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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,
I just lost a lot of African cichlids while on vacation. I have a 75g with just a calico litbobates and deep water Hap left. I’ve been keeping African cichlids for 20+ years but am tired of the fighting and overstocking of the tank.
I was thinking of converting to a ca tank since my water parameters are pretty hard. I feel I’d rather have fewer fish and see more behavior but don’t want super aggression either.
my thought was rainbow cichlids or cichlid and and some compatible fish. Would rainbows be better in a group with some dithers, or say could I mix them with a Jack Dempsey? I also like blue acaras, Severums and geophagus red head tapajos, though I know they are South American cichlids.
Would any of these combos work, or are there any other suggestions? Nicaraguan cichlids, females especially also look nice.

thank you
 

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Oh.... responded to your post there,
before I caught up to your post, here. :)
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And, welcome to the New World scene. I can play around a bit with those Africans, and had my day with a 150 gallon tank, just chock-full of the endless Chasing, Nipping, Displaying and Spawning activities with those African Mbuna Cichlids. After many years of constantly dealing with that sort of kind of Mindless Anger & Energy, it DID INDEED all grow a bit tiresome to keep in an aquarium. No character (or not much) in those African Mbuna Cichlids? So, my heart in this journey has really, always been with those New World Cichlids.
And sure! If you really are looking to try something different from the African scene? Maybe slow things down just a notch or two in that 75 gallon tank?
Why not?!!
But priorities must needs first,
  • To Plant (with Live Aquatic Plants) or not? That could be - The Question.
  • Smaller and more? Or, bigger and less? (Species that is....)
  • To spawn, or not? That might just be - The OTHER Question.
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So, let's work through the details on this one. See where the journey leads and your own priorities take you! A 75 gallon tank will give you some interesting stocking options and aquarium builds/set ups to ponder over. ;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would like to do some plants, but prob simple like Anubias, crypts and Java ferns. I have a planted tank with co2 and don’t want anything that needs high lighting or a lot of care. I’m not looking to spawn the fish, but I also wouldn’t mind if they did, I just don’t want aggression problems if they do. I am thinking I definitely want Hysophrys nicaraguensis and Herotilapia multispinosa in the tank. I would really like a Jack Dempsey, but have read mixed reviews on them getting along. Other fish that really interest me although SA are severums, geophagus topados, and electric blue acaras.
Any help appreciated again
Thank you
 

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Okay then....
I see you want to grow some plants that are pretty tough, but will unfortunately not be immune from dedicated herbivores. Be advised, with some Cichlids you may be forced to pot up those substrate growing plants to keep and grow them out in the aquarium with them (Industrious little diggers).
And, as I suspect you may already know.... there is no such thing as a 'successful' partially planted tank. You're either ALL IN with this thing, or it's best to keep a safe distance.
Indeed, the Algae Monster is always ready to overcome a weakly planted tank, that cannot resist and overcome the inevitable assault.
That said, let's work through some priorities here.
  • Live Aquatic Plants. That alone will rule out some species of Cichlids. The Severum is one such species that will indeed look upon almost all Live Aquatic Plants (except Java Moss) as a sort of all-you-can-eat buffet or something. :oops: Unfortunately, the Heterotilapia multispinosa, Rainbow Cichlid is another one that can sometimes go on some pretty epic veggie binging in a planted aquarium.
  • Spawning. The Reign Of Terror that could potentially be imposed by even a young pair of Convict Cichlids on a four foot long tank is NOT to be underestimated. The substrate spawning Cichlids of Central American do originate in waters with extremely heavy levels of predation. Strong parental care of the free-swimming fry is often the only thing that enables a very few of them to survive to adulthood. In an aquarium, these Cichlids can be just absolutely vicious to each other when spawning. So, avoiding the possibility of spawning in this aquarium, is probably A GOOD IDEA (as much as possible).
So, let's run down a couple stocking schemes.
  • 1 each Hypsophrys nicaraguensis, Nicarauguan, Moga or Macaw Cichlid (this 9 - 10 inch long Cichlid, will be the centerpiece fish of the tank!)
  • 1 each Electric Blue Acara
  • 1 each Amatitlania sajica, T-Bar Cichlid
  • 2 each Ancistrus type, Bristlenose Catfish (for Algae Patrol Duties)
  • Stock out with a small school of mid-size, tougher species Tetras such as the Black Widow or even Serpaes (don't get less than 8 of that species - or you'll wind up with just 2 pretty quick) and you can call it quits.
  • or -
  • 1 each Hypsophrys nicaraguensis, Nicarauguan, Moga or Macaw Cichlid (this 9 - 10 inch long Cichlid, will be the centerpiece fish of the tank!)
  • 1M/4 - 5F harem group of Geophagus 'Tapajos Red' . If possible, check with the breeder, and get an idea of how aggressive the males tend to be in his line (5 females may be necessary, as these guys are known wife beaters in four foot tanks)
  • 1 each Ancistrus type, Bristlenose Catfish (for Algae Patrol Duties)
  • Stock out with 6 or more Siamese Algae Eaters for additional preemptive work on that impending Algae Assault. (Be Careful! Avoid the Chinese Algae Eater and Flying Fox at all costs. Those are no good).
See where I'm going with this? And yes, this will be an aquarium set up to succeed, LONG TERM. That is, when the fish have all attained their full adult sizes and power w/aggression. Those recommendations are certainly a bit on the mild end of aggression for a calmer. more peaceful kind of aquarium. 'Tweaking' that stocking list (and remaining within the established priorities) is definitely possible, if you want just a bit more aggression in this community tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thank you so much. If I do not go with plants would a Severus do okay? Will the rainbow cichlids not match up with the macaw? Is a Jack Dempsey definitively out? I am not in a rush as I want this to work out with as little issues as possible. Thank you again
 

