View Full Version : Cichlids in a community tank..

02-01-2009, 06:57 AM
Which cichlids can I put in my community tank? It's a 72 gal. I just set it up and am open to ideas. I will be having Cory cats, Loaches and a clown pleco for the "bottom". I still giving thought (reading) on what else to add..



02-01-2009, 07:15 AM
Hunt up my Mellow Cichlid and Dwarf Cichlid posts. Several fish in those lists that are very suitable for your 72 with the fish you have planned.


02-01-2009, 01:52 PM
Thanks Dave, I'll do that....


02-02-2009, 07:29 PM
Depending on species the clown pleco may be more of a driftwood attachment than a bottom dweller, make sure you get a positive ID to determine dietary requirements.
As for cichlids, aside from the cory cats most of the small to mid-size SA or CA species should be alright. Will you be wanting a spawning pair, or simply a few mixed males for variety? In general single males defending a territory mainly target members of their own species, and to a somewhat lesser degree other cichlids. Non-cichlids tend to be ignored unless they're in direct competition for space/territory.
A breeding pair is another matter, particularly when guarding eggs/fry, and cory cats may not be a good idea depending on the cichlid species.
Loaches can usually fend for themselves IME, the switchblade spines under their eyes are an effective defense against most other fish. Keep in mind that they are social fish and need to be kept in groups of their own species, same w/cory cats (assuming you care about the fish.)

02-02-2009, 10:18 PM

Thanks for the tips..... I bought (2) Krebensis, a male & a female, (2) Clown Loaches today, they are all doing good. The Kreb's like the large driftwwood in the center of the tank, I think that will be theirs... I think I'm going to hold off on the pleco until the tank is better established..
I do want to add more Cory's ( about three) and a few more Loaches, I can "mix" Loaches, right? I would like a group of (6), three sets of two. I do care about the fish, that is why I am worried about them all "getting alone" and I don't want to overcrowd the tank. I am also providing plenty of plants and caves for them.....


02-02-2009, 10:25 PM
you can have different types of loaches in the tank, but mixing different species to make a group won't work. The clown loaches will like ot be with other clown loaches and wont really school with say yo yo loaches.

02-02-2009, 11:52 PM
I've always found eartheaters to be a good community cichlid. And there are many different kinds of them. Some small, some larger, but mostly all docile fish.

02-03-2009, 01:18 AM

Thanks, then what I'll do is have (3 or 4) Clown Loaches and (3 or 4 ) other Loaches, we really like Loaches.....


I'll hunt aroud for Eartheaters this weekend, do you know how they act with Krebensis?



02-03-2009, 02:46 AM
Clown loaches are like goldfish; they will grow to over 12" (although much more slowly) given proper care. Unless you have a very large tank or plan to get rid of them when they get larger (and much less attractive, the color doesn't remain as bright) it's better to stick with smaller species. Yoyo's are much more common, but if you look around (and are willing to pay shipping if your lfs can't or won't help) there are plenty of attractive species available. I have a group of 5 Burmese border loaches that my wife really likes now, and unlike clown loaches they will look better when they mature (around 4-5".)
Sid's are the dwarf species, and have a reputation for being nasty little buggers. The red-tails are another somewhat aggressive sort, they make good tankmates for larger (than krib's) cichlid species. Any social species needs to be kept in groups, not singles or pairs, so that the fish on the bottom of the pecking order doesn't get ALL the abuse, usually resulting in slow death.

02-03-2009, 03:45 AM

I'll be looking for those Loaches this weekend, and thanks for all the other advice/pointers. I didn't know about the "groups", I'll change my plan for the tank from pairs to groups..

Thanks again,


02-03-2009, 01:43 PM
Check out loaches.com for more info than you'll likely ever want or need. Generally speaking, the easiest way to go is to see which species are available and then research the specifics. One of the frustrating things about the hobby is seeing a fish that you really like, finding that it would work well for you, but it isn't available (or the price is outrageous...)