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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have a 15 gallon tank that is in the process of cycling and would like to keep a cichlid. Since this tank is in my room, I would like more of a "pet" fish and would also like to avoid breeding. I was thinking about a tank with either a single convict, firemouth, or some other cichlid. I am fortunate enough to have 2 excellent LFS nearby that has a large variety of cichlids, so I will look into any suggestions, however I would like something hardy and not too expensive. Also, would I be able to keep any other fish with my cichlid? Thanks!

Note: I already put this in the CA section, but thought I should put it here too
 

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i'd firemouth or bolivian ram.

Not sure on the firemouth but bolivian rams can go with quite a few fish including as small as a tetra
 

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You could go with a pair of Apistos or a couple random males like cacatuoides and agassizi which go pretty well together.
 

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Apistos would be nice, but I've not found them hardy and I personally wouldn't put them in a newly cycled tank. Bolivians are pretty "bullet proof" IME
 

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Bolivians in basically a 10g is really pushing it. (I think a 15 is a 10g but higher??)

...Bill
 

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A 15 is generally 12 x 24, which gives it a slightly larger footprint than a 10. Since we are discussing keeping only one fish, the possibilities change. I kept 3 male Pseudotropheus flavus in a 15 for almost 2 years. They grew to full size without killing each other, but the entire back of the tank was a wall of rocks. A single rainbow (Herotilapi multispinosa) would also work.
 

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deadhead324 said:
I currently have a 15 gallon tank that is in the process of cycling and would like to keep a cichlid. Since this tank is in my room, I would like more of a "pet" fish and would also like to avoid breeding. I was thinking about a tank with either a single convict, firemouth, or some other cichlid. I am fortunate enough to have 2 excellent LFS nearby that has a large variety of cichlids, so I will look into any suggestions, however I would like something hardy and not too expensive. Also, would I be able to keep any other fish with my cichlid? Thanks!

Note: I already put this in the CA section, but thought I should put it here too
Being is your in the process of cycling, why not start with a hardy tropical fish/dither that you don't mind losing? A sickled will probably survive the cycle, but why put him through the stress? And in a week or 2 once its cycled, you can get your sickled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Anthraxx8500 said:
if your just cycling it and its a small tank why not start with your cheap dithers... then get some nice apistos
I am currently doing a fishless cycle, and will be adding the fish after that. I do like all of the ideas suggested so far. If I did keep apistos, which are the hardiest and can I mix more than 1 variety? I have always liked firemouths and rainbow cichlids as well, so I will also keep these in consideration. I really like the Bolivians as well. This is going to be a harder choice than I thought... :-?
 

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The big problem in such a small tank is that you have very little room for error with such small water volume. For that reason trying to keep a fish known to be less hardy would be difficult IMHO and IME. That is why I did not recommend apistos, although, as the smallest of those you're considering, it might be a good choice from a size point of view.

Bolivians are quite hardy and I'd think would be the best in terms of weathering any nitrate/temperature or other water quality variances that can happen quickly in a 15 gallon. And they don't get too large.

I love my rainbow cichlids and they are quite hardy as well, so that is something to consider. But they can get fairly large in size for a 15 gallon and I wouldn't do a pair as the male can get quite beligerent about breeding and a small gallon tank isn't going to give a female a lot of room to get away.
 

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I haven't kept rainbows for more than 30 years, but I will relate how I came to keep them. When I was at university, one of my clasmates said he had a tank full of port ciclids and offered me some. He lived about 40 minutes away so when heading home for the weekend, I detoured to his place to pick up a few fish. Imagine my shock when I saw the 25 gallon tank in the kitchen with a pair of what turned out to be rainbows rather than ports, and at least a hundred large fry, more accurately juveniles. I took 22 and it seemed to make no difference to the look of the tank. The fish i took were between 2"' and 3". When I got them home I kept the 8 I wanted, and gave 14 to a friend who multiple tanks. Within 3 or 4 weeks he had 7 pairs breeding. This is how big the fish were, and all of them in a 15. I know it sounds impossible, and if I hadn't seen it myself I wouldn't have believed it. I think back now, and the tank had minimal filtration, and I have no idea how they maintained it, but they were doing it successfully. It still boggles my mind when I think about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
hollyfish2000 said:
The big problem in such a small tank is that you have very little room for error with such small water volume. For that reason trying to keep a fish known to be less hardy would be difficult IMHO and IME. That is why I did not recommend apistos, although, as the smallest of those you're considering, it might be a good choice from a size point of view.

Bolivians are quite hardy and I'd think would be the best in terms of weathering any nitrate/temperature or other water quality variances that can happen quickly in a 15 gallon. And they don't get too large.

I love my rainbow cichlids and they are quite hardy as well, so that is something to consider. But they can get fairly large in size for a 15 gallon and I wouldn't do a pair as the male can get quite beligerent about breeding and a small gallon tank isn't going to give a female a lot of room to get away.
That's what I was afraid of with apistos. So in that case, I will probably go with bolivians or a rainbow cichlid. Is the firemouth definitely out? And if I only got 1 Bolivian, would this work and is there anything else I could put with it? Thank you all for all the help!
 

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You will get really bored with a single fish. I would get something smaller that you can keep more than one.

Apistos
Dwarf Acara
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Maybe a couple Keyholes (mine are only about 3")

...Bill
 

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I would sooner recommend a a pair of West African dwarf cichlids such as one of the smaller Pelvicachromis species to keep in a 15 gallon tank, than I would any of the South American dwarves.

A genuine pair of Pelvicachromis are easy to spot in a LFS tank. They will stick very close together, and often defend a pot or ornament within the tank.

There are quite a few species apart from the standard krib, so do some research and you may find a species you like.

My experience with most SA dwarf cichlids is that a male and female can be very hard on each other. When the male wants to mate, he will continually harrass the female untill she is ready to mate or dies. If they do mate, then the female becomes quite aggressive towards the male, especially if he wants to mate again and starts eating the fry.

Not many beginner hobbiests keep thier small tanks complex enough for a pair of SA dwarves, mainly because they want to see thier fish, which means fairly open areas. It can be done, I just think it takes some one with a bit of experience with keeping dwarves.
 
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