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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I have a 150 gallon tank. I went to my local pet store and told the clerk i wanted to start an all cichlid community. He bagged up some fish and sent me on my way, Did i mention he was not much help? Anyway now i have two bala sharks, Yellow lab, Upside down cat & a really cool firemouth. I really like my aquarium it relaxes me after a stressful day. I have had my tank set up before, But only had small fish like guppies and mollys in it. I was really wanting it to be special this time but i feel i have been mislead. If anyone can help me out and let me know what type of fish i need to get to make this the best tank that would be great.

Thank you,
Ron
 

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the best thing to do is find a place that has a good variety and make a list of what looks good to you, then people can help you put things together that will work. just take a look at a pet store near you or look at some of the online stores.
 

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My god!
So he sold you 2 silver sharks, 1 SA and 1 african :eek:
That not a good mix. I would take them back and say you misled me and sold a recipe for disarster.
The firemouth will probable kill and then eat the other fish.
Stick to either all african or all SA (south American). And even then you will have to get compitable species
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your reply. I have had my fish for one week and have already become attached to them. I dont want them to get killed by each other, Is there something else i can do.

PLEASE! need more opinions

Thank you,
Ron
 

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If you are careful and you have enough space its possible to mix CA and rift lake cichlids. Your fire mouth and lab will be able to get along long term, especially in a 150. You may have trouble with your upside down cat as it needs softer water and the bala "sharks" will get very large, you may want to take these fast swimming giants back and exchange them for something else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just got off the phone with the pet store. The guy told me that they dont take returns on fish so im stuck. I guess i will just have to set up another tank for my balas. The clerk told me that if i start with least aggresive fish first they will learn to adapt. Is this true or is this more smoke!!!

Thanks,

Ron
 

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If you have a 6' tank than you'll be able to keep your bala sharks long term. What are the dimensions of this aquarium?
 

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the bala sharks will get about 13" and do better in group since they scare easy. the firemouth needs softer water with a low ph, while the lab and upside down catfish like hard water with a ph of 7.5 or higher. there is a chance if the petstore doesnt do anything to their water and have all fish in the same conditions, then the ph may not bother any of them. i know the place i go to conditions their water according to what fish are in the tanks. another problem i see is if you get more african cichlids, their hyperactivity may spook the bala sharks causing them to crash into the sides of the tank or decorations. it could possibly work out in the end, youll just have to plan future fish purchases around what you already have, such as more laid back cichilds and stuff that gets big enough not to get ate.
 

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james1983 said:
the firemouth needs softer water with a low ph, while the lab and upside down catfish like hard water with a ph of 7.5 or higher.
This is incorrect. Fire mouths (Thorichthys meeki) are central American cichlids and will do fine in a higher pH, ~8.0 at the upper limit. Upside down catfish (Synodontis nigriventris) are African riverine fish and will appreciate a lower pH with softer water. They are also best kept in a small group. Labs (Labidochromis caeruleus) are from lake Malawi and are pretty mellow.

Profile for the fire mouth is here; http://www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=65
Profile for the upside down cat is here; http://www.planetcatfish.com/catelog/sp ... ies_id=334
Info on the lab is here; http://www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/s ... hp?id=1669

There doesn't seem to be any confusion regarding the bala sharks, they get large are great jumpers and can be easily spooked.
 

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My two cents:

I once had a 135 gallon tank with a fire mouth, severums, gouramies, frontosa, ladidochromis, a tropheus, and all kinds of other cichlids and noncichlids. Not one fish was killed by any other and they all lived fine on frozen brineshrimp. It was one of the most interesting tanks that I ever had. I will bet money that if you have some rocks and plants in there, they will be fine. How many pet stores have you been to and seen them mixed? I have seen it many times. I have read the same stories about mixing fish, but found them to be a bit exaggerated.

I have also found that fighting problems with cichlids are most easily solved by putting more fish in, not fewer. when you put too few, they tend to establish territories and defend them. If there are many, they tend to capitulate and just swim around. However, mixing and crowding does take some of the fun out of cichlids since they don't exhibit their natural behavior as well.

Anyway, everyone will say I'm crazy, but I think you are fine.
 

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Jorsay said:
My two cents:

I once had a 135 gallon tank with a fire mouth, severums, gouramies, frontosa, ladidochromis, a tropheus, and all kinds of other cichlids and noncichlids. Not one fish was killed by any other and they all lived fine on frozen brineshrimp. It was one of the most interesting tanks that I ever had. I will bet money that if you have some rocks and plants in there, they will be fine. How many pet stores have you been to and seen them mixed? I have seen it many times. I have read the same stories about mixing fish, but found them to be a bit exaggerated.

I have also found that fighting problems with cichlids are most easily solved by putting more fish in, not fewer. when you put too few, they tend to establish territories and defend them. If there are many, they tend to capitulate and just swim around. However, mixing and crowding does take some of the fun out of cichlids since they don't exhibit their natural behavior as well.

