Originally Posted by Lumpy
Good info, KC Fish! You know your shit too!
However, It sounds like Silock wants to go w/ a planted tank. Aren't Cichlids a big no-no w/ plants?
In regards to this... "They're all boring starter fish you'd find at any Petsmart. None of them will get very big, and few of them will have any "personality" that you'd see in bigger fish. They're dumb colony fish."
That's not entirely true. For instance, he could get a few Clown Loaches, (they grow to 12" and do best in groups of 3+), and they are full of personality and beauty. Once I rehome my Common Pleco, I plan on getting 2 more CL's. Here's a pic of mine...
I wouldn't say cichlids in general are a no-no for planted tanks. Certain species of cihlids are diggers though, and can uproot plants. But certainly not all. I've never really had a problem with plants being uprooted by my fish. It just depends on what you get.
And I didn't mean to sound harsh in regards to "boring starter fish". I'm just not a big fan of the little "dime-a-dozen" varieties that you find in every Petsmart. I grew bored with that a long time ago. I get much more satisfaction in having wide variety of larger fish of different types. It's more of a challenge I guess.
And I agree that clown loaches are pretty cool. But compare that to cichlid varieties like these:
Ngara Flametail cichlid:
Tropheus Firecracker cichlid:
Sunshine Peacock cichlid(I have one of these):
German Red Peacock cichlid(have one of these too, but not old enough to look this good):
That kind of color and variety is easily possible, and these are all mellow cichlids that would do fine together.