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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Jane Dyer in Cardiff here... never kept big cichlids before-we've just set up a biotope tank with six lovely big firemouths. Have my friends in forum-land any suggestions re:suitable tankmates?
Thanx
 

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Awsome, FMs are one of my all time favorites. Hope you have a decent size tank(55g at least). with six FMs (depending on tank size) you may be looking at just keeping some dither fish as tank mates. Maybe some green swordtails, i'm no bio-type expert but there are those here who can help more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi... thanx for your answer - tanks about 4 ft by 2ft (God knows what that is in metric)
Current tankmates are the four zebra danios that we used to condition it...
 

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spuggychinch said:
Hi... thanx for your answer - tanks about 4 ft by 2ft (God knows what that is in metric)
Current tankmates are the four zebra danios that we used to condition it...
that sounds perfect. a good substrait would be sand or fine gravel. FMs love to dig. give them places to hide as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hi phishes - substrate in black gravel and shale. Gone for a flood'd backwater/driftwood-debris theme.. looks good.
Still need ideas for suitable tankmates... all suggestions gratefully receiv'd!!!!
 

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It sounds like you have what's a equivalent to 75 US Gallons (if that's a 4ft.x2ft foot print. If its more like 4ft. x 1ft x 2ft(water depth) then you have a 55 Gallon). Either way, with six FM's you are probably stocked as far cichlids go. I currently have 3FM's and 1 JD in a 55. (With some small cons as dithers that are getting to big). Two of the FM's seem to have paried off and my JD has grown a lot over ther year. I wouldn't want more than 2 pairs of FM's in a 55 gallon with dithers. So if you have a 75 6 fish COULD work, but If you are looking for cichlid variety you might consider keeping 1 or 2 pair (assuming you are working with a 75) and Maybe something like a single JD. I would suggest convicts, BUT there is the possibility that they will take over the entire tank.

If you want to keep all six pairs, I'd suggest going with a group of swords of mollies. They are pretty entertaining, can be colorful (i'd go with green swords to keep it natural), and they occur naturally in the same areas as FM's.

I love my FM's. I heard how aggressive they were, but they don't even pay attention to any of their other tankmates, they just get out of my JD's way. The only agression has been conspecific and has resulted in nipped fins, but that's it. They are mostly all bark and no bite. very entertaining to watch, and one day I hope to have a biotope setup like you, with just FM's and dithers.
 

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I agree with AU Chief , 6 FMs in a 4ft tank is do-able but not really optimal. The big problem is going to be territory , and spawning. The territory thing can probably work its self out but when these guys start spawning it can get crazy. You could have a spawning pair defending their territory and chasing the intruder into another Fms space causing even more problems. Seeing as how FMs can be very nasty when guarding their brood it may be better to keep the two pair you like best and then return the others once the pairs form.
I also agree with a Dempsey for a tankmate, along with some suitable dithers like Giant Danios ( not bio-type correct, but hardy and fast enough to avoid trouble), Buenos Aires tetras ( look similar to a native tetra from that region ) and swordtails. At least untill the JD gets big enough to eat them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanx for all the input - the firemouths all seem to be doing well so far.There are lots of branches nooks and crannies to facilitate territory forming - they seem secure and merry enough at the moment. Thanks for the suggestion of Xiphophorus-I wouldn't have thought of those.
I was thinking along the lines of danios too. The FM's will be the main inhabitants
 
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