New cichlid owner question

Discussion on general cichlid care and issues. ID cichlids you don't know the origin of. Mixed tank questions.

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chabin76
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Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2005 8:11 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK

New cichlid owner question

Post by chabin76 » Mon Oct 24, 2005 8:28 pm

I am getting ready to set up a tank of cichlids and right now am looking at which ones I want to stick in my tank. I am wondering if there is a list of other fish that are compatable with cichlids. My wife complains that cichlids look too much alike and wants a little variety.

Thanks for the help.

Matt

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Lisachromis
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Post by Lisachromis » Mon Oct 24, 2005 8:48 pm

We'll need some basic info. Like....

How big of a tank do you have?
What are the water parameters of your local water? (pH, etc.)
Did you just want 'pretty' fish, or would you prefer something with a bit of a personality?
Did you want large fish?
Do you plan on breeding your fish?
Are you planning on getting your fish from the local petstore? (this goes to what sorts of fish are available)

When we know this, we can offer suggestions as to what cichlids would be good, and then maybe IF you can have other fish in the tank as well....

chabin76
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2005 8:11 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK

Post by chabin76 » Tue Oct 25, 2005 10:57 am

Sorry I didn't provide enough info previously. I have a 30 gallon tank. As for water pH, I don't know for sure but we seem to have pretty soft water so I will estimate about 6.5-7. My wife would like "pretty' fish, but personality is good too. I would like some smaller fish so that I can fit 6-8 fish in the tank I have. I don't currently plan on breeding but may later on. I would be getting my fish from an aquarium store in the area. I am posting this because though he has a lot of fish, including many types of cichlids, he says that he specializes in saltwater fish.

Thanks again.

Matt

MatsP
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Post by MatsP » Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:30 pm

Ok, so a "local store in the area" could be anywhere from Sydney, Australia, via Austin, Texas, U.S.A to Luleå in Sweden, or perhaps Rovaniemi in Finland? If you fill in your "Location" in the profile, it would help us help you. [Not that it REALLY matters for this particular question, but for instance someone living in the same area would know what the water is like, and if it's a reasonably big store they would probably know the store and what the commonly stock].

Aside from that, a 30g tank isn't particularly large, so the smaller cichlids would be the ones to aim for. You don't have hard water, so you should probably stay away from African rift lake cichlids [Malawi and Tanganyika Cichlids], although those have a tendency to be very colourfull...

I wrote down a few of the "nicer" small cichlids in this thread.

What's pretty and what's not is a very personal opinion thing, so I can suggest half a dozen fish to you, that I think look super-nice, but you think they are not. I can't tell what you like and what you don't.

A shop that specializes in salt-water fish is probably not a bad place to buy fish, better than some of the super-chain places, where no-one knows anything, and just sell common species that are easy to sell.

But in the end, choosing what fish to have in a tank is a bit like choosing curtains for the house. Some person will like dark brown plain ones, another the white ones with big flowers, a third person will choose plain white ones, a fourth person may hang plastic bin-liners across the window to make it dark, no matter what the rest of the world thinks about it.

However, you want to consider the maximum size of the fish, consider it's natural habitat and it's compatibility with your water [the shop, if it's using the same water supply as you, would be able to tell you the pH, by the way], and temperature. You also want to consider the different fish in the tank, and make sure they are compatible with each other. The last thing you want is to buy a new fish to your already set up tank and find the next morning that you have only ONE live fish in the tank.

Also, when setting up the tank, don't stock it full in one go. Get a few hardy fish to start out with, and then add more fish once it's established after some 6-8 weeks [it's a good idea to get a test-kit, to test the water with, but most shops will do a test for you. It's just a pain to get water out of a tank, drive to the shop, test it, and drive back home again.]

--
Mats

chabin76
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2005 8:11 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK

Post by chabin76 » Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:41 pm

Thanks Mats,

By the way, I live in Anchorage, AK.

Matt

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