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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. Finally decided to setup a 30gallon I had sitting in my garage. Got a hydor 450, active Flora substrate, water is 7.5+ pH, plan on planting it and throwing in some Driftwood in there. No clue as what kind or how many cichlids I can put in here so any input would be very much appreciated.
 

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Tank dimensions and type of fish you are leaning toward would be helpful. 30 gallons is pretty small so most likely some sort mild mannered dwarf cichlids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
36Lx12Wx18H

@ Old newbie, I'm really open to any of the species of Cichlids....I was thinking with this size tank it would most likely be a Ram type which I am good with but being that there are 2000?5000? species....Regardless, let me know what my options are :)

Thanks
V
 

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Well you can definitely have more fish if you go with dwarf cichlids. Though I am biased towards C/A. Have you considered going African. They can really make a nice 30 gallon set-up, and for some reason more are able to be housed together. My good friend switched to Africans after 30 plus years with C/a and S/A's, and I just love what he created.
 

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Vlade1986 said:
36Lx12Wx18H

@ Old newbie, I'm really open to any of the species of Cichlids....I was thinking with this size tank it would most likely be a Ram type which I am good with but being that there are 2000?5000? species....Regardless, let me know what my options are :)

Thanks
V
Rams would be a good option if you have the proper water for them; they prefer soft water with low ph. I really don't know much about new world cichlids; I keep African Mbuna, which need a tank longer than yours, preferably 48" or longer unless you were to go with some shell dwellers or other dwarf species. I have a few stray Demasoni in a 40 gallon breeder which is 36" in length, but I would not recommend Demasoni for someone unfamiliar with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
smitty said:
Well you can definitely have more fish if you go with dwarf cichlids. Though I am biased towards C/A. Have you considered going African. They can really make a nice 30 gallon set-up, and for some reason more are able to be housed together. My good friend switched to Africans after 30 plus years with C/a and S/A's, and I just love what he created.
Smitty, any recommendations on species and quantity
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Old Newbie said:
Vlade1986 said:
36Lx12Wx18H

@ Old newbie, I'm really open to any of the species of Cichlids....I was thinking with this size tank it would most likely be a Ram type which I am good with but being that there are 2000?5000? species....Regardless, let me know what my options are :)

Thanks
V
Rams would be a good option if you have the proper water for them; they prefer soft water with low ph. I really don't know much about new world cichlids; I keep African Mbuna, which need a tank longer than yours, preferably 48" or longer unless you were to go with some shell dwellers or other dwarf species. I have a few stray Demasoni in a 40 gallon breeder which is 36" in length, but I would not recommend Demasoni for someone unfamiliar with them.
Last I checked the PH it was in the 7.5 -7.8 range. Big reason for being here is cause there is so much overlapping information online...some places say a max of 7ph while others say 7.5 etc etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Vlade1986 said:
Hey guys. Finally decided to setup a 30gallon I had sitting in my garage. Got a hydor 450, active Flora substrate, water is 7.5+ pH, plan on planting it and throwing in some Driftwood in there. No clue as what kind or how many cichlids I can put in here so any input would be very much appreciated.
I also can across this article on here.....
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/c ... er_20g.php

Which seems to go against what I've mainly read on here
 

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Lake tang would be you best bet. You could probably have a shelldweller species along with a rock dweller like a pair of smaller julis or calvus. I've also seen a few people successfully keep ps. Saulosi in a 30" tank, it's worth a try in your tank. If your interested in South or central American, something like a pair of Rams, keyholes, Honduran red points, or rainbow cichlids with a group of tetras would work.
 

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You have a few options that I'm aware of with that tank size.

You could do some Rams, or apistogramma cichlids, or some shell dwellers of some type. You're probably a little small but maybe even some Kribensis?
 

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How do the cookie cutter tanks go against your CF reading?

Lots of suggestions...do you have some preferences?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
DJRansome said:
How do the cookie cutter tanks go against your CF reading?

Lots of suggestions...do you have some preferences?
I just see pairs of fish that potentially could grow large.....slot of posts on here are very anti larger cichlids in 30gallon tanks. Anyways I really do appreciate all the ideas and suggestions!
 

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You are looking at the cookie cutters for a 20G Long or a 29G, right?

Among the Africans, the only fish there I would not do in a tank with your dimensions are the leleupi.

Not as familiar with the SA and CA.

My favorite Africans in a 36" tank are a pair of calvus (you need a mated pair) and a pair of caudopunctatus.
 

