The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have an 80 gallon tank, its 4 feet long and 2 feet wide. Currently only has 14 Rummynose tetra in it. Im breaking it down this weekend to change out substrate.

The Rummynose are nice, but they dart around really fast. I really enjoy the look of cichlid's. Particularly, German Blue, Bolivian, and Electric blue.

Are these peaceful enough for a community? can I mix and match these fish? what are some other peaceful community fish that I could put in here with them?

Thanks,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,721 Posts
Dwarf Cichlids (Rams, Apistos, Kribs) are territorial, and most form pair bonds. A male and a female will defend the territory around their nest. I understand some Apistos form harems (1M + 2 or more F). They are not community fish. However, in your large tank there is room for several pairs, as long as the plants, rocks and driftwood make separate areas on the floor of the tank for them to claim. Checkerboard Cichlids are more shy, and might be a bit closer to a community fish than the others. Generally the dwarf Cichlids get along just fine with mid tank and upper level fish, they ignore anything that stays away from their territory.
German Blue and Electric Blue are the same species, and could breed. They will understand their own signals about territory.
Bolivian Rams seem a bit more easy going in some ways, and might make a better group, perhaps 2 pairs or 3 pairs.
Apistos- there are many species, and I do not know how well they understand each others' signals.
Kribs- More aggressive, pushier than the others listed. I would not mix these with shy or gentle schooling fish.
I would not mix species among the dwarf Cichlids.

If you did not have fish that were territorial about the bottom area you could get a really nice school of Cories. Cories do not always get along well with Cichlids, though. Cories do not seem to understand the Cichlids' territory signals and they get into trouble. However, Cories are just fine with other bottom dwellers like Loaches, and are fine with fish that swim higher in the tank.
Other bottom dwellers: A school of Botia striata would be nice in this sized tank, or if you wanted smaller fish, Ambastaia sidthimunki are great.

Schooling fish: You can double the population of Rummy Nose, and still have room to add another school in there.
For slower swimming mid tank fish, how about Pencils, Penguins, or Emperor Tetras? (There are several species of each- just get one species, and enough to make a good school)

For upper level interest you could go with a school of Hatchets (several species, covered tank only) or certain Gouramis. Most are territorial about the upper area, but your tank is large enough you could try several, especially if you could get females. Honey Gouramis- might try a mix of 1-3 males and 2-6 females, Pearls Gouramis- 1M or none, and 2-4 F. Other Gouramis are more aggressive. A single male, or a few females might work. A male Betta or several females might work. Never mix Anabantoids.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, this is some really good info. I'll look into these fish. One thing that is going to be a change for me is the temp. I have not had fish that needed 80+ degree water. I have an absurd amount of Java fern or several varieties, but I read it does well at 82F
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
673 Posts
Since when are dwarf cichlids not community fish. Dwarf cichlids are territorial, but most only get aggressive when breeding

Blue rams/electric blue are peaceful but the most difficult to keep. They need the high temp and clean soft water. Blue rams are overbred so a lot of the difficulties keeping them are due to bad stock. As long as you get good stock they are not that difficult as long as you keep the proper parameters.

Bolivian rams are super peaceful even when breeding. I have a pair in my 29 gallon highly stocked community and their first brood hatched yesterday. other than minor squabbling between each other from time to time the only aggression they have ever shown was to cory cats actively trying to eat their babies. They are also quite hardy and easy to keep.

There are more kinds of apistos than there are the other dwarf cichlids combined. The most commonly found are cacatouides. They are harem fish and super peaceful other than when breeding.

Kibs are the most aggressive as they will pick their territory and guard it fiercely. Otherwise peaceful, super hardy and easy to breed.

In an 80 gallon you have ton of room and can keep multiple pairs/cichlids to a degree as there is enough space to have multiple territories. With most dwarfs they are mostly territorial to their own kind except for when breeding. All can do well in communities, especially tanks that size, but if you want them to breed realize that the fry likely won't survive predators in a community tank, although with the right stocking they might be able to. An 80 gallon tank gives you a lot of options.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Breeding wasnt something I was considering. It was one of those, if it happens it happens. I was thinking 2 or 3 of each type of fish would be cool. I need to check my water though. My PH out of the tap is high 7's but I do run Co2 for a few hours each day. Currently not sure about the other requirements.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
636 Posts
I truly believe that most of the reputation rams have for being finicky and hard to keep comes from bad stock. The ones I have have been nothing but healthy and colorful and seemingly happy from day 1, and my tank is about as far from their ideal as possible. My water comes out of the tap at 8.2+ with a kh of 19 (translation - there ain't NOTHING bringing that ph down) and a gh of 9, and while I do run heaters, I keep the tank a lot closer to 77/78 than 82. The golds spawn very regularly, and my german blues are as happy and healthy as can be (not a mated pair though). They're all in the ballpark of two years in my tanks. But I bought them from breeders with good stock (one of which was raising them in higher ph water - not as high as mine, but higher) that were (imo) better able to adapt than the overbred hormone treated fish that are certainly more common.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What are peoples thoughts on ordering fish online? I live in a small town and our only real pet store is Petco. Its an hour and a half drive up to Portland where the real good pet stores are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,862 Posts
You are in Oregon?

Wet Spot Tropical Fish in Portland, Oregon is one of the best place I know of (online and local). Their fish are in excellent health, good prices, large stock and even get in rare/uncommon fish species.

I'm in Washington and have order thousands of dollars worth of fish from Wet Spot. Out of all the places I've ordered from, Wet Spot has consistently been the best in my experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes! that is most likely where I will be getting my fish. I just hate the drive to their store. I have had plants shipped to me from them. I just have never ordered fish online..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
636 Posts
Probably 80% of my fish are mail order (and probably 95% of those are from the mentioned vendor). I have had 2 bettas die in transit (both had already endured a shipment from Thailand to the US before turning around and being shipped to me the next day) but that's literally it (including guppies shipped priority around Christmas that took a week to get to me). I'm in the same boat with being an hour+ away from anything better than petsmart/petco, and even the better stores in the metro have been very hit and miss regarding the health of their stock. I have yet to receive a fish carrying disease or parasites when ordering online (not saying it doesn't happen - just that my luck has been better there), there's literally unlimited selection, and I truly haven't noticed the shipped fish having any more troubles acclimating than local bought fish (and my shipped fish literally get floated for 5 or 10 minutes and dumped due to time constraints and not wanting to leave them in 2 day old water once the baggie has been opened).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,721 Posts
The Wet Spot is so good it is worth the trip.

My comment about Dwarf Cichlids in general not being community fish is this:
They are not stocked in a group or school or 'a few of these and a few of those'.
They have social needs that are not met by being added in a group.
To take account of their social needs you need to understand their breeding habits, and stock accordingly.

I was thinking 2 or 3 of each type of fish would be cool.
This may work if....
a) The tank is large enough that each species has an area to claim as its own territory- at least 1 square foot, separated by plants, rocks or wood so that each territory is secure and out of site of the others.
b) You buy the right ratios of M:F per each species' needs.

If the tank is going to be visible on both sides, then you could probably arrange up to about 6 territories around the floor of the tank by arranging rocks and driftwood sort of like a framework then planting densely to fill in the walls. Hopefully the fish will see your arrangements as acceptable. If the tank is against a wall, then the maximum territories I think you could arrange might be about 3. This would limit you to 3 species.

Most Dwarf Cichlids will get along fine with fish that swim higher in the tank and stay away from their nest. In this sense they are reasonably good fish for a community tank. But they themselves are not community fish. They are tolerant of most schooling fish. There are often problems with Cories or other bottom fish, though.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top