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Well, I'm getting a 75 Gallon this summer, and I've recently ventured into the world of Cichlids :) So far, I like Angels, Yellow Labs, and Bolivian Rams. The only fish that I consider "essential" is an Angel. Reason being, my girlfriend only "approved" of the tank because she thinks Angels are pretty :wink: I heard Yellow Labs are good for beginners, as are Bolivians. Would these three spieces be compatible? From my research, it appears they are, but I want to confirm with some people who know what they're talking about.

For filtration, I was thinking a Hagen Aquaclear 110, and a Visi-Therm Stealth 250 for a heater. I was going to have a sandy bottom (I hear pool filter sand works well). I've heard of people making caves and such out of slate, then siliconing them together. I was just going to give the tank a plain blue background.

I've kept tanks in the past, but nothing big (20 gallons is the biggest), so I know about the Nitrogen Cycle, and the matinence involved, and I'm ready for a commitment. Any other suggestions for me? I won't have this tank set up to the fall, but I like planning it advance :) Thanks,

Cory
 

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Well the Yellow Labs are African Mbuna cichlids and will require completely different water parameters than either the Angels or Rams which are South American cichlids. The SA cichlids prefer softer water and the Africans prefer hard water.

I have both and enjoy the beauty of the SA and gracefulness of the Angels. My African Mbuna tank (with about 13 Yellow Labs) is my favorite because of the continuous action.

With the Mbuna it's better to have larger tanks as they need plenty of room. But then again Angels can get pretty big.

I would suggest minimum tank sizes of 55G for Mbuna like Yellow Labs. More for more aggressive fish.

The Angels I suggest a minimum of 35G, and 20G for the Rams.
 

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I have both angel and african tanks. You do need to decide which way you want to go as labs and angels are not compatible tank companions. Some pros and cons of each approach IMHO:

Angels in a 75 (one pair) would be lovely with another pair of SA cichlids, perhaps bolivians or blue rams, plus a school of tetras (I'm partial to rummynose) plus some cutie cories and a BN pleco or two. Ideally you would get into plants and run this as a planted tank. It is much prettier to look at and fun to do. Angels appreciate tall plants. My angel tank has mostly swords with some crypts, java fern and some smaller/lower plants. It's a lovely tank. The plants help keep your tank stable and the water clean. I do not do as many water changes on my planted tanks as my African tank. This is a relatively easy tank, (well maybe not the blue rams). Ideally, the water would be neutral pH and soft. You'd use a substrate like Eco-complete to help the plants and have some driftwood for the pleco.

Africans are great fun and in many ways a much easier tank. You do not have plants. You have a big pile of rocks. In a 75, you could have quite a number of different and colorful fish. I prefer peaceful tanks, so I don't have a mbuna tank. But you could do a beautiful male peacock/hap tank (what I have). This tank is very colorful and easier in a sense because you don't have plants. You do have to do more water changes in such a tank because the Africans need pristine water. Otherwise they are relatively healthy and easy to keep. Yellow labs would be an excellent inhabitant of such a tank, along with male peacocks and haps. If you want to have females in your tank, you will have breeding and you have to be careful with your stocking to avoid cross-breeding (and less color as the females are drab). You would also be able to get a group of syndontis (African) catfish, which are highly amusing! One downside, more mature Africans can be expensive. Nicely colored 3-4" peacocks/haps in my area are from $30-$50 apiece. These fish need a higher pH, more around 8. If your tap pH is higher naturally, this might be a good way to go.

Once you decide on a direction, the folks here can offer different stocking suggestions . . . Have fun!
 

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KonaBoy said:
Well, I'm getting a 75 Gallon this summer,
For filtration, I was thinking a Hagen Aquaclear 110. I hear pool filter sand works well).

Cory
africans & south americans are not compatible...angels + rams are fine, but I still think you might want to look into another filter...AC110 may not be enough, depending on the species and number of fish youre planning to keep. adding another filter would also balance out your filtration from both side. you should also look into some plants...plastic is ok, but live is better...your SA will appreciate it much more. both pool filter and silica sand is good.
 

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hollyfish2000 said:
Angels in a 75 (one pair) would be lovely with another pair of SA cichlids, perhaps bolivians or blue rams, plus a school of tetras (I'm partial to rummynose) plus some cutie cories and a BN pleco or two. Ideally you would get into plants and run this as a planted tank. It is much prettier to look at and fun to do. Angels appreciate tall plants. My angel tank has mostly swords with some crypts, java fern and some smaller/lower plants. It's a lovely tank. The plants help keep your tank stable and the water clean. I do not do as many water changes on my planted tanks as my African tank. This is a relatively easy tank, (well maybe not the blue rams). Ideally, the water would be neutral pH and soft. You'd use a substrate like Eco-complete to help the plants and have some driftwood for the pleco.
If you have neutral to soft water, this is an excellent suggestion, in my opinion, and since angels were required, this is what I personally would do (I'd do Bolivian rams). There are plenty of species of Corydoras to choose from... I have a group of 5 C. agassizii. There are also plenty of choices of tetras (rummynoses are good... I've enjoyed many different, but really like serpae and black neons).

After a quick peek, I see this is a suggested Cookie Cutter...
 
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