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DJRansome said:
Not as familiar with the SA and CA.
And I would think the person that made up the cookie cutters were not familiar with SA and CA, either.
IMO none of these suggestions were ever tried and tested with success....they were simply concocted in order to have a listing for the category.
In over 10 years on this forum I have yet to see a thread where some one had long term success with these suggestions.
Some of these could work short term with young fish; few IMO have decent chance long term. Some of the dithers probably won't last even one spawning in 20-30 gallon tanks.
And yes, when it comes to 20-30 gallons, there are cichlids listed then many people on this forum would not advocate for smaller tanks. Just as an example, male convict cichlid gets 6" and over 100 grams. Arguably a bigger fish then acei. If acei isn't even suitable for a 55 gal., how is the larger fish suitable for a 20 gal.? probably fine short term, but maybe not the best choice long term not only because of it's potential size, but it's aggression as well. Centrarchus is an even larger fish and can get 7"+ and probably closer to 200 grams. Another great example is the pair of cons with a pair of sals in a 55 gal. IME doesn't work long term in a 180 gal. (sals will fight the cons non stop until the cons lose!)
With a 30 gal. I would consider kribs or Anomalochromis thomasi. For a CA, rainbow cichlid might be one of the few that could be suitable long term.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
BC in SK said:
DJRansome said:
Not as familiar with the SA and CA.
And I would think the person that made up the cookie cutters were not familiar with SA and CA, either.
IMO none of these suggestions were ever tried and tested with success....they were simply concocted in order to have a listing for the category.
In over 10 years on this forum I have yet to see a thread where some one had long term success with these suggestions.
Some of these could work short term with young fish; few IMO have decent chance long term. Some of the dithers probably won't last even one spawning in 20-30 gallon tanks.
And yes, when it comes to 20-30 gallons, there are cichlids listed then many people on this forum would not advocate for smaller tanks. Just as an example, male convict cichlid gets 6" and over 100 grams. Arguably a bigger fish then acei. If acei isn't even suitable for a 55 gal., how is the larger fish suitable for a 20 gal.? probably fine short term, but maybe not the best choice long term not only because of it's potential size, but it's aggression as well. Centrarchus is an even larger fish and can get 7"+ and probably closer to 200 grams. Another great example is the pair of cons with a pair of sals in a 55 gal. IME doesn't work long term in a 180 gal. (sals will fight the cons non stop until the cons lose!)
With a 30 gal. I would consider kribs or Anomalochromis thomasi. For a CA, rainbow cichlid might be one of the few that could be suitable long term.
Awesome response.....I was a little thrown off by some of the cookie cutter recommendations, specially for the 20 gallon setups.
 

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Vlade1986 said:
36Lx12Wx18H
being that there are 2000? species....
I think when you look at the entire family Cichlidae, there really are a lot of options for a tank this size, many of which have been mentioned already in this thread.
What you have is a standard 33 gal. It's a couple inches taller then a 29 gal.

Lots of small fish from lake Tanganyika that could be suitable. No personal experience with these fish (other then Brichardi and I think your tank might be a little small for a colony of them) but I know there are many options. The cookie cutters are probably pretty decent for Tang and Malawi, just as the profiles are pretty good for those as well. I don't think they are well thought out for CA at all, or even SA, for that matter. In a 20 and 30 gal, they may work out for a spawning or two and are fine if you plan to breed the fish and then move on to something else. Some of the dithers won't even last short term and will get the snot kicked out of them after only one spawn. The Gymnos suggested, while considerably more mellow, also get decent size for 20-30 gals. (6"-7"+).

From lake Malawi, the dwarf mbunas, saulosi and demasoni might be options(?). No personal experience with saulosi but I would tend to think that demasoni are likely to prove too aggressive for this size of tank over the longer term.

West Africans, lot's of choices. Pevicachromis species such as kribs. Lots of choice for schooling dithers but probably better to have something more rugged and hardy like giant danios, as breeding pairs could end up being quite ruff on them (?). Anomalochromis thomasi, another fairly mellow small cichlid that would be more suitable for this size of tank then most cichlids. Nanochromis species if you can find them. Interesting little fish I had many years ago. Though, not sure they will breed in harder or more alkaline water(?) The hump heads (Steatocranus species) suggested in the cookie cutters might be an option, as they are usually pretty mellow, though again may be rather large as some can get 6"+.

From SA, dwarf acaras such as Laetacara species,Ivanacara adoketa, and Nanoacara anomala. The N. anomala I had were rather aggressive, though from what I read, more recent importations of fish from different collection points, less so. Any ways, really cool little fish that stays small. As mentioned already, rams and apistos. You may want to try and find more aquarium bred lines that are already adapted to your water. Some species of apistos definitely may not be suitable if your water is very hard.

From CA, rainbow cichlid (Herotilapia multispinosa ) would probably be about the most suitable for a smaller tank. There is also possibly, Honduran Red Point, which is a somewhat smaller, less aggressive and colorful Convict-type. Never had these, so not so sure, how well they end up doing over a long term in a 33 gal. Another possible option could be Amatitlania nanolutea, which are generally considered to be the smallest and most mellow of all the Archoecentrus/Cryptoheros/Amatitlania types. Not personally familiar with A. nanolutea, either.
 

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Cyphro said:
Get a tank with nothing but jewel cichlids.
IMO, long term, it's a fairly large and aggressive cichlid for this size of tank. Anomalochromis thomasi, I think would be a much better choice.
Sure, jewels will work OK for a while. Maybe even for quite some time. But more then one male generally doesn't work long term, even in a 180 gal. and there are quite a few threads where male ends up killing female when kept alone in small tanks.
Just about any cichlid will be fine when it is young and small. Just about any CA cichlid can be bred in this size of tank when young and small because they become sexually mature at a tiny size. I've known a couple people brand new to the hobby, who bred jags in a 29 or 33 gal. tanks. Of course this set up didn't last. Intentions of getting much bigger tanks never happened and neither stayed in the hobby.
Jewels aren't that small of a fish. Less then 2 years old. 5 1/8" and 54 grams:
Two males, only 11 months old (so aprox. comparable to 5-6 months from purchase) measured at 5" and 42 and 44 grams respectively:
The males I have in my 90 gal. are 1 month older and are now considerably larger and heavier then the last two pictured. It's potentially a 6" fish, though they may not come anywhere near reaching their potential in small tanks. Even more so then it's size, it can be a rather aggressive cichlid for a small space. Moreover, IMO and IME, large adults will be skittish and scared sh!tless when kept in small tanks, especially with out active tank mates.
 
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