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We've had some interest lately on C-F in setting up @Aussieman57 with an individually-kept 'Wet Pet' for his 90 gallon tank,

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CA types and some larger SA Cichlids are 'the usual' recommended suspects for keeping like this, as many of those New World species will not be skittish/shy and be out and about in the aquarium to interact with their owner and activity outside of the tank. Personality! But has another suitable 'Wet Pet' African originating Cichlid candidate possibly been overlooked? And well, the larger Hemichromis Cichlids are absolutely one of the most beautiful fish you can keep in an aquarium.
That is, they visibly provide a predatory, terrible kind of beauty in the aquarium, that those of us who have kept the Central American Guapote's can appreciate all too well.....
Water Fin Organism Underwater Fish


So I ask, as I have never kept one of these African Beasts before - has anyone ever kept an individual/lone Hemichromis frempongi or Hemichromis fasciatus in an aquarium before? Growing out at 10 to 12 inches in adult-sized length, their ultimate size at least, does not seem to preclude them from being kept as a lone individual in a 90-gallon sized aquarium.


And no, not all aggressive CA Cichlids are all that suitable for keeping as an individual fish in an aquarium. Anyone who has kept an adult-sized Jack Dempsey can attest to just how quiet and non-interactive that species can be when not being fed (the infamous cave sulker!). So, we've got some folks with some interest and a bit of experience in keeping these hyper-aggressive, African Riverine 'Beast Fish' - yes, that's you @sir_keith , @BC in SK and @Mr Chromedome . :cool:

Do you believe one of these could be a potentially suitable (admittedly rare) candidate for keeping as an individual 'Wet Pet' Cichlid in an aquarium?
 
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That's an interesting question, but not one I can address from first-hand experience.

One of the interesting things about our hobby is how many different ways there are to approach it. I have been a biologist all my life (4 years of college, 4 years of graduate school, 4 years of postdoctoral training, 30 years of directing my own laboratory in two different cancer research institutes), so it's perhaps not surprising that my approach to the hobby is heavily oriented towards the biology of the fishes. I enjoy keeping species that interact socially, whether in pairs, small assemblages, or large groups, and in providing them with environments that allow them to express species-typical behaviours in captivity. That's why I have specialized in Tanganyikan fishes for so many years, because they are a diverse assemblage of mostly small fishes that display every conceivable behaviour and adaptation of the entire family Cichlidae. It's also why I have no experience (or interest) in 'wet pets,' as I prefer my pets to look like this-

Cat Felidae Siamese Carnivore Small to medium-sized cats


Cat Felidae Small to medium-sized cats Carnivore Whiskers
 

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Personally, I have no interest in keeping single "wet pet" Cichlids. My interest was always in breeding them. I have bred Hemichromis elongatus, which is probably the most common species of that group. I would not consider them to be a candidate for a "wet pet", as they are not really people interactive.

There is currently a revision of both Hemichromis groups underway, being worked on by Anton Lamboj and others. They will probably be split into two genera. There may also be a re-shuffling of species names, and new species described.
 

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Well, if I thought it would be reasonable to breed any of these species mentioned in a 90 I would be amenable to that. Unfortunately, given the size/footprint of the tank and size & disposition of Red Tiger Motas, Cubans, etc. I believe that would only work temporarily while they were in the 5-6 inch range. The only one in the group being discussed that may handle a breeding pair in a 4 ft long tank might be the carpintis.
 

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That's an interesting question, but not one I can address from first-hand experience.

One of the interesting things about our hobby is how many different ways there are to approach it. I have been a biologist all my life (4 years of college, 4 years of graduate school, 4 years of postdoctoral training, 30 years of directing my own laboratory in two different cancer research institutes), so it's perhaps not surprising that my approach to the hobby is heavily oriented towards the biology of the fishes. I enjoy keeping species that interact socially, whether in pairs, small assemblages, or large groups, and in providing them with environments that allow them to express species-typical behaviours in captivity. That's why I have specialized in Tanganyikan fishes for so many years, because they are a diverse assemblage of mostly small fishes that display every conceivable behaviour and adaptation of the entire family Cichlidae. It's also why I have no experience (or interest) in 'wet pets,' as I prefer my pets to look like this-


Same things! During my education at the university, all my attention was on biology. I even bought some coursework for other lessons to spend more time researching some bio-related themes. But I think I burned out and now I only have a few fish to pleasing to the eye.
 

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Same things! During my education at the university, all my attention was on biology. I even bought some coursework here [link removed] for other lessons to spend more time researching some bio-related themes. But I think I burned out and now I only have a few fish to pleasing to the eye.
Okay, I would like to buy some more fish but can you all tell me which ones are easy in caring for?
 

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Oh now...
That's just too easy. And really, is not how this game is played!
And of course... ALL of us in this thing will probably be looking to purchase more fish. Well, one day at least.
So, let's set up the rules for this game.
  • Will these new fish you want, be placed into an existing aquarium, or something new?
  • If the aquarium is pre-existing, what (if anything) is already in it?
  • How large in gallons and tank dimensions is this aquarium that the new fish will be going in?
  • What are the parameters of your source of water for the tank? PH and basically how hard/alkaline - or soft/acidic your Tap water is.
  • Are you a Live Aquatic Plant guy? Asked because many species of (herbivorous) Cichlids we know and love will look upon Live Aquatic Plants ($$$) as potentially their NEXT MEAL.
  • To spawn - or not to spawn (your new Cichlids) - that may be, The Question.
  • Are you looking to get African Cichlids? New World Cichlid types? Non-Cichlid 'dither' fish? An interesting non-Cichlid 'odd ball' species or something?
  • Since this is a 'wet pet' (individually kept Cichlid) kind of thread. Are you looking to possibly purchase a largish, possibly (very) mean Cichlid - with a ton of character and personality - to be kept as lone fish/'Wet Pet' in an aquarium?
Okay then... that's a good start I suppose. Respond with some A's to those Q's! And, we'll see where this thing goes. ;)
 
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