View Full Version : Starting a cichlid tank, need advice.

06-18-2008, 02:04 AM
I've just begun cycling my 40g breeder tank and I'm deciding on what to put in it when the cycle is complete. Currently for decor I have a bunch of medium-large rocks and driftwood set up in various caves and hiding places. I don't have any plants yet because I was hoping to grow live plants when the cycle is complete. But I've been reading up on some Central American cichlids and it seems they may be destructive to live plants so I may go all-rocks.

Basically I'd like to know what Central American cichlids I should use, and if I should even bother with live plants at all. I was thinking of starting with a small Jack Dempsy and a Convict. But I'm open to other suggestions.

Also, how easy is it to mix cichlids from different regions? I like a lot of South American and African cichlids and I wouldn't mind adding a few of those into the tank as well.

06-18-2008, 02:15 AM
Well i can answer the last question that africans cant go with SA they just dont mix

06-18-2008, 01:31 PM

Jack Dempseys in a 40 gal tank is a NO go. They get way too big for this tank size.

Nice and cute looking animals from Central America would be:

a couple of Herotilapia multispinosa and maybe a couple of Firemouths or lets say Cryptoheros spilurum. These animals belong to the hardy ones, and they dont need special water. You can keep them in every water as long its clean and about 23-25 degrees C warm.

Those thre fish wont get too big (max 14 cm, less is more possible) and are "peaceful" Cichlids. What also is pretty nice, they dont "destroy" life plants, so you could keep at leastsome Javafern or bigger Cryptocorynes.

07-01-2008, 01:48 PM
yea, no to the jd in a 40 gallon. live plants dont work much either, as they tend to eat on them as well as just dig them up. smaller c/a and s/a's are like the above stated, firemouths are rather hardy and they are small, convicts, but try not to put a pair in with anything else... umm as far as the africans with the americans.. it is possible but i wouldnt do it, i had a peacock in with my c/a's when i first started messing with fish.. i later realized with the different water requirements these 2 fish take i was compromizing the health and happiness of one or the other so i started up a 55 gallon for my africans. like i said it is possible but i wouldnt recommend it.

07-01-2008, 09:49 PM
Well, I was given a small Jack Dempsey that had been nipped at by other fish in someone else's tank and he's doing well in my 40g. He's alone and will probably remain that way until he gets big and I have to give him away or something. He hasn't done much domage to my live plants and he's really shy. I can barely get him out of his hiding spots to get food from the surface. Hopefully that'll go away eventually.