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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I’m looking at breaking down my current 65 gallon tank and creating a cichlid tank, either Central American or African. I have no experience with either so does anyone have any suggestions? I’m looking for colourful, and would prefer a few larger fish rather than lots of small ones. Tank footprint is 120 x 40 x 50cm
 

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If you are trying to maximize the amount of Cichlids you can stock with as Central Americans? You could set up and stock with an all-male scheme that I like to call, 'THE THREE AMIGOS'! You may be able to fit in 4, smaller-sized males with that setup. But, if you're looking to bump up to the small-medium sized Cichlids level - then 3 will be the limit.
To inform, this will at least visually reflect the bachelor life for your Amigos, pretty much all of the way. Putting a single female into a group like this (of whatever CA species!) could definitely spell social trouble and ensuing drama for the Bros however.
NOTE: Tank interior decorations should consist of 'plenty', with empty Corona and Tequila bottles scattered around inside as optional. :D
 

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Wow, you’re starting to get into this thing a bit. That’s good! So hopefully, we can give you some options to mull over that may actually ‘tweak your nugget’.
But first, let’s have a look-see at our somewhat surly friend, Trichromis salvini, the Mini-Guapote’ Cichlid,
- BAD Salvini: Salvini 114g
Whereas the inestimable Salvini, 'Captain Creech' attains his majority…
- Interesting (Sorta good) Salvini: Trichromis salvini
And here we can appreciate the more nuanced side of the picture. Multiple females? And with maturity, well-kept males turn a nice blue color!
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And, here is a 'Three Amigos' stocking configuration you could try, that I believe would ‘go the distance’ for you. As follows:
  • 1 Amatitlania nigrofasciatus, Black Convict Cichlid (Because no CA stocking list would be truly complete without…. The Legend)
  • 1 Thoricthys sp., Firemouth Cichlid (Or any of the other colorful variants)
  • 1 Hypsophrys nicaraguensis, Nicaraguan or ‘Moga’ Cichlid. This group's larger-growing, ‘centerpiece’ Cichlid!
And even a couple four male stocking groups, if you’re feeling like you must have - one more Cichlid!!!!,
  • 1 Amatitlania sajica, T-Bar Cichlid
  • 2 Males Herotilapia multispinosa, Rainbow Cichlid
  • 1 Thoricthys sp., Firemouth Cichlid (Or any of the other colorful variants)
Or - - -
  • 1 Amatitlania nigrofasciatus, Black Convict Cichlid
  • 1 Amatitlania cutteri, Cutters Cichlid
  • 1 Thoricthys sp., Firemouth Cichlid (Or any of the other colorful variants)
  • 1 Hemichromis sp. Red Jewel Cichlid (An immigrant from Africa! And no worries, he’ll get along just fine with the bros.)
And because no recommended stocking schemes are complete without something completely unexpected,
- Firemouth & Amatitlania Nanoluteus, Yellow Dwarf Cichlid: T. meeki and A. nanolutea together?
Because it just seemed so ridiculous.... Until it wasn’t. (Oh man, I’d LOVE IT if you had a go at trying this one!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Love the “Moga” definitely my favourite! That and the rainbows! What do you think about keeping a blur acara or blood parrot (controversial with some I know!) in with a moga and 2 rainbows? Or is that pushing it in terms of space? Thanks again 😁
 

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The Bloody Parrot will get too big for this. And those things always think they're the boss of well, everything. They try to punch waaayyyy higher than their actual weight class will permit! So no, I do NOT recommend that you stock this tank with an 'instigator in chief'.
- For this smaller-sized tank, the SA Blue Acara would stock well with just a single Rainbow and the Nicaraguan. Reason is, the Blue Acara isn't that little in adult size, and the Nicaraguan will definitely max things out - It's a Three Amigos stocking scheme again! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Brilliant, I’ll give it some thought. I will probably go with that last suggestion of the blue acara, a single rainbow and a Nicaraguan. Would they be ok with Mollies? Say 5 or 6 of them, I’m sure they’d love snacking on the fry at least!
 

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A few Swordtails and 5 or 6 Mollies would definitely get that tank right. And yes, a seemingly unending source of Livebearer Fry would certainly be near and dear to a CA Cichlid's heart. :D
 

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Oh, come now.....

1 Thoricthys sp., Firemouth Cichlid (Or any of the other colorful variants)
Hmmmmmmm..... were they on literally EVERY, recommended stocking scheme I provided you?
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Why Yes!! I believe they were! :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ah, whoops 😂😂 I’m sorry I get excited and all sense flies out of my head! The question is could I have three of them? Or would they not tolerate each being the same species?
 

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The very last stocking scheme involving Amatitlania nanoluteus, (Yellow Dwarf Cichlid) and a powerful grouping of Thoricthys sp., (Firemouth, Ellioti, et al....) await the bold - or very foolish - who MUST (simply MUST!!!), have more than one Thoricthys sp. in the aquarium. That is a specialized stocking scheme, with a correspondingly higher risk of failure than the others I proposed...
Otherwise.....
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Whaaa......???!

