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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Originally i had a 90 & 30 gallon tank when i lived in Brooklyn New York. Gave it to moving company when i moved to New Jersey as i wasn't sure it would fit in my new apartment. After a couple of years eventually purchased a 75 gallon tank and had a Jack Dempsey, Salvini, Severum and Convicts for a few years. Then i gave it away to my locksmith as i had to remodel my apartment after my girlfriend moved in with myself.....lol.
Now it is time again to get into my hobby with another 75 gallon tank as i am refreshing my brain with books, magazines and online research. Already see the tank desired and will utilize Fluval fx4 canister with it. I love the Central & South American CICHLIDS. Naturally my favorite fishes are the "JACK DEMPSEY" & "OSCAR". The latter will get to big for my tank eventually. If i lived in a house with suitable basement with probably have two tanks being 125 & 180 gallons and have no issue with the bigger robust fishes.
My projected stocking of fish will be: 1 Jack Dempsey, 1 Firemouth, 1 Rainbow Cichlid & 1 Nicaraguan Cichlid.
My girlfriend loves the "GEOPHAGUS TAPAJOS" from South America but i am not sure they would be tough enough to survive with the central american breeds.
Anyhow if anyone has similar stocking of fish suggestions as well as equipment best to handle the tank, let me know.
 

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Hello 'Totoro Tony' (love that member name)
And, welcome to Cichlid Forum!
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I love Central and South American Cichlids too! :cool:
So, ready for the 'reset'?
I like how you want to try and put some very different CA species in the new, 75 gallon tank. Those are all, good-looking Cichlids! But, (here it comes....) any/all of the Cichlid stocking advice and recommendations I will give you - will be for LONG TERM keeping and success of the tank. That is, when adult sizes are fully attained in the species you are interested in.
To that end, I DO NOT recommend keeping two, 9 - 10 inch long Cichlids in a 75 gallon aquarium together. But, if a choice must be made between keeping the Rocio octofasciatus, Jack Dempsey or the Hypsophrys nicaraquensis, Macaw or Nicaraquan Cichlid? I would strongly advocate for the milder Nicaraguan, to go with the Firemouth and Rainbow.
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As for the Red Headed Tapajos Earth Eaters? I'm totally with your girlfriend on that idea! And, believe that a 1M/3-4FHarem Group of those Earth Eaters would be pretty awesome in that 75 gallon aquarium. A single Nicaraguan could then be placed in with the Earth Eater group as your larger-growing, 'center piece' Cichlid if you like. Or, you could go instead with a Green Severum instead if you prefer sticking entirely with the South American theme for this 75 gallon aquarium. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks "Auballagh" for your advise. Never had a Nicaraguan Cichlid before and would have to research further about that species as i have ordered a few books and magazine subscriptions to sharpen my knowledge. Green Severum is nice too. But if i have 1 male & 3 female Tapajos might have many "FRY" to deal with in the future....lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I also heard that the "Electric Blue Jack Dempsey" is a milder hybrid type than the original species. Can anyone confirm if these are suitable fish?
 

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Always glad to "Lead The Way". ;)
Hmmmmmm......
I also heard that the "Electric Blue Jack Dempsey" (EBJD) is a milder hybrid type than the original species.
Yes. Though you may not like what you ultimately wind up with. And while yes, those blue and black colors of the EBJD are definitely bright and certainly different.... My own experience with these fish is informed by sickly, weak Cichlids with a variety of physical problems such as deformed mouths, crooked spines and other defects.
And while there are exceptions, I have found the odd 'good one' now and then, to be a rare find indeed.
But, if you are so inclined.... I believe a weaker/milder, single EBJD could take the place of a Nicaraguan as your larger-growing, center piece Cichlid for this tank with no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I heard that too about that HYBRID J. Dempsey. I will stick to ONE original J.D. as it is my co-favorite fish with the Oscar which would be 3-5 inches bigger at maturity and too big for this tank. Leaning towards Firemouth & Rainbow Cichlid as tankmates. Hopefully 3-4 Geophagus Tapajos would also be able to survive with the central americans. I believe if you buy fish young and they grow together their is a better chance they would not fight. Would also add a few "DITHER" fish to keep fishes active. Would like to keep tank TEN fish or less so their is ample space with driftwood, rocks and plants for fish to select their territory.
 

