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Hi all,

I have a 40 gallon with some mollies, a male firemouth and a male EB acara.

Predictably, as the firemouth is getting larger he is starting to target the blue acara. I've read on this forum and others that overstocking the tank with a few more cichlids could help take the heat off of the acara, so *** put two keyhole cichlids in the tank as well, and am considering adding either another EB acara, or two rainbow cichlids.

So basically I'd like to know if this is a viable course of action or if I am just adding fuel to the flames.

Cheers and thanks in advance!
 

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Hello raptorreverend,

To use your choice of words, I think you are "just adding fuel to the fire."

I have found that overstocking can work provided the aquarium is of sufficient size to begin with. I think a 40 will not be large enough in your circumstances.

I hope I'm incorrect and that it works out for you.

Regards,
Stu
 

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+1 to Stu W2
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Don't do it.
I've seen tanks set up like this, and it isn't pretty. And yes, the New World cichlids kept squished in those kinds of aquariums will tend to be less aggressive towards each other. But, you're dealing with the edge of a disaster when keeping an aquarium like that. Physical stress in New World cichlids is NEVER pretty to look at,

https://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/vie ... 3&t=454563

Here are two things that WILL happen if you over-stock that little aquarium,
- Excessive Bio-Load: unless you can run well water through the tank with an overflow or something at 30 or more gallons per day? Nitrates and toxins built up from so many fish are going to make the water in that aquarium almost unlivable. Plus, the filtration will be so maxed out biologically - a power failure will have your fish dying within an hour of ammonia build up.
- Stress: New World cichlids are NOT Mbuna! If you visually need a tank that is just chock-full of lumping, bumping, chasing and nipping cichlids in it? Get a 75 gallon aquarium , fill it full of rocks and then stock it with 2 or three harem's worth of African cichlids. The movement and action in tanks set up like that will be almost literally NON-STOP. And, explains the huge draw and popularity for African cichlids.
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Or, get a bigger Cichlid for the 40 gallon tank to grow out as an individually kept, 'Wet Pet'. A single Jack Dempsey, Pearl Scale Cichlid or other New World types that grow out at around a maximum length of 10 inches or so would be excellent candidates for this, and would visually present a LOT of cichlid, kept in a pretty small tank.
 

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