Central American Cichlids • Getting into Central American cichlids

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

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Getting into Central American cichlids

Postby Nick Jarvis » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:17 pm

Hi all, first post here. Seems you have a great site here so I had to join.
I have recently been giving my tank an overhaul after dwindling interest in my general community tank.
I decided to go with a central American themed community tank with emphasis on the cichlids.
I have been watching the fish house videos with Rusty Wessel and I love how he has tanks full of cichlids and they even breed.
So I want to create a similar feel with my 300ltr 120 x 50 x 50cm tank.
So far the stock is, 4 x firemouths 4 x t-bars 3 x electric blue Acara 3 x Rainbow cichlids and a Nicaraguan for the cichlids.
I also have some swordtails and limia aswell as some rainbow fish and bristlenose from the general community days.

My question is, most of my fish are juveniles, will this stock work long term? Eventually I want to remove the rainbow fish and bristlenose and replace them with blind cave tetra and Buenos Aires tetra. I will have to hurry so the tetra get chance to grow before the cichlids.

It seems to be going okay now, the Nicaraguan is definitely the boss despite fish twice its size being in there. Will it last? Do I have too many cichlids for a 300ltr tank? Can I get a salvini aswell haha?
Thanks for reading.
Nick Jarvis
 
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:01 pm
Location: Englan

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Re: Getting into Central American cichlids

Postby Oscar6 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:35 am

I feel that your tank is def full, if not slightly overstocked. Quick fyi.. the Acara are South American. The Nic is a moderate aggression level for CA, so what you see is likely normal. I strongly suggest no Salvini. They are another level of goon, and despite their smaller size, can straight up kill most anything they desire.
1500 gallons of South and Central American cichlids. Some with a "wee" bit of attitude.
Oscar6
 
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:07 pm
Location: Ontario

Re: Getting into Central American cichlids

Postby Nick Jarvis » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:17 pm

Oscar6 wrote:I feel that your tank is def full, if not slightly overstocked. Quick fyi.. the Acara are South American. The Nic is a moderate aggression level for CA, so what you see is likely normal. I strongly suggest no Salvini. They are another level of goon, and despite their smaller size, can straight up kill most anything they desire.

Thanks, I won't be adding any more cichlids then.
I have found several sites stating that the acara is central and South America
Nick Jarvis
 
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:01 pm
Location: Englan

Re: Getting into Central American cichlids

Postby BC in SK » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:46 pm

Nick Jarvis wrote:I have found several sites stating that the acara is central and South America

Well, the thing is with aquarium strain Blue Acara, we don't really know for certain the original collection point. There are 4 species that are not reliably distinguishable with out knowing collection point and since we don't know the original collection point of aquarium strain Blue Acara, we can't be certain which it is nor whether it might be a mix of these species.
There is Andinoacara latifrons, Andinoacara sapayensis, and Andinoacara pulcher from South America (withA. pulcher also coming from the island of Trinidad and Tobago). There is also Andinoacara coeruleopunctatus from Central America, from Panama and Costa Rica.
Aquarium strain Blue Acara is generally referred to as Andinoacara pulcher, but i'm not too sure we really know which of these 4 species it is or whether it could even be a mix. Just as a side note, a few years back I posted some pictures of wild caught specimens of all 4 species in the guessing game thread to see if anybody was willing to take a stab at trying to distinguish them.....nobody was willing to try and was pretty much the end the game. I would have taken a stab at it as there is always a few peculiarities, though I know it would be very difficult to reliably distinguish them.
So yes, it's not really incorrect to consider Blue Acara as possibly either SA or Central American, because it's difficult to determine precisely which of these 4 species it is (or a mix?).
As well, some claim that the electric Blue Acara was developed by crossing a Blue Acara with the electric Blue ram (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi). Not sure if this is true, though the claim is out there with some posters fairly adamant in having the inside info of their development.
I'd agree that you are stocked heavily enough.As well, I think there is fairly good chance of the rainbow cichlids ending up not doing so well in the company of FM and T-bars. Time will tell, but I'd definitely keep an eye on them. Salvini, IMO and IME is very aggressive and probably wouldn't be a good choice with any of these tank mates.
BC in SK
 
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:06 pm
Location: canada

Re: Getting into Central American cichlids

Postby Nick Jarvis » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:05 am

Wow BC some great info, do we have a like feature on this site to like certain posts?
The main reason I got the blue acara that is actually electric blue acara was the wife pointed it out and preliminary in store googling said CA & SA for the blue acara and said it's relatively small and peaceful.
So I thought what the hek, why not. It wasn't part of the original plan but it makes the wife happy because it's pretty.

On the subject of the rainbows, they are so different temperament wise to all the other cichlids, rather docile and lazy. However, the Nicaraguan cichlid has joined there group by the looks of it and seems to be defending the rainbow cichlids along with a cave she is excavating from all other cichlids. Is it possible for the Nicaraguan cichlids and rainbow cichlids to hybridize?
I definitely feel I'm going to be removing some fish once some strong bonds appear which won't be a problem because I have 3 good shops that will trade fish with me for credit.
So far I am seeing some of what my inexperience would call early bonding between 2 acara, the Nicaraguan and rainbows, firemouths are displaying to each other alot and staying close to each other.
The sajica on the other hand don't seem to be bonding but are very peaceful, I think the Nicaraguan is keeping everyone in check.
Nick Jarvis
 
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:01 pm
Location: Englan

Re: Getting into Central American cichlids

Postby BC in SK » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:12 am

Nick Jarvis wrote: Is it possible for the Nicaraguan cichlids and rainbow cichlids to hybridize?

Yes, all CA cichlids are closely related and can hybridize (Two exceptions: the lone Acara,Andinoacara coeruleopunctatus and the lone Geophagus,Geophagus crassilibris from CA would not be able to hybridize with other CA cichlids). Of coarse that doesn't mean they necessarily will hybridize, though occasionally they will.
Nick Jarvis wrote:I definitely feel I'm going to be removing some fish once some strong bonds appear which won't be a problem because I have 3 good shops that will trade fish with me for credit.

That's a good approach. Wait and see how things play out before having to make any decisions. There is no real way of predicting the future, and all of these species have reasonable chance of coexisting.
Aggression is relative. The CA species you have are not too aggressive compared to most CA, but are still very aggressive cichlids compared to many of the SA cichlids. IME, blue acara will do fine with some CA as long as its tank mates are not too big and aggressive ( which none of your species are). IME, it's more capable and aggressive then rainbows and at least at larger sizes, usually dominant over FM.
BC in SK
 
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:06 pm
Location: canada

Re: Getting into Central American cichlids

Postby Nick Jarvis » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:22 am

Thanks again BC, my rainbows were the first cichlids in the tank and they was almost a year old when I got them so pretty much fully grown. The FM were 2nd and still quite small juveniles and give the rainbows plenty of respect.
As for the acara, I seen the almost adult one I have 2 small and 1 big 1,give a pretty hard knock to a full grown rainbow fish (Not cichlid). It's quite the loner and has claimed a corner of the tank. It'll tolerate all fish in it's space but if somethings in it's way it's getting moved, and it seems the Nicaraguan, who seems to want to be the tank boss, won't even attempt to approach the acara.
I am absolutely captivated by this tank at the moment it's truly fascinating to watch all these different fish interacting with one another. My old general community set-ups barely had any interaction between species.
L
Nick Jarvis
 
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:01 pm
Location: Englan


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