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Re: Compatibility and suggestions for 1000l tank

Postby BC in SK » Sat Oct 31, 2015 10:12 pm

Kostas G wrote: Are rainbows better able to protect themselves than Guianacara?

I really couldn't say (?).
CA are often very competitive with other CA. A rainbow is timid and backs down easily, and IME gets no free ride. It's seen as one of them even though it poses no real threat. IME it got bullied excessively, especially by firemouths, and eventually by all the CA in the tank. I don't think being at it's larger size will make any difference. Generally cichlids tend to focus more on other cichlids of the same or similar weight class.
When it comes to dominance of a tank, there can be friction between any cichlid that is in contention for 'top dog'. Of course I dont' see any likely issue here, with a rainbow or Guinacara .
Kostas G wrote:Would they still breed without being able to hold the space? What do you mean that it won't come for free?

No, a substrate spawner needs to be able to own at least some space, to the exclusion of all other tankmates, in order to successfully breed. Generally won't lay eggs with out owning the space first, and if they can't defend, the eggs will usually get eaten quickly.
Initially the space is unlikely to be claimed with out at least some battle, however minor or violent. It's got to be "backed up". Can't be running away from the boss of the tank, otherwise the necessary territory isn't being maintained. There is no respect for the boundaries of a territory with out at least some threat of being hit or struck. Some degree of trespassing is often tolerated, but if one of the pair goes towards the trespassing fish, it's got to be on it's way.
Kostas G wrote: Both the Platydoras abd plecos are pretty good at sneaking in and eating everything, which I don't mind much but the cichlids mind. My experience with the smaller Microgeophagus and Apistogramma has not been very good. The catfish get bitten fins and the breeding cichlids often die out of the blue(stress?). Would you think it's wise to do it or asking for trouble?

All these cichlids are very hardy compared to some of the smaller dwarf SA. Doubt the bottom feeders would ever stress them too much.....though some of there cichlid tank mates might (?).
Wise or asking for trouble? 1001 possibilities. I think it's less then 50/50 whether the rainbows would even be able to do the deed in the presence of this company; and even then much more likely when all are at a young and small size. The Thorichthys, IMO, a much better chance of breeding. Very possible, especially in the size of your tank, they wouldn 't claim too much space and the aggression would be primarily some threatening along the borders of the territory. But with any substrate spawner, it's very hit or miss with a variety of factors/variables.
Kostas G wrote: Did they breed on aquatic plants or closer to the bottom?

Close to the bottom. Most often on the corner of the tank on glass; a few times on flat rock in the middle of the tank.
Few substrate spawners lay eggs closer to the surface. Had convicts last year, lay eggs at the very top corner of the tank :o a few times....but it's rather uncommon and unusual.
I lay a flat rock into the back corners of the tank. It's always the preferred spawning site of CA and at least puts the breeding territory to one side of the tank, rather then in the middle.
BC in SK
 
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Re: Compatibility and suggestions for 1000l tank

Postby Kostas G » Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:34 am

Thank you very much!

My rainbow is seen as the good boy in the block, everyone lets it hang alongside without getting annoyed. They have learnt it will never try to bite them and ignore it now. The firemouth also never tries to bite nor drive anyone away and it sometimes get a free ride as well. Not during feeding time though! It's very fast and effective at stealing food...
Things would probably be tougher for both if they tried to challenge or hold space from the bigger ones.

Rainbow is more of a top dweller for me, it spends most of its time on the upper half of the tank, above the woods and in between the floating plants where it feeds on semi-decayed plant matter. That's why I asked if it spawns high up, as it's very seldom seen close to the substrate and always nibbles up, very rarely down. It sleeps in the wood tangle, usually on the woods.

