View Full Version : Are these fish too big???

10-05-2003, 04:48 PM
Hi, I am a new at this hobby and have been researching the various species for a couple of weeks now. I have 1 or 2 posts on the African Tank board and want to find out more about the American tank. I recently purchased a 46g bow-front tank (36" long) and want to stock with large fish. I love the Red Oscars (forgive me as I don't know the scientific names yet) and some of the larger (6-8' + fish) species. Does anybody have any advice as to which types of fish I can keep in a tank this size? What are the advantages to an American tank over an African tank?

10-05-2003, 06:23 PM
The tank you are talking about is way too small for Red Oscars. One Oscar by it self is going to need something at least 75g, let alone be able to house another 6-8" fish. For a tank that size with Americans you might look into some convicts and flowerhorns, a dempsey, or maybe one or two fish that are about 6-8" but since Oscars can be huge (think twice that size easily) They are pretty much out of the question.
When it comes to the advantages of the different types of tanks, that all depends on your situation(i.e. your tap water ph level, max tank size, amount of fish you want, etc.) If your ph level is pretty low then stick to the Americans, they tend to be more adapted to lower, more neutral, ph levels. The Africans however tend to be more adapted to much higher, more alkaline, ph levels. Africans also tend to be a bit smaller and more of schooling fish than Americans so that may factor into your decision also.
I hope that I have helped and some one will probably correct me if I have given you any improper information (the other guys here are very knowledgable on thier respective subjects).
If you have any questions about Americans I suggest you ask Rex Karr, and if you have any questions about Africans I suggest that you ask Sgypsiemermaid.
Good luck and I hope you can stick with the Americans. To me they have alot more personality.

10-05-2003, 06:30 PM
Thanks, I never thought about PH levels in my water. I am moving to a new apartment in NYC and the water in the city is generally disgusting and brown, I hope this will not be a problem for my fish (as long as I have a good filter), otherwise there getting Poland Spring water. Do you think Convicts have more personality the say Mbuna? How big do convicts get? I will buy a book on American Cichlids.

10-05-2003, 06:46 PM
your 46gl is gonna be way to small for those oscars.your tank is to small to house one.As far as convicts go you could probably get like 3-4 they only get about 6 inches.

10-05-2003, 10:00 PM
I think your 46 will be o.k. for one oscar. Being a bow front is is probably not much less than 14-15 inches at the narrowest point. There are some monsters, but realistically abotu 12 inches is what you can expect.

As far as africans compared to americans take it from a guy who had a nasty bout with africanitis. They are not as fulfilling. Depends what you look for though. I like fish to be interactive with me and not just other fish. Africans are like really colorful minnows. They fill your tank, but something is always missing.:jaw:

The scientific names is Astronotus Ocellatus for most common oscars found in stores. Water conditions don't really have to be textbook, just wet will do. I believe it has something to do with the fact that oscars are commerically bred so much that they do well with whatever you put them in. Normal tap water with a conditioner will do. You must however make sure that all you levels ph,gh, etc is constant as they are very prone to Hole in the head (look it up on google). They should also be kept in a very clean environment with heavy filtration and frequent water changes. This will keep them happy. I think this is also due to the fact that they are commercially bred frequently. Oh yeah and no feeders.

Good luck with them. They are still one of my favorite cichlids.

10-06-2003, 06:22 AM
go for the one oscar since you like them. but keep an eye on it because it can outgrow a 46gallon and i dont know about yours but all the 46bow-fronts here are 12wide and in the middle 15inches wide.

10-06-2003, 07:37 AM
Karl, why does your signature say Managuense boy out of curiosity?

10-06-2003, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by Rudy
Africans are like really colorful minnows.

Don't let Rudy lure you to the Dark Side.

10-06-2003, 11:02 AM
Don't let Rudy lure you to the Dark Side.

Said by a guy who lives a couple miles away from one of the coolest cichlids in the world Beeni and still keeps a tank full of Tropheus.

