How Do You Know what to Stock

Jan Cavalieri

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I have one 29 gallon aquarium that only has 5 fish in it that I could easily move to other tanks. So far, I've only purchased fish with a "peaceful" demeaner, regardless of what kind of fish they are. When shopping for fish, it seems like Cichlids always seem to be very easy to find in the stores (I wonder if people know what they are doing) but in general, they seem to be some of the most colorful of all freshwater fish. But they are known for being aggressive so it seems like you couldn't really have much of a community tank but would have to stick to 1 or 2 species. For example - with the African Cichlids - you could select Peacocks or Zebra's and be OK. Is that what you do? For those of you that stock the more aggressive Cichlids - how do you handle the aggression? Just keep a bunch of fish body bags around for all the deaths? Do they really often fight? Do you put them only in really large aquariums so their is space for them to spread out?
 

Jamesthecat

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Lots of caves and hidey holes so they can claim territory and then there’s no aggression
 

Colin_T

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A lot of people that really get into cichlids will have lots of tanks and keep one species per tank. If they have a mixed tank, they have lots of fish and lots of hiding places, and hope they don't kill each other. Once the fish settle in and establish their territories, they are usually ok. If you want a mixed cichlid tank, get similar sized fish and add them all at the same time so none have a home town advantage. This helps them settle in with fewer deaths.
 
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Jan Cavalieri

Jan Cavalieri

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That all makes sense. I'm either going to shut this tank down (since I have to pay a friend to clean them all for me or maybe try Peacocks or something that's peaceful to semi-aggressive. I've had experience with the big Gourami's which can be semi aggressive but the tank was too small for all 6 of them so it was constant bullying which is no fun to watch - so we found homes for them and got a fair number of peaceful Rainbow fish which are not overly exciting but it's been interesting watching them mature and turn into their adult colors or into mating colors. I can get about 5 different kinds of peacock fish at the online store I shop at most often and they are only semi-agressive They don't tell you the GH requirements, only list KH requirements of 10-15 = which I don't have (mine is 5.3)
 

Colin_T

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Peacock cichlids from Lake Malawi do best in water with a pH above 7.6 and a GH above 300ppm. The bigger species of rainbowfish will be fine with peacock cichlids and are fine in hard water with a high pH.

Most rainbowfish don't show their full colour until at least 12 months old and full size usually occurs around 2 years.

If you have rainbowfish, give them lots of plant matter in their diet. Duckweed is great for them, and algae flakes too.
 
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