Hi,I just started a 20g tank. I was wondering how many and what kinds of African cichlids I can keep. I'm starting with a 20g to get more comfortable with them, then plan on setting up a 75g eventually. Any help would be great. Thanks.
No cichlids can be in a 20 gal tank long term. They get too big and too territorial . You might be able to get away with it if they are juvies, and your planning on upgrading to a 75 in the very near future...
What types of fish do you think I can have in the 40 breeder? like I said before, after I got more comfortable with them then I was going to upgrade to a bigger tank. I was looking at african cichlids. thanks.
There are a lot of African cichlids. Malawi would be pretty limited in a 36" tank. A single species of dwarf mbuna, something like Pseudotropheus saulosi would work. Tanganyikans you could do two pairs, say a pair of calvus and a colony of shellies. Or a colony of brichardi. Victorians a single species would work too, for example Ruby Greens or Christmas Fulu.
As far as good books go check out http://cichlidpress.com
Malawi cichlids in their natural habitat 4th Edition by Ad Konings
Tanganyika cichlids in their natural habitat by Ad Konings
Both are excellent books and sources of information. Alittle pricey but well worth it!
It's difficult to keep many types of africans in a tank less than 4' for the long term, but you can buy 1-2" juveniles and grow them for awhile before you get a bigger tank. They are far cheaper bought this size, so you can afford to buy a group or two of what you really like. You'll then have a breeder/hospital/quarantine all set up!
I recently tore down a 44 corner tank (basically 2' cube with a corner lopped off) that had about 15 male mbuna in it, but I started with nearly double the fish 4 years ago and the females/sub males had to gradually be removed as they got beat up. If I had known better, I would have never put the females and duplicate males in there.
I've been all over these forums lately, and it seems that there are two setups that work: either all males, one of each species, or a few groups of 1 male per several females of different genera. The first option makes for a very colorful and impressive tank, the other allows you to observe the breeding behavior and possibly end up with free fish!
Thanks for the great info. Was gonna take a look at the local fish store today. See what they have for choices? Thinking of probably going with one of each species,as brinkles said as a option. Thanks again for all the help. Lol, only problem is there's so many choices......