Very Confused

Discussion on general cichlid care and issues. ID cichlids you don't know the origin of. Mixed tank questions.

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Very Confused

Post by Stink » Tue Aug 30, 2005 11:32 pm

HI All,

I have kept a mix of cihlids in my 4ft tank for about 2 yrs now with relatively little problem, until know. Firstly the fish i have in my current tank are 1x jewel, 1 pair of Hongi's, 1 male Auratus he's about three inches now but quite placid, 2 clown loaches, 2 catfish, i female bi color peacock as the male died and a couple of other cichlid pairs that i cant remember the names.

I am getting a new 6 ft tank and would like to get some nice colorful cichlids in it, maybe peacocks or something else. Should i get rid of my existing fish and start over or should i throw them all in the new tank plus whatever "nice ones" i buy? In choosing any new tankmates should i pick fish from the same area and then just buy what my local supplyers have from those areas or do i need to be more specific in what fish to put in?

I mean some people have said to me to just throw in a few pairs of whatever and they will sort it out? which up until know is what i have done without any real problems. But if know i want to add some nice peacocks etc and perhaps get them breeding should i be worried about them having some mass cross breed orgy hehe.

I am no die hard cichlid worshipper but now i have the opportunity to possibly setup a better environment but i dont necessarily want to get rid of my old fish, they are part of the family.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated

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Post by MatsP » Wed Aug 31, 2005 7:02 am

You have got a bit of an "eclectic" mix in your tank at the moment, and it's obviously not a "biotope tank".

Mixing fish is fine for many species commonly kept in aquariums. Others are not so good for mixing...

In general, cichlids aren't very good at mixing with other species. There are exceptions, of course...

Many of the colourful cichlids are from Lake Malawi or Lake Tanganyika in Africa, and they tend to be very territorial and quite aggressive towards both their own and other species of fish. Unfortunately, they are not good to mix with other species. On top of this, they prefer hard and alcalic (high pH) water, which is generally the opposite of what you find in most other places (south america's Amazon river and it's tributaries range from soft to VERY soft and slightly acidic to VERY acidic [just a little less acidic than our stomach acid], whcih is where your pictus cats originate from).

Peacocks are from Lake Malawi.

So the conclusion is: You should probably not keep Malawi or Tanganyika cichlids with fish from other regions. There are some non-cichlid fish that can be kept in the same tank as Malawi's or Tanganyika's, primarily Tang. species of Synodontis (a catfish). Not to be confused with riverine species of Synodontis, that are better kept in soft/neutral or slightly acidic water.

In general, fish from the same origin will have developed in such ways that they work better together than mixing species from different regions. This of course doesn't mean that you can keep neons with Pimelodus Pictus cats, as they are indeed from the (roughly) same region, but neons live in very shallow water, whilst Pim Pictus prefer slightly deeper (and more flowing) water. Pictus cats WILL eat neon-sized fish if they get a chance, and if they are in the same tank, that chance will occur...

Of course, you can keep fish from different regions together too, but that requires more understanding of what they require, and perhaps compromising between different water parameters. Having said that, I would not try to put Malawi cichlids with much other than species from the same region.


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Post by Lisachromis » Wed Aug 31, 2005 2:12 pm

The other point to remember is that peacocks crossbreed readily. Either you'll have to get more bi-colors, or get rid of the female you have now. Females from different peacock species can be extremely hard to tell apart, and they'll spawn with the dominant male, whether or not he's the 'right' male for her.

I'm assuming you'll be mainly keeping Malawian cichlids. Why don't you let us know what species you're interested in getting and that are available to you and we could let you know how they'll get along in your tank?

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Post by Stink » Wed Aug 31, 2005 4:49 pm

Hey thanks heaps guys,

I will go around to my local aquariums on friday and saturday morning and will take down the species of all the fish i am interested in. I will then post it up here and you guys can take a look.

THanks again

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Post by Stink » Fri Sep 02, 2005 3:50 am

HI again All,

OK an update on the fish i currently have in my 4ft
2 clown loach
2 pictus Cats
1 lonely female bi color
2 johanni
2 Texas cichlids
1 auratus
2 hongi's
1 unknown hehe

OK here is some fish i have access to that i quite like the look of

Red Rubin Peacock
Flameback i think there peacock to
Blue Dolphin (i really like these)
Electric Yellows
OB Zebra's
Yellow collar Peacock (are these the same as Bi Color's?)
Maleri Gold

I will check another place tomorrow that holds some more rare species but what do you guys think about the mix of these guys?

I am getting a nice big 6ft x 2ft so i really want some nice show fish in there but i dont want to be ignorant to there needs etc

So if you guys can suggest what will mix well with my current fish and even any others you think of and i will see what i can get hold of.

I really appreciate any help as now i am getting this nice big tank i want to try and do it properly and most importantly keep my fish happy

Cheers guys

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