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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is the stocking rule for cichlids? I know its different than saltwater, but why is it different? Its not like the cichlids make less waste... right?

Would you guess recommend buying a filter or making one yourself? I don't know anything about filters used for cichlids, but if its anything like a canister filter than they seem easy to make. Is there any other kind of filtration for a cichlid tank?

I have a 35 gallon hexagon, will this be alright for some colorful cichlids or should I spend some money on a new tank?

What are some colorful cichlids you guys would recommend? I've seen a black cichlid with blue stripes and I can't find what it's called, pretty sweet looking fish though! Yeah I like blue cichlids a lot, and yellow cichlids, but hey I love all the colors.

Do I have to add anything to the water to increase alkalinity or something?

I'm coming from a Fish Only With Live Rock saltwater aquarium so I'm not new to fishkeeping, and very colorful fish is what I'm used to so I'm hoping some cichlids will be very colorful and NOT BREAK THE BANK (which is why I'm starting a freshwater tank) .
 

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Stocking with cichlids, varies drastically based on what exactly you wanna keep. Mbuna, Peacock, haps, or lethrinops. If you can narrow down your intentions and likes, a stocking list would be much easier.

Not much is going to fit long term in your 35. Just too small of a foot print to really work.

Check your tap water and cross reference it to your stocking list needs, before attempting any water adjustments.

As for breaking the bank...lol. It is the same for African Cichlids. You can do it cheap, or you can spend all your money really fast. Kinda up to how crazy you wanna get. Bigger wild caught fish can command a pretty decent price on very desirable species. I have spent probably just as much on cichlids as on my fowlr tanks. Cheaper for the most part fish but you need/can have more of them.....Have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Going down the list, the only cichlids I like are the blue johanni, maybe blue peacock, bumblebee, buttikoferi, cobalt blue zebra, DEMASONI definately!, electric yellow, fuelleborni marmalade, red zebra, tretocephalus, venustus, maybe yellow peacock.

My tap water has 20ppm of nitrates, thats partly why I wana go with a freshwater species. Doing all those almost meaningless water changes using salt mixes is just too much money. Freshwater water changes is pretty much free, even if i can never go below 20ppm.

So what is the cheap route your talking about?
 

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For my tanks I buy larger already sexed males. They cost more. Buying more standard species small juveniles to grow out is usually cheaper. Mainly if you don't want "rarer" or harder to find species, you can do it pretty cheaply through many LFS or big box pet stores. If you want to get exactly what species you want in sizes and sexes you want, online shopping has made it incredibly easy to get.

Smartest advice I can give is start the information hunt. Read eveything you can, go check out online retailers for stock you would want, and develop a plan before forking out any money. You will definetly need a bigger tank, based on your likes thus far. Venustus get BIG and are voracious, really need a 125 gallon for a mature specimen. Look at getting the very biggest tank you can fit and afford. Mixing types can be risky, but some have done it. Thats where the reading comes in, learn from others mistakes and save yourself the headache and money.
 

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Pseudotropheus demasoni are stunning fish and mix well with other mbuna* that aren't blue with black bars, since their aggression is conspecific (of, or belonging to the same species).

Here is a link to some cookie cutters.

Cookie Cutters

They can help you decide what size of tank to buy. Hexes are terrible for African cichlids since they lack square footage on the floor.

*mbuna are the rock dwelling cichlids of Lake Malawi. They are harem breeders and do best with 3 or 4 females to each male since the males are often quite territorial and intolerant of other males.

kevin
 

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Demasoni are scrappy, and often murderous. I had a successful demasoni colony going for
several years, had lots of spawns and fry actually surviving in the tank to spawn themselves.
I only had one or two actual deaths due to aggression, but did have to remove a few that were
either just too homicidal, or too victimized. The adult fish pretty much ignore the juvies and fry once they get about 1/2 and inch. This was a species only tank, btw.
I think I can attribute my success to the way I set up the tank: lots and lots of caves:

 
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