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Yeah... I'm not sure what's actually in the EBJD that makes 'em come out like that. Bit of a 'kerfuffle' here on C-f regarding those things.....
But anyway - I DO NOT recommend putting those busy, bustling Earth Eaters in this 75 gallon tank with a 'normal' JD in it. To explain, Mr. (or Mzzz.) 'SURLY' will NOT appreciate those Geos going all about that bizness in a 75 gallon tank. In a six foot long tank, I could see that working out as the Earth Eaters would have more room to get away from the JD's territorial aggression. In a four footer? Notsomuch.... A JD at adult size, will claim the entire bottom area of a 75 gallon tank as his 'personal' territory! :cautious:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Very true as i am not sold on the Geopagus Tapajo yet. First need to get tank & equipment this weekend. Then decorate and cycle tank and then pick the fishes. So i have 2 weeks to decide.
 

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Allow six weeks to cycle the tank, unless you are using an established filter or media.
 
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Hmmmm.....
Allow six weeks to cycle the tank, unless you are using an established filter or media.
:cool:
Yep. No rush! You have PLENTY of time to decide on this stocking plan of yours. So, here is something that may help to speed things up a bit,
Plus, I see you're kinda 'baked' on that Jack Dempsey. Totally understand that, as those really are some nice Cichlids. But well.... there may be some others you might not have considered?
For instance, how 'bout a closer look at one of these as your 'center piece' Cichlid?
Fin Water Fish Underwater Marine biology

Acarichthys heckelii, Threadfin Acara

A male of one of these will get up around 8 - 9 inches in pretty solid length. Not pushovers by any means, a single male of this species won't bring down the same level of territorial aggression that a Jack Dempsey will in your 75 gallon tank. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Never had to wait 6 weeks to cycle my 75 gallon tank. Two weeks with just Fluval FX4 canister but i will add Fritz turbo charge biological additive after 3 days when water should be cleared and wait couple of days more and test the perimeters. Then slowly add two fish at a time to slowly get tank into biological normality. By end of 2nd week add a couple more or so if everything going to plan. Never lost fish in initial cycle as i buy the necessary filtration with water conditioners and biological additives and never overstock tank early. I always pre-wash gravel, rocks, plants and driftwood as well to avoid and unexpected stuff my fish would dislike. That is a nice ACARA above and would consider as an alternative as my movie star fish. Thanks guys for your input.
 

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The best part about fishless cycling is that you're growing the benefical bacteria colony out for the fish load you anticipate. So when the process is complete, it permits you to stock with all of the fish at once (no interval stocking to wait for the beneficial bacteria to build up);
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But, if you're not convinced? I would at least get some ammonia and an API master test kit. That way you can put some drops of ammonia in the tank (with no fish in it) to get a measurable reading, then re-check the next day to see if any beneficial bacteria have consumed the ammonia. Check also for Nitrites and Nitrate to see if you have a full cycle established.
Safe for your fish and easy to do. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm a step ahead of you as I ordered the testing kit, water conditioners, aquarium salt, medicines, biological kit and various other equipment and stuff yesterday from amazon. I use to buy supplies cheaply from "BIGALSONLINE USA" but they closed that site recently in which I await a response from them. They are based in Canada but had a Buffalo New York distribution center. Perhaps the Covid-19 issue between Canada & USA made it hard to run the business. When i go to my Fish store this weekend shall buy the 75 gallon tank, cabinet and lid with Fluval FX4 filtration and probably a wave gadget to keep water flow active throughout. It is my first time using a canister, so I will pay my fish store for full installation and set up of my tank. Oops need to buy marine hood light too. The decorations will be a dark fine mixed gravel (Colors undetermined) with Driftwood, rocks and some plants or those funny sunken ships etc. mainly like hiding places in which CICHLIDS can mark their home turf etc.
 

