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Discussion Starter #1
I am hoping to set up a cichlid tank in a few months so I'm searching for info oh what to get.

What type of cichlids can I get? (I prefer smaller fish nothing over 4in prefer less than 3in)

What type of substrate? Sand, gravel? Size of gravel? How deep?

Clean up crews? Petco guy said a CAE. I've always heard they are mean

Other tank mates, is there any fish that can be in the tank? Rafeal cat maybe?

Could I keep a Kribensis or two with my current 55 stock? Or Rams? I am moving those fish into a new planted tank. I read the kribs were okay in a community tank with lots of plants
 

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Kribs and rams can't live with african cichlids. For substrate use sand, with a rocky decor and no plants. Don't listen to the petco guy! Get a regular common pleco. What lake do you want to style the tank after? Malawi, tanganyika, or victoria? That will help detertmie what cichlids to keep.
 

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I won't get a regular common pleco because they get HUGE and I don't want that. So would a BNP be fine?

The question about the krib and ram was for my community tank, not a cichlid tank. I am wondering if they would get along with stock I have in the tetra tank.

I don't know what type of cichlids I want yet. I'm hoping someone can help me out in that department. I don't think I want Malawi because they get big don't they? Tanganyika ones are usually smaller from what I've been reading? Never heard of victoria.
 

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The reason i said common plec was because they get big enough that the african cichlids can't bother them. I think that BN plecos might be to small. Most of the cichlids in the hobby are Lake Malawi. Tanganyika cichlids are smaller but much more aggressive. Victorians are the largest and rarest. I suggest you get lake malawi-none of them get super-big, just bigger than tanganyikans. The only common tanganyikan i know of is the julie. there also the tiny 1-inch shell dwellers of tanganyika if your interested-but you migght want other fish besides tiny shell-dwellers.
 

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You might be able to..but the males will probably have territorial disputes and u will need more than 4-5 cave structures.
 

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cichlids are nice to look at, but they are a bunch of jerks,, i had to get another aquarium just to house the picked on fish . There is really no way to know what cichlid will be compatible with other cichlids.
 

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The foot print of the tank for African Cichlids is very important. A 4" tank is a minimum in my opinion. As for the substrate you can use crushed coral or silica sand. I also use Sea shells in my filter to keep the PH stable. I don't know what your water chemistry is like but I use buffer for water changes. You can buy commercial buffers or use plain baking soda.

I would start of with some more peaceful cichlids to name a few.

1) Labidochromis Caeruleus

2) Pseudotropheus Acei

3) Aulonocara Firefish

I can't comment on Rams or Kribs because I never had them.
 

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I also have a 55 that I will eventually set up for cichlids. Thanks for the good information.
I looked at the SA varieties and they look good to me. I like the idea of the smaller fish so I can keep more in the tank.

Could three or four species in pairs be kept in this size tank?
 

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Most Victorians will get 4 inches and females about 3 inches. I keep a couple of different kinds of Vics myself. Most vics you won't find in stores though and will have to order online either from a distributer or someone that raises them.

Most Victorians can also be kept with plants and don't tear them up to much as a lot of africans will. Tangs some can be pretty aggressive with other fish and some won't. You would just have to read up on them. I keep tangs in 15 long tanks by species only.
 

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I agree with the common pleco comment. african mbunas get too aggressive for bristlenose, however stranger combos have worked. apistogramma are pretty cool little cichlids. i think you would need to lock down the region to african or non african. I loved keeping victorinas. the colors were incredible. I don't think they are as uncommon as they used to be. thanks to a few people in texas, :), i think they have filled a few more tanks. I know that I can get vics shipped real cheap. anyhow good luck. you may just need to get some more tanks to house all differnet kinds of dwarf cichlids.
 
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