I am still new in the chichled part of the hobby but from what I have read a pair of convicts would be best to try and breed for a first time. the tank might have to be uped a couple of galons about 25-30 but 20 gallons should work.
A 20 gallon long would be fine for a pair of convicts, as long as you avoid tankmates. Rams and angelfish are amoung some of the hardest fish to breed, and I don't know about kribs or shelldwellers. _________________ I'm Back
I keep a pair of breeding Angels in what I would call the minimum tank size, it is a 36x15x18 30 UK gallon or about 36 US gallons.
Finding a pair is the hardest part of breeding Angels, if you actually want to raise the fry past the free swimming stage, you are also going to need another tank. Angels are very good at eating there own young.
Do you have an outlet for possibly 100 young fish?
Some fish, including Convicts, will do the rasing for you, so unless you know you can find new homes for all the young, or are prepared to buy a new tank every month (They don't stop breeding once they start), it may not be such a good idea to start the breeding program.
call me cruel, but I don't plan on trying to raise the fry.
20 gallons just isn't big enough for two Angels, a 40 US gallon tank would be nearer the mark.
On your stock list, I would ditch the Swordtails in favour of Cardinal Tetras.
Swordtails get surprisigly large, I would reckon that one Swordtail would be the equivelant of two Cardinals or other small Tetra's, in an ideal world they would prefer much harder water than the Rams and Cory's, where as Cardinals need exactly the same water conditions, plus they all come from the same region so making your proposed tank the classic South Amercian tank.
Another advantage of Tetra's over Swordtails is the breeding issue, with Swordtails you are very likely to be overstocked with baby Swordtails in a couple of months.
Tetra's and Cory's are always happier in larger groups, they will shoal and act more natural as the numbers go up.
I would go with:
Pair of Rams = 4 inches of fish
7 Cardinals = 14 inches of fish
6 Cories = 12 inches of fish (If you go for the smaller species of Cory's, larger ones like Bronze Cory's would mean you would have less fish.
For a 20 long, with a maximum stocking 30 inches of fish, this would leave you fully stocked.
Some Cory's and the Rams are a bit sensative to new set ups, if you went with this stocking plan, you should cycle the tank (Fishless), then maybe add the Cory's (Depending on species) then wait a few weeks and add the Cardinals, and finally the Rams.
Hope that helps.
PS Rams (Like a lot of Cichlids) are very hard to sex until they are near adult size, to spot a female you are looking for a pink belly.
Rams are normally easy going, I have had 2 males together before. Yes we all get it wrong, I was convinced they were a pair
I would try hard to get a pair, they may not breed, and chances are if they do, the Tetra's will pick them off, but they will behave more natural as a pair.
If you do a search on sexing rams, you should find some threads that show the differences, the pink belly is the main one, but as youngsters males often have a slight pink tinge, having said that, once you see a pair, you will know, its on of those things you have to see to understand.
I am a fan of Panda Cories, but watch out they are a bit more sensative. Sterbai Cory's are also very nice fish.
PS I also have Cardinals and Panda Cory's, but mine are in with Angels (Larger tank).
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