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Alright, then.
And, as @Mazan pointed out in regards to the whole Live Aquatic Plant eating thing with Severums - individual circumstances may vary. My 'normal' Green Severum seemed determined to eat anything that was even green in color kept with them (including fake silk or plastic plants....).
Changing priorities? Sure! So, let's look at a tank where keeping Live Aquatic Plants isn't such a big priority. Heck man, maybe you could try switching some different types in & out and possibly find out if there are some species (Like Valisneria and Water Lettuce) that they just won't eat.
So, let's look at Round 2 then.
  • 1 each 'normal' Green (or Red - Gold type) Severum. The new, larger-growing, 'centerpiece' Cichlid for the tank.
  • 1M/4 - 5F group of Geophagus 'Red Headed Tapajos
  • 1 each Ancistrus type, Bristlenose Catfish
  • Small school of mid-size, tougher species Tetras such as the Black Widow or even Serpaes (as per above). Or instead, 6 or more Siamese Algae Eaters
  • or -
  • 3 each Heros sp., 'Rotkeil' Severum
  • 1 each Heterotilapia multispinosa, Rainbow Cichlid
  • 1 each Amatitlania sajica, T-Bar Cichlid
  • 1 each Ancistrus type, Bristlenose Catfish
  • Small school of mid-size, tougher species Tetras such as the Black Widow or even Serpaes (as per above). Or instead, 6 or more Siamese Algae Eaters
And then, just for fun. How 'bout a more aggressive, 'Bad Grrrrllll... ' Community Tank?
  • 1 each, female Rocio octofasciatus, Jack Dempsey
  • 1 each, female Trichromis salvini, Mini Guapote', Salvin's Cichlid
  • 1 each, female Thoricthys meeki, Firemouth (Or, really any Thoricthys type Cichlid that catches your eye. But, good luck identifying a female)
  • 1 each, female Amatitlania nigrofasciatus, Black Convict. Or instead, a single female Amatitlania sp. 'cutteri'
The reason for the All-Female setup is that Trichromis salvini, as female Salvini Cichlids are much calmer in community tanks. A male Salvini is a hugely unpredictable Cichlid, and could one day decide to just kill everyone in your four foot long tank because, well, it just wanted to. :oops:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think I’m leaning towards the first option

  • 1 each Hypsophrys nicaraguensis, Nicarauguan, Moga or Macaw Cichlid (this 9 - 10 inch long Cichlid, will be the centerpiece fish of the tank!)
  • 1 each Electric Blue Acara
  • 1 each Amatitlania sajica, T-Bar Cichlid
  • 2 each Ancistrus type, Bristlenose Catfish (for Algae Patrol Duties)
  • Stock out with a small school of mid-size, tougher species Tetras such as the Black Widow or even Serpaes (don't get less than 8 of that species - or you'll wind up with just 2 pretty quick) and you can call it quits.
I was thinking this combo and giving the plants a try. Would an additional rainbow cichlid be too much with this mix? Do you recommend buying multiples as juveniles then keeping the ones i want when they get bigger? I have time before this happens, as I need to rehome 2 African cichlids. Thanks for your help, I’m quite excited for a change and something new .
 

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Yes, I believe you could squeeze in a single Rainbow Cichlid to that mix. Or, maybe replace the T-Bar with that Rainbow Cichlid, since the Live Aquatic Plant thing got moved down a notch or so in priority.
And no... unless you are committed to selecting a specific gender or something (Bad Grrrlll Tank?) and need to grow out a group of those Cichlids to pick the right one, I don't think purchasing multiples as juveniles first will be necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Once I get someone to take the OB lithobates I will be left with a small clown loach and bristlenose pleco. Should I do serious cleaning of the tank (treat for any possible illnesses) before starting anew? My fish were always healthy until they got bullied and I would have sunken bellies in my cichlids. Or should I just do very large water change and scrubs everything really well? I just want to start off on the right foot
 

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I personally would just do a near 100 percent water change and scrub everything really well. Maybe churn and turnover the sand really well - followed by yet another near 100 percent water change. And just call it quits at that.
Should work out just fine. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, I believe you could squeeze in a single Rainbow Cichlid to that mix. Or, maybe replace the T-Bar with that Rainbow Cichlid, since the Live Aquatic Plant thing got moved down a notch or so in priority.
And no... unless you are committed to selecting a specific gender or something (Bad Grrrlll Tank?) and need to grow out a group of those Cichlids to pick the right one, I don't think purchasing multiples as juveniles first will be necessary.
If I can’t find a Tbar cichlids would a Honduran Res Point be a good substitution? I am not finding any tbar cichlids around.
 

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No worries!
PM has been sent. ;)
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And yes, the Honduran Red Point would work great as a substitution for the T-Bar Cichlid.
 
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