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Best Dwarf Cichlid for 75 Gallon

679x

New Member
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10
In the future I'll be getting a 75 gallon tank (of typical measurements), and I'm going to be getting some sort of dwarf cichlid for the bottom portion of the tank. However, I'm not sure which species to get. There are a bunch that I like -- Apistogramma trifasciata, A. borelli, A. agassizii, A. baenschi, Bolivian rams, etc. but I only want a single species of cichlid in this tank.

I want to have a large number of a single species. I don't want just a pair... My goal would be to have a harem or maybe even two if I can fit it if I get Apistogramma, or a large group if I get Bolivian rams instead. The problem is that I don't know how many fish I can fit. Their tankmates would depend on which fish I end up going with. (I've been thinking rainbowfish, tetras, or pencilfish.) I am willing to set up a tank that meets each of their requirements. Also, I'd like for them to breed, but "easy to breed" is not really a requirement for the species I end up getting.

Almost all of the info I found for keeping dwarf cichlids and how many can fit in a tank is for 20-30 gallons. I'm having trouble finding info for dwarf cichlids in a 75 gallon. Mike Wise told me his general rule, but basically said it could change a bit depending on the species/tank decor.

With all that being said, here are my questions:
1. Which is the most 'peaceful' species of the ones I listed, excluding when they're spawning? I don't want to see dead fish (although I'm sure no one does!)
2. Which species can I fit the most of without having issues?
3. Which species is the easiest to get to breed?
4. How many males/females can I keep of the chosen species?

Thanks in advance.
 

Mike Wise

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1. A. borellii
2. I answered that already. Territorial species are quite different from schooling species.
3. M. altispinosus or A. borellii
4. See 2 above.
 

679x

New Member
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10
Thank you Mike Wise for your replies on both of my threads. I'm currently leaning toward Apistogramma borelli now, I found a website that says you can have many males in a tank (like, half-dozen) as long as it's large enough and has enough hiding spaces... is this true, or should I stay away from that many males? I'm a bit skeptical.

I just tested my tap water with an API test kit -- regular pH range test says 7.6, the maximum, but high range pH test says 7.4, the minimum, so it's somewhere around there, meaning I'll need a way to reduce pH/hardness of my water to breed A. borelli, right?

Also, I wanted a rainbowfish species as the main feature of the middle/upper levels of the tank, but I'm having trouble identifying a rainbowfish species that is truly compatible in temperature - but mainly pH - with Apistogramma borelli. I thought the Madagascan rainbowfish or dwarf neon rainbowfish were, but the more I read about them, the more conflicting statements I come across with their need for hard/alkaline water. Is there a rainbowfish species that is compatible with my tank dimensions and the water parameters that Apistogramma borelli needs to breed and thrive?

Thanks again for your help :)
 

dw1305

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5 Year Member
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2,744
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
I just tested my tap water with an API test kit -- regular pH range test says 7.6, the maximum, but high range pH test says 7.4, the minimum, so it's somewhere around there, meaning I'll need a way to reduce pH/hardness of my water to breed A. borelli, right?
You really need to know the carbonate hardness (dKH) of the water to interpret the pH.

The problem is that pH is a ratio (of acids and bases), and it doesn't tell you anything about amounts. My tap water is 17dKH and the pH is ~pH7.8, but it would take a large amount acids to deplete all of that carbonate hardness.
Also, I wanted a rainbowfish species as the main feature of the middle/upper levels of the tank, but I'm having trouble identifying a rainbowfish species that is truly compatible in temperature - but mainly pH - with Apistogramma borelli. I thought the Madagascan rainbowfish or dwarf neon rainbowfish were, but the more I read about them, the more conflicting statements I come across with their need for hard/alkaline water. Is there a rainbowfish species that is compatible with my tank dimensions and the water parameters that Apistogramma borelli needs to breed and thrive?
I used Threadfin Rainbow as a dither and they were fine with Apistogramma cacatuoides, they need careful feeding, because they only eat very small food items, and they like live food.

cheers Darrel
 

679x

New Member
Messages
10
Thanks Darrel, I never really knew what GH/KH really were, so I just figured they were related to pH and weren't all that important to test. Later on I will go get a test for GH/KH and find out what it is.

