Central American Cichlids • 120g Central American cichlids tank

Discussion regarding only Central American Cichlid species. (Guapotes, Jack Dempseys, Red Devils, Firemouths, Convicts, Texas Cichlids, etc.)

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120g Central American cichlids tank

Postby UNITED19 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:06 pm

Hi guys!

I have a 120g (5x1,6x2h) tank with only a large pleco in and i want to add some central american cichlids in... the only fish that I'm sure I will put in is a Vieja Synspilum, because I love that fish, but I don't now what other species of cichlid I can put in with it... so can you guys please give me any suggestions?
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Re: 120g Central American cichlids tank

Postby Oscar6 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:46 pm

I'll assume that your Pleco is in or above the foot long range. The Syn can get as big or bigger. That's it for a five foot 120 g tank. Issue for large aggressive Central American is temper and space. Mixing these fish is always difficult and often impossible. Look at much smaller fish. Convicts, Nicaraguan, Firemouth, Jack Dempsey. Even those fish can be a handful at the best of times.
1500 gallons of South and Central American cichlids. Some with a "wee" bit of attitude.
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Re: 120g Central American cichlids tank

Postby UNITED19 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:10 pm

So you reccomend me to put only a Syn in 120g or a bunch of smaller fish? Anyway the pleco is about a feet.
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Re: 120g Central American cichlids tank

Postby Oscar6 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:38 pm

I wouldn't put any more than one cichlid of that size in that tank. Big Central's can be full blown serial killers. Any could shred the Pleco if they felt like it. I wouldn't put more than 3 smaller fish, say 5-7 ins on with the Pleco. Comes down to bioload and living space.
1500 gallons of South and Central American cichlids. Some with a "wee" bit of attitude.
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Re: 120g Central American cichlids tank

Postby UNITED19 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:55 pm

Ok, I understood. Thank you man, really appreciate. I think I will be back to talk about the small cichlids
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Re: 120g Central American cichlids tank

Postby Auballagh » Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:32 pm

All points are spot on by Oscar6. And, I completely agree to be very careful of very large Central American (CA) Cichlids around Plecos. Personality differences will make even some individuals of a species behave differently than others, yes. But trust me on this, some of those big, aggressive Cichlids just really delight in destroying catfish for some reason.... :(
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Now, that doesn't mean you are completely done here. Oh no! It's really all about respecting the eventual size and power of these brutes. Check this video out,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZJqZF0YO7Az

It's a bit informal, but Andy Woods is definitely one of my hero's in the Cichlid-Keeping world. And, there isn't much that he hasn't seen or done. This video features.... Convicts! (Amatitlania nigrofasciata). A super-cool CA Cichlid species in their own right, it's really kind of amazing to see them kept successfully with some real beasts in those tanks. My favorite is the enormous Red Devil, Amphilophus labiatus with the female Wolf Cichlid, Parachromis dovii. Whew.... that Apex Predator just basically ignores the little Convict in that tank. She doesn't stalk the little Convict, or apparently want to eat it. Nope. She's definitely more concerned about getting safely away from Red Devil rampages! And the trick is.... everyone has a place to hide, when the aggression gets too hot in all of those tanks.
It works. :)
Find What You Love And Let It kill You!
What matters most is how well you walk through the fire...
- Charles Bukowski -
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Re: 120g Central American cichlids tank

Postby UNITED19 » Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:30 am

Wow that video is amazing! That fish is about a feet while the convicts are about 20 times smaller... these cichlids are incredible, all of them have different personalities, incredible. So the key for a pacific cohabitation are hiding places and enough space... thanks for the video, very impressive, I learnt a lot.
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Re: 120g Central American cichlids tank

Postby Auballagh » Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:00 am

Glad to help. :wink:
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And, I hope it helps to inform just how big these cichlids actually are. For example the P. dovii female in the video is 'ONLY' an inch or two shorter than the male Red Devil in there with her. They are both close to around a foot in total length. There is no question though between those two fish, which of them is the larger, more dominant Cichlid. So, when your initial thought of it being kind of lame that there is just one fish stocked in a pretty big aquarium? It helps to visually see just how physically large a heavy-bodied, mature CA Cichlid that is 'ONLY' a foot in length actually is.
They're massive!
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So, giving these fish enough aquarium to swim freely will enable them to look their best for you. And most importantly, a larger tank will definitely help to give YOU enough water capacity to help keep the water clean and diluted free of Nitrates and other toxins that will build up very fast in an aquarium stocked with these huge cichlids in it. Maintaining giant-sized CA is a very different fish keeping game than having an aquarium full of rocks, stuffed with a bunch of much smaller, African cichlids in it.
It takes a little getting used to, but it really is very cool... when a big, powerful CA Cichlid swims right up to that aquarium glass, and measures YOU up for dominance - in HIS space. 8)
Find What You Love And Let It kill You!
What matters most is how well you walk through the fire...
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Re: 120g Central American cichlids tank

Postby UNITED19 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:32 am

I guys I'm back and I have a question... if I choose the option of the trio, what could be the third cichlid to add with a Thorychthis Elioti and a Herotilapia Multispinosa?
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Re: 120g Central American cichlids tank

Postby UNITED19 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:23 am

Other question: if I want to keep only the Synspilum, can I keep it solo or I obligatorily have to keep it in a pair?
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Re: 120g Central American cichlids tank

Postby UNITED19 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:21 pm

Sorry if I write multiple messagges instead of one, but things come to mind in different times... I think I have misunderstood: when you talk of a trio you mean 3 pairs of fish so 6 fish or 3 solo fish? Because I don't want a pairs aquarium, I prefer a tank with only a fish for each species...
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Re: 120g Central American cichlids tank

Postby Auballagh » Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:37 pm

Well then.... those are some pretty awesome stocking choices. :)
I would just add a single Synspilum, (Paraneetroplus synspilus) with the Thoricthys and Rainbow Cichlid. A trio! And, there you have it. Be Advised: Just like Andy Woods demonstrated in the video with his tanks and the little Convicts, you will have to put in hiding/safe places for the smaller-growing Cichlids kept in with the Synspilum.
New World Cichlids are kind of weird about the dominance thing, and Initally you may see that the RaInbow or Thoricthys pretty much owns the much larger growing Sysnspilum in your aquarium. Give it time though, and a big ol' Sysnspilum when kept with those two will definitely emerge, sooner or later, as your 'King Daddy' in there.
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Now, if you want to go with a pair of Synspilum instead? That's fine, but that may be all that the tank will accomodate when adult sizes are attained. Best way to do that will be to get six or so baby fish, and let 'em all grow out together. When a pair emerges from a group like that - you will have the strongest pair bond possible to help establish what is known as a 'compatible pair'. Your new pair (at least initially) will genuinely like each other. Even then however, killing aggression is never far off from these C/A brutes. I'm serious!
So, to keep your smaller growing Sysnpilum female from ultimately being killed by a male that could turn out to be real thug, you may have to always ensure she has places to safely get away from 'Mr. Grumpy', if he starts rampaging in your aquarium. :roll:
Find What You Love And Let It kill You!
What matters most is how well you walk through the fire...
- Charles Bukowski -
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Re: 120g Central American cichlids tank

Postby UNITED19 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:57 pm

Perfect! 1 Synspilum, 1 Thoricthys and 1 Rainbow Chiclid, similar to Andy Woods tank and how I desire! I will provide them all the hides they need, I learnt a lot from that video, thank you so much!
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