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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, just wanted to get people's take on some of their favorite tetras they house with their cichlids. I have 4 severums (the biggest currently about 4") and 3 blue acara in a 6' 125 gallon. I'm going to rehome some of their tankmates, specifically 6 Pink Spot Chico Tetras(Pseudochalceus kyburzi) and 3 giant danios. I also have 6 Colombian tetras, which I'm keeping. I'd like to get another group of interesting tetras, and am considering the following species:
-Flame back bleeding hearts
-Diamond tetras
-Serpae tetras
-Watermelon tetras (Hemigrammus coeruleus)

I also like the Buenos Aires tetra, but my lfs doesn't seem to get them in stock very often. What experiences have folks had with any of these? TIA!
 

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Your cichlids are still small, but rest assured, when they are able, they will feast on tetras. I also suggest that your cichlid stock at adult size will more than fill out a 125g tank
 

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++1 to Oscar6
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+ Those Tetras are all too small for keeping with those Cichlid species. The Colombian Tetras are sometimes successfully kept with medium-sized cichlids. But, at less than 3 inches in adult sized length? Even that species is pushing it pretty close.
+ Too many Cichlids! I totally agree - when adult sizes are attained, those Cichlids are gonna fill that tank right up. There just won't be enough free swimming space in that aquarium for the Tetras to have much of anywhere to go.
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My own experience with Tetras has been successful, but is unfortunately limited to just three species I can claim to have any real personal knowledge of:
- Amazon Red Tail Tetra (Aphyocharax cf. dentatus). Rare in the hobby. Expensive. Purchased 7 at 3 to 4 inches in length, and they grew to almost 6 inches long. Fast! An extremely skittish species, that makes a marginal community tank resident in 6 foot long tanks. Though I lost none to Cichlid depredations.... Mine all either eventually jumped out of the aquarium or smashed themselves senseless against rocks, bog wood, the tank walls or equipment.
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- Black Widow Tetra, (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi). One of my absolute favorites to place with smaller, New World Cichlids (Convict, T-Bar, Fire Mouth). A business-like and very hardy Tetra species that proved capable of adapting pretty easily to changing aquarium community situations in my tanks. Mine all grew well over 3 inches in adult-sized length.
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- And then there are these guys...... The 'Ol Nasty or Mexican Tetra (Astyanx fasciatus 'mexicanus'). I saved what I believe is the best Tetra for last! Endemic to almost all of Central America, these rather pugnacious, large-growing Tetras are found in huge schools in rivers, canals and other water ways. My 'Nasties' were all wild caught juveniles I collected myself. And, I seriously doubt there will be much of a retail market for these tough little thugs. Mine all grew well over 4 inches long, with many of them attaining sizes easily over 5 inches in adult-sized length. DO NOT place this Tetra species with any live bearer fish in the aquarium (In short order, you won't have any live bearers), or even shyer, more peaceful Cichlid species. They are relentless opportunists... scales will be lost, and fins will inevitably be ripped! Saving cowering, tattered Cichlids from these irascible beasts, was an unexpected event for me, in the 180 gallon community aquarium I kept them in. Respect!


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Jeff Rapps used to bring a few of those things in occasionally on his collecting trips abroad, as I believe their thug ways sort of amused him. But, these (admittedly, rather ugly) Tetras are probably NEVER going to find many fans out there in the fish-keeping, aquarium world. :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you very much for yours detailed reply! I'm relatively new to cichlids, so I'm learning as I go along. Would you think if I rehomed one of the acaras and my rotkeil severum, as well as all of the kyburz tetras and danios, that would leave sufficient space for the remaining fish? That would leave one red tiger severum, two red spot severum, a mated pair of blue acaras, the 6 Colombian tetras, and 3 pictus cats. Thanks again
PS very cool about the Mexican tetras, never seen those before!
 

