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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi all. long time member here, but totally new to central american cichlids.

i'm most likely acquiring a standard 180 (6x2x2) shortly. i think i'd like to do something larger than mbuna (which i've kept for years) and less expensive than tangs (which i've kept, as well).

i'm thinking central americans, but i have absolutely no idea how to keep these guys. i've read through the suggestions on the 220gal thread (somewhere on the first page here) and am a fan of most of those fish listed. i really like the look of the texas cichlids in the profiles, but it doesn't look like all of them look like that (the half/half coloration).

basically, if you had a 180gal tank and could stock it with whatever you wanted, what would you choose? ideally, i'd like to see some breeding, but i don't know if that will mean certain doom in the tank for the other fish.

ready, go! thanks in advance!
 

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That half and half coloring on the Texas is the breeding dress. Its awesome to see first hand and makes spawning very predictable. A pair of these i think would likely own a 180 gal as far as cichlids went. You might be able to perhaps keep a few silver dollars as dithers in a 6ft tank but the risk is high IMHO.

I have a 5x2x2 tank with just cichlids and catfish and its working quite well.

In your shoes, and knowing how you like Texas, i would go for a fairly high aggression community. Something like a Veja Synspylum and Texas as the larger, dominant fish, then perhaps some convicts or other smaller cichlids. You could even do a pair of convicts in this with this set up I'd imagine. Then add your choice of plec and catfish really. I have a Bristlenose, a smallish sailfin plec and a Syno_Ocellifer but there are tons of options for this hehe.
 

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Pair of Nandopsis haitiensis- black nasties.
 

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Here's what I'd suggest.
One each-- V. Synspilum, H. Carpinte (green texas cichlid--more colorful than the true texas), N.Salvini, and a pair of a smaller species---convicts (I like the "pink" morph) or Hemichromis Jewel cichlids. You could also add a school of giant danios for upper water movement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for the responses so far, everyone.

i actually checked out the black nasties last night and was in awe, but i think i want a little bit more than a pair, for now.

the synspilum/texas/salvini + a pair sounds perfect... and, of course, more questions regarding that set-up:

1. do i purchase 6+ juvies of each and then take the dominant male, like in a hap/peacock tank? do i want males?
2. aquascaping? looks like most of those come from slow-moving, root-tangled waters. would they benefit at all from some val plants or rockwork?

again, completely new to this part of the world, regarding fish, so any info or links to info is much appreciated. i didn't see much in terms of general CA set-up in the library here.
 

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Keep them tell they pair up then get rid of the other none pared up ones.
put up plants to make territories. :D :D :D :fish:
 

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For the pair of smaller cichlids you do want to buy a group until they pair off. For the others, Salvinis aren't too hard to sex, but the other two species are a bit more difficult.

If you choose the largest, most dominant one in the LFS tank...it's more than likely going to be a male. With Synspilum, it will likely be the most colorful too...but with Salvini, it will be the opposite---the females will likely be smaller, but more colorful.Texas juveniles are very difficult to sex.

Even if you do get males and females of different species, it doesn't mean for sure that they will interbreed. I have a known female RD/Midas and a known male Salvini in my 125g...they have shown very little interest in each other, despite both being sexually mature.

Personally, I'd want the V. Synspilum to be a male, and also the dominant fish from the start.

For decor, I really like using the "tangled root" look, but you could also include a small rockpile/cave or two for the pair---I'd put them in the back corners of the tank. Plants aren't likely to last long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the advice! I'll work on acquiring some driftwood. I've got loads of rock from my mbuna days, but never had much wood.
 
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