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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if someone could help me determine if the following is acceptable for a permanent 75 gallon tank (I cannot upgrade the tank to a larger size).
- 1 blue acara (not electric blue)
- 1 Red-Spotted Gold Severum
- 6 boesemani rainbows
- 2 pictus catfish

If anyone has other suggestions for a 75 gallon tank that would be great. Again, these fish need to be able to fit in the tank at their full size because I cannot upgrade to a larger tank.
 

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Whew.... the 75G is definitely getting a workout lately!
That, and variations on a recent, suggested stocking scheme as well.... :roll:
So, here's what I can offer,
As mentioned, a Severum will push the limits of a 75G tank. At up to 7-8 inches in adult length, they are actually a pretty sizable fish. Fortunately, while their body type is certainly not as compressed in width as say an Angelfish, the body cross section of the Severum is not excessively wide, either... (Hericthys, etc.). And fortunately also, the Severum is considered a 'low aggression' kind of cichlid. Which means its a decent candidate for stocking in a community tank. But, far from ideal for keeping with anything you may want. Plus, the Severum is definitely a fan of it's veggies. Individual fish may vary in this, but they will ALL nip, bite, gnosh and possibly outright DESTROY any live, aquatic plants put in an aquarium with them. This is one reason the Blue Acara, or smaller Convicts, T-Bar or Cutteri cichlids remain popular for stocking in planted tanks.
- Rainbowfish! Wow, those are certainly quite hot now. Nothing wrong with that, but why not try an active, dither fish species that has also worked in keeping with New World cichlids instead? That would be the 'tried & true' Buenos Aires Tetra (BAT) -(Hyphessobrycon anisitsi). I really like the way those larger growing Tetras look. And, that is a dither fish species that belongs in the same aquatic biotope as a Severum. They sorta go together, y'know?
- Pictus catfish. Okay, I know for this very social species that stocking with 4 of them is good, 6 is better and 8 (or more) is getting just about right. Beware though, people come away frustrated with the Pictus catfish a lot. This catfish species is definitely sensitive to poor water quality. 5 PPM Nitrates or lower? Whew... water changes are gonna be something you are going to be doing a lot.
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So, to summarize?
- One Cichlid
- At least consider BAT as a suitable New World dither fish
- More Pictus Catfish
- Say hello to more (and higher quantity) water changes!
-
Hope this helps?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Auballagh said:
Whew.... the 75G is definitely getting a workout lately!
That, and variations on a recent, suggested stocking scheme as well.... :roll:
So, here's what I can offer,
As mentioned, a Severum will push the limits of a 75G tank. At up to 7-8 inches in adult length, they are actually a pretty sizable fish. Fortunately, while their body type is certainly not as compressed in width as say an Angelfish, the body cross section of the Severum is not excessively wide, either... (Hericthys, etc.). And fortunately also, the Severum is considered a 'low aggression' kind of cichlid. Which means its a decent candidate for stocking in a community tank. But, far from ideal for keeping with anything you may want. Plus, the Severum is definitely a fan of it's veggies. Individual fish may vary in this, but they will ALL nip, bite, gnosh and possibly outright DESTROY any live, aquatic plants put in an aquarium with them. This is one reason the Blue Acara, or smaller Convicts, T-Bar or Cutteri cichlids remain popular for stocking in planted tanks.
- Rainbowfish! Wow, those are certainly quite hot now. Nothing wrong with that, but why not try an active, dither fish species that has also worked in keeping with New World cichlids instead? That would be the 'tried & true' Buenos Aires Tetra (BAT) -(Hyphessobrycon anisitsi). I really like the way those larger growing Tetras look. And, that is a dither fish species that belongs in the same aquatic biotope as a Severum. They sorta go together, y'know?
- Pictus catfish. Okay, I know for this very social species that stocking with 4 of them is good, 6 is better and 8 (or more) is getting just about right. Beware though, people come away frustrated with the Pictus catfish a lot. This catfish species is definitely sensitive to poor water quality. 5 PPM Nitrates or lower? Whew... water changes are gonna be something you are going to be doing a lot.
-
So, to summarize?
- One Cichlid
- At least consider BAT as a suitable New World dither fish
- More Pictus Catfish
- Say hello to more (and higher quantity) water changes!
-
Hope this helps?
Are there any options in which I can keep 2 cichlids in the tank, maybe something a little smaller than the acara or severum? Not necessarily a pair, but 2 compatible species. I know I am limited with my options since 75 g is a little small.
 

