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What is the REAL tank minimum for CA cichlids?

Discussion in 'Central and South American Cichlids' started by powellmacaque, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. powellmacaque

    powellmacaque AC Members

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    I've researched all over with quite a bit of discrepancy when it comes to minimum (and by minimum, I mean minimum while still being optimum, not minimum and barely functioning) tank requirements for Jack Dempseys, Convicts, Texas Cichlids, and Firemouths. I would like to get a consensus and see what most people think is appropriate for these fish.

    From what I gather:

    Firemouths: 30+ gallons
    Convicts: 30+ Gallons
    Jack Dempsey: 55+ Gallons
    Texas: 55+ gallons

    Is that a good rule of thumb? What about somebody who wanted more than one type of cichlid in the tank, how does that change? What about for breeding?

    Any and all help is appreciated!
     
  2. user_name

    user_name Senior_Member

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    I have a problem with using a blanket term like 30g+, just because a 30g long would be MUCH better than a 37 tall. The dimensions of the tank matter much more than the actual water volume as a whole.
     
  3. Rbishop

    Rbishop ...and over the edge.
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    A single specimen or how many all together? For breeding purposes?
     
  4. stephcps

    stephcps AC Members

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    Difficult to answer. As already stated the dimensions of the tank matter more than actual volume to a certain extent. 1 fish is quite different than a group or even a pair. You would be better off to state a particular stocking pattern...I.e.1 jd, 4 fire mouths and a pair of convicts in a 75.....and then let people help you fine tune it.
     
  5. powellmacaque

    powellmacaque AC Members

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    What tank dimensions would be best per individual species per tank, and then additional room for specimens after that?

    I'm not really planning on putting a tank together with these fish, but I've just noticed more discrepancy with CA cichlids than with SA or Africans.
     
  6. loves Angelfish

    loves Angelfish AC Members

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    Firemouths: 30+ gallons
    Convicts: 30+ Gallons
    Jack Dempsey: 55+ Gallons
    Texas: 55+ gallons

    ^^ I would say this is right
     
  7. excuzzzeme

    excuzzzeme Stroke Survivor '05

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    Neither Firemouths nor convicts require 30 gallon tanks. Each species can be kept as a pair in a 20 high at minimum. I would do no less than than a 20 high. When you say convicts you intend the black (zebra) convicts or the Pink Congos? The Pink Congos are much more aggressive than the black ones and have been known to kill the female if she either wasn't ready or not interested in mating. Trying to find homes for them is also difficult due to the aggression levels. Also, because convicts breed so rapidly and have large broods, they can be worse than guppies in both number and frequency. Althought I kept a single pair in a 125 with 3 Copadichromis Borleyi and an Oscar, I found that I could successfully keep more pairs of them and at one point had 3 pair. (Tank 72x18x20~) Since I "breed fish on demand" for a couple of LFS, it's not like having them permanently in my tanks.

    IF cichlids (in general) can mate with a rock they would. They are very prolific breeders and never turn down a good-looking lady! So yes, cross-breeding can be an issue that you have to watch for. People talk about guppies being prolific but I feel that cichlids are worse. If you end up with cross-bred fish you must cull them to prevent contaminating the gene-pool. It's the most responsible action to take. When I end up with more than the stores wanted I cull them as feeders for larger fish (I don't allow cross-breeding - all tanks are conspecific).

    Jack Dempsey, Oscarfish, Flowerhorns and like sized fish are better off in a 75 or larger. A 55 is only 13" and those particular stout fish can get larger than 15" even though most seems to hold about 12-14" in captivity.
     
  8. RisiganL.

    RisiganL. AC Members

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    I somewhat disagree with convicts in a 20 gallon high. They can by all means fit in a tank of that size, but a 20 gallon long seems like a far better fit. The convicts that I have experience with have always been somewhat large and aggressive. Also, I was under the impression that pink congos and the regulars are the same species, but just different color morphs.
     
  9. excuzzzeme

    excuzzzeme Stroke Survivor '05

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    I was saying MINIMUM and not saying what would be better. Personally, I do 2-3 pair in 48 - 72" tank to allow room for territory issues. As far as species, the pink convict is a pseudo-albino of the Archocentrus nigrofasciatus Convict Cichlid which supports your contention that it is a color morph difference. However true that may be, The pinks are called Pink Congos because they originated from a different part of the deep forest and by nature are much more aggressive and suppodely to help account for the aggression were tagged with Pink Congo to make them sound more exotic and therefore more desirable. The name has pretty well fallen out of use as a trade name since most people know that the Congo is in Africa and not So. America. It's just one of those throwbacks to earlier hobby days. What makes them more aggressive I never did learn about other than from "older books", (hey, you gotta use what you can get your hands on. We don't have much for a public library), the differences I stated. Having bred both the black convicts and pink convicts, I have noticed a marked aggression difference between the two colors. If the fry are left in the aquarium too long, the female Pink Convict will sometimes eat the fry, which will compel the male to viciously attack the female, eventually killing her if she is not able to stay hidden. Again, I don't know why that is but have experienced it when breeding them. I have never had that experience with the black ones even with multiple broods in the same tank.
     
  10. powellmacaque

    powellmacaque AC Members

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    Here is my ultimate plan:

    I'd like to use my 20G high to keep some CAs (preferably Marbled Convicts) until I move into my bigger apartment this summer.

    Upon moving, I'd like to start either a 75 gallon or 90 gallon with possibly a pair of convicts (either a breeding pair or two females) and one EBJD; perhaps more fish (firemouths or convicts) if they could fit.

    Does this sound like a solid plan? I'd like to use the 20 gallon as a quarantine/grow out/grow up tank for the younger cichlids and then introduce them when they were big enough to handle the already semi-grown convicts.
     

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