View Full Version : african or so.amer cichlids

12-07-2015, 08:07 PM
any suggestions and how many to a 120 gal tank. looking for some advice

12-07-2015, 08:46 PM
Really depends on type and size. Many go by e 1" per gallon rule, but that does change when you start keeping large body mass fish like oscars or Frontosa (just common examples). It also depends on if the 120 is a 4', 5', or 6' tank.

12-07-2015, 10:13 PM
Also it depends of the filtration level. I've seen tanks with at least 2 dozen full grown male Malawis. Mine has about 15 - 20 full grown as well and they are doing very well.

12-08-2015, 06:34 PM
not sure on so amer or Africans to start any advice and what is best to start with I have the 6 ft 125 gal

12-08-2015, 06:36 PM
at present I have a 2217 eheim and thinking of getting 525 gph sunsun to try

12-08-2015, 09:20 PM
They both have their appeals and water condition needs. Do you know what your water's pH is after a few hours? That may be your deciding factor if you're aiming for starting out as simply as possible. The less you have to mess with your water, the better IMO. Also, I'd recommend going to shops (and/or club meetings) to see the fish first hand decide what interests you.

12-10-2015, 12:52 AM
I have read alittle and Africans require a higher ph not sure how to regulate that. I was hoping to see the cycle of mating and birth but would still like an attractive fish to look at.still trying to make a decision but will consider advice from people that have been there. know what u know now where would u start and where would be a good place to buy them. again ty for ur time.

12-10-2015, 08:15 AM
I keep mostly Africans and maintain the higher pH and water hardness by using crush coral or argonate (spelling is wrong, but close) as a substrate as well as adding in small amounts of salt. The water in the GA area is typically soft and low pH which makes it easier to keep South Americans, but we like what we like and I have been hooked on Africans for many years now (got hooked when I live in the North East).

As for the breeding/mating cycles, both types of cichlids can have very similar behavior. Africans are most known for what is referred to mouth-brooding, but not all Africans breed in this method. Some lay eggs and guard them similar to the way most S. A. do. And if I am correct, there are even some SA's that mouth-brood (even though I can't think of any off the top of my head - as I said, I am an African guy).

The fish in my avatar is a Neolamprologus Buescheri and it is an egg layer similar to most SA species.

Other aspects to consider is if you would like to keep plants. Most Africans will see plants as extra food where SA's are not nearly as rough on the plants (again, a generalization that isn't 100% true all of the time).

Best suggestion I can give to you is to find some species that you like and ask questions about them. See if they are compatible or not. There are many people on this as well as other boards who keep many of the fish that you would like to get. Another aspect you will want to look into is how readily available the species is that you want to get as well as the size at the time you acquire the fish.

Keep us informed on what you do.

Mog Carns
12-10-2015, 02:50 PM
We are kinda taking shots in the dark here...

Forgive me if I am wrong, but I am thinking you might be new to fishkeeping. We all learn through experience, but that experience is easier the simpler the set up.

Len (HN1) asked you about your water after a few hours because that affects how simple the setup is going to be. As Tangfan said, most of Atlanta uses collected surface water that comes out of the tap somewhere between 5 and 7.5 pH. Acidity can be hard on pipes, so some towns have additives that shoot the pH up to ~9.5ish. However, the water is still very low in dissolved particles, meaning that that pH is temporary and the number crashes back down to lower after a few days (or hours). That crash is harmful to fish. That's the dumbed down semi functional version at least. If you REALLY care, I am sure a chemist can go on for pages and pages.

If you are new and in Atlanta, it is a fairly good idea to stick to South, Central, and North American, and Asian fishes; and those of the African rivers. African Rift Lakes are the ones with the higher pH requirement, and Australian fishes like water with a high mineral content as wild type... This is all super general, with plenty of exceptions and adaptations...

The easiest way to go about this is to start with a tank, as you have. The 125 is an excellent choice.

It is about 18 inches from the front to the back. That means you probably want fish that NEVER get bigger than 9 inches. That is more personal advice than a real rule, but it should be.
Also know that a big fish makes a big aquarium look small. A small fish makes a big aquarium look HUGE.

Now that you have that frame of reference, pick out (not buy) ONE fish that really stands out for you. Research the requirements of this fish. Note how much care is involved... some fish are more intensive. Once you have picked that one fish, come back and people here can help you pick the type of everything else... from how to decorate, and how many of that species have to be kept together, to suitable tankmates.