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Please Help Me To Make The Best Stocking Choice

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by Dfish777, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. Dfish777

    Dfish777 New Member

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    Hi
     
    About 2 years ago I bought a 180 gals tank. It had already a mix of SA/CA and African cichlids. I decied to restart this tank so I got credit for all the fish I had there and ghot some new 2-3 inches fish (babies or juve). I am trying to decide the best stocking choice for the tank. I actually have:
     
    1 Oscar (I would like to keep)
    1 red severum (I would like to keep)
    1 Vieja syms red head (I would like to keep)
    1 flier cichclid (I don't like it too much so far)
    3 raimbow cichlid (I don't like them too much so far, I was expecting better colors)
    2 blue acara (no sure about their colors yet)
    2 firemouths ( I would consider this choice or 1 of them)
    1 pearl gourami (hmmmm I think it will be food sooner or later if I leave it here, am I correct/)
    1 raimbow shark (I like it)
    5 silver dollars ( just got it because big time recommendations about this fish but I would like to have a more colorful school for the tank later on, more red tones)
    7 cherry barbs (I will remove this for sure in a few days/weeks. Just wanted to add some red to the tank)
    1 red jewel (I was dissapointed about its color when it got to the tank. It lost the red color it had when I bought it)
    1 polleni small spot (I really would like it if it gets black with spots later on, it is like some brown color constantly changing)
    1 banded leporinus (I like it)
    1 clown pleco ( undecided about this one)
    5 clown loaches ( I am planning to leave about 2 or 3 later on or remove all of them if I have to)
    1 rhino pleco (It looks a good choice)
    1 texas cichlid ( I love this fish)
    1 green terror (I like it)
    1 chocolate (no sure about its colors when mature)
    1 jack dempsey (I like it)
    1 female black convict (I think I will remove it)
     
     Let me start saying that my wife love red tones in the tank and she hates the nuptial crowns formation or deformities in the fish heads, like the ones from parrots and frontosas. All this fish are getting alone very well so far since they are all babies. I am trying to decide what way to go, If I leave the more peacefull side of the cichlids, what should I keep there? or if I should remove the more peaceful ones and get a cuban, a red terror,  and a jaguar, also babies, of course. In this case, which ones should I remove from my tank. So far I love the severum and the texas. I know they are the 2 opposite sides of aggression. Or just thinking to keep all these fish and remove lthem according to the way they grow and adapt to the tank. My wife loves to see something red there and this is why I got the red jewel and I am considering if I remove this one and get the red terror with the more aggressive ones or leave this ones with the more peaceful ones. Please I would like to get some recommendations and point of views. How many of these fish can I leave actually there when they grow? Thanks. My filter is a canister Fluvial FX 5 that actually keeps the parameters of the water under control. (0 am, 0 nitritres, and around 10 to 20 nitrates with 25% water change weekly).
     
  2. Wills

    Wills Moderator
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    Hi welcome to the forum :) thats quite the tank you have there! As you say you have way too many cichlids in there at the moment. For me I would do this
     
    1 red severum
    1 Chocolate Cichlid?(did you mean choc cichlid or choc plec?)
    1 Flier Cichclid
    3 Rainbow Cichlid
    2 Blue Acara or 2 Firemouths
    1 Rainbow Shark
    5 Silver Dollars
    1 Clown Pleco
    5 Clown Loaches
    1 Rhino Pleco
     
    You want to look at getting an other FX5 as these fish will cause a lot of waste as they get to adult size
     
    Wills
     
  3. Dfish777

    Dfish777 New Member

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    Thanks for so quick reply.... just wondering...do I have to make a choice between the acaras and the firemouth? are they incompatible? would this stock have many problems in the future if I go with:
     
    1 red severum
    1 chocolate cichlid/  or 1 vieja symspilum red head
    1 Texas
    1 Green Terror
    1 Banded Leporinus 
    1 Blue acara
    1 Firemouth
    1 raimbow shark
    1 rhino pleco
    5 silver dollars (or another school with a red tone on it, if I can find one, and good size for this tank)
    1 red jewel ( no 100% sure about this one)
    1 Oscar
    1 Jack Dempsey
     
    would the tank be overstocked? will the aggression levels be too high? could I add a cuban cichclid and a red terror  to it later on?
     