Guianacara may have a harder time being a bottom dweller and having a smaller final size? Or also seen as non-threat and left wander everywhere? Do you have any especially colorful smallish(10-15cm) and peaceful cichlids in mind that would make good additions? They have to not hybridize with my current ones and be gentle to the catfish

Thank you very much for the details on breeding! It will probably be too stressful an experience to try to keep the Nic or GT away, or the huge Panaque, unless they spawn near the surface or in a tight spot the big ones can't fit well. It's maybe wise to postpone any pairing till I move house and build a much larger tank with ample space for territories and more tight, secluded spots

Haha, very nice, laying on glass and at the top must have been fun to watch


Do you think the it would be better long term with the current stocking of cichlids(GT, Nic, Rainbow, Firemouth, Herichthys carpintis) plus the Severum or with the further addition of a female chocolate cichlid? The tank is 2m X 60cm wide


Thank you very much in advance!
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Re: Compatibility and suggestions for 1000l tank

Postby BC in SK » Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:16 am

Kostas G wrote: any especially colorful smallish(10-15cm) and peaceful cichlids in mind that would make good additions? They have to not hybridize with my current ones and be gentle to the catfish

Some of the less aggressive Cryptoheros species such as C. nanoluteus or Hondurean Red Point. Though there is possibility they could hybirdize as ALL CA cichlids can potentially hybirdize with another CA cichlid. Festivum would fit your description for the most part. Pretty fish ( though not especially colorful). Usually doesn't get much larger then 15 cm. Top dwelling even at a young size.

Kostas G wrote: plus the Severum or with the further addition of a female chocolate cichlid?

Yes, from my perspective I think you would be better off adding both the severum and the chocolate. In the future, if you should have to remove a fish for what ever reason, or a fish could die for what ever reasons......it still leaves you with a decent number of cichlids. IMO, 7-8 cichlids in a 7 ft. tank is not heavy stocking at all.
BC in SK
 
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Re: Compatibility and suggestions for 1000l tank

Postby Kostas G » Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:47 am

Thank you for the great suggestions! Cryptoheros nanoluteus and C. cutteri seem quite nice! Is cutteri as peaceful as nanoluteus or considered aggressive? How are these when breeding?
I will try to find an especially nice Mesonauta and probably get a pair of these since they are small, top dwellers and relatively peaceful. Do you maybe see a problem with a pair of these trying to defend themselves against the big ones or problems with damaging the catfish?

Thank you! The catfish and big plecos will contribute significantly to the bioload as well but since you don't find it heavy stocking ,I will add a female chocolate too as you suggest :)
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Re: Compatibility and suggestions for 1000l tank

Postby BC in SK » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:10 am

Kostas G wrote: Cryptoheros nanoluteus and C. cutteri seem quite nice! Is cutteri as peaceful as nanoluteus or considered aggressive? How are these when breeding?

I've never owned either. But I have had Cryptoheros spilurus, which is a very similar species to C. cutteri. IME, they are almost as aggressive as convicts. Fairly similar. Everything I have read about cutteri, seems to indicate they are virtually the same as spilurus. Of course they can vary dependant on regional variant and from one individual to another. Everything I have read about nanoluteus, seems to indicate that they may be the least aggressive of any of the Cryptoheros.
Kostas G wrote: Do you maybe see a problem with a pair of these trying to defend themselves against the big ones or problems with damaging the catfish?

No, I would not forsee any aggression problems with the festivum as all that likely. IME, there very mild mannered. If they are unable to claim space, they probably won't attempt to.
BC in SK
 
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Re: Compatibility and suggestions for 1000l tank

Postby Kostas G » Thu Nov 05, 2015 6:21 pm

I just read a spawning report for cutters and they do sound quite aggressive when spawning! I will prefer the nanoluteus then and maybe try for a pair. Would that be ok? I am thinking of pairing the rainbow too if that won't be risking their integrity, I mean, these are all small fish and unable to fend off a Green Terror which has already realized his power and is almost top dog(sometimes it's him, others the Nic, still mostly the Nic is the most respected cichlid in a he tank). But maybe they take advantage of tiny crevices in the woods or rockwork and make it work without having to deal with the big ones.

