South American Cichlids • African and South American Cichlids together

Discussion regarding only South American Cichlid species. (Oscars, Geophagines, Discus, Apistogramma, Green Terrors, Angels, Severums, Pikes, etc.)

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Postby SinisterKisses » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:39 am

pH is highly over emphasized for most cichlids (with the exception of wild caught fish). Of COURSE water chemistry is important, but it is not a do-or-die condition. I agree that you should be aiming for as close to natural conditions for your fish as possible, but if you have tap water with a pH level of 7.6, you're better off raising your angel fish in that and keeping it STABLE than trying to mess with it to adjust it to what their natural pH level would be. You'll do more damage that way. You also have to keep in mind that the fish that most of us keep are tank bred and raised for hundreds of generations over. They've NEVER known the conditions that their wild ancestors do/have. They're quite likely already used to a pH level of 7.6 (for example) rather than 5.0 and will thrive in the higher because they've been raised in it. Stability is what is most important, not the exact level.

In my opinion, the BIGGEST factor to consider when mixing fish of very different areas - in this case, South American and African - is their behaviour and personality. South American fish have completely different ways of interacting, communicating, behaving, etc, than African fish do. They're also typically not as high-strung and fast-moving as a lot of African fish. Mixing them with Africans, as a result, would likely leave you with a lot of unhappy fish. They might survive, but as already mentioned - surviving and really thriving are two different things. And I, personally, always aim for the health and happiness of my fish over my own wants and needs. Sure, I would love to be able to throw a bunch of different species together, but I know it's not in their best interests so I take the responsible route and keep them separate.
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Postby ahud » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:55 pm

Does PH not affect breeding? Certain PH gives more males or females and some fish require certain water chemistry for their eggs to hatch.
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Postby Bluetangclan » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:31 pm

Yes. That is the one caveat, at least with discus. I havent had the opportunity yet to try it but my discus breeder tells me he puts his currently breeding pairs in a different tank than the rest of his system with a gradually lowered PH, we are talking over weeks. The eggs will not hatch in 8.3 PH. Thats his only exception though and he is hoping to eventually after a few more generations get around it completely.
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Postby Number6 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:08 pm

ahud wrote:Does PH not affect breeding? Certain PH gives more males or females and some fish require certain water chemistry for their eggs to hatch.


Not directly in my experience... You are thinking of species like apistogramma sp.
There is some anecdotal evidence from other fish hobbyists, however it is not just the pH that was different in their stories... GH and KH was also different. They also did not often record brood sizes, etc. so there really wasn't enough data to really link it. Other explanations are just as plausible and would have to be eliminated.

I, personally, had female heavy broods in tanks with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5 and in a pH of 7.6 with the tanks having the exact same GH and a KH within 1 or 2 points. Tiny bits of sand seemed to raise the pH high without adding much to the KH.

It could be pH... but I have found the evidence lacking... :popcorn:
My WC cichlids are gonna be caught on rod n reel!
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Postby DeadFishFloating » Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:52 pm

With apistos, temperature plays a more important role in the sex ratio of spawns.
Dwarf Cichlids. Big personalities in small packages.
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Postby dwarfpike » Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:54 pm

It's usually the west africans that have pH ratio issues with their fry, though it is still partially dependant on hardness as well. Certain Pelvicachromis species have well documented sex ratio issues.

But in general, I do believe pH by itself isn't a major water issue. At least with South Americans, it seems a high hardness causes more issues than a high pH does. And temp for certain species also seems to be more parmount as well (blue rams, Tapajos orangehead geos, discus).
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Re: African and South American Cichlids together

Postby Ichthys » Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:59 pm

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Re: African and South American Cichlids together

Postby 21elijahtaylor » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:39 pm

You can't put them together because if they are the same size the African cichlids will kill them for example I tried and my African cichlids kill my oscar that I brought but if the South American cichlid is bigger then the African might not be able to hang
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