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Stocking a 60 Gallon

Discussion in 'New World Cichlids' started by JDFishFanatic, Aug 14, 2019 at 7:04 AM.

  1. JDFishFanatic

    JDFishFanatic New Member

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    Hi all,

    I've successfully kept a 60 gallon for the best part of 7 years with a breeding pair of Kribs and a group of Cardinal tetras. The time has come for me to try something new and, ideally, a little bigger. I've removed all fish from the tank and sold them to new owners and am now looking at cichlids, be that a pair of something larger or perhaps a group of 6-8 juveniles. I've looked at blue acara, redhead Tapajos, ellioti cichlid, Firemouth cichlid and Jack Dempseys. Can anyone offer me some advice on these and/or other fish that fit my description. Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forum :)

    What are the tank dimensions (length x width x height)?

    What is the GH (general hardness) and pH of your water supply. This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).
     
  3. JDFishFanatic

    JDFishFanatic New Member

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    Hi there,

    The tank is 120 x 30 x 60. My pH is around 7.2. The water in my area 18 dGH I believe.
     
  4. Metalhead88

    Metalhead88 Fish Fanatic

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    I think you're on the right track. Your measurements are in cm correct? So a 4 ft 60 gallon tank.

    All of the listed fish I have kept before (except the redhead. I've had other geos before though ) and with the exception of the jack Dempsey they would all make great tank mates with one another. The jack is by far the biggest and strongest fish of the list and once he gets larger, he'd likely claim that tank to himself. I would absolutely not recommend adding in a jack Dempsey with the other fish.

    Stick with other South American cichlids that stay under 6 inches or so. That way, you can have more fish. I think your idea of 6 to 8 cichlids is a little on the high end but not impossible. The fish would have to be some of the smaller ones like firemouths and elloti. Territory is not so much a factor since most of these fish are mostly peaceful except when breeding. So your biggest worry should be water quality when thinking of stocking.

    The redhead may be difficult to pull off as well since they do best in groups. Of 5 or so or more.

    I really like the fish you've chosen to look into.
     
  5. JDFishFanatic

    JDFishFanatic New Member

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    Thanks for getting back to me. Having kept the fish before, what would you do in my situation? Obviously i'd like fish which colour well when they are adults. Would you keep a small group of one species or perhaps a few pairs of different ones? I'm confident that I keep my tanks in good condition with regular water changes so keeping 8 fish would be possible, assuming they are not too far over 6 inches.
     
  6. Metalhead88

    Metalhead88 Fish Fanatic

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    I usually like to go with a variety of fish which can be difficult with aggression. If you had any serious problems with these fish and aggression, I'd be very surprised. A species only tank would mean all fish have the same temperament outside of personality.

    One thing that worries me is breeding, I don't want my fish to pair in a setting like this. So I usually try not to get more then one of the same species. Unless I can tell the sex of the fish. All of your options are quite hard to sex.

    Remember that cichlids are big and messy. It's crazy how fast nitrates will build up. It's so hard to say, but I think 8 fully grown fish is going to be a struggle to keep nitrates under 20. It'll certainly work for quite some time while they are small.

    If your open to re homing fish (I avoid this at all costs) you can do something like 2 firemouths, 2 elloti, 2 acara and rehome one if they pair or if your water quality gets out of control. Maybe some other fish you haven't listed? It's just tough because a lot of south American cichlids get larger and you've already named the best ones haha.

    Rainbow cichlid would fit in nicely.

    Are you interested in a regular blue acara or electric blue acara? Electric blue acara are one of my favorite fish.

    What do you have going on for filtration?
     
  7. JDFishFanatic

    JDFishFanatic New Member

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    I do quite like the idea of 3 pairs of fish, as it seems that my dream of having a group of 6 acara/firemouths/ anything else won't be feasible if they start to breed.

    I don't know enough about the differences between electric/blue acara, why do you prefer the electric ones?

    My filtration is an external filter which is capable of serving a tank of 80-90 gallons.
     
  8. Metalhead88

    Metalhead88 Fish Fanatic

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    The electric blue acara is believed to be a naturally occurring hybrid of the blue acara and blue ram.

    I'm a huge fan of the electric blue because of its bright coloring, active and curious personality, and that it is generally a tad less aggressive than a blue acara.

    Recently the electric blue has become much easier to acquire and more affordable. They have kind of pushed the regular blue acara to the side. If you google "blue acara" more than half of the google images that come up are of electric blue acaras.

    What model filter is it? If the manufacturer is rating it for a 90 gallon tank, you'd likely benefit from another filter. I've always kept 2 filters (or more) on any 4 foot or longer tank. This setup will have a higher bio load than your old setup.
     
  9. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    The only difference between a blue acara and an electric blue acara is the colouration. The electric blue is more colourful version of the blue acara. Same species, just better colour.

    Your tank isn't big enough for 3 prs of cichlids. 2 prs would probably work, they could have half the tank each. If you go for small peaceful South Americans (firemouth and blue acara) you could add some rainbowfish.

    The following link has info on different species of rainbowfish. Get a group of 6-10 rainbows from the bigger species and a couple of prs of cichlids and away you go.
    http://rainbowfish.angfaqld.org.au/Melano.htm
     
  10. Metalhead88

    Metalhead88 Fish Fanatic

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    Electric blue acara are hybrids. They are not just color variations or a morph like electric blue jack Dempsey.

    I still think, like colin that 8 cichlids is too much. I wouldn't nessarily avoid 2 of the same species, but a male and female that pair up is something that I think you'd like to avoid.

    Would you consider non cichlid fish? Certain schooling fish make great tank mates.

    I have giant danios in my 90 gallon cichlid tank. It was between those or rainbows.
     
    #10 Metalhead88, Aug 14, 2019 at 11:02 AM
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 12:29 PM

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