South American Cichlids • Adding more keyholes

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Adding more keyholes

Postby NatalieKeyholes » Sun Jan 31, 2021 10:10 pm

I have a 125 litre with 2 keyholes and some other community fish.

I am upgrading to a 200 litre. How many more keyholes can I get, and what’s the appropriate male / female ratio? Will I have to remove any that don’t pair eventually?

My two are paired so how should I add the new ones? The new ones will be quarantined for at least two weeks. I don’t want to get them from the same shop as don’t want them to inbreed so probably keep them srparate for longer by the time I find them at the right size.

Their tankmates are sterbai, one bristlenose, platys and celebes rainbows.

I also have some nano fish but they will be rehomed as I don’t want the keyholes eating them later on. Currently the keyholes are 2.5 inches.

Thanks
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Re: Adding more keyholes

Postby Auballagh » Sun Jan 31, 2021 10:53 pm

This sounds like a very nice tank. And, it seems like you are doing pretty well with your established, Keyhole Cichlid pair.
And well, this species is such a calm, easy-going Cichlid, it's kind of hard to say what an upper limit on stocking with them could actually be. This will mostly depend on how big the bottom 'footprint' size of the new tank will be. So, If your new aquarium will provide the more 'typical' 4 foot X 1 foot (120cm X 30cm) sized bottom area? You could safely stock with a pretty sizable amount of Keyhole Cichlids! This species really only claims territory and room to establish and defend a spawning site. There will need to be some room for non-spawning fish to safely keep their distance. And even then, Keyholes don't take the territory thing to very great lengths when spawning.
So... to begin,
What are the bottom dimensions of your new, 200 ltr tank? :-?
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Re: Adding more keyholes

Postby NatalieKeyholes » Mon Feb 01, 2021 4:19 pm

Thanks. The new tank is 100cm x 41cm
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Re: Adding more keyholes

Postby NatalieKeyholes » Mon Feb 01, 2021 5:44 pm

I’m also wondering whether even or odd numbers are better. Been told twice odd numbers but then if there was say one female left over and the rest paired wouldn’t she get picked on?

The nano fish I have are emerald eyespot rasbora and celestial pearl danios so curious on whether the keyholes are likely to try and eat them as they get bigger also?

Thanks
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Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:01 am
Location: London, UK

Re: Adding more keyholes

Postby Auballagh » Mon Feb 01, 2021 8:08 pm

Alrighty then. :)
Your new, larger aquarium will have a 39" X 16" bottom 'footprint'. Those are sort of unusual dimensions (at least on our side of the pond...). So, I think you could safely go with 4 - 5 more Keyholes in this tank. And yes, outta that you're gonna get at least another pair(s). But, with that many Keyholes swimming around in the aquarium, it's definitely possible you won't be dealing with any fry. Spawning pairs may not even be able to get any eggs going before a stressed female in the pair eats them or something. :(
And I wouldn't worry overly much about lone/unpaired females (or males) in the aquarium. It's only when they are spawning have I noticed much, to any aggression in this species. Plus, definitely keep a close eye on the water quality in the tank, as your new little Keyhole Cichlid additions start growing out. Nitrate buildup is something this more sensitive species definitely does not like. Conducting more frequent and possibly higher volume water changes to keep the Nitrates down below 20 PPM (or even better), is highly recommended to help ensure all your Keyholes stay healthy.
-
As for your 'little ones', Rasbora and Danios in there? Personally, I don't like stocking with those little Danios around just about any New World Cichlids. They're too little, are seemingly kind of stupid and prove almost impossible for Cichlids to resist gnoshing on! No, I would definitely go with and trust your instincts on those, and pull them out if you're concerned, before they start 'disappearing' on you in there. :roll:
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Re: Adding more keyholes

Postby NatalieKeyholes » Mon Feb 01, 2021 8:52 pm

Thank you. I’d be happy with just another two more keyholes if that won’t cause it’s own issues? I’d love to see them raise fry, and my local shops would take what I didn’t sell. It’s a Fluval Roma 200 tank, really love my roma 125 litre, it’s a great tank, so went for the same brand.

I got the emerald eyespot rasbora when I just had platys, and the celestial pearl danios as much as I love them, I don’t think are doing particularly well in my water (they were rescued). A friend has a 30 gallon tank of smaller fish and uses reverse osmosis water to soften her water, I’m sure she’ll take them.

I’m not planning to top up my rainbows so any suggestions of other peaceful shoaling fish that are ok in hard water and with four keyholes would be gratefully received. The new tank is quite tall so need more top half dwellers.

Thanks again
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Re: Adding more keyholes

Postby Auballagh » Mon Feb 01, 2021 10:19 pm

Now we're talking! :wink:
I'm always kind of amazed at how adaptable Cichlids really are. You state the hard water you provide for your Keyholes, and I can only shake my head at the folks who seem to believe that this species will survive only in a dedicated 'Black Water' biotope.
- That is, RO water (usually) with super soft/almost zero GH and highly acidic.
So, with all that said, have you had any luck in spawning your Keyhole pair with your hard water? Have you been able to get them to spawn? And if so, have the parents been able to raise the fry to maturity? As for stocking, if you really want to raise up some baby Keyholes? You may want to wait on getting any more of 'em, even in a larger sized tank. The parents may be able to defend & hold the spawning site well enough to protect the eggs. But, when the eggs hatch out and they get a cloud of fry in there? Oh man... it could wind up being 'open season' pretty quickly on those little ones by other (hungry) Keyhole Cichlids. :oops:
As for some 'supporting cast' tank mates? Will your new tank have a pretty tight top on it? 6 - 8 Silver Hatchet fish would look pretty cool for the top (They are some seriously dedicated jumpers, though.....). For your mid-level? I just about always recommend the so-called, Black Skirt Tetra. Those things seem to go well with all kinds of non-predatory small to mid-size Cichlids - they're almost indestructible!
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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