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I acquired an established 75 gallon with an eclectic mix of, one each of the following:

Asian Upside Down Catfish

Pictus Four Line Cat

Raphael Cat

Synodontis Cat

Peacock Cichlid

Red Zebra Cichlid

Cobalt Zebra Cichlid

These are all mature, good sized fish (range 3-7”).  They have been living together for a couple of years with me and some amount of time before I acquired them.  I picked up 6 clown loaches and have been keeping them in quarantine.   They are 2.5” size range. Opinions on how they make out with the mix in the established 75, assuming ample places to hide out and access to food?

The current inhabitants, specifically the Peacock and Pictis/Upside cats, can be on the aggressive side from time to time (they’re also on the larger end of the size range).  Generally the tank has a good balance considering the mix, but it’s not exactly a calm community tank. 

I’ll be upgrading the tank size for these fish, but not for a couple of years so I’m pretty locked into the current setup for now. 

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So only having 3 cichlids will raise the aggression towards other fish. Ideally you would have 5-6. But the big thing here is you have 10 catfish that all reach 1' plus and all need their own territories and caves. The clown loaches will share caves for a time but once they get to adult size they will likely be too large to share a cave. 


You are already aware of size, but mainly my concern is 10 adult catfish will need lots of food and lots of filtration to manage their very messy eating habits. The smallest tank I would go, personally, for these fish is 350 gallons. Clown loaches especially in schools seem to hold their own even in more aggressive tanks. 


I have not personally kept clown loaches with african cichlids so I do not know if the water being more alkaline then they like will cause health issues or not. But it is something to be aware of, as I would not house african cichlids in pH below 8.0

Edited by Biotope Biologist
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