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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We were in the shop and were looking at what they had (they didn't manage to get my salvinis) and i happened across some Rainbow cichlids. Haven't seen these around in a while so we weighed up our options and decided that H.Multispinosa would be the center piece of the planted tank. Its a safer bet than the Salvinis and we get to keep the tetras and loaches. :D

A few things, I've found lots of conflicting info about Rainbows and plants, some say they didnt touch them, some places say they're heavily herbivorous so i'm a little confused about that, personal experience welcome:)

I know many cichlids will darken up from the stress of transport and the like, but the male seems to have faded instead. The black band that he had in teh shop has gone completely white! Is this normal or have i bought something LIKE a rainbow but not a rainbow?

Seeing as i'm no longer getting hyper aggressive killer fish i was contemplating other tankmates. Its a 55gal planted, 42"x15" footprint, current stocking is;

1 pair H.Multispinosa
19 Emperor tetras
3 Zebra Botia
1 unusually small female BN plec.

Any suggestions on tankmates? I dont think adding another cichlid would be the right move, the pair would likely not tolerate it?

Thanks :D
 

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First of all -- I ADORE my rainbow cichlids. Love Love Love

My original bonded pair are in a heavily planted 58 gallon with tetras, cories, BN plecos -- and now, five of their off spring. They ignore the plants for the most part. But the male will redecorate a bit when he's looking for a good spot for eggs. I've solved that by giving him his own territory, complete with a lovely piece of driftwood to hide under and a nice flat river rock without plants near by. I then also planted a "divide" of plants in the middle of the foreground to define his area and give the rest of the tank inhabitants a place to hang out. My male is not hyperagressive and has never harmed anyone, but he does like "his" space. Originally, I'd put foreground plants too close to the "spawning rock," and he relocated them.

My male is most vivid orange when he's "in the mood." Not quite at vivid, but still pretty, when he's not.

I would not add another cichlid pair, personally. I'd wait until your pair has babies. Then I'd suggest you snag a few and raise them separately. (I've yet to have my pair successfully get any to self sufficiency. They seem to get bored after a week of free-swimming fry or maybe it's just that there are too many predators in the tank.) Anyway, raise them until they're not eatable size and put them back in the tank with their parents. Rainbows are used to be somewhat crowded in nature and you shouldn't have a problem. (I don't.) Eventually the siblings will pair off and then you might have to remove the rest. Two pairs of mated rainbow cichlids should co-exist just fine in a 48" tank, particularly if you do the planted dividing line in the center of the foreground.

I liked my rainbows so much I went out and got another tank just for the rest of the babies. I have nine in total. Eventually, I'll have to sell or give some away, but not yet.
 

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I have not tried rainbows in a planted but they are the most meek fish I've had. They did not even think of bothering angelfish, tetras or even Endler's livebearers. I've found them to be less colorfull when stressed but at breeding them do become almost totally black especially the bottom. They are confusing me currently. I had two pair, both with fry at the same time. Now one has thrown the male out and is protecting a nest with no fry while the other pair has free swimming about 4 inches away. No divider was planned or built. I find they are excellent parents but the one male did wander off and lose him dark color after about a week. But then he has now beed rejected! I found as the fry became mobile they gradually disappeared. Whether from inadaquate food or being eaten, I can't say. I did syphon out about twenty and have them in a planted tank to grow. I found nothing they would eat until I tried frozen baby brine shrimp which they are now taking fine. Newly hatched would be better but I'm having trouble doing that. Possibly I'm getting old eggs which do not hatch.
I would say almost any other cichlid will be dominant but all other fish will be safe. Mine live under a large piece of wood held down by rock.
 

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The only plant mine have eaten (other than the romaine lettuce I give them) is water lettuce. They completely wiped it out. Anubias and java fern have done fine. A bigger problem is that they will uproot plants when they are tearing around the tank. You may want to be sure your plants are well established or securely affixed to rocks or driftwood before introducing the Rainbows.

Mine show no aggression unless in mating mode, and then it's only a good chase across the tank and it's over. No damage done. They are the only cichlids in the tank.
 

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Rainbows are great cichlids. I have them with a pair of Sajica in a 55 gal. Mine get a little rough with each other when spawning. Sometimes they both watch the fry, and sometimes the male will drive the female off. They end up eating the fry after a week or so. I have seen them tear up plants occasionally if they are near where they are spawning. They seem to do well with the Sajica.

Dave
 

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In my experience with rainbow's they eat every plant in the tank! The only plant I can keep is anubias. I also lost 6 cardinal tetras to my rainbows. As soon as they were big enough to fit them in their mouth, they did! They now live in a tank with a pair of honduran red points with fry, a pair of small blue acara, a breeding pair of small spilurum and two baby BN. I would recommend keeping them with other cichlids. If not make sure your fish are large enough not to be eaten and hardy.
 

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Very strange behavior, Damienblower. My very large male has never even looked at the little greenfire tetras in the tank. Although he will "poke" at the cories when they get in his territory.

Oh, there is one other thing they'll eat -- duckweek, a behavior I heartily endorse!

I've read they get black when breeding, but my male get vivid orange. gorgeous. If I knew how to post a photo, I'd show you . . .
 

