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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. New to the forum. Just purchased a 29g tank and thinking about doing a planted cichlid tank. I have had cichlids before but want to do my homework since I am starting fresh. I currently have a 10g planted tank with 2 Gourami, 2 Pink/blue tetra and a pair of plecos. Tank has been doing very well, with everyone happy/getting along even some breeding going on. Took awhile to get the tank in a good place, many lessons learned.

I have been doing some research for the new tank, specifically about cichlids and want to make sure I can keep a happy environment for them. I am trying to decide between African and South American cichlids. From what I have read, planted tanks can work for both, although Africans can tend to eat the plants at times. So my plant species would need to be very specific and not something they would want to eat. Size wise, it seems as the South Americans seem to be smaller sized adults, 3-4in. Are there any African species that mature to no larger than 6in? Any recommendations on species? How many Africans or South Americans will fit in the tank? I do not want to over crowd, but would like to have a nice amount of fish in the tank. I am not interested in breeding the fish. My goal is to have a living art piece for the living room.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

The 29G length leaves out Malawi cichlids even though many mature <= six inches.

You could do Tanganyikans in a 30" tank, but options are limited. Think in terms of ending up with a pair of something like Calvus or Julidochromis.

If you want lots of fish in a 30" tank you might be better off with non-cichlid schooling fish like rasboras, tetras, etc.

Check out the cookie cutter tanks in the Cichlid-forum Library for ideas. Choose the 20G Long or 29G tank stock ideas.

BTW my Africans ate all the plants, even those they were not supposed to eat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response. What about Apistos? I have heard they are more plant friendly. Can I get away with having a few different South American species?
 

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I apistos in the cookie cutter tanks, but one pair with some tetras, etc.

Looks like most of the CA and SA are one pair with some tank mates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks again. I had a feeling that was the case. I have seen few people mix them but foot print needs to be large enough for them to have their own territories as pairs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK.. maybe returning the 29 this weekend and dropping the planted tank idea.. stone/driftwood hardscape for a 40 or 55..
 

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If you want Malawi go with the 48" tank...55G is most common and therefore usually least expensive.

Mixed gender mbuna gives a colorful active tank. Think in terms of 3 species and 1m:4f of each. One idea:
1m:4f Labidochromis caeruleus
1m:4f Iodotropheus sprengerae
1m:4f Cynotilapia zebroides Cobue
 
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