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How Many Cichlids In A 75-Gallon Tank? Mbunas, Peacocks And South American

How Many Cichlids In A 75-Gallon Tank? Mbunas, Peacocks And South American

Credits: Gabriel Saldana (Creative Commons license)

How many cichlids in a 75-gallon tank? Or a 55- gallon tank? These are some of the most common questions I get bombarded with every day. And as much as I would love to give you a concrete answer, there isn’t really one. This is because there are so many factors that come into play when deciding the stocking number. 

Nonetheless, I have tried to be as helpful and to-the-point as possible. So without any delay, let’s get into the matter! 

How Many Cichlids In A 75-Gallon Tank?

If you’re talking about medium-sized cichlids like mbunas, you can house around 15-18 of them in a 75-gallon tank. On the other hand, you can house approximately 20-25 dwarf cichlids that barely grow over 4 inches long. 

Unfortunately, there’s no one magic formula we can use to calculate the correct number of cichlids for a given tank. The standard practice is to allocate 2 gallons for every 1 inch of the fish. But even this rule is not practical or applicable all the time. 

One on the web, I found a ridiculous formula that said divide the gallon size by two, and you’ll get the perfect number. So, if we abide by that rule, a 75-gallon tank can house around 37 cichlids. And that answer is not at all accurate. 

I came across hobbyists on several cichlid forums who have successfully raised around 30 in a 75-gallon tank. However, overstocking is not everyone’s cup of tea. With this method, you can spread out and control their aggression, but the room for errors is also super small. You will have to be constantly on your toes when it keeps to maintaining the right water parameters. To be frank, you’ll have to allocate a considerable amount of time every couple of days to make the tank habitable. 

A 75-Gallon Aquarium’s Size And Weight 

A 75-gallon tank is almost identical to a 55-gallon tank except for the width. A 75-gallon tank’s dimension is 48” x 18” x 21” (L x W x H). The empty weight is around 140 lbs, whereas the filled weight is 850 lbs. 

How Many Peacock Cichlids In A 75-Gallon Tank?

Peacock cichlid
Credits: Georgebonbon (Creative Commons license)

Peacocks grow around 4-7 inches long and have a feisty personality. If you want to be on the safe side, stock 14-16 peacocks in a 75-gallon tank. 17-20 means moderately stocked, and 21-24 means heavily stocked. 

We recommend stocking lightly initially and adding new fish as if you think the tank can accommodate some more. Also, don’t forget that peacocks prefer swimming in open waters. So, don’t get too carried with the decors. 

Suggested Reading: How Big Do Peacock Cichlids Get? Grow Your Peacock Cichlids Fast!

How Many Dwarf Cichlids In A 75-Gallon Tank? 

Dwarf cichlid
Credits: Elma (Creative Commons license)

I’d say you can house around 20-25 dwarf cichlids in a 75-gallon tank. But this is just a tentative guess.

 There are so many different species of dwarf cichlids, and determining the right number boils down to factors like their temperament, location preference, and spawning behavior.

Suggested Reading: Ultimate Guide On Raising Dwarf Cichlids | Best Dwarf Cichlids Countdown

How Many Mbuna Cichlids In A 75-Gallon Tank? 

Mbuna cichlids
Credits: Maha Dinesh (Creative Commons license)

Mbunas may not grow too big, but oh boy, they are some of the most aggressive fish in the hobby. So, in my opinion, you can add around 15-18 mbunas in a 75-gallon tank. 

Remember, mbunas should be kept in schools to keep aggression in check and if you want to observe their natural behavior. In general, we recommend adding mbunas in a group of 4 or more – 2 males per 2 females. 

I see some hobbyists recommend adding them in trios of 2 females and 1 male. But I’m not a big fan of that since females are not as colorful as males. 

Suggested Reading: Mbuna Cichlids Guide And Compatibility Chart | Best Mbuna Cichlids For You

How Many African Cichlids In A 75-Gallon Tank? 

There are around 1500 species of African cichlids out there. So there’s no one definitive answer. But, nonetheless, if it’s dwarf cichlids, you can add 20-25; if it’s mbunas, you can keep 15-18, and if it’s peacocks, you can keep around 14-16.

How Many South American Cichlids In A 75-Gallon Tank?

Just like mbunas, you can house around 15-18 medium-sized South American cichlids in a 75-gallon tank. But once again, the stocking number depends on different variables like the fish’s size, temperament, spawning behavior, and swimming zone. 

For example, there’s no way you can house that many oscars in a 75-gallon tank. 

I dug through some forums and discovered some interesting stocking ideas shared by fellow hobbyists. I’ll 2 different ideas in the tables below:

1 Severum or Chocolate cichlid
5-6 Cupid cichlids or Bolivian rams
10 Columbian Tetras


1 Notatus Severum 
1 Threadfin Acara 
3-4 Blue Acara 
9 Buenos Aires Tetra 
1 Gold Spot Pleco 
3 Spotted Pictus

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How Many Convict Cichlids In A 75-Gallon Tank?

Convict cichlid
Credits: S. Olkowicz (Creative Commons license)

Although convicts grow only 4-5 inches long, they are super aggressive. So, you need to tread carefully when deciding their number. I’d recommend only 5-6 convict cichlids in a 75-gallon tank. 

The reason behind this is that convicts breed like crazy. So you’ll surely end up with some more convicts in a couple of months anyway. 

Also, one guy on a fish forum shared that he initially added 10 convicts cichlids in a 75-gallon tank and now is looking to upgrade to a 125-gallon tank because the space wasn’t enough.

Suggested Reading: Pink Convict Cichlid Care Guide | Diet, Habitat, Breeding, Accessories

How Many Oscar Fish In A 75-Gallon Tank?

Credits: Public Domain Picture (Creative Commons license)

The minimum recommended size of oscars is a 55-gallon tank for one fish and extra 20-30 gallons for every new addition. So going by that rule, you can house 2 oscars in a 75-gallon tank. 

In captivity, oscar fish can grow about 12 inches long and live for over 20 years! So don’t forget to consider these points when deciding the stocking number and tank size. 

Suggested Reading: Why Is My Oscar Fish Lying On Its Side? 7 Possible Reasons Why!

How Many Angelfish In A 75-Gallon Tank?

Credits: Pixabay (Creative Commons license)

You can add 2-3 breeding pairs of angelfish in a 75-gallon tank. Don’t forget to add plenty of decors like rocks, driftwoods, and plants where the fish can retreat if it’s being bullied. 

With angelfish, don’t go overboard with the stocking number. These fish tend to get super aggressive when spawning. 

Parting Words: How Many Cichlids In A 75-Gallon Tank?

If you’ve read the full article, by now, you know that there isn’t one golden number. It depends from fish to fish. If you’re housing big fish like oscars, at most, you can house 2 in a 75-gallon tank. 

On the other hand, if you’re stocking dwarf cichlids, you can quite easily stock 20-25 fish. 

At the end of the day, it comes down to the nature, size, and breeding behavior of the fish you plan to stock. And it also depends on you – the amount of elbow grease you are willing to put in to give your fish the best life possible. 

Happy Reading! 🙂

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