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There definitely are. Can have a single angelfish and some Bolivian Rams. They have quite the personality in a smaller package; easy to keep and entertaining. Could also have an Angel with a Rainbow cichlid. There are quite a few options depending on what you like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
fishboy75 said:
There definitely are. Can have a single angelfish and some Bolivian Rams. They have quite the personality in a smaller package; easy to keep and entertaining. Could also have an Angel with a Rainbow cichlid. There are quite a few options depending on what you like.
How many bolivian rams could work? I also know that there are german blue rams, columbian rams, angel veil rams that are approx. the same size. Could any of those work? And are there any other fish that could be kept with them besides angelfish? Sorry for the questions, I just want to make sure I know all of my options before making a final decision.
 

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Guess the answer depends on how capable a fishkeeper you are. The blue rams and the variations are said to be fairly delicate and harder to keep. Need warmer temps and lower pH. I have never kept them. Bolivian Rams might not be as colorful but they sure are entertaining. I would start with 6 of them and see how many pairs you wind up with. Even if you get 3 pairs that will be more than enough room for them to each have their own territory. You can keep many other kinds of community fish with them but are you asking about another type of cichlid? Might not be too many different ones of those. The keyhole cichlid would work and you could keep a pair of those as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
fishboy75 said:
Guess the answer depends on how capable a fishkeeper you are. The blue rams and the variations are said to be fairly delicate and harder to keep. Need warmer temps and lower pH. I have never kept them. Bolivian Rams might not be as colorful but they sure are entertaining. I would start with 6 of them and see how many pairs you wind up with. Even if you get 3 pairs that will be more than enough room for them to each have their own territory. You can keep many other kinds of community fish with them but are you asking about another type of cichlid? Might not be too many different ones of those. The keyhole cichlid would work and you could keep a pair of those as well.
Could a pair of keyhole cichlids or a pair of blue acaras be kept with some dither fish long term in a 75 gallon? I dont have the space to upgrade to a larger size. And if not, if I have 6 bolivians rams, what type of smaller dither fish could I keep with them long term?
 

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Keyhole cichlids and Bolivian Rams can be kept together along with most any smaller community fish. Countless tetras, barbs, danios, rasboras, loaches, Cory cats, etc. Not really sure where to direct you online as I love to look through my old books I have but any Google search of peaceful tetras for community tank should give you an idea. Then just switch to peaceful barbs, loaches etc. You would also be able to keep a pair of blue acara but that will limit what else you can keep with them. For dither fish I would recommend Giant danios or Buenos Aires tetra as they are cheap, hardy and fast enough to escape a breeding pair and not expensive to replace if you should lose one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
fishboy75 said:
Keyhole cichlids and Bolivian Rams can be kept together along with most any smaller community fish. Countless tetras, barbs, danios, rasboras, loaches, Cory cats, etc. Not really sure where to direct you online as I love to look through my old books I have but any Google search of peaceful tetras for community tank should give you an idea. Then just switch to peaceful barbs, loaches etc. You would also be able to keep a pair of blue acara but that will limit what else you can keep with them. For dither fish I would recommend Giant danios or Buenos Aires tetra as they are cheap, hardy and fast enough to escape a breeding pair and not expensive to replace if you should lose one.
So I could stock a tank with a pair of keyhole cichlids and maybe 4 Bolivian rams with some tetras, loaches or barbs as dither fish?
Or
I could get a pair of blue acaras with some tetras. Would boesemani rainbows not be good with the acaras in this situation?
 

