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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?

Thanks!
 

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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.
 
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