Sooner or later I will have all africans reclassified to something that does not put them in the same group as real cichlids.

10-06-2003, 11:47 AM
Rudy/Karl, thanks for the replies. I think the Oscars are more interactive than the African Cichlids and are more interesting to watch. Will 1 Oscar by itself be happy in a tank or will he/she wants a friend? Also, does a Plecotamus (sp?) count as a friend? Lastly, which type of Oscar will be sufficient?

10-06-2003, 11:56 AM
In your tank a friend is more likely to become an enemy at some point as territory will not allow more than one fish. In answer to your qeustion I think Oscars crave human attention more that anything else. As long as you pay attention to it it will be fine alone.

Any oscar is good. Depends on what color you want. Most oscars are selectively bred from the same species to get the color variant so although they look different are the same fish.

10-06-2003, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by Rudy
Karl, why does your signature say Managuense boy out of curiosity?
oh thats because this is managuenseboy i had my name changed and i just wanted to let everyone know this was me.

10-06-2003, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by Fishman02
Rudy/Karl, thanks for the replies. I think the Oscars are more interactive than the African Cichlids and are more interesting to watch. Will 1 Oscar by itself be happy in a tank or will he/she wants a friend? Also, does a Plecotamus (sp?) count as a friend? Lastly, which type of Oscar will be sufficient?
just keep him by itself in that size tank. you may be able to add a pleco and catfish or somthing like that in your tank. And it dosnt matter what type of oscar just get what ever you like most.

10-06-2003, 05:33 PM
most oscars are pretty much the same as far as being active goes.it wont matter what oscar you get .just pay alot of attention to him and it will be fine alone.

10-06-2003, 06:53 PM
So a 46g with great filtration is OK. I really want my fish to be healthy.

Rex Karr
10-06-2003, 09:30 PM
Can you please give the exact inside dimensions of your tank? Please include the with from the center of the tank and from te ends.

Unless your tanks dimensions are different than what I'm thinking, I don't know that I would recommend an Oscar. Although even if it is as small as I'm thinking it would still make a decent tank for an Oscar, I think there may be better choices for you. There are several very nice American cichlids that will grow 8-10" and would probably be a better fit than a 14" Oscar.

Yesterday I had some one bring me a 9" Oscar that had been raised in a 10g tank. The fish belonged to a mentally handicapped man and he had passed away. My friends' mom was taking care of the man and had asked me about the fish when it was first bought (by some one else). She knew the potential size of an Oscar, but there was nothing she could do. She did take very good care of the Oscar though. I was expecting a pathetically sick fish, but this Oscar was actually beautifully colored with a nice form and no HLLE at all. This fish glowed with orange :)

Good luck with your new fish, what ever it is that you chose.

10-07-2003, 04:33 AM
i am not sure about his. but every 46gallon bow-front i have ever seen is 36inches long 12inches wide at the sides and 15inches wide in the center. and i am not sure about the height around 19or21inches high.

10-07-2003, 04:37 AM
A breeder could make a killing developing a "dwarf" oscar. Everybody wants one, but the room issue so often gets in the way.

10-07-2003, 02:53 PM
Everyone, my 46g dimensions are 36x15x20 (yes 12' in the corners). Most people I have spoken to at LFS and on this board said I could do it, but should get at least a 55g that is 4feet long. Can you guys recommend another Cichlid that is large or small enough to live in my size tank with as much personality as an Oscar?

Rex Karr
10-07-2003, 03:29 PM
IMO, your tank is to small for an Oscar. So is a 55g.

Look into Vieja fenestatus, Cichlasoma octofasciatus, Nandopsis grammodes, Amphilophus salvini, Thorichthye meeki, etc.

10-07-2003, 04:41 PM
Originally posted by Rex Karr
IMO, your tank is to small for an Oscar. So is a 55g.

Look into Vieja fenestatus, Cichlasoma octofasciatus, Nandopsis grammodes, Amphilophus salvini, Thorichthye meeki, etc.