Good to know the festivum know to keep themselves out of harm's way and won't be aggressive to the catfish. Sound like a great choice :)
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Re: Compatibility and suggestions for 1000l tank

Postby Kostas G » Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:33 am

How compatible are chocolate cichlids, Severum and Mesonauta festivum with the rest of my stock in terms of water parameter preferences? Don't these prefer soft water and warmer temperatures than the rest? Or would all be happy with pH between 6.5-7.5 and temperature 24-27.5C ?
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Re: Compatibility and suggestions for 1000l tank

Postby BC in SK » Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:35 am

Kostas G wrote: Or would all be happy with pH between 6.5-7.5 and temperature 24-27.5C ?
Yes, they will be more then fine with that. Unless you have wild caught fish and know specifically what body of water it comes from AND specifically what the water parameters are from this location, only then maybe, it could make sense to alter the tap water. And pH is seldom the more significant; dissolved waste, nitrate and hardness almost always more significant then pH. The cichlids are just as hardy and adaptable as your bottom feeders. If anything, your nic is probably farthest away in terms of pH. Hypothetically, it could originate from lake Nicaragua ( pH 7.8 -8.8 ) or lake Managua (pH 9.5). But ignore that :lol: , as it will do more then fine. Major water quality factor is dissolved waste and your water change and maintenance to keep it in check.
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Re: Compatibility and suggestions for 1000l tank

Postby Kostas G » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:40 pm

Most plecos will be wild caught, so I will prefer a medium hardness(100μS) and ph ~6.8. Right now I have them at 160μS and ph 6.8-7.2. I also think hardness is the important parameter. pH largely depends on it and changing hardness with the addition of RO water to tap water, is safe. Messing with acids and bases or altering the salt composition of the water to change pH or hardness is way more dangerous and bad for fish health than any possible benefit.

Thank you very for confirming my thoughts. Most of these cichlids are bred and not wild caught and seem happy with the current conditions. The Nic is the most intensely colored one from all :)
So the current cichlids don't really need that hard water to thrive and are fine with that? Cryptoheros nanoluteus too?

I have a 300l sump for filtration with a sedimentation chamber and many liters of biofiltration and mechanical following it. Panaque are very messy, wood eating plecos. But they are my favorite. And they only go with heavy filtration and siphoning/water changes). I cleaned the filter last weekend and ended up doing a 450l water change to siphon well and wash the filtration materials...

How do you know dissolved waste levels are ok? I keep nitrates below 12.5ppm but dissolved waste, I don't know. Sometimes there is a lot of sawdust(from the plecos) circulating around, when the cichlids go digging or making a bed to sleep in the calmer areas
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Re: Compatibility and suggestions for 1000l tank

Postby BC in SK » Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:22 pm

Kostas G wrote: a medium hardness(100μS) and ph ~6.8. Right now I have them at 160μS and ph 6.8-7.2.
I would have thought that 100 -160uS would actually be considered fairly soft....equating to around 2-3 dGH. Tap water here, according to the city website, is 468 uS and around 10 dGH and is considered only moderately hard. Zero problems keeping and maintaining chocalates, festvum, sevs, GTs and certainly no problem getting sevs or GTs to breed ( and Andinoacara rivulatus comes from very, very soft waterhttp://www.cichlidae.com/species.php?id=4).
Kostas G wrote:So the current cichlids don't really need that hard water to thrive and are fine with that? Cryptoheros nanoluteus too?
If it is remains stable, should be fine. Nanoluteus typically comes from softer water then nics or rainbows.
Kostas G wrote:How do you know dissolved waste levels are ok? I keep nitrates below 12.5ppm but dissolved waste, I don't know.
All we really have is nitrate level as a general indicator.
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Re: Compatibility and suggestions for 1000l tank

Postby BC in SK » Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:39 pm

Kostas G wrote:So the current cichlids don't really need that hard water to thrive and are fine with that?
It is my opinion that if you can maintain stable water chemistry, should not matter much, if at all. But here were doing the reverse. IME ,in our water, aquarium strain blue acara, GT, sev, oscar ect. do no better or worse then hard water CA .For what it's worth, carpintis, Thorichthys, nic and rainbow all typically come from much harder water then what you have. As an example to show, this article on salvini, of which it is found with all species of Thorichthys http://www.cichlidae.com/article.php?id=109 From relatively soft, 8 dGH to extremely hard, 50+ dGH. Of course relatively soft is only 'soft' in comparison. Still much harder water then the so called 'hard' water of lake Malawi (4-6 dGH). Other cities and places have much softer or even much harder water then we do.......but I don't believe they have any more or less success keeping and breeding CA cichlids.
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Re: Compatibility and suggestions for 1000l tank

