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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am planning my first South American cichlid tank. I currently am keeping a African cichlid tank and love it but could do without the drama in a second large tank. So far I have done a bunch of research on American cichlids and am trying to piece together a mostly peaceful tank. I will list a few fish I am interested in and why and maybe you guys can suggest combinations that would work well. I also want to state I am in no way an expert in South American cichlids and I am not picky about creating an exclusive South American tank and can mix compatible fish from all of the Americas.

List of fish I like:
Severums: They seem like the gentle giants of south American cichlids. I also love the variety and ease of keeping.
Electric blue Acara: Another beautiful peaceful cichlid.
Geophagus: (considering cupids) Love their sand sifting personality and they are beautiful.
Apistos: neat looking and relatively peaceful (I have kept apistos in the past)
Bolivian Rams: calm and neat looking fish
Keyhole cichlids: Love the contrast and peaceful nature

Dither fish/ non cichlids:
Giant danios
Gold Barbs
Clown Barbs
Buenos Aries teters
Cory catfish
small plecos

My initial plan might look something like this:

2-4 Severums
4-6 cupid cichlids
12-20 gold barbs

I am interested in pairs so I can see the personality and color that it brings but not planning on breeding for profit in anyway. Many people might suggest discus or angels and for some reason I am not interested in either cichlid so I don't plan to add either one. A bit more information for you is that I plan to have an auto water change system (building it now) changing 10-20% water daily depending on the biological needs of the tank. So I am less worried about bioload than I am about aggression and territorial disputes based on tank size. I am not sure if overstocking will help with aggression like it does with African cichlids or just make it worst. Thank you for any advise and look forward to talking to you all as I am new to this forum.
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