Stocking Help for 694L/183gal Pet of the Month
🐶 POTM Poll is Open! 🦎 Click here to Vote! 🐰


New Member
Nov 2, 2021
Reaction score
Picked up 2 new tanks the other day and have finally refurbished the stand, cleaned the tanks out and moved the heavy f*ckers inside.
Planning to do a new world cichlid setup on top in the 6'x2'x2' and an african cichlid setup on the bottom 6'x1.5'x1.5'
Have ordered 2 Fluval FX6 V2 Giants, one for each tank, and an Aqua One 104F-Maxi that came with the tanks which will be going in the new world setup as well.

Went browsing at 2 of Perth's biggest retailers, Aquotix and Vebas, to get an idea of what I can source locally and came back with a list of potential stocking ideas.

Chocolate/Emerald Cichlid/Hypselecara temporalis
Black Diamond Cichlid/Paratilapia polleni
T-Bar Sajica
Rivulatus White Saum
Herichthys carpintis
Firemouth Cichlid/Thorichtys meeki
Convict Cichlid/Amatitlania nigrofasciata
Jack Dempsey/Rocio octofasciata
Tiger Oscar/Astronotus ocellatus

Q1. Would these all work together?
Q2. Was thinking just 1 of each, so would this be fully stocked?
Q3. Would the filtration be enough? Have read you should have 8-10x volume turnover per hour, but after dropping $1.3k on the 2 FX6's i really don't wanna be buying more filters.
I don't know a lot about cichlid because I hate aggressive fish - I've owned one that was semi-aggressive, and she was difficult to manage with my peaceful fish in the same tank, but she settled down to "peaceful" after finally getting it that the other fish were not responding to her aggression. Get this - we have one privately owned pet store in the city with an owner that claims to have many years of experience. I was a newbie and went looking for a medium sized gourami and he lied to me (easily because this fish had the "dot" like a gourami would have). It grew to 8" in length before she died - her favorite place to hide was a fake log. She was getting very big, and I was looking for a larger circumference log for less than $100 for her to lounge in (the "peaceful" Gourami's weren't very kind to her.) when she must have gotten stuck. I can't figure out how she gained that much weight in one day, but I am now very careful with the size of their toys and hideouts.

I recently set up a saltwater system (and you think 1.3K is a lot of money? - skip saltwater tanks for sure). Well, the requirements for cichlid are very similar. While picking things out read up carefully on the level of aggressiveness of all the fish in that category. Also check and make sure it is safe to have more than one male or just more than one of the same type. I have been really surprised at how difficult it is mixing and maxing the kind of project you are doing but frankly I think more owners would have fewer problems if they checked these things out before buying,

Also, far as PH and Hardness - see if the same type of cichlid requires similar PH and hardness, most likely they will, and their PH usually needs will be in the low 8 range - (higher than other tropical fish that require a 6.8 to 7.4 PH). So, unless you search long and hard, you'll have problems if, in the future, you want to add other tropical species. First test your water for it's PH, then do your research on each species requirements. I always make up a spreadsheet, so I don't have to research the entire thing again. If your PH is too low, you can purchase a bottle of PHup and follow the directions, so you don't overshoot your PH. If your PH is too high, you can purchase a bottle of PHdown to lower the PH. Go slowly before you add any fish to make sure your PH is stable.

Maybe others have done the type of research you are requesting but it would take me a couple of hours to do it - and it's just as easy for you to do it yourself then to ask others to do your research for you - that said, there are some people on this website that probably have all this memorized and will be able to respond. There are also very knowledgeable websites, including Wikipedia that should have everything you need to know. There are also a number of online websites that list the parameters for each species - try going to and look up as many of the fish that they you want and most have a spreadsheet of that fish's needs - PH, water hardness, temperature, size, agressiveness etc., and often several paragraphs regarding whether you should only have one of that type of fish in the tank or if you can have a male and a female in the tank (keep in mind if you are buying young fish sexing may be difficult and even with adult fish sexing may be difficult.) Very useful, even if you can't afford to purchase (I can't imagine the cost of overnight shiping to Australia or if it can even be done at such a distance.)

