hehe a load of questions
IME both the Paretroplus and the Dimidiochromis are much more agressive to their own speciesmembers and tend to ignore other fish.
both seem to ignore "catfish like" species. if they are of similar size, I still don't see much trouble.
but I still miss 1 thing and that is info about the Polypterus: how big are the Polypterus right now, how many of them around and wich species?
about the cichlid-species; the Damba's should be kept with as many as you can get away with; money, tankspace etc.
i keep finding more and more info that in small groups it's just sheer luck if they stay docile.
sometimes they do. but often they do not. Think that about 8 is a nice number.
these are also very active fish. always swimming, chasing each other a bit, grazing or chewing sand. constant on the move.
the Dimidio's might not like that constant level. on the other hand, this is still a fairly tough Malawian hap.
butr it might get stressed a bit.
another thing: bogwood might add substances to the water that the Malawian haps might not like at all.
in general pieces of wood in Malawian or Tanganyikan tanks is not a good plan, unless it's really old wood and all the peat-bog-stuff is leeched out of it and you keep a good eyew on the waterparameters.
but avoiding the whole issue beforehand is a lot easier than fixing it afterwards.
also: both Dimidiochromis and Polypterus like planted area's. the Dimidio is a true Vallisneria-biotpe dweller, evolved to lurk around between the leaves, sneak attacking small fish from this cover
Polypterus are swamp dwellers in general and most often African swamps are densely planted with all kinds of plants; Papyrus, Anubias, reeds, vallisneria's in the flooded area's etc.
Paretroplus are lawnmowers.......they're even worse than Silver Dollars in this aspect.
I feed my Paretroplus with plant growth surplus from other tanks.....it takes my group less than a day to chomp up several ounces of added greenery!
so here's the crux:
so if you want to build up a nice green biotope for your Polypterus; the Dimidio's are your best bet
but then the hiding places are best made out of rock instead of wood.
if the furniture is made of both rocks and wood, but you skip on the plants, the combo of Polypterus and Paretroplus is nice.
all three I shouldn't do. too many conflicting issues with plants or no plants, wood or no wood etc.
"And he piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the rage and hate felt by his whole race. If his chest had been a cannon, he would have shot his heart upon it"