Postby Kostas G » Sun Nov 15, 2015 7:34 am

Thank you, good to know that this medium-soft water is ok for all my cichlids! My Nic has great coloration and seems happy thankfully.
Nitrates are always below 12.5ppm with my water change schedule and plants. I try to keep the sawdust at low levels as well though it's always present in various amounts.


My baby Herichthys carpintis is chasing the Raindow big time now that it has grown to be 2/3rds the size of Rainbow. GT breaks up the chase sometimes. It's not causing much damage, only a tear or two which heal overnight but it worries me what it will do when bigger... Will it calm down as it grows or get worse? I mean when bigger and it's "rivals" are the Nic, GT and Chocolate. I see my other cichlids have it figured out and only the firemouth gets chased badly from GT during feeding time, but I think this will stop when their size difference increases, as they are close size wise right now
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Re: Compatibility and suggestions for 1000l tank

Postby BC in SK » Sun Nov 15, 2015 10:55 am

Kostas G wrote:My baby Herichthys carpintis is chasing the Raindow big time now that it has grown to be 2/3rds the size of Rainbow. GT breaks up the chase sometimes. It's not causing much damage, only a tear or two which heal overnight but it worries me what it will do when bigger... Will it calm down as it grows or get worse?

No real way to predict the future. Many stages a tank will go through.
I have had tanks, where the level of aggression seems to change by the hour!
One thing for sure, the dynamics will change one way or another. Over time, it always does.
Will the rainbow always get picked on by somebody? Get better, get worse? There is not any sure way to predict the future, though very early stages might be some indication (?).
Much older fish, IME, tend to mellow out considerably towards most of their tank mates........ with the exception being a major rival; just seems to heat up more and more over time (eg. two rival male CA).
If anything, these early stages at least gives you an indication that even so called "medium aggression" CA are still very aggressive fish compared to most fish kept in aquaria.
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Re: Compatibility and suggestions for 1000l tank

Postby Kostas G » Sun Nov 15, 2015 5:22 pm

I think the Rainbow should be fine as it will be the smallest and is a non-competitive cichlid. They generally leave it alone and don't go for a bite against it(except the also small Green Texas which sees it as a rival at this stage). GT seems to have the Rainbow under her protection and intervenes to break the chase. I think the Firemouth will also be left alone as the more aggressive species get larger and no longer see it as a rival. I mostly worry about Green Texas interaction with GT, Nic, Severum and Chocolate, which will be similar size, big fish. We will see, as you say, how they interact. So far GT has no rival, just barely sees one in firemouth but she should grow out of it once the size difference gets bigger.
And as Green Texas grows bigger, it should see various fishes as possible rivals, just hope they don't get hurt by it in the process. It does have mellowed some with the Rainbow, let's see how it develops as it grows. It sure is beautiful and growing up very fast!!

Yes it does is interesting to see how such a tiny fish can have the will and speed to chase a bigger one! When I was starting the hobby 14 years ago, I added a tiny firemouth (2-3cm) in a tank of almost adult Microgeophagus altispinosa, Pearl gourami, Platydoras costatus and Panaque maccus. Well, within minutes of being introduced, it wreaked havoc, biting everyone in the tank.... Not knowing much and fearing for the others, I gave it away the nex day. I don't know if it would have calmed down later but it was quite aggressive and a successful biter for his size. So I got an idea back then.. My current firemouth is nothing like that one. Never bites and never chases anything. A truly gentle fish :)
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Re: Compatibility and suggestions for 1000l tank

Postby Kostas G » Mon Nov 23, 2015 7:34 am

A few pictures of some of the inhabitants

Hypsophrys nicaraguensis - Nic
Image

Image

Herichthys carpintis και Andinoacara rivulatus
Image

Platydoras armatulus
Image
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