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I think your limiting factor isn't necessarily the filtration, but the behavior of the intended fish. There are a variety of different bigger South American cichlids, some play nice with each other, some don't. Angelfish are South American cichlids, some can get fairly large, Discus are as well, so are Oscars. Some fish are very aggressive and loners, some are community fish, some are aggressive and live o.k. with others of their kind, some territorial when breeding, some territorial period. You'd have to define a bit more what family of large South American cichlids you are looking at, also whether you intend to keep a planted tank, a blackwater tank, a tank with just substrate, rock and/or wood,...There are a lot more factors playing into this than tank volume, surface area, measurements and filtration rate. I hope this helps you maybe narrow it down a bit to which kind of South American cichlids you might be considering. There are quite a few forum members who keep different types of them but the requirements for space and flow depend very much upon which species you are hoping to house.

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You be off with a 100gallon or bigger for cichlids such as Oscars and red devils green terror pair of convict cichlids bovlian rams gbr rams angelfish with some dither fish would do well in a 55 

Edited by Colu
Ment to put100 gallon
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