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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I feel dumb for even asking this question, but I'm doing it anyway. LOL

Has anybody had any success with keeping Cockatoo cichlids in a planted tank? I don't want a tank full of them, just one would do.

If there has been success, what kinds of plants did you keep with? Was everything tied down or did they behave and leave things alone for the most part?
 

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I have them in a densely plant tank they don't root out plants. They also are pretty peaceful with other fish a lot smaller than there self. As far as plants they don't even seem to notice them, so about any plant can go with them.

You can't go wrong with them. The males are just awesome. When he flash his fins you will notice it from across the room. I would go with a male and two females.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Awesome! Thank you!

I want to add a touch of spunk to my tank, but I have 6 Bleeding Heart Tetras that suffer from Dr. Jekyll / Mr.Hyde syndrome. If a person goes near the tank, they act like the sky is falling and disappear, but if I add fish the tank, they turn into a pain in the butt with bullying. So, I was looking for something small, but can hold his or her own until the tetras simply accept the fact that there is a new fish in the tank. It does happen, it just takes a few days.

I've thought about getting rid of my obnoxious tetras, but I've had them for over 2 years and just deal with them as they are. They are pretty, but I'd never recommend them unless they are the last fish put into a community tank.
 

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I don't have any experience with that specific cichlid but do keep several other planted cichlid tanks so that I feel there are some common items that might help. One is that not all cichlids are the same and not all of one species will react the same. There also seems to be a certain amount of "learned" activity. These are somewhat more advanced in their evolution and they do what we might term thinking.
What this leaves me finding is that I need to prepare for the worst action and hope for better in some cases. I've had the common yellow lab in a tank for years without them bothering plants and then after I add some fish who does eat the plants, they may all start.

So for my overall fun, I start with the assumption that a fish may try to eat or move the plants and choose plants and setting with that in mind. Big tough plants that nobody bothers is my starting point. Some I find good are crypts, swords and things that are not tender. Leaves that you can't tear easily will also work better with fish who try. Anacharis for instance seems to be easy for them to strip the leaves off the stem so I've stopped using it and replaced the tall plant function with something like tiger lotus which also grows tall.

I find it works better to match what I do to what the fish allow rather than trying to retrain the genes in a fish! But that is a part of the game that excites me the most. If it was something everybody did, why bother?
 

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I've got a pair of apistos I keep in a densely planted 20 long. They do quite well in there and spawn regularly as in the photos below.



 

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I've kept 7 different species of Apisto, all in planted tanks. They will not mess with plants and they don't dig in the substrate. They are IMO the best planted tank center piece fish as they have tons of personality and are peaceful with community fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't have any experience with that specific cichlid but do keep several other planted cichlid tanks so that I feel there are some common items that might help. One is that not all cichlids are the same and not all of one species will react the same. There also seems to be a certain amount of "learned" activity. These are somewhat more advanced in their evolution and they do what we might term thinking.
What this leaves me finding is that I need to prepare for the worst action and hope for better in some cases. I've had the common yellow lab in a tank for years without them bothering plants and then after I add some fish who does eat the plants, they may all start.

So for my overall fun, I start with the assumption that a fish may try to eat or move the plants and choose plants and setting with that in mind. Big tough plants that nobody bothers is my starting point. Some I find good are crypts, swords and things that are not tender. Leaves that you can't tear easily will also work better with fish who try. Anacharis for instance seems to be easy for them to strip the leaves off the stem so I've stopped using it and replaced the tall plant function with something like tiger lotus which also grows tall.

I find it works better to match what I do to what the fish allow rather than trying to retrain the genes in a fish! But that is a part of the game that excites me the most. If it was something everybody did, why bother?
Thanks for the input. Cockatoos are not Mbuna, so I wasn't worried about chewing and shredding. It was more of a question of whether they would dig and leave piles of substrate laying around as many cichlids like to do.

lksdrinker: Beautiful tank and fish.
 

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I've kept A. Steindacnari and Borellii. My only concern is that if you have a group in a tank, more than two pairs, you'll end up with a bunch of little Game of Thrones Fiefdoms, if there isn't enough caves or shelter. And the females, when in breeding mood can be various kinds of psycho.
 
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