Cichlid Fish Forum banner

What fish to put in my new set up?

443 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  vaindioux

I have been out of the hobbie for about 10 years. I have kept a lot of fish but not all. I have done mostly central cichlids, saltwater and native cold tanks mostly.
I used to love my Salvini cichlids, breeding convicts and the firemouth were interesting too.
I am soon to go to a local fish auction, and I am wondering what I should get or aim for?
Shall I try Africans? If yes which lake?Can the 2 big lakes be mixed?
South Americans, central cichlids?
Shall I do a species only tank with one or 2 big fish like Frontosa, Jack Dempsey, green terror or anything quite big that can fit in a 55ga?
My setup will be a 55ga with wet/dry filter and if I really want to load on fish I also have 2 eheim canisters to add, bottom will be crushed coral and decoration/hiding place will be dead pieces of rock coral (I know it will look stupid with FW fish but I want to use what I have on hand for now).
Anyway PH should be high.
I have been to 1 fish auction in the past and I know that one can get carried away in a hurry buying fish.
Consider me an intermediate hobbyist in your suggestions, I will bid low until I can nab something (Low like $2-$5 for ea. fish about $10 ea. if they have frontosas fry). I know fish tanks and how it all works (PH, hardiness, water changes, wet dry filtering) but I am clueless about matching cichlids in the same tank.
One more question as my tank is new. Can I buy 1 small cichlid at petsmart to cycle the tank? Will one fish alone for 3 weeks be enough to cycle it?

Thanks for the help

See less See more
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
tank is way to small for fronts, steer clear of them unless you plan on upgrading.

I enjoy species tanks (one or two compatible types) then throwing in a miss-mash of a bunch of stuff, but that's just me. Maybe you can provide a list of things that interest you.

And no, you won't get a complete cycle from one fish, your better off adding your own ammonia, and doing a fishless cycle if you can't get a hold of used filter media.

I appreciate the help. How do I add my own ammonia?
Ok also on Frontosas I will steer clear.

Thanks for clarifying

Vain...your best bet is to do a forum search for fishless cycling. Tons of info already out there on this can read about it for hours. To answer your question though, you can get a bottle of ammonia at most general/hardware stores. Just make sure there is no perfumes or surfactant in it. If you shake the bottle and it doesnt fizz, you're likely good to go.

Thanks I will google fishless cycling.
I think I have decided to go with Americans cichlids, not sure between south or central. Maybe a mix, I am not that picky.


I would do a group of saulosi, both the males and females look great.

Just a thought.
Have you considered electric blue jack dempseys?

The Saulosi indeed look great I just googled them but I have decided (And try to stick to) with central American cichlids.
The Jack Dempsey comes to mind of course, they are gorgeous fish. Can a smaller convict hold his own with the JD? (I used to have a pair of breeding convicts with a Salvini with no problems beside the Salvini stuffing on the babies.)
The Salvini was such a beauty and lived for so long.
What would go along with a JD, I know they aren't easy going.
I need different options as I will get my fish at an auction and you never know what will turn up.

I also tend to get carried away between all the choices of tanks possible so I am trying to stick to my decision of central American cichlids, nothing against the others, they are all great.

Thanks for the suggestions and please keep posting :thumb:

See less See more
I am going through a fishless cycle right now and am completely amazed. I took a knee-high stocking, packed it with raw shrimp from the grocery, and tied it so it would sit right under my water line.

No fish had to die or be hurt, and the shrimp have put my tank through its paces--first I had an ammonia spike, now that is calming and I am seeing nitrite spiking. When cycled, I am just going to throw away the knee-high w/shrimp inside.

I even "over-packed" it so it would produce a TON of ammonia and my tank responded beautifully....and again, no fish were hurt/I won't have to catch and remove any.
ProfBob said:
I even "over-packed" it so it would produce a TON of ammonia and my tank responded beautifully....and again, no fish were hurt/I won't have to catch and remove any.
Thanks for the answer. What is a good fish store in Tampa/St_pete/Clearwater? I am going down in April.


1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.