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Peaceful small fishes

Peaceful with larger fish



Malawi Cichlids




Varieties of Aquarium Set-ups

Putting plants and animals that originate from the same type of environment works best because they all have similar requirements.

pH Hardness Temp Salt Aquascaping
Fish from the Rain Forests
(South American and West African cichlids; bettas and gouramis; tetras, barbs, danios, rasboras.)
6.0 to 7.0 soft to moderate 24° to 27°C no salt Plants, driftwood, quartz, slate, granite, onyx, gravel and sand.
Fish from the African Rift
(cichlids and other fishes from the rift lakes.)
7.5 to 8.5 hard to very hard 23° to 26°C Rift Lake salts (if needed to increase hardness and pH) Gravel, sand, soluble rocks (dolomite, limestone, coral rock, lace rock).
Central American Fish
(Central American cichlids, livebearers, cave tetras, catfish.)
7.0 to 8.0 moderate to hard 23° to 27°C Some  species are tolerant of a small amount of salt. Plants, driftwood, all rocks (soluble and non-soluble), gravel and sand.
Brackish Fish
(monos, scats, some puffers, mollies, gobies.)
7.8 to 8.0 moderately hard 23° to 27°C 1.001 to 1.012 specific gravity Salt tolerant plants (Anubias, Java fern, Mangrove), driftwood, all rocks, gravel and sand
Marine Fish
(all coral reef fish.)
8.3 moderately hard 24° to 28°C specific gravity 1.025 live rock, macroalgae, soluble rocks, gravel and sand

There is a wide variability and adaptability existing among species and individuals within each category.  Parameters suggested are general recommendations only.  Check specific care guides for more detail.