125 Gallon Stocking Suggestions

flat_tire

Gambusia
MFK Member
Feb 13, 2020
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Hey all,

I am getting a 125 gallon tank this weekend and starting to think of stocking options. All fish will be purchased as juveniles and raised in the 6 ft tank. Looking for suggestions and advice on numbers of fish / tank mates.

Initial thought:
1x Oscar
1x Jack Dempsey
1x Green Terror
1x Severum
+ whatever smaller fish to add color and activity to the tank

As juveniles, they will have plenty of room, but will they all work as adults? Should I buy multiples of any particular fish if they do better in pairs? Or in case some don't make it or to pick male / female as desired and rehome others?

If those 4 will eventually get too big together, I could drop the oscar for other smaller options (firemouth, acara, etc)

Appreciate your input.
 

Schniz

Exodon
MFK Member
Jun 5, 2019
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Georgia
I had almost the same setup, a 125 with an Oscar, JD, and GT but I had a Jewel cichlid instead of a Severum. The tank looked empty at first but within 6 months it didn't. The Jewel cichlid ran the show at first until the others got bigger than him. About the 6 month mark the GT took over and was in charge. Unfortunately at about 8 months I had to rehome the fish and break down my tank because my in-laws moved in for a while so i can't give you any long term advice. The one thing I can tell you is, if you want your JD to show good colors use a dark substrate. When mine was real small I had him in a tank with black gravel and he had a dark almost black body covered with bright blue spangling, I moved him to the 125g which had light pool filter sand and the whole time he was in there his colors were completely washed out. He was tan with very faint blue spangling. If I get another JD when I get my tank set back up I will definitely use a dark substrate.
 

duanes

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What kind of water comes from your tap?
Is it hard, mineral rich with a high pH? 8 or higher?
Or...is it soft, mineral poor and a low pH below 7.00, or is it neutral around 7?
The oscar and the severum are both from South America east of the Andes, and prefer softer mineral poor water. pH 5-6 especially for the severum. But if you have the time and inclination to do frequent, large water changes you may be fine, if not....your fish may become scarred up from diseases that effect soft water fish, kept in hard water, as they mature and become adults.
The GT is from South America west of the Andes, where water is harder (pH above 7) and will do well in neutral to moderately hard water.
The JD evolved in the hard waters of Mexico where pH can be above 8, water highly calcium and mineral rich.
Just a couple things to consider before combining cichlids, beyond just size as adults, and aggression.
 
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flat_tire

Gambusia
MFK Member
Feb 13, 2020
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Good things to think about. I assumed they would all be able to handle similar PH levels as they had been suggested elsewhere as suitable tank mates. My thought was that it is more important for consistent water parameters than any particular PH level, but I'll go back and look at the options with that in mind.

As for my water, I haven't tested it for a while but I want to say it is right around the 7 mark. In the pacific northwest and I think we have pretty good water quality around here. :)
 

Kolton13

Peacock Bass
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Oct 3, 2019
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1 of 2 red tail barracuda would look awesome or a school of Exodons.
 

flat_tire

Gambusia
MFK Member
Feb 13, 2020
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More good options. I am going to be purchasing these from my local(ish) tropical pet store (The Wet Spot!) so not everything is available. Are there any other schooling fish that could be an option? Are silver dollars the only option that won't eventually become food once the larger cichlids get big enough?
 

carsonrm01

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Feb 4, 2020
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I think some bichir would look nice in there
 

Termitehunter

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
This is almost the same list I was going to do in my 125. And I was going to use silver dollars as dithers as well. However, I switched it up and went with a low tech planted discus tank. I love it!
I still miss my "bruisers" though. When I switch to my 260, I'll likely keep the 125 tucked away in the garage..... Just in case.
And I have adapted plenty of fish to MY water parameters in the past (and present) with great success. With the exception of wild caught, it shouldn't be an issue as long as your not "chasing numbers" and remain consistent.

Remember, most of the fish (95% or more) we get are tank born and bred. They have never seen the wild unless your watching Dark Waters with Jeremy Wade in plain view of the tank.

Good luck!
 
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