55G Cichlid Tank

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Vincenia

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Recently this tank has sat empty since I lost my old fish late last year. Finally got it filled up again and running. I had some biomax from my broken AC 70 and put it into the filter currently on the 55g. The current filter is a Cascade 300, rated for 80g. I will add a bigger filter later, I can’t do a canister since the tank is a dresser.

I have a pile of rocks in the center with 7 caves, goong to add more rocks later.


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tanker

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What kind of Cichlids are you planning on keeping?
 

Vincenia

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Lake Malawi either Mbuna or peacocks, I know the Mbuna are aggressive, while peacocks aren't as aggressive as Mbuna. I'm leaning towards Mbuna. The Zebras and Bumblebee caught my eye. I'm going to pick up Omega One Cichild pellets and some frozen food. Any ideas on any?
 

Tifftastic

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I don't know if I would recommend Psuedotropheus (the zebras and the bumblebees) for that size tank. They are some of the most aggressive of the mbuna. I would suggest yellow labs and aceis, they're a little more peaceful and have a little smaller territories, which might make them easier to manage in a 55 gallon. When I worked in the pet store, we had to keep even the 2 inch bumblebees separate from the others, because they would kill them. A trio of Labeotropheus might be a good option too, they aren't too aggressive as far as mbuna go, and have quite nice colouration. You could easily mix them with the labs and aceis as well.
 

Vincenia

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I’ll look into those. Would peacocks work to, not sure.
 

Tifftastic

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I wouldnt mix haps and mbuna in the same tank. Especially one that small, nor would I personally keep haps in a tank that size. I think some of the smaller mbuna are a better choice for anything under 90 gal.
 

Vincenia

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I’ll look some up. I do like Yellow labs, just going to read up on some.
 

myswtsins

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Gonna agree with Tiff. 55 is about the smallest tank you can keep Mbunas in so you should stick with the small less aggressive ones like labs. Acei get bigger but are very peaceful. Having kept them though I would really want a 5ft+ tank for them as they are active and big but it is doable in a 4ft.

Another option would be a BIG group of demasoni (12+ adults) and you could even add a small group (1 male and 3+ females) of labs for more colors. This is a setup that has been proven successful many times.
 

Vincenia

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Demasoni seem a bit big to have 12+ in a 55g, but they are very pretty. Only labs around me are yellow labs, but that is ok. Would I be able to add some sort of catfish or should I leave it out?
 

myswtsins

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Demasoni get the same size as yellow labs and like I said having 12+ in a 55g is very common. They are very aggressive so you HAVE to stock them at or above the magic number of 12 (time and time again this has been the number that works). All Mbuna usually need overstocking to keep aggression (deaths) down. If you do some research you will see that 12-15 Mbuna is average suggested stocking for a 55g. You need to over filter your tank and stay on top of 50%+ WCs weekly. Keeping Mbuna is very difficult but very rewarding.

Depending what you stock yes some catfish can be kept with african cichlids, synodontis cats in particular work well.
 
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