ca/dwarf cichlid ideas for a 5x2x2 sumped/planted

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randomguy851

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Original poster
Jan 24, 2019
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Hi guys
Im looking to setup a busy planted/wooded tank with the above fish, but IM new to this part of cichlids. Last tank was 600 litre malawi tank, and Ive kept fish for years.

Struggling to get my head around which species to keep really.

Love all the Geo's, but local water is quite hard.

I also like a fairly strong flow in the tank with lots of coverhideaways.

Looking for guidance on which of CA/Dwarf species will cohabit with some dithers and cats.

If I cant make my mind up, Imjust going to end up filling it up with Barbs as they work so well in a big busy tank.
 

MChambers

AC Members
Jun 5, 2009
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Washington DC
If you’ve got hard water, I’d go with CA cichlids, not SA. They’re aren’t that many dwarf CA cichlids, however. Maybe rainbow cichlids? Beautiful fish and pretty easy to keep.

More exotically, maybe Amtitlania myrnae, if you can find them.
 

fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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SF Bay area, CA
Most SA/CA cichlids dig in the substrate "Eartheaters" (geos) are called that because that's what they do, anything up to pea gravel size is fair game.

There a couple ways to have both plants & diggers. You can go with plants like java fern & anubias attached to wood or rocks. Or you can try placing larger rocks at the base of other plants to protect their roots.

I've kept CA cichlids like blue acaras, firemouths & Jack Dempseys in pretty hard water, they were fine. Most were bred locally to me at that time Ask what pH, GH, etc is before you buy. Don't take "ok" for an answer.

I haven't kept geos but I suspect they might be adaptable to harder higher pH water. But sometimes you just can't have it all...be flexible.
 

randomguy851

Registered Member
Original poster
Jan 24, 2019
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Thanks guys. Now thinking of a group of ?? firemouths plus assorted dithers and catfish....

Any thoughts on these ?

and how many ?
 

fishorama

AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
9,350
599
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SF Bay area, CA
Well, you can probably have 2 pairs of firemouths. We kept a pair of them & blue acaras in a 4ft tank. The acaras took 2/3's of the tank & the smaller firemouths got the rest.

Cichlid females, although smaller than males, are maybe more aggressive, inch for inch. & they mature earlier than males too.
 
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