Aquarium question, species?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by taraann81, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. taraann81

    taraann81 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    I have a 55 gallon tank. I have had it for years. I have not added any fish for 3 years as I have decided to switch to cichlids. I now have 1 clown loach(bottom feeder) and 2 hatchet fish( stay right at the top of the tank)left.

    I am getting impatient as my tank appears so empty. Could I safely add a few cichlids with these fish?

    I assume the loach might be fine but I don't want the cichlids to harass or kill the hatchet fish.

    What do you guys think?
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    It's been a long time since I had an aquarium, but I had cichlids mixed in with other fish. The only time I remember them being aggressive was when they were guarding a nest of eggs.

    Imp- But remember it's been years and my memory is faulty.
  3. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I do know that different cichilds have different degrees of aggression. Perhaps you could research a very docile type and add a couple or few of those to begin with. I've never had cichlids, but if I'm thinking correctly, they tend to stay in the lower half of the tank. Its possible that they won't even go near the hatchet fish.
  4. Brindlebtch

    Brindlebtch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2009
    Cichlids tend to be bullies and don't usually mix well with smaller fish like hatchets.
    Maybe you could trade the hatchets in to the pet shop for credit? My local aquarium/tropical fish store will do that. Unless you are attached to them, of course. Also it depends on how big of a cichlid you get or how big they grow. How big is the loach?

    Oscars get really big fast.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Wait, what KIND of cichlids?

    The small South American cichlids (ramirezi, agassizi, that sort of thing, even angelfish) would be reasonably more or less OK with hatchetfish and a clown loach, although it ought to be a large well-planted tank.

    However the large South American cichlids (oscars, etc) will eat your hatchetfish (or cause them to jump out of the tank and die) and possibly the clown loach too.

    Even more aggressive are the African cichlids (the bright neon-y yellow and blue and fancy lookin' ones that have been all the rage for the last 25 years or so), and the further really *fatal* problem is that they require a basic pH (like around 8ish) whereas the hatchetfish require an acidic pH (like around 6) and the clownfish require midly-acidic-to-neutral. So you absolutely categorically CANNOT mix rift lake African cichlids with whatcha currently got.

    It's really really important to read up on the behavioral tendencies, and the pH/temperature requirements, of any fish you're considering.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
  6. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I don't know if this is of any help,but the cichlids I had in the community tank were keyhole cichilds. They would travel all over the tank, until they layed eggs, usually attached to one of the decorations at the bottom of the tank. Then they would guard them. nothing could get within about 5 inches of the eggs. The eggs did hatch, but none ever survived to adulthood.
    Eventually I switched over to all cichlids, never had any others breed.

  7. snowydiamonds

    snowydiamonds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Angels are cichlids and would do well with your tank occupants. Otherwise, go for a smaller dwarf cichlid, such as "german rams" and gourami's of the same size which are about two or three inches at most, for a community tank of very beautiful fish.

    I would not go for larger cichlids in a 55 gallon tank, oscars and jack dempseys or fish that large need at least a hundred gallons each. They also live long lives and become very attached to their owners so it is very sad to see one living in very small tanks as humans do not keep the water changes and water quality up to par for very long, it becomes a chore instead.

    No kissing gourami's either, they would be the largest if you stocked as in the first paragraph and would be too aggressive.

    If you are tempted to have a medium to larger fish in your tank, please consider the beautiful and peaceful severum, there are the green or the gold but I would not place more than three initially and then when they matured, take one out, as two would be able to live happily together but again, please remember they need constant small water changes. Good luck and enjoy:)
  8. taraann81

    taraann81 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    Quote:I was leaning towards the south american cichlids but not the oscars or angels.

    I had a beautiful set up of African cichlids years ago. I had invested alot of money and time in that tank. Too make a long story short, my house was broken into and besides losing many of my material possessions the jerks put shampoo in my tank and I came home to a foamy mess and dead fish. I was quite upset.

    Anyways their are a few dwarf breeds that really catch my eye that I have not researched yet. But in my local pet store they call them blue rams. They are beautiful. I would love to get them but have some research to do first. Anybody have experience with this species?
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Rams are nice, you could do a lot worse [​IMG], but they are a bit picky about conditions. You should have a well-planted tank with lots of hiding places, excellent water quality, and they like it pretty warm. They would do fine with your hatchetfish. Clown loach, maybe.

  10. MonkeyZero

    MonkeyZero Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    I wouldnt
    Cichlids are meanies. I wouldnt do it.... unless its a South. American Cichlid

    I would suggest these:
    Gourami(dwarf as well), rainbow fish, rasbora, or killifish
    There are more, but my book doesnt go into too much detail

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