55g South American Tank

Sanderguy777

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Sep 14, 2020
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Hi guys, I am swapping out my African Cichlid tank for some sort of South or Central American cichlids, but I am not sure what I want/can have.

I like the idea of having something breeding in the tank, but don't want 8000 babies that I can't t rid of.

So, I have a 55g tank with gravel (I will swap it out for Black diamond blasting sand tomorrow). I run 2 Penguin 350s with bioballs and filter floss. Decor is Mopani wood with lots of holes and a few rocks for caves.

Anyway, I would like some sort of community tank with super pretty fish, and some sort of Geophagus (or gymnogeos, etc).

I would like the fish to max out around 4" or 6" so I can have more (this will be a permanent setup, no chance of a tank upgrade).

I was thinking of firemouths, eb acara, angelfish, (Red hump, redhead tapahos, or altifrons or winemilleri geos). Again, the main goal is a lively tank with decent size fish, but NOT just one specimen. Dither fish would be fine, if i can get a couple interesting cichlids and a large group or two of dithers.

Also, I am in college, so maintenence needs to be pretty simple. No 3 WCs per week, etc. I can do 1 WC per week, but I ordered some jungle val and hae other plants to add from my 60g guppy tank. The idea would be to make the plants pick up enough nitrates to postpone the WC if need be.
 
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Sanderguy777

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Sep 14, 2020
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Also, is it possible to keep a group of 6 geos that are several DIFFERENT species? like altifrons, tapajos, and surinamensis? (I realise that those are probably too large for a group of 6, but just used as example)
 

Fishnerd360

Redtail Catfish
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Sep 2, 2018
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Acaras and angelfish in my experience go well with each other. You can probably get a school of tetras too.
Also, is it possible to keep a group of 6 geos that are several DIFFERENT species? like altifrons, tapajos, and surinamensis? (I realise that those are probably too large for a group of 6, but just used as example)
I could see it work, but I think they’ll be happier with their own species.
 

Sanderguy777

Feeder Fish
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Sep 14, 2020
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I just read this article, and see that many of the geo "type" fish are probably beyond my experience and ability level.

Acaras and angelfish in my experience go well with each other. You can probably get a school of tetras too.
Would either one be able to breed with the other in the tank?
 

cmsbthebest

Piranha
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Jan 13, 2011
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OR.
Also, is it possible to keep a group of 6 geos that are several DIFFERENT species? like altifrons, tapajos, and surinamensis? (I realise that those are probably too large for a group of 6, but just used as example)
I don't think a 55 has room for 6 Geo's of any species.

I think the best you could do with Geo's in a 55 is a pair of Red Head Tapajos, maybe a trio if you have 1 male and 2 females.

But then again they like to be in groups of 5+, especially as juveniles, which is another reason why a 55 is a bit tough.

So yeah, best bet is max 3 red head tapajos, but its not the most ideal thing in the world.

I second EB Acara's and Angelfish, both are great cichlids that fit well in a 55. Also I'm a huge fan of dwarf cichlids, but you may not like them being so small.
 

Sanderguy777

Feeder Fish
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Sep 14, 2020
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I don't think a 55 has room for 6 Geo's of any species.

I think the best you could do with Geo's in a 55 is a pair of Red Head Tapajos, maybe a trio if you have 1 male and 2 females.

But then again they like to be in groups of 5+, especially as juveniles, which is another reason why a 55 is a bit tough.

So yeah, best bet is max 3 red head tapajos, but its not the most ideal thing in the world.

I second EB Acara's and Angelfish, both are great cichlids that fit well in a 55. Also I'm a huge fan of dwarf cichlids, but you may not like them being so small.
Ok, so what would the stocking look like for acara and angels? Could I add some dwarf cichlids to that setup?
 

cmsbthebest

Piranha
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Jan 13, 2011
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Ok, so what would the stocking look like for acara and angels? Could I add some dwarf cichlids to that setup?
You could do:

1x Acara
1x Angel
1x Pair of dwarf cichlids (apistogramma,rams etc.)
1x BN pleco
10x medium sized tetra (lemon, red serpae, black phantom etc.)

and all of these fish would do well with plants if you want to go that route.
 

Deadeye

Giant Snakehead
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Aug 31, 2020
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Firemouths are Central American, they need different water types. Severums get 10-12 inches, I keep one in a 60, but he is still only 5-6 inches. Severums destroy plants though. If you got one I would drop the acara or angel, maybe both.
 
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Sanderguy777

Feeder Fish
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Sep 14, 2020
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Firemouths are Central American, they need different water types. Severums get 10-12 inches, I keep one in a 60, but he is still only 5-6 inches. Severums destroy plants though. If you got one I would drop the acara or angel, maybe both.
I thought it would be too big. I didn't know they murdered plants though.
Also, I didn't realize the firemouths were Central American and needed different water. They have been recommended by several pet stores to go with acara... (not ones that sold them btw)

Do rams and apistogramma do well in trios? One male, two females? Or are they better off in pairs?
 
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