I'm going with Rex on this. My last oscar would have looked pathetic in a 55g. They were longer than the tank width front to back.

A couple of firemouths would look pretty good, or a pair of convicts, with a pleco.

Or you could just go with a colony of mbuna, one or two species would be fairly easy in that tank if you picked them right.:sygypsy:

10-07-2003, 07:36 PM
yeah an oscar is too big for that tank. What other choices do you have? a single fish or a few types? if it were me i would go with a green terror. or maybe 2-3firemouths or some cons and or salvinis. There are many choices. just tell us what you like.:wink:

10-07-2003, 08:07 PM
I don't really know what I like?? I've heard of all these type of American Cichlids, but don't know much of them. If you guys give me good ideas then I go to the LFS and see what they actually look like. I am also gonna purchase a book or two to read up on them. Any ideas?

Freddy J
10-08-2003, 12:36 AM
"All About Cichlids"by Braz Walker, "Cichlids; A Complete Pet Owners Manual" by barons, "The Cichlid Aquarium" by Dr. Paul Loiselle, "Cichlids The Pictorial Guide" several volumes by Pablo and Ian M. Tepoot, "The Complete Encyclopedia of the Freshwater Aquarium" by John Dawes.
I'd suggest you set up your aquarium with some Danios to start cycling. Go to the local library and browse. Find a really unique cichlid that strikes your eye and fits in your set up. It's amazing how many differant combinations are out there. Take your time!

10-08-2003, 05:13 AM
well here are some choices. 1green terror.
1or 2jack dempseys.
2firemouths 2convicts.
look some things up it dosnt have to be these and see what you like most:wink:

10-08-2003, 10:33 AM
1green terror

That is a really good suggestion.

10-08-2003, 10:57 AM
I say go with the green terror.

That or a female red devil, but they can be hard to sex, and a male will most likely outgrow that tank.

Good luck with your fish. I just love American cichlids.

10-08-2003, 11:54 AM
Chet, everybody on the board told me to stay away from Oscars b/c they may outgrow my tank. Maybe a green terror, I understand they get big, but not as big as an Oscar.

10-08-2003, 01:15 PM
like i said green terror. they will max out at 12inches at the most. They are definetly the nicest or one of the nicest looking cichlid. while they can be aggresive and owner responsive.

10-08-2003, 02:03 PM
I would probably say stay away from the oscar, although I think one could be raised in your tank, it is not the best choice. A green terror is probably one of your best options, and probably could be house atleast for a few years, with some smaller fish, like giant danios, gouramis, and yoyo loaches. I have a similar setup in my 55 and eveyone gets along great.

A female red devil would work also, but will be harder to find, as you will need to have the fish vented to be sure it is a female, otherwise it will likely outgrow you tank.

There are also several other choices of suitable American cichlids, but they are either hard to find, or are smaller or less interactive fish than you have indicated you want.

Please let us know if you have any other questions...

10-08-2003, 02:39 PM
yeah i agree with chet. a female rd would be awsome. but like he said they are much harder to find than a green terror. But you can always buy around 3-4juveniles and pick out your favorite femal there.

10-08-2003, 02:43 PM
Yes, 1 last question, I saw those "blood parrot" fish at the Petco today. They look so cute and seem very large. Can I put a fish like this with the Green Terror, or is it lunch? Thanks, you guys have been helpful, i feel like a have much better ideas now.

10-08-2003, 03:07 PM
they can be kept with green terrors but i dont think so in a 46gallon. What do you like more? do you like blood parrot more or no? was that just somthing else you wanted in the tank.

10-08-2003, 03:36 PM
I would not keep a blood parrot with a green terror. They just aren't equipped to deal with the aggression of the green terror. You can see some of the tankmates I keep with my green terror here:


Just know that every fish is different and some will be more territorial than others. Mine seems to be quite calm and not nearly as aggressive as other people describe their green terrors. They are good looking fish though...

