South American Cichlids • Aggression too much or normal?

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

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Aggression too much or normal?

Postby Teacher5 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:14 pm

Hi, I am relatively new to cichlids, but not aquariums. I have a well-established 55g tank that had a dwindled down population over a few years. About a month ago, I added 2 new fish: 1 firemouth cichlid and 1 Spotted Leaf Fish. They were doing great with the other remaining inhabitants (3 South American catfish and 2 albino bristlenose plecos) Then last week, I got 2 Bolivian rams. (I was thinking of getting another firemouth, but the store was sold out. After discussion with the employee, I picked a pair of Bolivian rams that may be a male/female pair (they swim together and have different shaped foreheads)
Anyway, after a week, I can’t tell if there is too much agression between the firemouth and the rams. He chases them around when they are fed, but I don’t see any nipping. In between feedings, the rams hang out near the top, at the back, but do not appear overly stressed. I have seen them eating.
Is that normal agressiveness for South American cichlids, or too much? I can still return the rams for 7 more days if needed.
Teacher5
 
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:01 pm
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Re: Aggression too much or normal?

Postby BC in SK » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:13 am

Firemouth is generally too aggressive of a fish to be kept with rams. Makes for poor tank mates. Firemouths are Central American cichlids; not from South America. In general, the Central American cichlids tend to be quite a bit more aggressive then most SA cichlids. It's also sometimes tricky to introduce new cichlids, as the established fish views the new comers as a trespasser and a potential threat.
In a 55 gal. you'd probably be best to keep the rams instead of the firemouth and look for some other smaller SA cichlids such as angelfish, festivum or maybe keyhole cichlids or Gymnogeophagus species amongst many other possible choices.
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Re: Aggression too much or normal?

Postby Bd79 » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:12 am

In my experience, Bolivian rams hang out near the bottom. I’d be worried about them being bullied.
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:14 pm
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Re: Aggression too much or normal?

Postby Teacher5 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:27 pm

Thanks for the replies. I disappeared because our daughter (who lives with us) went into labor 3 weeks early and delivered my first grandbaby on Sunday.
Definitely think the Rams are getting bullied but I also don't think I can return the firemouth because I've had him about a month. I can still return the Rams.

Is there something else I can put with the firemouth? Another firemouth? What else is Central American? (At the store they had the firemouth labeled as south American)
Teacher5
 
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:01 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Aggression too much or normal?

Postby Bd79 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:14 pm

Maybe a pair of rainbow cichlids? Or some Amatitlania myrnae. Both are dwarf Central American cichlids. Where in Virginia are you? Both are available in northern Virginia.
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:14 pm
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Re: Aggression too much or normal?

Postby Teacher5 » Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:01 pm

Sadly, I’m in Williamsburg. The only places I can get fish without driving an hour and a half are petsmart and Petco. I have had good luck with our petsmart. Fish are healthy and staff is knowledgeable. They have blue Acaras. I saw another post where someone has 2 blue Acara and 2 firemouth in a 55g.?
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