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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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Yellow Labs are Malawi, not Tanganyikas.
Synodontis Petricola are Tangs.
A bristle nose pleco is a versitile algae eater and would be fine in your size tank.
I don't know how they would fair if kept with Malawi, since I've no experience with Malawi.

If what you like about the labs is the yellow color, then a tank of p. salusi might be nice.
According to the profiles, the females are yellow and the males are blue.
Here is a quote from the species article in this website's Library:
In the aquarium: Because Ps. saulosi is a dwarf mbuna it can be kept in tanks that are smaller than most required for mbuna. However, they can still be very territorial, and need a lot of swimming space. Depending on the size of the tank, you may only have one ‘dominant’ male who achieves the brilliant blue color. Other males may be a pale blue with bars visible, but the depth of color may change with the situation. If you have younger males in a tank with a dominant male, the younger ones will keep the female colors and blend in with the females. However, the dominant male will not be fooled. He will still chase the young males much harder than any of the females. They are best kept in groups of 6 or more, allowing the dominant male to spread out his aggression against several individuals. They should be kept in tanks of 55 gallons or larger.
Try researching the 55g cookie cutter articles in the "Quick Reference" area of the Library for some answers.
Keep reading.
You have a good size aquarium, if you can find the fish you like, at a fair price.
:)
Best of luck with your setup,
Alicem
 

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Keep in mind that water weighs about 8lbs per gallon, so a 55 gal tank full of only water weighs nearly 500 lbs. If you have any doubts about the sturdiness of your stand, I recommend that you fix (brace) it or replace it to avoid disaster to fish and people. That being said, rocks aren't going to make a huge difference. If you add 100 lbs of rocks to the aquarium and those rocks displace 5 gals of water, you've only raised your total weight from 500 to 560 lbs - not a huge difference.

Tanganyikans like hard water with a ph of around 8, which is drastically different than water requirements for discuss. You may want to google "cichlid buffer recipe" for an inexpensive way to get the water right. If you add the "buffer recipe" with fish already in the tank, do it gradually (over several days). I added the recipe to my tank all at once and nearly killed the inhabitants - most fish don't like sudden massive ph changes.

Bristlenose doesn't sound like a good idea to me but I don't have any experience with them.

I have mixed yellow labs with Tanganyikans without problems but some people will tell you you shouldn't mix Malawis and Tanganyikans. Other less agressive mbuna such as the rusty cichlid (Iodotropheus sprengerae) and Pseudotropheus "acei" should also work out.
 

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Bristlenose will do fine. I have had them in every tank I have owned. They are tough and have spines down their body that they will readily puff out when bothered. Fish soon learn this and leave them alone. They are nice, too, because they do not grow large like the common Pleco and produse less waste. Mine is full grown at about 5 inches or so and is still a very active algae eater.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you very much. Generally. are Mbunas more aggressive then tangs? What I will probably do is empty the tank of my old water (since I am moving the tank for my new planted aquarium) keep using the HOB for the beneficial bacteria and use the cichlid buffers to the new water.

Still reaserchin! lol
 

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some plecos when kept in pairs are suicidal, but you've got a big enoughtank to not have to worry
 
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