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Sounds like a pretty good plan. :)
And, for the aquarium-keeper who hasn't done this in a while..... Here are a couple alibis for you,
  • Probably want to invest in a 'Python Water Change' system. I rarely use mine to vacuum the substrate with (plastic attachment that fits onto the sink or tub appliance), but re-filling the tank with tap water using a clamp and that nylon hose is a back saver. (tap water is dechlorinated as it goes into the aquarium)
  • Plastic buckets. Get a couple brandy new ones and don't use them for anything but your aquarium. Reason? If plastic is exposed to soap - it never comes out! (De-ionizing soap is REALLY bad for your fish' slime coat).
  • Quarantine tank. This can be anything really that is safe for the fish and holds water. An actual AQUARIUM is preferred for this however, as you can keep an eye on the fish kept within it. Plastic/acrylic things work good (Keep them in a box or something - they scratch easy). Place the filtration media for the quarantine tank somewhere in the water of your 75 gallon tank, so it can become properly established with beneficial bacteria - ready for use. Don't forget to purchase an electric heater for this little tank.
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And lastly, Fluval FX-whatevers are good canister filters that work reliably and well. As an advocate for mounting electric in-line heaters onto the discharge hose of the canister filter though (heating works much better and removes that gadget out of the aquarium), I DO NOT like those corrugated hoses on the FX canister filters. Plus, you may want to consider placing a Hang On Back (HOB) filter such as an Aquaclear or Tidal 110 on this aquarium, instead of the wave gadget. One is none, right? (redundancy if one breaks down) And, the HOB could also be useful for transferring over to provide established filtration for the quarantine tank, if needed (glass type). :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Already purchased the "PYTHON" via amazon with 50 feet in case one day I move into house with nice basement to have perhaps a 180 & 125 gallon tanks....lol. Going to Lowe's for some plastic buckets and i good power strip or surge protector for all the electric cords. I think getting hang on back filter is overkill since i will not overstock my tank with too many fish but will consider instead of wave but they do make more noise which is annoying. Quarantine tank would be after several months as my new fishes will be small babies around 1 inch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have decided to not utilize "GEOPHAGUS" assortment of fish for my new tank as their water PH and compatibility with Central American Cichlids is poor. Jack Dempsey will be my movie star fish. Possible tankmates are: Firemouth, Convict, Salvini, Blue Acara, Keyhole, Rainbow or T-Bar Cichlid. Will select 3 fish from this group and 4-5 Silver Dollars as dither fish. Clown Pleco or Rubber Lipped Pleco are my choice for the vacuum cleaner fish....lol. My tank will be delivered and set up this upcoming Saturday and cycle will be started. I have all the essential equipment ready and tank decorations such as driftwood, rocks and fake plants. If anyone has suggestions of which of my tankmates are best with J.D. or others, let me know. I plan to have 8-10 fish only in tank as I believe fish love space.
 

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Okay then....
My thoughts as follows,
  • Basics. When stocking with a JD in a four foot long tank, it's best to go BIG - or go SMALL - with the other Cichlids. Same size stuff can lead to dominance problems that will quickly earn you some beaten, thrashed fish in your quarantine/hospital tank. JDs seem to particularly excel in the 'reprisal' attack. Green Terrors, Red or Gold Severum and esp. those 'Bloody Parrots' are notorious for instigating drama and problems in a community tank. So, formerly picked on/bullied JD's will tend to kill them. Just sayin'.....
  • Gender. Almost certainly want to keep everyone the same gender. New World types in general and CA's in particular, are super bad about spawning with each other - regardless of species! If you want to avoid fry protective spawning aggression (death) in this tank, and a whole bunch of hybrids? Stock all Cichlids with the same gender.
  • Keyhole Cichlid. OUT. Waaayyyyy to shy and those prefer soft, acidic water in the aquarium to look and be their best.
  • Blue Acara. OUT. To similar in shape and appearance to the Jack Dempsey. The JD will either try to spawn with the Blue Acara - or beat the stuffings out of it.
  • Salvini. Partial Yes. Why? I would only stock with a female Salvini in a community tank, and then only if the JD proves to be a female as well. Female Salvini can actually (aggressively) do okay if stocked in community tanks . Males are HIGH RISK!! Just too unpredictable and mean.
  • Convict, Firemouth, Rainbow, T-Bar, Cutteri, Honduran Red Points and even C. Nanoluteus (Yellow Dwarf). YES. Those species should work out great with your Jack Dempsey.
  • Catfish. Maybe. You might wind up with a dedicated catfish assassin in that group.
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And 8 to 10 fish? In a 75 gallon tank? :oops:
 

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The problem is the 9 - 10 inch long, adult sized Jack Dempsey, and a four foot long tank. In the 75 gallon aquarium, there just won't be enough room for even fast dithers like Silver Dollars to escape chasing and predation attempts by a Cichlid that big. Even a female Salvini, is gonna have a field day with those dither fish in a tank that small.
And getting more 4 - 6 inch sized Cichlids, or even another catfish or two in a tank that size to achieve 8 - 10 total fish, will put a lot of strain on things. I believe stocking the tank with four to five Cichlids, with the Jack Dempsey of that 4 - 5 member group as your largest-growing, centerpiece fish, will be a good fit for everyone in a 75 gallon tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The Jack Dempsey's I owned previously were never that aggressive towards other Cichlids. Rainbow & T-Bar will be tankmates with possibility of one more. Silver Dollars are not etched in stone. I always buy fish when they are babies (around 1 inch) together so they get accustomed to one another as juveniles and usually become friends. In my past Salvini & Convict were always the troublemakers of the tank, J.D. can handle 75-90 gallon tanks in my past as long as aquarium isn't overstocked. I agree 4-5 CICHLIDS is ideal until one day perhaps a BIGGER TANK is utilized. Then the "OSCAR" is invited....lol
 
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