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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I am setting up a 72 gallon fish tank and I am having some difficulty selecting what to get. I am not sure which fish most match what I am going for, and I have several possible setups that I would like opinions on. Thanks.

1. My first assumption was that I get whatever is available at Pet Smart. However, I have noticed some websites sell fish. How price-conscious are they and what are my odds of getting my fish alive? I live in Phoenix, AZ where the temperature today is 98 degrees, the coolest in a week. In another month it will be low 110s every day.

2. I like the look of mbunas, but I also like the look of pictuses. I had a 20 long many years ago with mollies. At some point I bought a pictus and eventually had to give it away because it was jumping around the tank in a way that suggested it was too big for it's space. At some point I had the same issue with a tiny yellow African cichlid that stayed yellow but not tiny. For this tank, I want 1 to three species with a full size of 4 to 6 inches and about a dozen fish in all. I would like a good amount of activity in the tank, and it needs to be fish that are compatible with hard city water (180 ppm GH and 180 ppm KH according to API 5 in 1 test strip).

3. I am thinking I want to use pool filter sand as a substrate with some rocks on top to a depth of 2 inches in front and 4 inches in back, with one of my species being a sand dweller - a pictus if there is a compatible cichlid, or something else with sleek lines and shiny silvery skin. Actually any combination of movement, sleek, shiny and colorful, spread between the lot, will do.

4. I am debating plants.

5. I am thinking several possibilities for decorations. Some combination of:
a) a tankful of rocks
b) a large sunken battleship
c) a pyramid of upside down terra cotta flowerpots
d) alternating flowerpots and slabs of tile (slate?) vaguely suggestive of the Colosseum


· Administrator
40,891 Posts
Choose your fish first, then the décor.

Skip the pictus with the tank size that you have. You could do a trio of Synodontis lucipinnis.

Mbuna can work, if you choose them they come along with a tankful of rocks. Choose small peaceful ones like yellow labs, rusties and Cynotilapia zebroides. Get your fish online and pick them up at the airport...the plane and holding facilities are climate controlled. We do this regardless of is most cost efficient and safest for the fish because they are in the bags the smallest amount of time.

The sand will not stay in place...over time it will tend to flatten out. Add to that the fish will dig and arrange it to their liking. Also avoid sand more than 2" deep for ease of maintenance. Put your rocks in before the substrate, not on top.

· Registered
115 Posts
I love Salousi for color and activity. I have Yellow lab, White Top and White labs and if I were to have to pick only one I would choose Salousi every time. My 55 has Salousi and White Labs and I find it an active and attractive tank. Just my opinion go with what you like.
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