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Thread: Beginners check here for some basic info.

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Beginners check here for some basic info.

    This is a thread to help out those who may be new to the world of American cichlids. Even if you have kept (or are keeping) other fresh water fish or even other types of cichlids, you will probably find the behaviour and requirements of these brutes to be quite different from what you are accustomed to.

    Central American Vs. South American
    To begin with, it is worth noting that there is a distinct difference between Central American cichlid species and South American cichlid species. In general it is usually best to keep cichlids from these 2 areas separate from each other and from African/Asian cichlids. Not only are thier water conditions often very contrasting, but their behaviour is also usually different, with Central American species typically being more aggressive than thier South American relatives. There are many exceptions though. For example Amphilophus festae (Red Terrors) and Caquetaia umbrifera (Blue Speckled Monster) are both South American species which are much more aggressive than most. Both of these species are better suited to a Central American cichlid aquarium rather than an Aquarium containing other South American species.

    Aquarium Size
    Due to the very large size of most American cichlids, a 75 gallon aquarium often recommended as the minimum for the majority of the species. However there are a many smaller species that can be comfortably housed in an aquarium as small as 20-30 gallons.

    One of the best methods for determining what size of aquarium you will need is to allow 5 gallons per 1" of cichlid. When you are dealing with the large species it is best to begin with a minimum of 75 gallons for the first fish and then add water and inches from there.

    Unfortunately this is not a "one size fits all" method which is obvious when you begin to determine the aquarium size required for the true Monsters such as Dovii, Umbriferum, and the Cichla's. Most of these species are best housed in aquariums over 250 gallons as adults.


    The Species
    In the following links you can view webpages which I have found to provide excellent pictures of American cichlids in several large galleries.

    http://www.cichlidae.be/cichlidengal...en_amerika.htm

    http://aquarium.discus.chez-alice.fr/menu.htm

    http://burnel.club.fr/galerieAMC.htm#C
    Last edited by Glaive; 08-21-2008 at 07:57 PM. Reason: fixed broken link

  2. #2
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    Rex,
    That was a great service to beginners. I hope everyone stops to read it.
    Thanks for everything you do for this forum.
    Happy holidays!

  3. #3

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    hey thanks. what families do green terrors, convits, and firemouths come from?? will they get along what fish will get along with any of these fish? what kind of water condistions should central and south american fish have?

  4. #4

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    Hey, thanks for all of your useful info that you posted here and everywhere else. You should maybe start up a pet shop, I've really wanted to do that ever since I was a kid. You definitely have the knowledge for it.

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up ALL HAIL REX KARR

    REX KARR IS "THE MAN" WHEN IT COMES TO FISH KNOWLEDGE!!!!!

  6. #6

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    Hello? I'm conducting some research and have come to the conclusion that "I LOVE THIS FORUM!"

    Ya'll are so knowledgeable. I'm sure to learn alot here.


  7. #7

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    OK Rex very good but those links still contain the same weak and practically worthless pictures of many of the most beautiful of the Central American reophilic (riverine) cichlids.

    Perhaps the novice interested in pictures of BOTH Central and South Americans might also want to visit:

    aquamojo.com
    tangledupincichlids.com
    donconkelstropicals.com

    (tho someone might want to email Don Conkel to let him know that some of his links are dysfunctional - and in several cases the shots in his book are superior)

    For fun I've posted photos of under-appreciated CA cichlids: one of my largest male Parachromis loisellei & Paratheraps hartwegi, the former adapted to both rivers and swamps and the latter a true reophilic.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
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    Uh, I like those worthless shots.

  9. #9

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    Well then undoubtedly you'll love the worthwhile ones!

  10. #10
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    Conkel's pics are the only ones which I haven't seen recently and they are quite outstanding. So thanks for posting that link in particular.

  11. #11
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    Mojarraman those are good links for beginners. I wish I had thought about posting them.
    Last edited by balton777; 03-05-2007 at 10:57 PM.

  12. #12

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    Rex, you're quite welcome and thank you very much for all your efforts here. Are you still keeping Central American reophilics?

    BTW, Don Conkel's book, _Cichlids of North and Central America_ is quite nice for both novice and intermediate with detailed information and alternative photos. There are different editions available, but contrary to some reports all of the various editions are about the same (in my opinion).

    Best As Always,
    mojarraman

  13. #13
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    Oh man, I wish I could've seen this before I planned out my (very first) tank.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishyfishyfishy View Post
    hey thanks. what families do green terrors, convits, and firemouths come from?? will they get along what fish will get along with any of these fish? what kind of water condistions should central and south american fish have?
    Bro, I know it seems specific, but that's actually an extremely vague question with a whole bunch of different variants for answers.

    I know my little Firemouth and different Africans only coexist with my Green Terror because I set the tank up a different way (with many, MANY tiny hiding places and escape routes everywhere) with every water change so that the Green Terror can't terrorize everything else in the tank. You just have to be wise with your set-up. To be honest, I'm still waiting for all my 4-inchers to get done in by my Green Terror. Maybe I should not feed them for a couple days and bring the true aggression of each fish out.
    Last edited by Jibult; 03-23-2008 at 12:44 AM.

  15. #15
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    This thread helped me a lot!! I never knew that there were that many cichlids in SA.

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