South American Cichlids • Bandit Cichlids in a large planted tank?

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Bandit Cichlids in a large planted tank?

Postby geektom » Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:23 am

Hey all.

I am in the process of setting up a 135g (6 x 2 feet, 18” High) planted tank, that I am designing to have some open, sandy space between “islands” of hardscape and plants. My original thought was to keep a large group (9-12) of Bolivian rams as pretty much the only fish other than clan-up crew.

However, I just came across some Bandit Cichlids for the first time and was really intrigued. It looks like they get larger than Bolivians as adults, but smaller than most geophagus species. Their shape looks the similar to Bolivians when they are young, but seem to get more of that “humped head” look as they age, too.

Anyone here have experience keeping a group of them? Would they be okay in a tank with plants, as long as they had open, soft sand/fine gravel areas, too?

I am an old dog trying to lean new tricks
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:51 pm
Location: Riverside, CA

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Re: Bandit Cichlids in a large planted tank?

Postby nodima » Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:36 am

I've kept two species of Bandits, and am on the fence about their suitability for a planted tank. While I've not observed significant digging, the fish are very active with a lot of chasing and movement. I've also not observed them eating plants. That said, it may work, but you may have to work to figure out what plants are ok my guess is hardier ones such as java fern, anubius, and possibly vallisneria would be good, but some of the more delicate ones would not.

It is worth a shot, for sure.
180 gal - Tanganyikan community tank: Tropheus Bemba, Synodontis Petricola, Compressiceps

125gal - South American community: Geophagus, Acara, Angels, Severum, Festivum

75gal - Planted SA tank
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2002 12:06 pm
Location: Mass

Re: Bandit Cichlids in a large planted tank?

Postby Bd79 » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:15 am

I’ve kept Guianacara (I assume that’s what you mean by Bandit Cichlid). Nice, fairly peaceful fish, but they dig a lot, especially when breeding. All my plants ended up floating at the surface.
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Location: Washington DC

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