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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have a 55 gal aquarium I am looking to stock. I am currently looking at Electric Blue Acura and Geophagus sp. Tapajos. My question would be how many of each species? Or do I need to focus on one species and have the other center piece? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Hello!
I would recommend keeping the EBA as the lone, 'centerpiece' fish for this tank. The Geophagus sp. 'Tapajos', 'Red Head' Earth Eater cichlids are one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish going right now. Might be hard to find! A peaceful and pretty busy cichlid, these guys will do best if stocked with a minimum group of three. I would stock with 5 in this tank, if the EBA and Earth Eaters are going to be the only occupants.
If you already have the 55G, it will work okay. But, but the larger size, bottom 'footprint' of the 75G would be a better choice to accomodate your constantly moving, sand-sifting Earth Eaters in there. Water quality for both of these species is going to be a concern, as well. I would strongly recommend keeping Nitrate levels down below 5 PPM/as close to zero as possible, and definitely recommend the purchase of a decent quality Nitrate testing kit. Both your weaker/hybrid EBA and pretty much all Geophagine cichlds will get stressed and fade pretty quickly on you, if those Nitrate levels build up in there much beyond that. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response, I currently have the tank but is currently being used, I will need to remove the plants and ECO Complete substrate and replace with sand. When speaking of sand should I go with sand for cichlids or can I just use type of aquarium sand? The tank currently has drift wood rocks and some decor, which I will keep. The tank currently has 3ea German Ram, 10ea Rasbora, 3ea small Tiger Plecos, 5ea Amano Shrimp, I plan on only removing the Rams.
The EBA and the Tapajos I can get locally in my area, so from what I am seeing in your response I can get away with at least 5 EBA and 1 Tapajos, I may run into a risk with the of stress with Nitrate levels. Please advise......
 

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Well, alrighty then...
Looks like you want to just try new things out with the same aquarium? Totally understand your situation with the 55G you already own. But, since yer gonna have to break this tank down almost completely to accommodate this new stocking scheme...?
Here's my last 75G (or even 90G) pitch!
- Bigger bottom 'footprint'.
- Larger volume makes maintaining water stability (lower Nitrates) just a bit easier.
- Same four foot length as 55G = virtually same space requirements.
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Oh well, that was my pitch for the larger tank. Now on to regularly scheduled programming!
- SAND: Many will swear by the supposed benefits of finer particle, play sand. It's easier on their mouths to dig though and sift, etc.... However, my own larger growing, G. crassilabris, (Panamanian Earth Eater) did very well on a substrate of relatively coarse pool filtration sand (PFS). And, since I l personally prefer the texture and more natural look of PFS, so it was a substrate arrangement that made everyone happy.
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- Water Quality: My 6 member, Panamanian Earth Eater group were stocked in a 180 gallon (lightly planted) tank. Filtration was provided courtesy of a 50 gallon aquarium/sump. Even with that set up, my Nitrate battle with that tank - was never ending. At one point, I was seriously conducting weekly, 70-80% water changes to dilute those ever-rising Nitrate levels in the tank. I even considered going with no glass tops and placing some floating Water Hyacinths or something in the tank, with an enhanced plant-grow lighting system to try and naturally soak up Nitrates. Fortunately, sanity returned with a fellow who REALLY wanted those Central American Earth Eaters (F1 Fish and a fairly rare species in the hobby). He had a well-based freshwater system for his house, and wound up overflowing 20 to 30 gallons of water through his 125 gallon tank each day (Massive Envy....). So, nitrate build-up was NOT a problem anymore!
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So, there you have it. Sorry if I didn't exactly answer your Nitrate build-up problem question. Unfortunately, I didn't exactly solve that problem myself! :oops:
 

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55 g is very restrictive to housing a community of fish in the 6 in range. A couple of EBA may be ok, but I suggest no to a handful of Geo's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I will stick with the EBA for this aquarium, I wish I could go up to a 75 gal but I just don't have the space for it. I will also go with PFS, give it a try.... thanks for the quick responses.......
 

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Whew... good choice!
And here's another you might want to consider: why stock with the Hybrid, Electric Blue Acara?
They are colorful, yes. And kind of cool looking... But unfortunately, those things are infamous in the hobby for being weak, short-lived fish. Similar in low tolerance to Nitrate buildup in aquarium water, as supposedly those Geophagines are.
Fortunately, the less costly, and also very non-aggressive 'true' Blue Acara, is a good-looking fish as well! And more importantly, 'True Blues' have the admittedly nice quality of being much more tolerant/forgiving of less-than-pristine water conditions in the aquarium. They're considered pretty solid, easy-keepers in the hobby, actually.
But, if you're already fully committed to the EBA? Well, to each his own I guess...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Understand the concern between EBA vs BA, I will consider as I am setting tank up. I have another question concerning substrate, my 55 gal I have now is currently planted with a few plants and driftwood. I am planning to rescape with more rock and a few more plants. Can I keep the current eco complete substrate or should I take it all out and go with sand? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.....
 

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Oh man.... as they say in situations like these, "Your own mileage may vary".
I've had individuals of the same species that could care less about the substrate. Others, I could have sworn had purchased a lease on a tracked excavator or something - - in the same, freaking tank! :eek:
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So, you could try it first and see what kind of cichlid you wind up with I suppose... Maybe get a 10 gallon to temporarily house your occupants and little, enthusiastic digger in, until you replace the substrate with sand? Personally, I would just initially replace your substrate (and substrate growing plants) with a more cichlid-friendly sand, rock and driftwood setup. Plus, as I've mentioned before in other threads, you could pot up your substrate growing plants in the tank, and still be able to enjoy them in there. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
After thinking of this over and over I will go with the sand substrate and create a cichlid like environment. One last question, like I mentioned earlier I have some plants for background. U mentioned about putting in pots. Can I, should I, or not, when potting should I use my substrate I have currently have a create a make shift planter box for background plants? Or will this throw off PH balance of whole tank. Just want to ensure I am going about this the correct way.......
 
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