Long time lurker looking for inspiration 260G tank 72" L x 24" W x 36" H

Rocksor

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If you want something pretty, and simple, a ram tank is nice. You can have Altum Angels, or other angels, and then on the bottom level, plant anubias, hornwort, and as many plants as you can find. And then you could have small catfish in the bottom.
Altums are not the easiest angels, especially wild altumes. Tank bred scalare angels from the LFS are the easiest

They arent beginner fish, but they are relativelty easy.
bolivian rams are the easiest out of the variations out there.
 

The Masked Shadow

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Bolivians are very pretty. You can do 12 Bolivians, 5 Germans, a pair of Angel Rams, and a few Electric Blue or Golden Rams. You can get dwarf snowball plecos, and corys or maybe kuhli loaches. Then you can get 8 or 10 large angels.
 
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The Masked Shadow

The Eternal Candiru
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Bolivian Ram (Mikrogeophagus altispinosus):
Bolivian Ram Care Guide - Tank Requirements, Water Type, Diet, Breeding


German Blue Ram ( Mikrogeophagus ramirezi )
Ram: Tropical Freshwater Aquarium Fish





Angel Rams ( Papiliochromis ramirezi)
Angel Ram Cichlid | Aquarium fish, Tropical freshwater fish, Tropical fish


Electric Blue Ram (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi) same as the German Blue Ram
Electric Blue Ram Cichlid (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi) Fish Species Profile


German Gold Ram (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi var)
German Gold Ram Dwarf Cichlid




White Spotted Dwarf Pleco (L471) ( Hypancistrus sp)
L471 White Spotted Dwarf Hypancistrus AKA Mini Snowball Pleco



Altum Angelfish ( Pterophyllum altum )
Altum Angelfish – Pterophyllum Altum – Tropical Fish Site

1614023470755.jpeg
 

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kyleallen22

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How experienced are you as a fishkeeper?
One year or less?, 5 years?, 10 years or more?
If around one year, to 5 years, I would suggest, common, tank raised, aquarium strain angels.
With the above, small to medium mistakes are tolerated
If you have 10 years or more, then some of the more challenging type like altum, Peruvian, or leopoldi, these require much more attention to detail, like stringent water parameters, and care.
With these, one false move, like a less than drastic change in water parameters, or lack of perfect water quality, and they are all dead.
Some other minor details...
How many water changes do you expect (or have time do) per week?
This might determine what size and number of fish you keep.
A few large, adult cichlids (like oscars) might require 2 x 50% water changes per week or more, depending n your waters buffering capacity.
How often do you expect to monitor your water parameters per month?
If keeping sensitive species, this might require constant monitoring until the tank reaches equilibrium (almost a year).
Certain species prefer certain type substrates, certain species are good "or not", with plants.
There are other questions, that would determine tank stocking species and levels, but ...... not yet.
Thank you for the well thought out reply. Overall I have 4-5 years of fish keeping experience. I currently only have a 10 gallon, but used to have a 55 and 75 gallon before moving across the country a few years ago. I will be setting up another 55 gallon as well as a quarantine tank.

After some thought I have moved away from the idea of keeping angels, I was primarily interested in the more wild variety but I see their water parameters are much like discus and I work away from home for several days at a time sometimes. My wife is still there to monitor or help with water changes but keeping 100% absolutely pristine water is probably a big ask.

For water changes my plan currently is to do a 80% water change each week minimum. Wether that is 2 separate 40% water changes or multiple 25% etc. depends on my schedule.

I am currently planning on a thin sand substrate and fake plants mounted on slate, with 2-3 pieces of driftwood. Possibly some clay pots as caves depending on what ends up in the tank.

I can monitor my water as often as I need to based on the fish. Between me or my wife there is normally someone home every day.

I have been seeding some starter bacteria in my 10 gallon but I know it will take a lot of time for the bio filter to get fully established in the big tank.

What I’m leaning towards now is a cichlid “community tank.” I am open to whatever interpretation of that people can come up with, but would like to stick with new world cichlids.
 

kyleallen22

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Bolivian Ram (Mikrogeophagus altispinosus):
View attachment 1452281


German Blue Ram ( Mikrogeophagus ramirezi )
Ram: Tropical Freshwater Aquarium Fish





Angel Rams ( Papiliochromis ramirezi)
View attachment 1452282


Electric Blue Ram (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi) same as the German Blue Ram
View attachment 1452283


German Gold Ram (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi var)
German Gold Ram Dwarf Cichlid




White Spotted Dwarf Pleco (L471) ( Hypancistrus sp)
L471 White Spotted Dwarf Hypancistrus AKA Mini Snowball Pleco



Altum Angelfish ( Pterophyllum altum )
View attachment 1452284

View attachment 1452285
Thanks for the idea! I have never had rams myself but always thought they were beautiful and interesting fish. I will keep this post in mind.
 

Jexnell

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Good place to start is to find out your base wster peramaters of the water you will use be it well or city water for your water changes. PH and hardness is what we need. With this we can help pick fish that will thrive in your water.
If you live in the USA it's required that city water test results are published online for the public.
Here is mine as example
Screenshot_20210209-133705_Drive.jpg
 

FJB

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It is funny how the water reports from cities are rather useless -
In the example above (Vancouver), pH values are just too wide to provide useful information. I guess one would need to rely on experience on the city, not on what the report says, and even so, anything could happen.
Lowest detected. 7.0
Highest detected 8.1
"goal" of the water plant 6.5-8.5

Since the pH scale is logarithmic, a pH of 8.5 has a concentration of H ions 200 times higher than that at 6.5. So the goals of the plant are not very narrow, basically 'whatever we can provide'. Most cities' reports are similarly loose. Hardness and contaminant data are probably more useful IMHE.
 

Jexnell

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Actually those tell you the seasonal differences between the wet and dry seasons, referring to the PH. Take that with the hardness of 55 to 130 pretty much tells the tale. Hard high PH water.
Now if the readings were a PH range of 5.9 to 7 and hardness less than 50 then I would say it's low PH soft water.
 
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kyleallen22

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Tested my tap water and it came out right at 7.0 ph, the water in my 10 gallon tank is 7.4 ph.
Water hardness is around 120 according to the strips I just bought. (CaCO3)
 

Jexnell

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Tested my tap water and it came out right at 7.0 ph, the water in my 10 gallon tank is 7.4 ph.
Water hardness is around 120 according to the strips I just bought. (CaCO3)
I would stock with fish from West of the Andes mts, think Peru, Ecuador or Central America's.
You could go with Andinoacara Rivilatus-Green terror or Andinoacara Pulcher-Blue Acara as the main cichlids. The Terrors are bigger and as the name implies more aggressive. The Acara are much smaller and know to do well in a community tank. Tho the males are known to bite into a plant and shake it as part of the breeding/bonding process so may get some plant damage.
Get a nice group of tetras twenty or more Columbian, Bleeding Hearts etc to occupie the mid lvl of the tank.
A group of 6 or more Cory cats if going with Acara or Hoplo cats or a Pimelodus Ornatus if going with Terrors.
Could get some Pink tailed Chalceus for the surface area of the tank.
 
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