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Hmmmm....
i understand they’re extremely rare
Yep.
And so, like a few of us have done in these situations where there are few to none who have kept the species before... you should look into the natural habitat of these Cichlids. That is, where they were collected from. What are the aquatic conditions in Guyana in the Potaro River and nearby in the Essequibo River basin? And fortunately for you, you have an outstanding resource available in the man that collected the parents of the fish you are looking at purchasing.
Some things this guy should be able to provide you,
  • PH of the water they were collected from. Current PH of the water they are are now in. Does he know if the PH of the aquatic environment varies due to seasonality changes in the geographic area? (Whitewater/High PH conditions during times of heavy rainfall followed by near blackwater conditions when things dry out?).
  • Temperature. What was the water temp in the locality these Cichlids were collected from? Hot (78 degrees plus) or something else. And once again.. the water temp they are being kept in now.
  • And how are these Cichlids spawning? Do the males act like 'rage machines', needing multiple females to spawn with to more safely spread aggression? Pair bonds? Is the female hyper-protective of the spawning site after fertilization? That is, in smaller tank will she potentially kill the male (or others of the same species) in protecting the eggs or free-swimming fry?
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GREAT INFO put up by @Aussieman57!
These little guys look and sound like they are pretty amazing. You are getting something unique and potentially valuable ($$$). Ensuring success at the source will definitely help to reassure you at least, that you are on the right track. And definitely, having a plan going in to this thing, always helps.
Good luck! :)
 

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A bit like these little beasts?
People get these tiny little (Harmless?) Cichlids and place them in 10 gallon-sized (or even smaller) tanks. Then the females go on a rampage after spawning - and ALL the males die! (kinda like a Roberto Rodriguez movie?!!).
So, in attempting anything with a species that might behave anything in the aquarium like Checkerboard Cichlid females do? I would stock those in nothing smaller in size than a 20 gallon 'long' sized aquarium, with a 30" X 12" bottom footprint. :oops:
 

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Totally seeing that male already in your fresh arrivals from Sweden.
That's a good thing.
Showing and displaying natural coloration is a key indicator of an overall acceptance of the environment. That is - Not too stressed.
And so, now?
It's.....
One.
Step.
At.
A.
Time.......
Or, as they say, "To Spawn, or Not Too Spawn?"
That IS the question. :unsure:
 

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Oh wow.
Your aquarium is looking very nice. :)
The look you have now, and the direction you are taking it, seem very good to me!
Just a couple details I can offer, that you could consider.
  • Add some Java moss to some of your textured/rougher surface rocks. Plus, a little of it placed here & there on some bog wood pieces would look pretty nice. Esp. if you can mask any of those wood pieces with visible cut points or other artificial places showing. Super glue actually works pretty good to get that stuff started out where you want to place it.
  • Anubias comes in a bewildering array of types, sizes and actual species. You might want to indulge yourself online and look at potentially purchasing some of the less common types. Placing a mix of those different types onto the wood and some rocks looks pretty natural, and helps to sustain continued strong growth throughout. That is, if you have a species that is being a temporary 'sulker' or something... another Anubias species might be reacting differently and booming in growth for you.
Otherwise, your aquarium looks a little young, but has got some nice bones and should grow out for you into something pretty outstanding! :cool:
 

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Keep us updated on your progress with more pics! This one will be fun to watch develop. :cool:
 

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+1 to @Mazan on that.
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The water chemistry needs of the I bimaculata will definitely have precedence over the A. cacatuoides. But, of the two I would believe that the little Cockatoos will be the most adaptable to the water chemistry conditions in the aquarium. Found naturally in the wild at higher elevations with white water conditions up to a PH of 8.0, on down to the basin where things get down to the mid - high 6 range in PH - this species should be able to adapt well to whatever you deem is necessary for keeping the I bimaculata.
However, softening the water is one thing, but I would be careful not to let the PH get below 6.0, as that will make it tough for many species of aquatic plants to grow in the aquarium. Plus, be careful when stripping your tap water out with RO that you don't remove too much of the dissolved minerals out of it. The water will lose almost all buffering ability when that happens, causing the PH to sort of go crazy on you in the aquarium - a BAD result for everyone.
 

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Oh man.... PH 4.0? Battery acid! :oops:
(Not really...).
But yes, if that PH drops below 6.0 in the aquarium? That would definitely be too low in PH to keep A. cacatuoides.
 
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