55g South American Tank

Deadeye

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Firemouths and acaras are compatible aggression wise, if you kept the water neutral it would be good.
From what I know the dwarf cichlids can be kept in groups, but will pair off. At that point you would likely have an odd one out, I don’t think they will kill each other off though.
 
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Sanderguy777

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Firemouths and acaras are compatible aggression wise, if you kept the water neutral it would be good.
From what I know the dwarf cichlids can be kept in groups, but will pair off. At that point you would likely have an odd one out, I don’t think they will kill each other off though.
Ok. I'll probably end up getting a pair that is proven, just so I KNOW they are male and female.
Any advice on what species?
 

Deadeye

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Rams are hard to take care of. I would say any Apistogramma is good. I like the agassiziis.
 
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Gourami Swami

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Rams in general I would say are a bit hardier , actually easier to care for, than most apistogramma. All the SA dwarfs will do best in water that is on the softer side, and lower pH. What is your tap water like? That may determine which fish are best for you.
Given what you are looking for (community, low bio-load incase you need to put off maintenance) I would definitely stick with dwarf cichlids and some small community fish. Trying to keep large cichlids in a small tank, and also keep bio-load low, is not going to be possible.
 

duanes

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Rams in general I would say are a bit hardier , actually easier to care for, than most apistogramma. All the SA dwarfs will do best in water that is on the softer side, and lower pH. What is your tap water like? That may determine which fish are best for you.
Given what you are looking for (community, low bio-load incase you need to put off maintenance) I would definitely stick with dwarf cichlids and some small community fish. Trying to keep large cichlids in a small tank, and also keep bio-load low, is not going to be possible.
I believe Gourami Swami asked the pertinent question.
What type water,? if its soft, and mineral free, dwarf Amazonian S Americans are doable.
If your tap water is hard and mineral rich, then a Central American tank would be best.
If its neutral Gymnogeophagus would work, but they are more of a temperate species (not tropical) so tank mates would need to be appropriate.
A 55 is quite small and may limit Central American species
Amatitlania nanoluteus would be my choice for a 55.
1607719568404.png
Gymnogeophagus would also do well in a 55, maybe a male and 3 females, below a male Gymno sp. quillero.
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Rainbow cichlids Herotilapia multispinnossa might also be a good central American choice, and they are readily available
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Because I had hard water, I avoided soft water species , so others can chime in with those,
but I consider that anything that gets larger than 5.5" too large for a 55 gallon,.
Not only space, the water change schedule to keep water clean enough, will probably not fit into your college time table.
 
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Sanderguy777

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I have water out of the tap something like 7.6 or 7.8 pH. Not sure what the gh/kh is... I'll check here in a minute when I get home...
 

duanes

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I have water out of the tap something like 7.6 or 7.8 pH. Not sure what the gh/kh is... I'll check here in a minute when I get home...
If you go to your cities water quality report web site, they normally have a breakdown of all tap water parameters.
The important infos hardness conductivity, and TDS.
If they are low, like Amazonian water, S American's work.
If they are high, the Central Americans are good.
 
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Sanderguy777

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Gh=150ppm
Kh=200-230
Ph~8.0
All these are from the tank a couple hours after I did a water change. I just ran out of tests, so I can't test the TAP water, but I know from other tests that the ph is normally something like 7.6 or 7.8 after a few days. I also have mopani on the tank...
Actually HERE is the tank

20201211_183515.jpg
 

Sanderguy777

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Looking at the report from 2018 (only one I could find, probably The 2020 Bug affected something).

Tds is 350 with a range between 340-360. (Ppm)

"Specific conductance" is 500 ranges between 480-520 (umhas/cm)

I am guessing that means central American. However, I have asked fish stores around me about it, and they say that the fish live in their water (same source) without any buffers or chemicals and have no issues. Would the South American cichlids be ok, even though they want lower ph in the wild, since they are farm raised?
 

duanes

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If it were me, with your water parameters, I'd either go with small Central Americans, or South Americans from outside the Amazon basin.
The Acara's from west of the Andes, or Gymnogeophagines or other Uruguayan, Agentinian, or southern Brazilian species.
Your type water will not directly kill Amazonians, but......they are often prone to bacterial diseases in mineral rich, high conductivity water as they age.
This is why we see so many posts about HLLE disease in oscars, Amazonian Geophagus and other soft water cichlid species.
There are Geophagus from west of the Andes Like G, steindachneri, pellegrini, and crassilabrus, and the Gymnogeos that are more adept at handling higher conductivity, and the minerals in your type water.
 
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