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Whats an easy to care for cichlid?

Discussion in 'African Riverine & Madagascar' started by cuticom, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. cuticom

    cuticom Addicted Reefer

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    My mum is under a delusion that cichlids are salt water fish and incredibly hard to care for. I'm attempting to change that LOL.

    So what cichlid is an easy to care for fish that dosnt need an overly large tank, say a tank about 40-50 litres, that dosnt need extra water additives besides the usual filter and heater?

    And could I have some websites about the fish?

    thanks ever so
    Emma
     
  2. Rbishop

    Rbishop ...and over the edge.
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  3. cuticom

    cuticom Addicted Reefer

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    which would be one of the easiest to acre for though? are they all fairly easy to acre for?
     
  4. fish_freak

    fish_freak Retired Mod

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    Cichlids are all realativly hardy fish that require the same care and water maintence as most tropical community fish. African cichlids that ones that look like salt water fish and will benefit from the addtion of rift lake water conditioners that make your water simulate the hard alkaline water they come from but its not something you have to add.
     
  5. johnlarson66

    johnlarson66 These Pandas Rock

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    I would start off with yellow labs. They seem to be the hardest and most well tempered. They are also widely available.

    Many people think my tank is saltwater because of the colors that the african fish have.

    I also have items in my tank to keep the PH up. I have shells, coral, and the dreaded crushed coral mixed in my gravel. I would suggest having plenty of rocks so they can hide and a few fake plants. They are very territorial and like to have thier own space.

    I add aquarium salt, but after coming here I am not sure if that is needed. I was told at a LFS to do it, so I did. I have not added it to my latest tank.

    If doing a small tank, I think 2 yellow labs would look great. I think there are other ones that do not get as big, but I think yellow labs are great starter fish.

    I will say that once you get into africans, you will most likely want a larger tank. They are fun fish to have.
     
  6. Star_Rider

    Star_Rider AC Moderators
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    if you are considering a 50L tank is apprx 13 gallons the 60 l is about 15 gallons.
    check your water..that may also help determine which way to go with cichlids.
    recommend dwarf species with thos tanks.

    ie soft/acidic water go with species that thrive in soft/acidic water

    hard/base water you can go with the speices that thrive in hard water.
     
  7. JulieC

    JulieC AC Members

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    The key thing to remember with African cichlids is that they need clean water. It is so important that you clean the tank using a gravel vacuum at least once a week. If they don't get clean water, it can lead to diseases like popeye which can be hard to treat if you don't maintain good water quality. The water test kit is your best friend with these guys.

    Another key thing to remember with Africans is that they are very territorial. They are the kind of fish that you have to overcrowd to reduce aggression over territory. Yellow labs are some of the less aggressive Africans, but they are still Africans and can't help but be territorial. Provide lots of caves, plants, rocks, and other hiding places so that the subordinate fish have some place to hide from the dominant fish.

    I'm not sure how large 40-50 litres is, but I recommend no smaller than a 30 gallon tank for more than one African. Also, if you only have 2, then the dominant fish will pick on the other until it is dead (that's how Africans are). The recommended ratio is 1 male to 3-4 females. That would require (in my opinion) at least 30 gallons of tank.

    There's a lot of research that goes into this, but once that's done the fun can begin. Just make sure you do your research on the fish you are interested in before you buy them. I guantee that your fish keeping experience will be better if you do the research in the beginning.

    Good luck. Looks like you're off to a good start!
     
  8. JulieC

    JulieC AC Members

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    I forgot to recommend a fish in my last thread!

    I'd say go with a shell dwelling species of African cichlid. They're small and they are very prolific. Parents and older generations of fry will raise the younger generations, in some species. They tend to do better in smaller tanks, as well.
     
  9. Star_Rider

    Star_Rider AC Moderators
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    tell mum..angelfish, discus are both cichlids.(I wouldn't recommend either of these for the tank you are considering)

    there are a lot of species you can consider but..I would recommend getting the largest tank you can and get a test kit..test pH (will help determine whichfish you can get)
    ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

    you can do a fishless cycle and while the tank is cycling..you can start looking for cichlids you can keep.

    fell free to post your results and ask for suggestions.
     

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