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Yes to the first question. Keyholes are very shy though so will do better with a planted tank and some shaded areas and less active tetras and barb species.

For the blue acaras I would specifically stay with Buenos Aires tetras or giant danios and not rainbows. They are all active and hardy but if the acara's start breeding and decide to go after them, a $3 Buenos Aires or a giant Danio won't hurt as much as a $12- 15 rainbow. There are cheaper, less colorful rainbows but the other Buenos Aires and giant danios are much better fits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
fishboy75 said:
Yes to the first question. Keyholes are very shy though so will do better with a planted tank and some shaded areas and less active tetras and barb species.

For the blue acaras I would specifically stay with Buenos Aires tetras or giant danios and not rainbows. They are all active and hardy but if the acara's start breeding and decide to go after them, a $3 Buenos Aires or a giant Danio won't hurt as much as a $12- 15 rainbow. There are cheaper, less colorful rainbows but the other Buenos Aires and giant danios are much better fits.
Unless I, for whatever reason, can't access the bolivian rams and keyhole cichlids than I may go for the second option. Are there any specific species of tetras and barbs you would suggest (and how many) to go with the bolivian rams and keyholes? I dont want to overstock the tank.
 

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What colors are you interested in? What would you say your level of fishkeeping is? And where will you be buying your fish from? Local aquarium, big box store or online?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
fishboy75 said:
What colors are you interested in? What would you say your level of fishkeeping is? And where will you be buying your fish from? Local aquarium, big box store or online?
I've always owned fish and currently have a small tank of tetras. My dad has also had large tanks in the past with Oscars and pirrahnas (not in the same tank). We're not experts but definitely not beginners. The hardest part for us is just trying to find conpatible fish for the tank. And we are looking for some more color in the tank but don't really have a preference. Also, we will be ordering online because there really aren't a lot of local fish stores in NJ. Most of them have shut down and I'm not really keen on getting fish from petsmart/petco.
 

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Well there are so many ways to make this tank colorful and interesting. This is with the Keyhole and Bolivian Rams in mind. Some colorful tetras that I like are Bleeding Heart, Lemon and Black Phantom. All will occupy the middle area of the tank, the lemons closer to the bottom. When kept in proper condition they look amazing. Black phantoms are a cool fish and fun to watch. The males will spar with each other constantly but there is no damage done. Silver Hatchetfish would be a good fish for the top but be careful because they are great jumpers. Another cool fish to include is the Upside-down cat. If you have some driftwood in there they will usually hang out upside down under it and feed upside down as well. Loaches you could look at are the zebra loach and Kuhli loach. Zebras are pretty active and have a cool, striated pattern. Kuhlis are eel like. You probably won't see them often but that makes it more exciting when you do. They are a terrific scavenger of left over food. And there are so many different types of Corydoras catfish to choose from. No community of peaceful fishes are complete without them. So that's a little list to start you off. Btw don't just blow off the Petcos and Petsmarts; they can vary greatly in quality and selection from store to store. Also, where in Jersey are you? There is a very good store in North Jersey and might be worth the trip for you. PM me if you want the name and I also have an online suggestion for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
fishboy75 said:
Btw don't just blow off the Petcos and Petsmarts; they can vary greatly in quality and selection from store to store. Also, where in Jersey are you? There is a very good store in North Jersey and might be worth the trip for you. PM me if you want the name and I also have an online suggestion for you.
I just had the greatest experience with the local petco. Just got some tetras. One died within a week and I went to replace it and ended up having to return it because it got sick. Tested my water and it wasnt caused by me. And I live in point pleasant, NJ btw. If you have any local suggestions that would be fantastic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So I used aqadvisor (don't know if it is actually reliable) and it told me that the following, based on tank size and filter, puts the stocking level at 84%:
- 2 keyhole cichlids
- 4 bolivian rams
- 10 black phantom tetras
- 10 bleeding heart tetras
- 6 kuhli loaches
- 6 upside down catfish
I was just playing around with the numbers to see what I could fit in the 75 gallon permanently. This seems a little excessive doesn't it? Or would something like this actually work longterm in a 75 g?
 

