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Hello! I have a 55 gallon set up right now for tropical fish. (You can skip my introduction if u want) In the past I have kept discus and Angelfish, these are the only cichlids I have ever owned. I'm getting ready to get into high tech planted aquariums. My 55 Gallon is pretty much useless, poor substrate (gravel), poor light (standard), poor filter (HOB), fake plants, etc. Everything is pretty much unsuitable for the tank that I want. The foot print is horrible for a planted tank. I originally thought of selling the 55 and setting up my other 3 tanks instead (10G, 10G, 20G) on this stand. (Dwarf Puffer setup, Coldwater set up and the 20 G for shell dwellers). I began to read and research about the shellies and I read about some info on Lake Tanganyika Cichlids. I was never a fan of them to be honest because 1. They are agressive fish (they stress me out) 2. They are generally big. After learning more about them, I'm starting to love them, they have interesting behaviours and most breed easily. To my surprise a 4 ft 55 gallon tank would be an ideal tank length for these cichlids! Setting up would not be too painful as i don't need to upgrade light, buy co2 tanks, etc. It can be quite cheap. I can keep my HOB and add another canister (Filstar XP3), keep the lights as they are adequate, use playsand which is very cheap and limestone as decoratioon (also cheapish) along with some of my fake plants. It also provides a nice contrast to a planted tank, I finally found something that can enjoy my 55 gallon!

Everything sounds good right? Nope.

1. I am worried the stand cannot support all the weight of the rocks, the stand was not made for aquariums, but my 55 Gallon has been on it for 4 years, so far so good. But no huge rocks.

2. I wanted to keep clown loaches with the cichlids, I love em, but a 55 gallon is too small for them. What are some good alternatives? I really like the Synodontis Petricola, but they are quite expensive. Can i put a pair of bristlenose in there too?

And, any ideas on what i can put in the tank? Yellow labs are a must, I love them because of their colours and they are only mildly agressive. Fish that are too aggressive stresses ME out. What are some good fish that goes with Yellow Labs? Preferably colorful and not very agressive.

Thanks!
 
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