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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have recently decided to restock my planted 55 gallon tank. Previously it housed peaceful south american fish such as apistos, keyholes and angels but I've decided to venture off into bigger tougher fish.

The tank now houses one rainbow cichlid, a convict and a firemouth. I've come to realize that I need to rescape my tank as some of my plants have been uprooted. (I'm going to just stick with amazon swords, java fern and anubias with mostly rock caves and driftwood).

I was browsing through this forum before and saw someone with a similar situation as me. The suggested stocking was 1 blue acara, 1 severum, 1 firemouth, and 2 rainbow cichlids. That sounds like a nice stocking to me.

Any other recommendations out there? I would love to have a Jack Dempsey as a centerpiece fish. Any substitutions I can make to make this work. Also I really want a red tailed shark as I've never been able to have one before due to their more aggressive nature. I think now I can?

Thanks!

EDIT: I would like to add that I'm trying to avoid as much aggression as I can. Some is OK and expected but I would feel really stressed out if the tank is always like a nightmare. If you think a JD is bad idea what are some other 'centerpiece fish' with moderate aggression?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Just wanted to give this a bump for some replies because I'd like to go this weekend (3 day weekend!) to stock my tank.
 

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i dont think u should try a jd with those fish. they all get to an alright size and with a jd i think it would just be a little crowded. if u had a bigger tank i would say u could get a jd. as for the the red tail shark i would not put it in there because i think one of ur fish would end up killing it because IME they are way more peaceful than any cichlid *** owned but it could be fast enough to not be killed
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah I've already decided against a JD. So does a blue acara, severum, FM and rainbow cichlid sound good? With some giant danio as dithers with a red tail (I'd like to try it out with a big one and seeing as how they aren't a cichlid I feel like they would be left alone...either that or a pictus cat for some variety).
 

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i actually just got a pictus cat and he is doing great. i guess u could try the red tail because all fish are different. they might just leave it alone.
 

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Hi JaredK511,

I think the retail shark and giant danios should work well. As for cichlids I think you are pretty well stocked with a rainbow, Con & FM. However, I do think you could get rid of the con and get a sev. If you LFS has more rainbows, I personally would think a pair of rainbows and a sev would be a cool tank.

I have not kept blue acara before, so no help there.

Overall, in a 55 gallon I think 3 medium growing cichlids is a pretty good stocking level. Any more than that at full grown will get crowded.

Sounds like you have a cool tank in the works.

Thanks,
Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks mlancaster,

Yeah I've been doing the natural planted peaceful community 'shtick' for many years now and I finally decided to try something different. I have no problem trading a convict for a severum...in fact I prefer to do that (a nice red/gold severum would look amazing).

The rainbow cichlid is gorgeous and the place I got him has many more, but I'm a little hesitant to get a pair because I don't want the ensuing aggression during breeding. That's why I'm shooting for a display tank of a few single, beautiful male specimens of medium size.

I've always wanted either a red tail or pictus and now I think I can get them :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks. Is it normal for rainbow cichlids to be really aggressive? I was under the impression they are more peaceful. Mine is like 4-5 inches (the biggest fish in the tank) and he's MEAN. He keeps chasing my firemouth and convict. I think he may be in breeding mode? He keeps twitching his head back and forth and cleaning rocks.
 

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Hi JaredK511,

How big are the con and FM?

Although I have not kept rainbows, I find that a bit surprising based on what I have heard/read.

It looks like your tank should have ample hiding for the con and FM, I would not worry too much unless they start to have open wounds or are hiding at the top of the tank.

Thanks,
Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The firemouth is like 2 inches but looks strong and healthy. The convict is like an inch and is also very well built for his size. Convict bothers no one. Firemouth will sometimes chase the convict away. The FM and convict aren't hiding like you mentioned or tattered. They don't seem to mind being chased but yeah like you said, the rainbow seems way aggressive. I'm not used to this behavior as I've had peaceful fish all my life so it makes me little stressed out.
 

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Post a picture of your Rainbow. If he is already 5 inches (which is about their maximum size), and aggressive, you likely have something else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm pretty certain he's a rainbow. Maybe I just got a really mean one :( Here's some pics and I even took a video haha (sorry the quality is ****).





Is this a male or female?


Here's the video:

This video doesn't really show his full aggression but believe me he is. Especially to the convict. He doesn't really bother my angel/ram (that I previously had in there and don't want to get rid of just yet). The rainbow and firemouth seem to hate the convict but the convict doesn't even bother anyone. Maybe because he's still too young. I want to take the convict out and see how the aggression turns into.
 

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I can't play the video, but I can see a still shot. It does look like a Rainbow...but wow he's big. And very colorful. Personally, I'd get rid of the FM and convict, and get some more Rainbows--to breed them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yeah he's huge ...believe me. I ended up getting rid of the convict because he kept getting harassed by the other two cichlids. Tank seems much more peaceful now. I actually ended up getting a juvi ebjd (and growing him out in my 20 long) and hope to have him as the centerpiece fish in the tank. I will then call the tank fully stocked. If things go bad, I'm keeping the ebjd and getting rid of the other guys. Then I'll just get some larger tetras or something to fill the tank out.

I have no intentions of breeding fish so I would only keep this one male. I'm just looking for a peaceful show-tank.
 
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