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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Ahhh yes.....
A bigger tank. And, if I understand your situation correctly, the problem is your second floor siting of the aquarium, correct?
Weight.
So, let's peel this onion down a bit, and look at this thing a little closer.
For one, I believe you are almost certainly correct in wanting to limit the size of your FOUR FOOT LONG Aquarium. Moving up to a 90 gallon, or certainly The 'Big One' at 150 gallons, would be putting a lot of strain on a four foot long section of 'footprint' space on the floor. And esp. those load bearing floor joists and such located under the floor beneath the tank. Agreed. That is, too much water/weight distributed over that FOUR FOOT LONG section of floor!
So then, let's look closer at the SIX FOOT LONG aquarium. That extra two feet of length will distribute and place the weight over a larger area. In this case, almost certainly spreading that weight over two or possibly even three additional floor joists. That is, those load bearing structures sited beneath the aquarium.
So, it's possible (I'm NOT a structural engineer), that the SIX FOOT LONG, 125 gallon aquarium will have approximately the same or possibly even SLIGHTLY LESS weight pressing down on each of the floor joists below it - than the four foot long tank will. More floor joists = better distribution of the weight.
So, by using that metric.... have you seen one of the most amazing aquariums ever on Cichlid Forum? That would be - of course - the EIGHT FOOT LONG, 135 gallon aquarium owned and operated by none other than the (world famous) @Sinister-Kisses! That really long aquarium would DEFINITELY place less weight on the floor joists located beneath it, than this 75 gallon tank you are looking to get! Kind of crazy I guess, when you think about it....
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Recommendation: Get a 6 foot long, 125 gallon tank. And, if you're really nervous about the overall weight? Reduce that weight a LOT by going with an acrylic tank (A single person can pick up and move around an empty, 125 gallon ACRYLIC aquarium). Or, if you REALLY wanna be safe? Go even longer, with an EIGHT FOOT LONG, 135 gallon acrylic tank (probably custom made = $$$).
And well, if you actually go with something that size? Well, we will definitely be having a VERY different stocking discussion than we are now having about a 75 gallon aquarium! :cool:
 
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Normally, I'm really not much of a fan of acrylic tanks. That plastic scratches super easily. Plus, I'm cheap. A new acrylic 75 gallon tank, is gonna set you back 2 to 5 times the cost of a new glass aquarium.
So, if you're limited to 75 gallons anyway, and the glass one you had before worked fine in your apartment and complied with the rules of the Co-op? I would personally recommend just purchasing another glass, 75 gallon aquarium.
 

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Sounds good. :)
Oh, and.....
Replaced with a "Polar Blue Parrot Convict" which although a HYBRID bred by man since early 2000's is a hearty fish and beautiful. Adapted well with my tankmates: Jack Dempsey, Blue Acara, Rainbow & T-Bar Cichlids.
Jelly Bean Convict stuff. And, as we have all recently learned from info shared out by @Mr Chromedome , they are NOT hybrids. So, I'm not too surprised you experienced some fiesty-ness with those Cichlids. As you discovered, your Blue Polar Convict decided to NOT read any of it's own 'press'. And well, despite how sort of goofy they look (and swim, etc...), those little beasts still feel (and act) like they are a FULL UP Convict Cichlid, Raawwwrrr!
A Central American Bad-*ss, yo'. :D
 

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Whew.... that was quite the journey! Took a lot of 'Test Drives' with various Cichlid species?
And well, I wasn't too confident in your other choices. But, this new Cichlid community group you have now, looks like a good one. So hopefully, it will go the distance for you. :)
 
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