10-08-2003, 04:28 PM
well like rex says will an appropiate size tank anything is possible. And you have a gouromi in your tank right? i think a parrot could go with a green terror if a gouromi can. ive seen pics of someones tnak with texas gt severums a king kong parrot (same as parrot just bigger i think) and also some other stuff. i am not trying to prove you wrong or argue chet this is just my opinion.:) and nice fish chet!

10-09-2003, 12:38 PM
yeah, I just think the parrots are a little more akward when it comes to getting out of the way. Then again, I've never tried it. I just like the gouramis cause they only fight with each other, and noone seems to pay them any attention, not even my jag.

Rex Karr
10-10-2003, 07:41 AM
Actually in my experiance, Blood Parrots are quite proficient swimmers and are very territorial. I've always kept Parrots with Midas cichlids and they handle themselves well, even becoming dominant sometimes.

10-10-2003, 09:24 AM
Well, if Rex says go for it, then I'll back him 100%.

Rex Karr
10-10-2003, 03:11 PM
I'm not really recommending it. Rather just pointing out that Blood Parrots are quite the little terrors themselves.

Its possible that it will work, and you probably a pretty decent chance. If you try it, get both fish at the same size, and keep a divider ready just incase things don't work out.

10-21-2003, 04:48 PM
all my cichlids are American by pure chance when i first set up my aquarium i automatically chose my fish for the ease of keep, character and attractiveness ( i thought africans as i now know them as , looked a little odd and less impressive as individual fish ). As my knowlegde grew i found my fish were all American. ok africans can look very impressive in groups under a blue light but i still think i'll be sticking with my americans. if your gonna get convits and you end up with with both sexes as i did, get somthing that can eat the fry! i ended up with tank full and gave most of em back to the fish store. I have a Salvini now he takes care of that.

King Midas
10-27-2003, 10:22 PM
I have an oscar that was about 1.5-2" when i got him 2 months ago, he lives in a 55 gal with his brother who was the same size. Now he is still about 2" while his brother is 3.5"-4". I think i have stumbled upon the dwarf pig oscar as he eats more than his brother.

10-31-2003, 11:07 AM
Personally, I wouldn't purchase a Blood (or any other kind of) Parrot.

I don't agree with the hybrid/mutant craze that spawned them. No beauty to me in keeping a deformed fish.

11-03-2003, 09:35 AM
I have a 46 bowfront tank that currently has 2 breeding pairs of Firmouths and 2 plecos and a juvinile pearl scale cichlid( he will have to go soon) This has done wonders for me.. I divided the middle of the tank with a thich line of sword plants so that the pairs would not fight so much during breeding. This hasd been setup and running for over 8 months with no problems.

Thanks For listening

02-24-2004, 09:12 PM
well i added a blood parrot the size of my fist. but got beaten up by my red devil... felt so bad after i saw it on its side almost dead.

Rex Karr
Actually in my experiance, Blood Parrots are quite proficient swimmers and are very territorial. I've always kept Parrots with Midas cichlids and they handle themselves well, even becoming dominant sometimes.

02-25-2004, 12:48 PM
How big was the red devil you put it in with? & did you move around stuff in the tank?
Sometimes there's nothing you can do, it's all about timing & the individual personalities of the fish.
Sorry, to hear about the parrot tho, poor little guy.:(

05-28-2004, 08:25 PM
what about a bunch of rams or even cakatoo(yea i know its not the tight name) but these are very pretty fish and a Jack Dempsey might be nice too. Or even maybe a texas. they can get big though havent had much experience with them.

06-01-2004, 09:15 AM
Nicaraguan Cichlid pair.

06-02-2004, 04:54 AM

I vote for 2x fitemouths & 2x Convicts - can't beat the personality in these little guys & they couldn't be much more visually different.

The two in my 4' tank fight constantly, not damaging each other but displaying & chasing, it's facinating to watch. Maybe a few bristlenose to clean up as well?