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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am getting ready to set up my first cichlid tank, can I get some pointers on how many fish, what kind of set up and the essentials I will need to make this tank something real nice...

thanks.....
 

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Hi Jeditwin,

Welcome to CF!

The cichlid family includes an extremely wide variety of fish. There are species with a maximum length of just over 1", and species that easily reach 3'. Some are very territorial, and it's hard to keep a pair even in a 6' tank. Some are very peaceful and can breed in 30" tank together with common community fish. Some form pairs, and others live in harems were one male spawns with many females and/or one females spawns with many males. Some require hard, alkaline water, and others prefer it soft and acidic.

There is lots of info about cichlids in these forums and also in the library section of this site. I suggest you do some reading, and see what size of tank you can afford - bigger will always give you more options - and what types of cichlids you find attractive. Once we have a little more info, I am sure we can help you set up a tank that you will enjoy!

You've already made the first step in the right direction by coming here and asking questions, rather than going out and buying fish that you don't know anything about, and might not be able to house adequately.

Greetings
 

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OK, it can all be a bit overwhelming at fist. What made you want to keep cichlids? Also, do you have a tank already? Or what size could you fit in your room/apartment/house. That might give us some pointers already.

Also, since I am more into African cichlids, this is a good article to read about starting with Lake Malawi cichlids. This one talks about Lake Tanganyika. For beginner's articles on new world cichlids, somebody else will have to chime in :D

Last but not least, I think this is a great article to read for any beginner!

Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a 30 gallon tank, I have a set up with several other community fish, but the lack of activity and color quite frankly has me bored. My fish tank is a focal point in the living room, and many of my guests are drawn to it.... I always find myself drawn at the fish store to the Africans, and their wonderful color and wild activity....

I am reading the articles, but would love a experts idea for how many, what species kind of rocks... etc to make my fish tank finally something that I am super psyched about
 

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Sorry, I missed the tank size in the title :oops:

It seems like it's either a 29G (30"long x 12"wide x 18"high), which is a standard size sold in any pet store, or it's a 30G breeder (30"long x 18"wide x 12"high), which is also a standard size, but somewhat less common. The latter would actually be somewhat better for cichlids, since the height is less useful for the staking out of territories than the footprint (ie length x width).

Jeditwin said:
I always find myself drawn at the fish store to the Africans, and their wonderful color and wild activity....
That sound like you would like mbuna from Lake Malawi. Unfortunately most do better in a larger tank (48" length), but some would be ok in your tank, if you keep just a single species. Most of all I would recommend Pseudotropheus saulosi. That is a smaller staying and more peaceful mbuna from Lake Malawi. They are active and fun to watch, and have bright blue males and yellow females.


Pseudotropheus saulosi
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How many of this species could I have in my size tank... I will be upgrading hopefully soon to something larger, but would like to start out small...
 
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