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Unfortunately, your 125 gallon aquarium may seem large. But unfortunately....
it isn't.
And is certainly not large enough to accommodate all of the fish you want to put in it.
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I would still pull the Columbian Tetras and Pictus catfish out of that tank. And well, keeping the pair of Blue Acaras is possible, yes.....
But, you'd better hope you have a fairly calm male. Otherwise, when/if that pair of Blue Acaras spawns - you may wind up losing one or more of those Severum in with them. :oops:
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If you're REALLY driven to keep the Tetras and those Pictus catfish? They need to get a separate 90 gallon tank, with a single Blue Acara as the 'centerpiece' , individual Cichlid in it. Stock that 90G tank with 3 more Pictus catfish, 3 to 4 more Columbian Tetras and another school of 6 to 8 Black Widow Tetras. Heck man, add 6 - 8 swordtails for the surface area and you've got ALL levels in that thing covered!
Now THAT would be a really nice - balanced - community tank. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks again for your advice. The acaras have spawned 4 times in this tank (I've just let nature take its course with the fry). Nobody has been injured during these spawns, though I do understand that these fish are going to get quite a bit bigger, and more capable of inflicting harm. The male and female take turns "babysitting" and do chase off anyone who gets too close, but retreat back to the clutch very quickly. Dad, when he's not guarding the eggs/fry doesn't seem to take much of an interest.
That said, I guess I may have to rethink this tank (sooner, while they're still fairly small). Is your concern for the tetras and catfish based on available space, or potential aggression, or both? Thanks again!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sorry for all the questions, but if I could just pick your brain on a few other things:
-If I were to remove 2 acaras (leaving the male) is it possible he'll lose his bright coloration? He's very colorful all the time, but I don't know if this is because he's always trying to breed.
-In your experience, if I were to remove a severum, would it make more sense to remove one of the two red spots, thereby leaving one of each kind, or should I remove the most aggressive, which right now is the red tiger, "Bob"?

In other words, I guess I'm asking how you would approach this current setup to achieve a (relatively) harmonious tank.

Thanks for your advice, it's just rare I seem to be able to get good answers from knowledgeable people
 

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The stocking problem with the tank isn't with a particular fish. And, this problem won't be resolved by trying to 'game out' the right personality mix in the fish you have.
The Cichlid mix you seem to have in the 125 now, should be kept to just that. That is, a lot of Cichlids kept together that will resolve things with a balanced level of aggression. And unfortunately, that kind of aquarium will not be suitable for keeping smaller (bite sized?) Tetras in it, or for keeping more delicate species like your Pictus catfish.
As these larger-growing Cichlids get bigger in adult size, there won't be enough room for the Tetras to swim freely and escape the sometimes piscivorous attentions of the much larger Cichlids kept with them. The Pictus are a very social catfish species that will appreciate more numbers of their own species to look and behave their best. Unfortunately, they are also a catfish species that are VERY sensitive to poor water quality conditions in the aquarium. And so, as the measured Nitrate levels inevitably rise in the tank from the ever increasing bio-load caused by your growing Cichlids, your stressed Pictus catfish may be overcome with a host of mysterious illnesses and problems.
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I would pull the female Blue Acara out. The will leave you with two, unpaired males and the colored up male you have now, probably won't diminish much, if at all. He thinks he's the tank boss! IF you wind up getting the 90 gallon tank, to set up as the true community aquarium like I recommended earlier...? Your female Blue Acara would look and work out great in that aquarium as the 'center piece', individual Cichlid stocked in there. As for 'Bob' the aggressive 'Red Tiger' Severum? He sounds perfect! Keep him in there with all of the other Severum and the two Blue Acara. They should work things out between themselves, just fine.
 

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In my experience if you keep less than 3 or 4 acaras, you will have bullying.
I had success with 5 acaras and only with 5 i had no agression.
For the tetras i keep 12 colombian tetra and 10 bleeding heart.
You have to buy them at their max size though.
Buenos Aires tetra didnt work for me. I dont know why. They are really active though. They re fun to watch.
I keep some corys also and never had an acara touch them or bully them or nothing.
Acaras are only though with their conspecific. With a lot of hiding space and plants you should be able to add some nice fish in there :)

I would remove the severum. For sure
 
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