South American Cichlids • stocking ideas for a large tank with little-ish fish

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

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stocking ideas for a large tank with little-ish fish

Postby fishybuisness » Wed Feb 03, 2021 2:32 pm

hello everyone, this summer we are getting a 6' long,2'wide,2'.5 tall aquarium (225 gallons) or maybe a 6' long, 2'.5 wide, 2'.5 tall (280 gallons). i would like to stock the tank with maybe some geos, uaru, keholes, flag cichlids, dicus, corycats, hatchetfish, or pencilfish, flyer cichlids maybe as well and apistos. i also have 6 bolivian rams and am think of adding a few more. these are all options and i know that not all can be in the same tank. there will be lots of plants and driftwood. my preferable parameters are 6.5-7ph and 76-79 degrees. i do not like the look of selected bred fish like flowerhorns and others. these are suggestions still thinking about ratios. thanks for any stocking suggestions!
- fishybuisness
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Re: stocking ideas for a large tank with little-ish fish

Postby Auballagh » Wed Feb 03, 2021 4:26 pm

Wow, this tank sounds like it's gonna be amazing! :o
And, from what I can see - you've put in some work in researching your stocking selections. That's good!
I've got a couple for you to consider.
- Go big! If your space can physically accommodate the larger-sized, 280 gallon aquarium? I've got no hesitancy in this one - get it! The additional half foot of width added to the bottom area of this tank, will make a huge amount of (definitely beneficial) difference in the actions and behavior of your Cichlids.
- With a very large aquarium, and the intention of stocking with more peaceful, smaller-sized fish... it's very easy to get into this idea of, 'I must try - EVERYTHING!!!'
I don't recommend it.
Reason is, your tank will present visually much better, and your Cichlids will definitely behave much more naturally, if you stock with greater numbers of less species.
-
Does that make any sense? I hope this helps, and please send in some pics when you get things started with this project. 8)
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Re: stocking ideas for a large tank with little-ish fish

Postby fishybuisness » Wed Feb 03, 2021 7:39 pm

Hi, thanks for the reply. I would like there to be maybe 2-4 cichlid species in the tank. And 3 or so no cichlid species. Hopefully I will have one large species of centrepiece cichlid and some others smaller fish. Has anyone kept b.cupido with Bolivian rams or apistos. I am trying to convince my mother on another half foot.
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Re: stocking ideas for a large tank with little-ish fish

Postby Auballagh » Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:14 pm

Hmmmm... you are really getting into fish that are better described as 'Black Water' types in the aquarium hobby. Have you tested your tap water for General Hardness and PH? If you have a natural supply of soft, low PH water? Then, you may be in business for keeping a large 'Black Water' aquarium. (Huge envy - my own tap water is best described as near 'liquid rock'). And yes, Biotodoma cupido would be great in a large tank like this. Not cheap ($$$), you'll need some numbers. Or, they get a little weird with the dominance thing when bullies inevitably emerge, and there aren't enough individuals to safely distribute the aggression.
A loosely schooling group of 12 - 15, Biotodoma cupidos would be pretty impressive to see. 8)
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- Charles Bukowski -
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Re: stocking ideas for a large tank with little-ish fish

Postby fishybuisness » Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:15 pm

My ph fluctuates from 7.4 to 6.8 right now it’s approx 7.1
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Re: stocking ideas for a large tank with little-ish fish

Postby Auballagh » Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:18 pm

If it's fluctuating like that in PH, it usually means low buffering and the General Hardness (GH) level of the water is pretty low. Check your GH next, with a quality test kit.
Find What You Love And Let It kill You!
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- Charles Bukowski -
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Re: stocking ideas for a large tank with little-ish fish

Postby Oscar6 » Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:19 pm

Where in Canada are you and where are you tank shopping?
1500 gallons of South and Central American cichlids. Some with a "wee" bit of attitude.
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Re: stocking ideas for a large tank with little-ish fish

Postby Stu W2 » Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:33 pm

If by "dicus" (typo?) you mean discus then I'd rule that one out. Discus will not be happy as a feature fish nor schooling fish in that community tank. In addition discus require higher temperatures (82-85F in my experience) than the others. I'd also look at the feeding patterns of your final selections. Some of the suggested fish are much quicker than others and will likely dominate the feeding periods. That may lead to overfeeding to try and get food to the slower feeders and subsequently issues with the water parameters.

Tanks of the gallonage you mention provide for wonderful opportunities. They can also become massive challenges. To borrow from the carpentry trade I'll use the expression "measure twice, cut once". Don't rush your project.

Wishing you success,
Stu
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Re: stocking ideas for a large tank with little-ish fish

Postby fishybuisness » Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:37 pm

Vancouver British Columbia. We are definitely not using clear aquariums but maybe h2o aquatics. I think the gh for my area using my area’s water on our water suplier’s website it is 2.42-6.31 mg/L I do not know if these are normal measurements. I am getting a gh test kit later this week.
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Re: stocking ideas for a large tank with little-ish fish

Postby fishybuisness » Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:40 pm

Yes the discus were not really supposed to be included in that. I frankly should not have even suggested them, and I realize that discus should be in aquaria with less vigorous fish. Yes that is my mistake, I have no plans of keeping discus in this aquarium. Thanks,
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Re: stocking ideas for a large tank with little-ish fish

Postby Stu W2 » Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:56 pm

Sending you a PM regarding large tank supplier.

Regards,
Stu
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Re: stocking ideas for a large tank with little-ish fish

Postby fishybuisness » Thu Feb 04, 2021 4:29 pm

For keeping species like b.cupido and other earth eaters would a gh of 2-6 work well. I am thinking of having sand surrounding a plateau of a different substrate. With plants stones and driftwood. If the substrate is surrounded by rocks do you think that the earth eaters will sift through it, and disturb the plants? I used this technique with putting hard plastic barriers to separate to substrates in an old aquarium. Also do pencil fish jump very often? I would prefer no jumpers like hatchets because this aquarium may not have a lid. I would like to have some driftwood stretching out of the aquarium, but I could put a lid on. Thanks for putting up with all these questions.
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Re: stocking ideas for a large tank with little-ish fish

Postby Oscar6 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 5:06 pm

As for may not have a lid.. bad idea imo. Heat loss will be high and plenty of humidity will be added to your household air. I think most will jump, especially in bug season where eating surface or close to surface insects are natural feed for a lot of fish. I myself don't blow large dough on those overpriced, flimsy tank lids. Any local glass shop will cut some made to fit, solid 5or6mm pieces for a fraction of the price of that other junk.
1500 gallons of South and Central American cichlids. Some with a "wee" bit of attitude.
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Re: stocking ideas for a large tank with little-ish fish

Postby fishybuisness » Thu Feb 04, 2021 5:09 pm

Yeah, that’s what i figured, my parents wanted a rimless aquarium but I guess I will have to talk that idea down. Thanks,
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Re: stocking ideas for a large tank with little-ish fish

Postby Stu W2 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 8:01 pm

You can get lids (raised caps) for rimless aquariums. Made from Plexiglas and work well depending upon your needs. If you are a DIY kind of guy you could probably fabricate your own.

Regards,
Stu
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