40 Gallon Tank Cichlid Stocking Options

anonfishguy

Feeder Fish
Jan 23, 2020
2
1
3
32
Hi All,

I recently purchased a 40 gallon tank and it is close to being cycled. There are a lot of plants and open-ended pots for plenty of shelter. I am interested n stocking the tank with South American and Central American cichlids. Specifically, I am interested in firemouths, electric blue acaras, convicts, and electric blue jack dempseys. I have heard that convicts are very aggressive, but females are less so, so I am considering getting a female convict. Further, I heard that firemouths can be quite aggressive without any partners, so I may consider getting two. I am somewhat worried about the size of an electric blue jack dempsey, but someone at a local fish store said that they rarely get more than 5 inches and not to worry (not sure if I believe that though). Also, I am considering getting some dither fish to keep the tank busy, at least until the cichlids reach near full size, and then possibly return them. And, am considering getting a pleco.

Are the above cichlids compatible, and would getting each of them be okay for a 40 gallon? If I get the firemouth, should I get two? And what would be some good dither fish? Any alternate stocking options? I prefer the electric blue acara and electric blue jack dempsey above the convict and firemouth, if the full set is not compatible. If there are any other cichlids in addition to the set, I'd love to hear about them!

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Backfromthedead

anonfishguy

Feeder Fish
Jan 23, 2020
2
1
3
32
BTW, I plan on upgrading to a 90 - 120 gallon within the next two years. Also, would a salvini be an okay addition?
 

jonclark96

Polypterus
MFK Member
Mar 8, 2009
1,234
208
96
Frederick MD
A 40 gallon tank is not big enough for all of the fish you listed. Maybe a pair of EB acaras or a pair of convicts would work ok.

In my opinion, EBJDs are pretty fragile fish. The guy at your LFS says they rarely get past 5" because most of them die first. My experience is they are not well suited for a community tank setting when small.
 

twentyleagues

Bronze Tier VIP
MFK Member
Apr 5, 2017
6,348
9,312
453
Flint town!
My dempseys got to about 12" for the male and id say 9" for the female and they beat my Oscar into a corner in the 150 I had. So a 40 is to small for them for sure. Acara will be good with some dithers, or the convicts could be happy in that tank. Either way a pair I wouldnt mix the cichlids in that small a tank. I know you said in a couple years a 120 may show up. Concentrate on maybe the acaras for now til you get the bigger tank and you can use the 40 as a grow out for one of the others that would be compatible in the larger tank. Acara grow kind of slow thats why I say them first.
 

Backfromthedead

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Jul 12, 2017
3,455
4,231
154
Fredericksburg va
The convicts, firemouth or EBAs would be good options from the ones you listed. Fair warning though, a breeding pair of EBAs will uproot and shred any plants in your tank.

Look into mesonauta, crenicara, nannacara, aequidens, bujurquina...lots of smaller cichlids out there that would do well in a planted 40 gallon.
 

jeaninel

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
Oct 15, 2014
1,376
1,202
164
california
My EBJD I've had for about 1 1/2 years and he is about 6" and growing. They do best if they are the dominant cichlid in the tank. Mine is doing well in a 135 with 3 ctenopoma, dennison barbs, cories, Raphael cats and a severum. There is a good harmony in the tank. I think a 40 gallon would be a little tight. Maybe stick to smaller cichlids such as rams, keyhole or such.
Also, beware of female convicts lol. They will breed with anything. I had one that paired up with a firemouth. She was very aggressive and would wreak havoc in a 150 with large cichlids in it. 😂
 

Carter020108

Plecostomus
MFK Member
Dec 10, 2018
422
229
51
23
Personally I would say no less than 55 gallons for electric blue acara as they can get very wide and like to swim. My LFS currently has an 8 inch one. I would go with mbu as you could keep multiple they are very active and have an aggressive temper here are some examples.
1579868375384.jpeg1579868401415.jpeg

1579868453301.jpeg
 

Attachments

twentyleagues

Bronze Tier VIP
MFK Member
Apr 5, 2017
6,348
9,312
453
Flint town!

Fish_on_the_Brain24

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Nov 30, 2019
9
6
3
32
40 seems a little tight for even Blue acara. I had a breeding pair that were 5-6" long. They are a pretty active species and I would think that they would appreciate a bit more swimming space. Kribensis or Apistgramma species would be pretty and better suit your tank. Cory cats and tetra species can also be housed with kribs or apisto.
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store