View Full Version : New to fish (after years with Dads tanks)

02-01-2007, 09:08 PM
Ok I grew up around all kinds of fish from 500 gallon salt water tanks to 10 gallon feeder fish tanks and everything inbetween (dad probably had 20 tanks). anyways Im 29 and got my very first fish tank. mainly due to the fact im finally settled enough to take on the task of pets lol. So i got a 50 gallon front rounded tank tank stand and all the fixin's from a friend. Enter 5 cichlids only cause i love em so much! and well I want to add to it the biggest is a 3 inch Jack Dempsy and the smallest is a 1 inch blue african. Well the 3 inbetween are a 2" peacock, 1 1/2" bumble bee, and 1 1/2" kenyi.

ok so the question It seems as though the tank isnt busy enough for myself or my wife I want to add some plant life (NON LIVING) another hiding log and a couple more fish. I have a black and white thing going on with the tank stand and decor inside. black gravel as well.

I dont want to match a single fish anyone have any ideas what would be good with the fish i have and colorful?

02-01-2007, 09:16 PM
Welcome! :)

The fish you did add aren't compatible for life in a 50, unfortunately. You're going to run into aggression and diet related health problems down the road. :( You should probably decide if you want to go with either africans or americans and then stock from there. For now I wouldn't add any more fish until you decide. You'd just be throwing your money away. Sorry for the bad news.

02-01-2007, 09:23 PM
hrmm ok well scince ill admit im a NOOB with this what would be the way to go? i would honestly like to keep the jack dempsey and well the aquarium store will credit me back if i bring back any fish within a few weeks... i feel like a butt now..

02-01-2007, 09:42 PM
Don't worry about it. We've all been there. :)

You would need to return the ones you don't want asap if you want to get any money back for them. They may not give you credit after a certain amount of time.

The jack dempsey can live in the 50 for life with either a couple female convicts or firemouths and a small variety of pleco or catfish (one that is 6 or 8" full grown). Common plecos are too messy and get too big. You can also add a bunch of dithers (calming schooling fish) such as giant danios or tiger barbs. The tiger barbs will get eaten one by one - they work well but need to be replenished once their numbers begin to thin out... Giant danios work great as well as silver dollars.

With American cichlids you aren't going to get the vivid colors that you get with Africans, but what you lack in color you will get back in personality.

Because cichlids are territorial fish you will not be able to get any more comparably sized cichlids for your tank. A couple smaller Central or South Americans that are mildly aggressive will fit in well.

02-01-2007, 09:44 PM
ok so lets say i go the other way (the wife likes the colors) and scince i like the dempsy i get another tank or return him what would work good that way?

02-01-2007, 09:53 PM
You'll have to wait for some other members' responses. I'm not too sure about keeping Africans in a 50. I'm sure you can keep yellow labs or (one group) 1 male-3 - 4 female ratio of mbuna, but I'm no expert on them. I do have a kennyi, and he is a nightmare. I could never find comparably sized females so he lives alone with a bunch of danios and rosey barbs. He's mean as a bull in a red room. I can't put any cichlids with him at all -- he's currently in a 46 bowfront. Very pretty fish with lots of spunk. Like I said though, you should wait for more experienced responses on stocking for Africans.

02-01-2007, 09:56 PM
ok cool yeah the kennyi sticks to himself either in the big cave in the drift wood or up by the inlet from the filter. I am being hopeful here that they will get along and i can get a scooling fish as you sugested the wife just loves the colors we have now and the personality as well it the JD doesnt chase anyone and he sticks w/ the blue all day long when they feed the blue feeds with the JD and the others on thier own.

02-01-2007, 10:21 PM
Well, Cichgirl pretty much nailed it... and I've a got a wee bit more bad news....

Kenyi males are very rarely able to be housed in anything less that a 75g tank. The females can be just as bad, but generally are milder. Peacocks are much milder than your other africans which are mbuna.... Its not wise to try to keep them together with mbuna in anything under a 6ft tank, and even then only with specifically mild mbuna. The Bumble Bee is nearly as mean as the Kenyi most of the time, and will also probably out grow your tank as they can hit 8" and claim the entire 50g thier own.

The fish you have are commonly sold in pet stores and most stores are perfectly happy to tell you they will co-exist well......

The good news is that you came here, and we can certianly help you become sucessful on your First, er second try. :)

You might want to pick just ONE fish to keep and then we could make some suggestions as to compatible tankmates you might choose from.

Also the mbuna africans are harem polygimists meaning the males need 3-4 wives or they start beating the snot out of the ones that aren't ready to mate with him... Your fish are not sexually mature yet, you will see a huge change in behaviours after that.

02-01-2007, 10:29 PM
thanks Rusty really need some help as to what to do I like the Dempsy alot but i do need a HAPPY tank so to speak. It was my call on the Cichlids (my mom only let me have neon tetras when growing up). I run a car club and am the president of that the fish world is all new. ill be the same way here as with my club TELL ME WHAT I NEED TO DO! LOL i do have yahoo messenger if you have it im on wyoming_bass

02-01-2007, 10:49 PM
I agree with Rusty :cool:

If you are going for color I think a 50 gal would make a great saulosi tank, 1 or 2 males and 8 or so females. They stay smaller and the males are a deep blue with black strips and the females a bright yellow, very pretty.

Also If you are going with africans you will need a lot of rocks and MAY want to use sand.

Is your tank cycled? :

02-01-2007, 10:51 PM
yes the tank was taken care of it was actually moved and had 2 JD in it before i moved it emptied the water moved it to my house cycled for a couple days

my other thread with pics of the fishes


02-03-2007, 01:32 AM
talked to a few people online and took the JD back and going forward from there. hopfully everything will turn out ok! Thanks for the help so far!