579 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:12 pm

fishboy75 wrote:There definitely are. Can have a single angelfish and some Bolivian Rams. They have quite the personality in a smaller package; easy to keep and entertaining. Could also have an Angel with a Rainbow cichlid. There are quite a few options depending on what you like.


How many bolivian rams could work? I also know that there are german blue rams, columbian rams, angel veil rams that are approx. the same size. Could any of those work? And are there any other fish that could be kept with them besides angelfish? Sorry for the questions, I just want to make sure I know all of my options before making a final decision.
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:44 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: 75 Gallon Stocking Ideas

Postby fishboy75 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:36 pm

Guess the answer depends on how capable a fishkeeper you are. The blue rams and the variations are said to be fairly delicate and harder to keep. Need warmer temps and lower pH. I have never kept them. Bolivian Rams might not be as colorful but they sure are entertaining. I would start with 6 of them and see how many pairs you wind up with. Even if you get 3 pairs that will be more than enough room for them to each have their own territory. You can keep many other kinds of community fish with them but are you asking about another type of cichlid? Might not be too many different ones of those. The keyhole cichlid would work and you could keep a pair of those as well.
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Re: 75 Gallon Stocking Ideas

Postby ncm13579 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:48 pm

fishboy75 wrote:Guess the answer depends on how capable a fishkeeper you are. The blue rams and the variations are said to be fairly delicate and harder to keep. Need warmer temps and lower pH. I have never kept them. Bolivian Rams might not be as colorful but they sure are entertaining. I would start with 6 of them and see how many pairs you wind up with. Even if you get 3 pairs that will be more than enough room for them to each have their own territory. You can keep many other kinds of community fish with them but are you asking about another type of cichlid? Might not be too many different ones of those. The keyhole cichlid would work and you could keep a pair of those as well.

Could a pair of keyhole cichlids or a pair of blue acaras be kept with some dither fish long term in a 75 gallon? I dont have the space to upgrade to a larger size. And if not, if I have 6 bolivians rams, what type of smaller dither fish could I keep with them long term?
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:44 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: 75 Gallon Stocking Ideas

Postby fishboy75 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 4:15 pm

Keyhole cichlids and Bolivian Rams can be kept together along with most any smaller community fish. Countless tetras, barbs, danios, rasboras, loaches, Cory cats, etc. Not really sure where to direct you online as I love to look through my old books I have but any Google search of peaceful tetras for community tank should give you an idea. Then just switch to peaceful barbs, loaches etc. You would also be able to keep a pair of blue acara but that will limit what else you can keep with them. For dither fish I would recommend Giant danios or Buenos Aires tetra as they are cheap, hardy and fast enough to escape a breeding pair and not expensive to replace if you should lose one.
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Re: 75 Gallon Stocking Ideas

Postby ncm13579 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 4:38 pm

fishboy75 wrote:Keyhole cichlids and Bolivian Rams can be kept together along with most any smaller community fish. Countless tetras, barbs, danios, rasboras, loaches, Cory cats, etc. Not really sure where to direct you online as I love to look through my old books I have but any Google search of peaceful tetras for community tank should give you an idea. Then just switch to peaceful barbs, loaches etc. You would also be able to keep a pair of blue acara but that will limit what else you can keep with them. For dither fish I would recommend Giant danios or Buenos Aires tetra as they are cheap, hardy and fast enough to escape a breeding pair and not expensive to replace if you should lose one.


So I could stock a tank with a pair of keyhole cichlids and maybe 4 Bolivian rams with some tetras, loaches or barbs as dither fish?
Or
I could get a pair of blue acaras with some tetras. Would boesemani rainbows not be good with the acaras in this situation?
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Location: New Jersey

Re: 75 Gallon Stocking Ideas

Postby fishboy75 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 4:55 pm

Yes to the first question. Keyholes are very shy though so will do better with a planted tank and some shaded areas and less active tetras and barb species.

For the blue acaras I would specifically stay with Buenos Aires tetras or giant danios and not rainbows. They are all active and hardy but if the acara's start breeding and decide to go after them, a $3 Buenos Aires or a giant Danio won't hurt as much as a $12- 15 rainbow. There are cheaper, less colorful rainbows but the other Buenos Aires and giant danios are much better fits.
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Location: Syracuse

Re: 75 Gallon Stocking Ideas

Postby ncm13579 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:57 pm

fishboy75 wrote:Yes to the first question. Keyholes are very shy though so will do better with a planted tank and some shaded areas and less active tetras and barb species.

For the blue acaras I would specifically stay with Buenos Aires tetras or giant danios and not rainbows. They are all active and hardy but if the acara's start breeding and decide to go after them, a $3 Buenos Aires or a giant Danio won't hurt as much as a $12- 15 rainbow. There are cheaper, less colorful rainbows but the other Buenos Aires and giant danios are much better fits.


Unless I, for whatever reason, can't access the bolivian rams and keyhole cichlids than I may go for the second option. Are there any specific species of tetras and barbs you would suggest (and how many) to go with the bolivian rams and keyholes? I dont want to overstock the tank.
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:44 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: 75 Gallon Stocking Ideas

Postby fishboy75 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:20 pm

What colors are you interested in? What would you say your level of fishkeeping is? And where will you be buying your fish from? Local aquarium, big box store or online?
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Location: Syracuse

Re: 75 Gallon Stocking Ideas

Postby ncm13579 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:07 pm

fishboy75 wrote:What colors are you interested in? What would you say your level of fishkeeping is? And where will you be buying your fish from? Local aquarium, big box store or online?

I've always owned fish and currently have a small tank of tetras. My dad has also had large tanks in the past with Oscars and pirrahnas (not in the same tank). We're not experts but definitely not beginners. The hardest part for us is just trying to find conpatible fish for the tank. And we are looking for some more color in the tank but don't really have a preference. Also, we will be ordering online because there really aren't a lot of local fish stores in NJ. Most of them have shut down and I'm not really keen on getting fish from petsmart/petco.
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Location: New Jersey

Re: 75 Gallon Stocking Ideas

Postby fishboy75 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:34 pm

Well there are so many ways to make this tank colorful and interesting. This is with the Keyhole and Bolivian Rams in mind. Some colorful tetras that I like are Bleeding Heart, Lemon and Black Phantom. All will occupy the middle area of the tank, the lemons closer to the bottom. When kept in proper condition they look amazing. Black phantoms are a cool fish and fun to watch. The males will spar with each other constantly but there is no damage done. Silver Hatchetfish would be a good fish for the top but be careful because they are great jumpers. Another cool fish to include is the Upside-down cat. If you have some driftwood in there they will usually hang out upside down under it and feed upside down as well. Loaches you could look at are the zebra loach and Kuhli loach. Zebras are pretty active and have a cool, striated pattern. Kuhlis are eel like. You probably won't see them often but that makes it more exciting when you do. They are a terrific scavenger of left over food. And there are so many different types of Corydoras catfish to choose from. No community of peaceful fishes are complete without them. So that's a little list to start you off. Btw don't just blow off the Petcos and Petsmarts; they can vary greatly in quality and selection from store to store. Also, where in Jersey are you? There is a very good store in North Jersey and might be worth the trip for you. PM me if you want the name and I also have an online suggestion for you.
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