  4. Wills

    Wills Moderator
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    It will end badly... it is totally the wrong tank for the Cuban or Red Terror (though you could go down the big brute route if you wanted but it would be significantly less big cichlids)
     
    I think the Sev and the Choc should work well together both south americans both well matched in terms of strength and jaw structure. The Choc and the Syns are not really comparable cichlids other than in size.
     
    The Texas and the GT are quite comparable also but as to how they mix with a Sev and a Chocolate is hard to predict, it could work but there would be a large element of luck in there as to how it would turn out. When planning a tank for people I prefer not to take this risky route and for a long term tank plan which is a must for cichlids IMO these are fish that can live into their teens and sometimes into their twenties.
     
    The reason I said Blue Acara or Firemouths is that they fill the same area of a tank for me, they do well when they are in a pair or more and at their adult size in this size tank a breeding pair would be manageable to prevent a female getting stressed where as the larger species would become to dominant as a breeding pair or group.
     
    The Jewel - forget it, they are an absolute nightmare and need to be kept in a tank stocked around them rather than being part of a community. Great fish for the right tank but I dont think this is it...
     
    Oscar - Oscars are one of those fish that I think are the most unpredictable - I left it out of the stocking option simply because of this reason. I think one is manageable with the other fish in this tank but you need to make sure they are the priority in the tank and stock around them accordingly. I also wouldnt trust the Oscar with the Red Tailed Shark, I know of one that has ended up with an adult pictus catfish stuck in its mouth, both survived but it could have been a close call...
     
    JD would be manageable in the right tank as well.
     
    Your Silver Dollars and Rainbow Sharks are a good choice, though some of the cichlids may take a nip at the shark and being a naked fish nips can cause major issues. The Rhino plec is good idea as well :)
     
    However the banded Leporinus, not sure this is the best option, they are a schooling fish and they are large growing. They can also be a bit problematic... I love headstanders I really do they are one of my favorite families of fish (after Cichlids) and for that reason I would say lets include them in the right mix - something like a group of Marbled Headstanders or Annostomus Ternetzi.
     
    So all that said, if the first mix didnt work for you - you could maybe try something like
     
     
    1 red severum
    1 Texas
    1 Green Terror
    1 Jack Dempsey
    5 Silver Dollars (what about the Red Hook Silver Dollars?)
    5 Swordtails (any colours)
    15 Red Eye Tetras
    1 Rainbow Shark
    1 Rhino pleco
     
    Its not as many cichlids as you would have perhaps hoped for but I think it is a safe number and the fish in there will really thrive.
    Wills
     
  5. Dfish777

    Dfish777 New Member

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    I like this list much better. I was trying to find red hook, but they are very expensive in my area (Houston) atm and hard to find them. I also love the swordtails, I was going to get them, but I was told that they were going to be food for bigged fish. I really will get them for this combination. Regarding the 15 red eye tetras, I was just looking at them in the internet and I think that the tank with all the silver dollars and the tetras would have a lot of gray/silver on it. Probably 15 tiger barbs or some red/boesmany raimbows instead of the 15 tetras would give a better tone??? would these (swordtails and barbs or raimbows) would be safe with the cichclids? and ty for additional info:)
     
  6. Wills

    Wills Moderator
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    Hi no problem :)
     
    Adult Swordtails should be okay with the cichlids, they will grow faster and are quite biotope correct in the tank for most of the fish anyway :)
     
    The Tetras I put in again should work they are quite large chunky tetras as adults but swapping them for the Rainbows would work great :)
     
    Wills
     

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