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Honestly, it all depends on a couple things. Your filtration and also your willingness to do water changes. I have a very overstocked tank right now. I'm currently doing 80% water changes twice a week and its a 265 gallon tank. I like to keep nitrates 20 or less. I dont even test every week now; I can just see i need a water change after 3 or 4 days. More of a concern to me would be visual. Do they look cramped or does it look like the fish have enough room to swim and not have to avoid bumping into each other. Basically, does it look natural? So thats probably a few too many. And I know you're just playing around but if you're interested in the Upside down cats you could keep a single one. I had 4 in a 180 and they didn't seem to enjoy each others company much. They had different spots they hung out and would chase each other away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
fishboy75 said:
Honestly, it all depends on a couple things. Your filtration and also your willingness to do water changes. I have a very overstocked tank right now. I'm currently doing 80% water changes twice a week and its a 265 gallon tank. I like to keep nitrates 20 or less. I dont even test every week now; I can just see i need a water change after 3 or 4 days. More of a concern to me would be visual. Do they look cramped or does it look like the fish have enough room to swim and not have to avoid bumping into each other. Basically, does it look natural? So thats probably a few too many. And I know you're just playing around but if you're interested in the Upside down cats you could keep a single one. I had 4 in a 180 and they didn't seem to enjoy each others company much. They had different spots they hung out and would chase each other away.
We are looking at the eheim 2217 canister filter for the 75 g. I also played around a little more to reduce the load in the tank and came up with this
- 2 keyhole cichlids
- 4 bolivian rams
- 3 upside down catfish (I read from a couple other people that they are better in groups so I have to do more research)
- 5-7 bleeding heart tetras
- 5-7 black phantom tetras (I'm hoping both types will school together)
- 4 zebra loaches (they're a little smaller than kuhli loaches)
If that is still too much, I might just keep out the catfish all together. I want this to be an active community tank with lots of life and some color without overloading the tank. This is also assuming that I can actually find these fish to purchase. I have a few stocking options now so it all depends on what is available. This whole project has been delayed because of the pandemic and I am still waiting for a stand so I can start cycling the tank. Hopefully by the time everything else is set up, some of the fish stores will restock their inventory,.
 

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I'm a big fan of Eheim for its simplicity and durability. I have a 2213 that is about 30 years old and still in use. I just broke it out of storage earlier this year after almost 20 years when I setup some quarantine tanks and it still works great. For any of my tanks that are 40 or larger I always use 2 filters, even if its not necessarily needed. That way I don't worry if one should fail for some reason and that I don't affect the biological bacteria too much when I clean one filter. So if you're able to throw even a smaller hang on the back filter or another canister even better. If the 2217 is all you're going to use then I would recommend you stock a little more lightly than the proposed stock list above. Again, testing the Nitrate weekly should give you an idea of when and how much water you will need to change. If nitrates are staying under 20 for more than a week at a time you may be able to add more fish.

As far as the tetras schooling together, I would guess not. Sometimes when you have individual, different tetras they may shoal together a little. But from my past experience when I had larger groups of different types of tetras in the same tank, they stayed mainly with their own group. If they were frightened during a water change or from a larger fish then sometimes they would group together temporarily but that was about it.

Its possible the Upside down cats I had were all male and thats why they didn't particularly care for each other. There was never any physical damage, just a chase away when one got too close so you could definitely try 3. They arent going to physically hurt each other, I just didn't get the feeling they enjoyed or needed each others company. Others may have different experiences.
 
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