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Number of fish for a 55gal tank

2045 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  cater20155
I'm new to cichlids and i set up a 55gal long tank. My question is how many fish can i safely hold in the tank? I have 10 baseball to softball sized rock caves and a few fake plants in the tank. I've heard many varying fish amount for a tank this size, some being as small as 6 to 8 fish and some as large as 20 fish. I'm keeping a variety of cichlids that are in the 1-2 inch range and reach about 5-6 inch range at adulthood.
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It's all going to depend on what species you are talking about...
I'm looking at having a couple yellow labs, a bumblebee, a red zebra, maybe some kenyi, maybe some Copadichromis, Elongatus, and after that I'm just looking to match aggression levels on any other fish i get.
Well I personally would avoid bumblebees and kenyi and find other good looking species, but that is just my opinion. I wouldn't want to hastle with aggressive Mbuna.
The Copadichromis will get smashed around by all them species but the Labs.
Bumblebees, kenyi, red zebra and elongatus may work but you have an extremely aggresive tank in work there. I would stay clear of most hap in with them and would avoid mixing the labs with with the Red zebra because they will hybridize, especially if you want to breed.

Crazy mix you are after, not alot of people could pull that off. Your male female ratio will have to be picture perfect
I would also steer clear of the bumblebee and kenyi. They both require a larger tank, and confining them to a smaller area could be disastrous.

If you just want one of this and one of that, I'd go all male with the tank.

I wouldn't mix haps with the more aggressive mbuna in a tank this size. They would be very stressed by the boisterous mbuna, and that could lead to all kinds of problems.
Thanks for the advice, ill have to limit the the aggression in the tank then. Ill start looking for less aggressive species that are available in my area, Petsmart is not a good place to look. One other question, are the females just as aggressive as the males?
I had a female bumblebee who killed every male I tried to introduce. :eek:

I've had highly aggressive female kenyi before.

There seems to be a pecking order among the girls, and IME, most females have been just as much of a handfull as the boys!
I'm going to definitely have to pass on the kenyi, even though I like the looks of them. I've found quite a few species on the site that I would like to get, that have mildly aggressive behaviors or less, so now I'm off to find them. If I get mainly less aggressive fish, with a 55 gal tank, could it hold 12-14 fish of the 5inch range or should I go less?
Yes, with adequate filtration it can easily handle those numbers, but it's still going to depend on the stock you choose as to how well they get along and how explosive the tank might be as far as aggression goes...
Well I'll start looking for some species and add them a few at a time. When I get things going I'll have to post back on what I have and how they get along. Thanks for the help.
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