Oh no. Defy the 'Three Amigos' stocking recommendations at your peril, my good man.
  • The aquarium I fear, is indeed rather modest in it's accommodations.
  • Just One of a sort (Thoricthys sp.), as represented in such a lusty 'preening peacock' of a beautiful Cichlid, is surely a TRIUMPH! Two of such over-weaning male beasts I fear, is much too.... over much. And with three of these cantankerous, testosterone fueled braggards onboard? The duels of honor and dominance will be most unending! DEATH and its ilk will almost surely arise in inevitable consequence of your most gravely ill-considered stocking schemes, sir.
I must insist. I must implore. DO NOT defy the power of the 'Three Amigos'.
Beware. Balance in all things can be, but a tenuous thing: The Bros will not lightly tolerate Fools or Jackassery in these rather humble domains you will provide them.
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"THERE CAN BE, ONLY ONE!"
 

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Hmmmmm....
Your rashness in these measured times of such studied consequence, do inform you sir.
And well, I sense there is something here. Something perhaps, is indeed - amiss?
Oh my! Can it be.....?

I may have to return them!
Has LOVE (of a sort) struck deeply at the heart of our protagonist? Smitten indeed, by the (admittedly) everlasting charms of the Central American, Thoricthys ellioti, (Spot Cheek Cichlid)?

Head Eye Water Fin Underwater


~ Gaze in wide-eyed wonder ye' most unworthy mongrels, at the unfettered beauty of the Cheek Spot Cichlid!!! ~
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And well, there you have it then. Ahhhhh.... but, who am I, (a mere 'Idiot Savant'!), to stand in the path of what may surely be......

'TRUE CICHLID LOVE'!!!

For in the very center of this True Believer's, 'Cold & Crispy Little Heart', is one who knows - and fully understands - the power of this desire.
So, @Dan1984 shall we dismiss these foolish dreams and aspirations of stocking a bachelor-specific, Central American Themed 'Three Amigos' aquarium?
Must this dance continue?
And so, shall we endeavor to create the conditions of a successful Thoricthys ellioti, Cheek Spot Cichlid specific aquarium?
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And yes. such things are indeed possible, with your 240L aquarium.... BUT, DO YOU TRULY WANT IT?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Most definitely! I should add that the tank is already somewhat stocked but I am able to rehome or relocate the fish that will not fit in with my beloved Ellioti!

Current stocking:
1 Angelfish
11 cardinal tetras
4 Mollies
2 Polar blue parrots
3 Tiny Ellioti
 

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And so it is.... the curtain falls. The scene ends, as the shouted words of fealty and undying love echo and are heard throughout the 'provencial'.
I am able to rehome or relocate the fish that will not fit in with my beloved Ellioti!
Oh, such stiring words. Such proclamations of undying loyalty! But sir, if I may? Have we not been so informed? And is it true, perhaps? Does the aquarist doth now protest, over much?
I should add that the tank is already somewhat stocked......
Current stocking:
1 Angelfish
11 cardinal tetras
4 Mollies
2 Polar blue parrots
3 Tiny Ellioti
Oh no..... @Dan1984 is it true? These revelations you have confessed are at best - dismaying. Have there been so many..... dalliances? Have you been indeed, THE PLAYER, in these aquarium-keeping games of happenstance and chance? And, after all of these long and twisted trials and tribulations.... have you now decided upon what should surely be - the TRUE PATH?
I’m looking at breaking down my current 65 gallon tank and creating a Cichlid tank, either Central American or.....
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I say this truly sir. For your ONE TRUE LOVE will most surely - abide no others. Many indeed, MUST be forsaken in your current stocking to ultimately attain the TRUE PATH of which you seek. Do you truly honor those now quoted words, of which you spoke so publicly?
And, so it is.....

MUCH INDEED MUST BE FORSAKEN - IF ANY AT ALL, WILL BE GAINED..
 

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Well then, there it is.
And no.... not EVERYTHING else must go! But, you do need to pull all of the Cichlids outta there - except for your 3 Thoricthys ellioti.
Take the group of Cichlids you've pulled outta the aquarium to the LFS. Maybe they'll give you a bit of store credit. Maybe you'll have to donate some of 'em.
Then, purchase 3 or 4 more Thoricthys ellioti. Plus, get 3 - 4 more Mollies, and even 5 or 6 Swordtails if you like. Stocking with 10 - 12 pretty tough, fast live bearers in the tank, should do the trick.
To make this thing work, you will definitely need some non-Cichlid 'dither' fish in the aquarium to distract your Cheek Spots a bit, and help spread out the aggression more safely for everyone
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Then grow 'em all out. The ultimate goal of this stocking arrangement is to achieve a single male Cichlid in the tank, with 3 - 4 females (MINIMUM of 3 females). When multiple males inevitably emerge in maturity from the group, remove them from the group and outta the aquarium before the dominance fights and aggression become too severe. You may need a separate tank to treat and heal up beaten, thrashed males... And yes,. it's possible you MAY wind up with a couple males in a tank set up like this, if you have more mellow, calmer individuals.
But, I wouldn't bet on it.
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If done right, your male 'Top Dawg' in a stocking arrangement set up like this, is gonna be colored up for you and displaying almost constantly. The ladies in with him shouldn't disappoint either, as they will be in the 'rotation' and periodically colored up as well, to try and impress your male. You may have a couple of spawning groups going on at the same time! With free swimming fry hanging around a Mom fish on one end, and your male holding down a spawning site with a patch of eggs and another female on the other!
Yep, it could get a little crazy in there.
And you'll have plenty of opportunities to raise out baby Cheek Spots, if you transfer them over to a separate grow out tank quick enough to keep them from just being being consumed.
I'd suggest naming your male something along the lines of,

  • Don Juan De Marco
  • Mark Antony
  • Fabio

Oh yeah.... THAT guy is definitely gonna be a PLAYER. :cool:
 
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