Threadfin rainbows are a bit too small for my tastes. I was hoping for a larger fish that would be the sort of 'centerpiece' for the middle/upper levels of the tank, I only say rainbows because I like them but also because I think they'd be a great attractive fish to fill in the rest of the tank. Threadfins aren't really what I'm looking for, although their water requirements would be just in line with the Apistos...

Wait, how about Congo Tetras? I'm not sure why, but I totally forgot about those until right before I was about to post this, lol. I've always liked neon tetras but there's no way I'll ever get some with their reputation for dying... but I do like the congo tetras. Apparently they have the same needs as A. borelli -- temperature, pH, food. The only problem I could think of with the combination of species is that maybe the A. borelli will nip the long fins of the male tetras?

If I could get congo tetras, what kinds of other fish could I keep with the Apistos and the congos? Is there anything else I can put in there?
 

679x

New Member
Messages
10
My family doesn't want a fish that is going to be territorial/aggressive... I think I'm going to go with the Bolivian rams.

I've always liked rams, and Geophagus... but since I can't get a big enough tank for Geophagus, perhaps Mikrogeophagus is the solution. :)

Now that I know which dwarf cichlid I want, I'm just going to make a new thread for the rest of my questions. Thanks Darrel and Mike for your help.
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,744
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
Thanks Darrel, I never really knew what GH/KH really were, so I just figured they were related to pH and weren't all that important to test. Later on I will go get a test for GH/KH and find out what it is.
Carbonate hardness (dKH) is related to pH, but in a slightly strange way via the CO2 ~ HCO2 ~ CO3 equilibrium. There is a more complete explanation in <"Tested all my tanks...">. I don't worry too much about measuring pH or either hardness, I just use a conductivity meter and aim to keep the tank water at ~100 microS. I don't keep any black water fish.
Threadfin rainbows are a bit too small for my tastes. I was hoping for a larger fish that would be the sort of 'centerpiece' for the middle/upper levels of the tank, I only say rainbows because I like them but also because I think they'd be a great attractive fish to fill in the rest of the tank. Threadfins aren't really what I'm looking for, although their water requirements would be just in line with the Apistos...

Wait, how about Congo Tetras? I'm not sure why, but I totally forgot about those until right before I was about to post this, lol. I've always liked neon tetras but there's no way I'll ever get some with their reputation for dying... but I do like the congo tetras. Apparently they have the same needs as A. borelli -- temperature, pH, food. The only problem I could think of with the combination of species is that maybe the A. borelli will nip the long fins of the male tetras?
I don't keep any bigger fish with Apistogramma, but Congo Tetra are definitely too big and active. Most of us have what most people would regard as very under-stocked tanks.

cheers Darrel
 

679x

New Member
Messages
10
Hi all,
Carbonate hardness (dKH) is related to pH, but in a slightly strange way via the CO2 ~ HCO2 ~ CO3 equilibrium. There is a more complete explanation in <"Tested all my tanks...">. I don't worry too much about measuring pH or either hardness, I just use a conductivity meter and aim to keep the tank water at ~100 microS. I don't keep any black water fish.

I don't keep any bigger fish with Apistogramma, but Congo Tetra are definitely too big and active. Most of us have what most people would regard as very under-stocked tanks.

cheers Darrel
Yea, I'm not the best at telling whether a fish's behaviour makes it compatible with another species or not. Anyway, I started a new thread -- this tank would be going in a more public room, so my family has told me what they want/don't want. I'm now looking at Bolivian rams and Madagascan rainbows as the main feature of the tank, but on the new thread I ask whether they are compatible behaviour-wise. Would you say they're too big/active, like the Congo tetras, for Bolivian rams to handle?
 

Happyfins

Member
Messages
93
Location
Sydney
Dwarf neon praecox don't really care too much about pH, temps etc. I keep mine with cacatuoides and they do not attack fry (when I'm around). They are overall peaceful and recommendable for most communities. Another smallish species is Melanotaenia utchensis which is peaceful and not too boisterous. Bothe species are easy to breed. Just remove excess java moss, put it in a bucket with tank water and look for fry. Same probably goes for M nigrans although I have no first hand experience. I keep bigger rainbows with Bolivian rams without problems but they will eat fry.
 

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