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  1. Default New Very Large South American Cichlid Set Up

    0 Not allowed!
    Hi All,

    Brand new to the forum so bear with me.

    I'm looking for help/advice from more experienced aquarium owners on a South American Cichlid set up. I have a (roughly) 3,300 litre tank, not sure on measurements but probably 8ft x 4ft x 3.5ft. At the minute it has a built in rockwork across the back and a built in large cave. The rockwork also features 3 areas for planting live plants if desired. The tank has two sump system filters. The tank has an open top so I cant have anything that will easily jump out such as fire eel's :( The tap water in my area is generally between 6.8 - 7.8 so can be high and ill likely need something to lower it for this tank.

    I have spent some time researching different fish and have came up with this list:- Oscars, Green Terrors, Jack Dempseys, Firemouth Cichlids, Parrot Cichlids, Silver Dollars, Severums and Convict Cichlids.

    I haven't got an idea of numbers yet but already have 10 Silver Dollars that can be moved over and 1 Golden Severum. I also would prefer to have the bigger fish due to the rockwork at the back, its all the way across but has a gap at one end which small fish or plecs, catfish etc could get through to get behind it and its not easy to get to if it needs cleaning. What do people think about these fish and does anyone have a good idea of what numbers I could house relatively peacefully.

    In terms of substrate it currently has gravel but this can easily be changed for sand as I've noticed that most people use this instead. I've found a few different plants that I can get that are meant to be hardier than others for cichlid tanks as there not as 'appealing' to them.

    In terms of décor I'm thinking large rocks, driftwood and possibly another cave made of rock and then the plants and possibly some floating plants to provide light and darker areas.

    Can people let me know what they think to this as a tank idea and give me some advice please. I don't want to get this wrong and want a peaceful tank with happy, stress free fish :)


  2. #2

    Join Date
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    A little further from sanity

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    2 Not allowed!
    First let me say, I have tank envy.
    By parrot cichlid do you mean a real parrot cichlid, Hoplarchus Psittacus, or a blood parrot? If you mean a blood parrot, I wouldn't add them because I'm not sure it would be able to stand up to the others, if you mean a real parrot cichlid I have more envy. My personal choice would be to ditch the firemouths and convicts and add a Parachromis managuensis or two. The firemouths because they are a bit small in comparison to the others and the convicts because they breed uncontrollably. Have you looked at the Vieja Argentea? They are another personal favorite of mine. I have only dreamed of filling an 8ft, 870 gallon tank but I would think two or three of each species would still leave plenty of room and territory for each to claim.
    As far as gravel or sand, you haven't chosen any earth eaters or bottom dwellers so the choice depends on your personal preference. The decor sounds great but I wouldn't bother with the floating plants, I don't think the oscar would allow it. You might be able to get away with some java ferns or anubias on the rock work.
    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.

    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    Dear naps, sorry I hated you so much when I was a child... Love me

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    Definite tank envy here, too. Any chance we can get a picture of this monstrosity? I'd love to see the rock work you mentioned.
    Adventures in Aquaria - The KevinVA Story

    When in doubt, ask yourself... W.W.L.S (What would Lee Say)?

    Have a fish problem? Fill out and post this completed questionnaire in the General Aquarium Forum, when you start a new thread.

  4. #4

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    Frozen Wastes of the Upper Midwest

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    0 Not allowed!
    welcome to the forums... and of course

    Current tanks:
    37G FW - 3 Pearl Gourami, 4 Black Mollies, approximately 20+ Molly Fry, 5 Assassin Snails | 10G Planted FW - 14 Molly Fry, rocks, DW and an Anubias Nana - journal
    "We come from the land of the ice and snow" | "I reject your reality and substitute my own" - Adam Savage | What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
    How to cycle without fishies!

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by FrozenTundra View Post
    welcome to the forums... and of course

    Sorry have been trying to add a photo for the last 20mins but cant figure it out! if I can get it to work ill add it but at the min it finds it on my desktop but wont upload... :|

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    Have you tried selecting the basic uploader option?
    Adventures in Aquaria - The KevinVA Story

    When in doubt, ask yourself... W.W.L.S (What would Lee Say)?

    Have a fish problem? Fill out and post this completed questionnaire in the General Aquarium Forum, when you start a new thread.

  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for the quick response.

    sorry about the tank envy :)

    I did mean a blood parrot cichlid not a real one although the real ones look very nice, just don't know if I can get hold of them, cant say I have ever seen them for sale my self. The Parachromis managuensis look nice so I will look into these as well as a possibility. I was undecided about the convicts anyway so not a issue to drop these, but I did like the firemouths, do you think they would be ok even though they are smaller with enough hiding places and cover? or are they a definite no, I wouldn't want to cause stress to them if there going to be constantly chased around by the bigger ones. Vieja Argentea are nice fish so again will look into these, all depends on what I can get hold of really. The silver dollars I have, have bred although I don't know if they will once in with the other fish but I thought 10 would be a good amount just as dither fish.

    Is 3 of each a good choice or am I better off trying to keep them in mixed sex pairs?

    Yes I found anubias and java fern to be popular choices with other people as 'hardy' plants for these type of fish so will likely get some of these.

    if the substrate doesn't matter too much then I may stick with the gravel as I already have it, although sand does look more appealing.

    My plan is to get the fish into a smaller tank and grow them on a bit so their not too small initially or would I be better putting them straight in the larger tank?

    Any further advice you can offer?

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