View Full Version : New to cichlids

07-21-2009, 03:32 AM
So I recently purchased a 38 gallon tank to put up in my room when I go off to college this fall. I knew that I wanted to do cichlids, so I talked with some of the other guys that will live at the house with me and they informed me that the water there is pretty hard. Hearing this made me decide on Africans over South Americans and ever since I've been doing some research and I've read one book on cichlid keeping. I'm planning on doing a course sand substrate with rocks to make caves and hiding places. However, I'm having trouble deciding on which cichlids I'm going to keep. Since this is my first cichlid tank, I was thinking about staying away from Mbunas and going with Tanganyika cichlids. The problem is, many of the pet/fish stores around me don't sell much other than electric blue johanniis or yellow labs when it comes to Africans. I know I want a few frontosas, but what else can I get for my 38 that will go with them and be somewhat easy to obtain? I would also like something that breeds rather easily, I always loved raising fry in my other tanks and if I could find a buyer for the fry some extra cash at college wouldn't be too bad.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

07-22-2009, 07:02 AM
Well im getting a pair of brichardi at the end of the month.
If you look at http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=47170

its a fairly similar question to yours, though i didnt get many replies, and another forum i asked started off on one arguing with each other, and i didnt get much help there either, so it seems to be a subject that everyones bored with so cant be bothered to fully help us with.

Brichardi seem to be prolific breeders, which is why i was having second thoughts as my tank is smaller than yours, meaning your tank should be able to handle it better.
i was also given the name...Altolamprologus calvus.
Which i thought looked grumpy, therfore having loads of character about them, they are very cool looking fish.
However i have decided to stick with Brichardi because of their graceful beautiful look, and it was my original plan. Plus my local does stock them. :1luvu:

Hope even my lack of experience with african cichlids has helped you a little.

08-15-2009, 10:25 AM
you would be best served by obtaining book on tanganyican cichlids-it will give insight on species habits and attitudes.
i know lemon cichlids are fairly friendly, and shell dwellers are also not aggressive, both grow to 3 inch or less.

08-15-2009, 12:11 PM
To start with I'm sorry to inform you that a 38 gal is way to small for frontosa even as a grow out tank.Within 6 months they would require a much larger tank. They require large tanks to be happy as they get quite large 12+ .Most people keep them in 125 gals +.As stated already brichardi would be good for a 38 gal. So would Altolamprologus calvus, Altolamprologus compressiceps otherwise known as calvus or comps for short, would be a good choice as well. There are also many species of Julidochromis which are awsome fish and breed quite easily. Here is a link to help you out.


08-20-2009, 04:05 AM
Sailors correct. Fronts a no no.

Daffoldil Pulchers would be another good choice. Five or six. With a few caves they breed quite easily. Provide some caves and expect a few mishaps once they start breeding or try to pair up. They are very specific when it comes to their mates. The males will either kill each other or chase and kill the females of their choice trying before they bond and breed. So I would suggest another tank to separate them(if you have the time to watch over their behavior) and or/for some fry as they breed like crazy once their colony gets started. I know mine had 20 fry the first time they huddled in the cave:1luvu: .

You will enjoy their beautiful blue eyes, fins, and graceful movements.


08-20-2009, 10:15 AM
i looked up some candidates,they stay small, there colorful, but it's recommended they be kept in species only for optimal coloration.

paracyprichromis nigripinnis-schools of 8-10

julidochromis transcriptus-dwarf cichlid ,

check out these two online .

08-20-2009, 05:26 PM
I'd recommend 6 J. transcriptus and a trio of L. multifasciatus (aka multi's) for breeding in a 38. You'll need to move out the 4 extra Julies after you have an established pair, and with the multi's do the same but keep 2 females. The multi's and Julies are small species, and will take excellent care of their fry w/out any real conflict between them.

08-22-2009, 09:33 PM
Did you choose anything in the end?
I got my brichardi as you may tell by my avatar. lmao
I love him! :1luvu:
I can now say they have lovely little characters, although he was sort of a rescue, and ive yet to introduce a female. He loves to dig holes, and play with small coral rocks. lol

08-22-2009, 11:40 PM

10-12-2009, 06:30 PM
In a tank that small a single frontosa would be ok for about 6 months to a year, i would do calvus or transcriptus or brichardi. Or you could do all of them.Make sure to use crushed coral sand and have lots of shells.Lelupi are nice as well.