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Are Long Tanks better for S.A. Cichlids?

Richard Tyll

New Member
5 Year Member
I am just beginning to research equipment & fish species to set up a tank in my home.
I used to have a 50 gal. tank with African cichlids 20+ years ago but, life changes led me to abandon keeping fish.
Now I'm retired, divorced & living alone so, I'd like a new hobby to enjoy.
I've become more interested in Dwarf Cichlids and given their natural environment, it seems a long, shallow tank would be best suited for them to thrive. Seems a well-stocked planted aquarium with sunken driftwood & leaf litter would be a more natural setting than a tall, open-spaced tank.
Another question would be filtration due to the length of the tank.
Would filtration at each end be best? Any other ideas on this problem?
I guess that would be my first question, whether my thinking on the matter is correct.
Next is where to find this style of an aquarium for sale or would it be more cost-efficient to build my own?
My thoughts would be a tank measuring 36"L x 12"W x 12"H
Naturally, I would accept whatever dimensions are available in a pre-assembled, store-bought tank.
My only problem with purchasing one is the shipping.
I live high up in the Beartooth Mountains of South-Central Montana.
The closest actual City is 100 miles one-way from my home.
Any & All suggestions are welcomed.
 
Last edited:

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Most dwarf cichlids live in water <12"/30cm deep in the wild. Most come from jungle streams with slow flowing water. Therefore tanks deeper than 12-16"/30-40cm is not utilized by the fish. This is why most people in the US use a 20 gallon long or 30 gallon long tank for dwarf cichlids. Filtration is fine in 1 place or many. Just don't have a really strong current. Most apisto breeders us sponge or matten filtration.
 

Richard Tyll

New Member
5 Year Member
Most dwarf cichlids live in water <12"/30cm deep in the wild. Most come from jungle streams with slow flowing water. Therefore tanks deeper than 12-16"/30-40cm is not utilized by the fish. This is why most people in the US use a 20 gallon long or 30 gallon long tank for dwarf cichlids. Filtration is fine in 1 place or many. Just don't have a really strong current. Most apisto breeders us sponge or matten filtration.
Thanks, Mike
Now, any suggestions on how/where to obtain a proper size tank?
I live in such an isolated area I'm used to having most purchases delivered.
small montana view.jpg
My backyard
 

ButtNekkid

Active Member
Hi,

Had to google maps Beartooth Mountains. I believe congratulations are in order for the view!
What substrate do you have in mind? May I suggest pool filter sand.
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
I think you'll need to take an extended trip to the nearest pet store. I'd contact them first about available sizes and costs so that it isn't a wasted trip. My guess is that your water should be fine for keeping apistos.
 
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