Anyway, everyone will say I'm crazy, but I think you are fine.
What do you consider "lived fine"? I'm also willing to bet that your frontosa was not full size and if your Tropheus did not perish on a diet of brine shrimp you're incredibly lucky. Of course feeding brine shrimp as a staple isn't good for most fish in general due to their low nutritional value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am guessing at my tank dimentions, However I know its 150 Gallons becaused i purchased it new. I have talked to the pet store and they said to crowd the fish but not to much. I have a really nice setting with a peagravel base that has hills with allkinds of rocks. I have a lava rock that is biggeer around then a basketball. I also have good filtration with an xp-3 filter, Two 150 hummingbird pums, Two air pumps and a undergravel filter.
 

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Browse through the profile sections here and see what you're interested in...

You want to choose species that have the same dietary and water requirements.

Your tank is large enough that you should be able to set it up really nice, but with cichlids, it's very important to pick the right species to house together. (I wouldn't keep a firemouth and Yellow lab together, but I've sure heard worse LFS advise and seen people wind up with some really bad mixes.)

What's more important to you? Do you want alot of colour? Breeding?
 

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ron l said:
I am guessing at my tank dimentions, However I know its 150 Gallons becaused i purchased it new. I have talked to the pet store and they said to crowd the fish but not to much. I have a really nice setting with a peagravel base that has hills with allkinds of rocks. I have a lava rock that is biggeer around then a basketball. I also have good filtration with an xp-3 filter, Two 150 hummingbird pums, Two air pumps and a undergravel filter.
Why not just measure your aquarium to ensure that you actually do have a 150? If you bought it from the same pet store there is a chance that they lied to you about the volume considering the advice they gave you about the stocking. There is a significant difference in size between a 150 and a 100 gallon aquarium and if you want the best possible advice for your situation its good to be as accurate as possible. I think that in the long term you'll be able to maintain all these fish together without difficulty, but the accurate dimensions of your aquarium will be useful for further stocking advice.
 

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Darkside said:
What do you consider "lived fine"? I'm also willing to bet that your frontosa was not full size and if your Tropheus did not perish on a diet of brine shrimp you're incredibly lucky. Of course feeding brine shrimp as a staple isn't good for most fish in general due to their low nutritional value.
My frontosa was not full size. Most of us amateurs purchase baby frontosa from a pet shop (1 to 2 inches). I think it takes a couple of years for a front to reach even 8 inches. Many people make dramatic changes to their aquariums by then. Even getting rid of them. I think it is silly for people not to buy frontosa and enjoy them because their tank is not 6 feet long. A 150 gallon tank is clearly big enough for what this person has. He could put many more fish in there with no problem.

Contrary to popular believe, in the wild, tropheus do NOT live on plant matter alone. In fact, plant matter alone is not the best diet for tropheus. As I have said, I currently have five healthy tropheus (3-4 inches) that have lived mainly on brine shrimp and some spirulina for more than the past 6 months. I have raised and even bred tropheus on brine shrimp. (They also eat the algae in the tank.) By the way, the entire point about tropheus eating plant matter is because so much of it is roughage with low nutritional value.

I am not an expert, but I have read many books, some of which give some of the same advice that I read on these websites, and my experience of doing differently for 47 years tells me that much of this stuff is simply old wive's tales. You can set up a tank and mix all kinds of africans, south americans, and even some community fish without disasterous results. Just put lots of places for the fish to hide.

It sounds like this person will not change the fish he has, and I bet, assuming clean water, a reasonable number of hiding places, and assuming he doesn't keep adding or removing fish (which is the biggest stress on any agaurium, his fish will be just fine.
 

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Jorsay said:
Darkside said:
What do you consider "lived fine"? I'm also willing to bet that your frontosa was not full size and if your Tropheus did not perish on a diet of brine shrimp you're incredibly lucky. Of course feeding brine shrimp as a staple isn't good for most fish in general due to their low nutritional value.
My frontosa was not full size. Most of us amateurs purchase baby frontosa from a pet shop (1 to 2 inches). I think it takes a couple of years for a front to reach even 8 inches. Many people make dramatic changes to their aquariums by then. Even getting rid of them. I think it is silly for people not to buy frontosa and enjoy them because their tank is not 6 feet long. A 150 gallon tank is clearly big enough for what this person has. He could put many more fish in there with no problem.

Contrary to popular believe, in the wild, tropheus do NOT live on plant matter alone. In fact, plant matter alone is not the best diet for tropheus. As I have said, I currently have five healthy tropheus (3-4 inches) that have lived mainly on brine shrimp and some spirulina for more than the past 6 months. I have raised and even bred tropheus on brine shrimp. (They also eat the algae in the tank.) By the way, the entire point about tropheus eating plant matter is because so much of it is roughage with low nutritional value.

I am not an expert, but I have read many books, some of which give some of the same advice that I read on these websites, and my experience of doing differently for 47 years tells me that much of this stuff is simply old wive's tales. You can set up a tank and mix all kinds of africans, south americans, and even some community fish without disasterous results. Just put lots of places for the fish to hide.

It sounds like this person will not change the fish he has, and I bet, assuming clean water, a reasonable number of hiding places, and assuming he doesn't keep adding or removing fish (which is the biggest stress on any agaurium, his fish will be just fine.
Not to hijack this thread but... How did you manage to maintain aquariums for 47 years and have no experience with wild caught fish?
 

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Let's get back to the topic of helping the OP. Opinions may differ, but let's not derail this thread over them.
 
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