Your filtering sounds amazing and perhaps overkill but you can never have too much filtering. I think you're fine on that.

Are you a newbie to tropical fish? You don't really say - but if you are I would strongly recommend you don't start with Cichlids. They are the beauties of the freshwater world, but they have their issues, mainly the aggressiveness. The best type of food for them. So, try to match aggressiveness levels for those in the same tank. There are even a few peaceful cichlid, but they wouldn't stand a chance against most of the other cichlid. If you aren't a newbie, you should know how to research out things like aggressiveness, or if you can have more than one of the same species in a tank. I do it before I ever purchase a fish then add that information to a spreadsheet that I try to keep maintained so I don't have to research it all again.

Finally order or pick up from your pharmacy a bottle of clove oil. If one of your fish gets into a fight with another one and is badly injured, you'll want to humanely euthanize. I put the fish in a container with his tank water and add a few drops at a time until the fish is sleeping. I then add a LOT more clove oil to the container. And wait and watch for the fish to stop breathing. Pick him up and feel for a heartbeat (this may take several minutes, add him back to the container and add several more drops until his heart has stopped.
Cheers for the reply Jan, appreciate all the info.
Was orginally thinking of doing one a saltwater tank but currently studying so dont have the funds to go all out at the moment.

Spreadsheet idea is a great one, i find myself constantly going back and forth researching the same species.

My water out of the tap is 8PH and hard so suitable for majority of the cichlids.
From what i had researched already they should all be compatible except maybe the T-Bar Sajica, possibly too small compared to an Oscar and could become food.
Picked up 2 new tanks the other day and have finally refurbished the stand, cleaned the tanks out and moved the heavy f*ckers inside.
LOL :)
ROFLAMO :rofl:

I don't do big tanks anymore because of that :)

Went browsing at 2 of Perth's biggest retailers, Aquotix and Vebas
I wouldn't call Aquotix a big retailer. They aren't really cichlid specialists either. Oliver is worth talking to about small peaceful cichlids but unless he has started keeping bigger cichlids, he won't be that useful. Kerri and Colin aren't big cichlid keepers either. If they have other workers there, they might be into cichlids but I haven't been to the shop for a while.

Vebas on the other hand, do carry a lot of cichlids. Aaron at Vebas is quite knowledgeable about cichlids. Avoid most of the kids at Vebas and watch them catching fish for other people. If they take more than a few seconds to get the fish, find someone else to catch them for you.

If you are interested in cichlids, you might want to pop along to the cichlid society meetings. Do a Google search for Perth Cichlid Society. they used to do a Facebook page too so you might find them on there.

If you go to the cichlid society meetings, see if Pierre is around. He is a nice guy and very knowledgeable on cichlids, especially African Rift Lake cichlids.

I wouldn't keep rivulatus with sajica because the rivulatus will kill the sajica and might even go after the firemouth and convict. Convicts will hybridise with sajica.

Jack Dempsey grow to 10-12 inches and can get quite nasty when mature. Watch them when they get bigger. Females are more peaceful (if that is possible) than males.

The rest of them should be fine.

If you add cichlids to a tank, try to get them the same size and put them all in together, and get them young so they grow up together. If you have some bigger more established fish in the tank and add new fish, the new combers will probably be killed.

Your filters are fine. Just clean them at least once a month when they have finished cycling.

More importantly for cichlids is clean water and clean gravel. Do a big (75%) water change and gravel clean the substrate every week. This keeps the number of disease organisms like Hexamita down to low levels so there is less chance of the fish developing hole in the head disease.

Keep the nitrates under 20ppm too.

Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank. Perth has way more chlorine in the tap water than is recommended by the World Health Organisation, and it is very easy to poison the fish by adding chlorinated tap water to the tank.

The chlorine levels go up rapidly when it's hot, so either double dose with dechlorinator when we have heat waves (above 35C), or single dose and aerate for 24 hours before using the new water. You can also get a chlorine test kit and monitor the chlorine levels before doing water changes. Normal chlorine levels should be around 2ppm, but Perth water can have 3 times that level due to the morons at the Water Corp.

Most reactions


Staff online