Tankmates for Keyholes - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-28-2019, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Hi all

Currently my 30 Gallon is housing 2 keyhole cichlids(not a pair, i reckon both females, although they are still young). Also a few amano shrimp.

I intend to add a schooling species (maybe cardinals or rasboras), and also some other, a bit larger fish.

Are there any other dwarf south american cichlids that I could safely put in there? I am aware that 30g is already a minimum for the 2 keyholes.

I was thinking 1 Apisto (not a pair as I do not want breeding and all the aggressiveness that comes with it) - could I add one Borelli male (or other Apisto that is not a bully when housed single?)

I also like rams but my water is a bit high in ph.(over 7.5)

Another thought would be a group of betta imbellis as I've heard they are peaceful.

I have plenty of filtration (Eheim 2215) Anubias and the fast-growing Najas Guadelupensis as plants.
Please give me some ideas or share some experiences - could I add 1 or 2 more South Americans(non paired) or would that be asking for trouble? Thanks

ok, let me put it in a simpler manner : what fish would you add if you were me? )))

Last edited by Darkblade48; 10-29-2019 at 02:34 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 06:39 PM
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Personally I wouldn't add any more cichlids in a 30 gallon. Might be OK when they are young but once they get larger it may lead to troubles. Keyhole cichlids are peaceful relative to other cichlids but they are not saints. In a big enough tank they can probably kept with most other community fish and be fine but I did have a few problems with my pair. First of all with small fish they are mostly fine with them but every once in a while my larger male would eat a little fish. So I would stay away from things like ember tetras, pygmy Corydoras, etc. My female has on several occasions killed small tetras (cardinals and pencilfish) by striking them from below really hard and ripping out their stomachs. In most cases the fish were struggling or weak for some reason but it is possible that other small fish I lost was due to her aggression and I just didn't witness it. Because they nest at substrate level they also seem to hate Corydoras and chase and nip at them. Didn't see them do any permanent damage but the Corydoras I had with them were expensive ones so I didn't want to risk a loss and removed them.

Currently have mine with larger tetras (red line, diamond, candy cane), female Bettas, Otos, and kuhli loaches and all seems well. And again not saying they can't be kept with other cichlids or smaller tetras but maybe not the best idea in a 30 gallon.

So if I was you I would go with a few schools of larger deep bodied tetras, rasboras, barbs, bettas should be OK.

Here is a video of my pair prepping a nesting site recently.

ETA: I imagine over time they Amano shrimp might be eaten.

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Last edited by Triport; 10-29-2019 at 06:40 PM. Reason: note about Amano shrimp
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 11:21 AM
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I had the same experience with a keyhole pair. Attacked and sought out a young bristlenose when they were guarding wigglers and nipped the fins of corydoras. It might not be the same with 2 females but you'd really be pushing it putting any other cichlids in there. They need space to form territories. Mine is fine with black phantom tetras.
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