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Different genes, perhaps? Both my male and female never develope much more than yellow and both turn really black at spawning. My females also throw the males out. I never see even a hint of aggresive behavior at other times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Raising babies separately is not an option. I don't have any spare tank space. SHE decided that the 20gal needed to be a bloody marine nano-reef tank, not a bare bottomed fry tank. WOMEN! :lol: (well i guess that is HER tank :p )

I wasn't thinking of adding another PAIR of cichlids. Just a single, non aggressive one, like a keyhole or blue acara. But since having them for a few days and watching them, they do like to coast over the whole tank so i think i'll just leave them as the only cichlid occupants.

Perhaps a single red line torpedo barb? Just for a splash of red and some more interesting behavior. Open to suggestions on this, infact i'm encouraging it!

I can see why people love them so much, i'm warming to mine already!
 

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I find with space they bother nobody. Even when breeding, as they do frequently when old enough, the chase is only a matter of coming out to bluff if the other fish moves away. I have had my 75 gallon stocked with really weird assortments as I moved fish from other tanks in and out. From guppies and Endler's livebearers to tetras to angelfish and even two types of African cichlids, the rainbow bothered nobody. I found half grown green severum in the tank stopped spawnig by the rainbows as they were too dominant. Not so much a conflict but the severum eating habits seemed to really bother the rainbow. Rainbow loved frozen blood worms and the severum were just too pushy.
 

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I love these little guys too. My female is again ripe after laying Dec 4th as some of you may know. They ate the eggs so were about to enter round two!!

As last time the female is all ready to go but the male is not cooperating again. Maybe by morning well have eggs!

Pfunmo, How are your fry doing now?

I did notice the rainbow male could fend for him self against a larger firemouth in the 55g when not in breeding mode, just figured it was time to move them to the nursery tank for the actual breeding to take place!

Wish me luck, Thinking about stripping some eggs/fry this time.
 

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I have 20-25 fry moved to a 20 gallon and they are finally eating well now. I was not prepared for how fussy they are. When new they refused to take anything until I got them frozen baby brine shrimp. New would have been better but we did get over the hump and now they are rushing out of the weeds when I open the tank lid. They still are not wild about the Hikari First-Bites but they are taking in and eating 3 of 4 bites now when I feed it alone. When I hatch brine shrimp and feed it, they are like 75 % on eating them. Some may be shells when they spit it back out. The thing they liked the best was when I tried moving 6 four day old fry in. Those never made it to the bottom. Some way that seems contra productive to feed rainbow fry newly hatched rainbow fry! Maybe I can get the angelfish to help as those are just snagged by the pleco in their tank.
 

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Glad to hear they made it. Feeding fry newly hatched fry is a good protein boost!

I had to put up the divider this afternoon because the male was beating on his mate and her fins are all tore up now. Not bad but noticeable. I think its related to tank size because I put them back in the 10g to breed for now. That said, I think these rainbows are to weak to establish a territory in the 55g with the firemouths. Maybe when they get larger they will. Eventually this pair is going to be moved to there own 29g.
 

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Have to agree about the tank size. ten gallons doesn't give anybody much room to run or hide. I think one or the other may decide to split at any time and who ever loses needs to at least get out of sight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So after a week of having Rainbows i can confirm that they ARE very placid, and they WILL eat some of your plants lol.

They're not fussed about my tetras, they don't mind the loaches TOO much and i don't think they've even discovered my plec yet. They HAVE, however, eaten almost all my java moss, a LOAD of short grassy stuff and torn chunks out of my vallis.

They're out and about a lot but they're still quite nervy of people near the tank. The males a really brilliant yellow right now. At first I thought he was pale and my water was brown but the water is clear and hes a shocking yellow! The black stripe is back hes getting a little blue on the fins.

On the subject of tankmates, some people have said that i could do TWO pairs of rainbows in this tank. I was thinking of just adding another female to the tank, kinda like a harem is what I'd be aiming for hopefully.
 

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Hi group. I'm not sure who Coolcichlid was wanting to see but I'm always glad to show pictures.
My little group of four rainbow are now out of breeding colors and back out to see what's up for breakfast.
That's my nice gentle angelfish in the back. I had taken all the other fish out while the rainbow were spawning. I wanted to save fry if I could.






And one of my fry that were free swimming 11-14-2010. That makes them close to 7 weeks old from the first time I saw them under the log. Sorry about the glass cleaning. Cleaning my grow out tank glass is not one of the things I do very much. Taking pictures of fry is like trying to get gnats to hold still!



The fry are in a twenty gallon where I had started growing plants and it got pretty well overgrown with algae but while I worked our what to feed these pickey little folks the tank was a lifesaver as the fry were really into picking through the algae for something to eat. I finally settled on frozen brine shrimp to feed and then gradually they get around to eating Hikara First-Bites. Now at about 1/2 inch they seem ready to try most anything. Hungry babies!
 

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Alas, I don't know how to add photos or I'd show you my hunky male . . .

No, I would not add a second female. Rainbows are a pairing fish and a second female isn't going to help the original pair bond or contribute in any positive way to your tank IMHO
 

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hollyfish2000 said:
First of all -- I ADORE my rainbow cichlids. Love Love Love

My original bonded pair are in a heavily planted 58 gallon with tetras, cories, BN plecos -- and now, five of their off spring. They ignore the plants for the most part. But the male will redecorate a bit when he's looking for a good spot for eggs. I've solved that by giving him his own territory, complete with a lovely piece of driftwood to hide under and a nice flat river rock without plants near by. I then also planted a "divide" of plants in the middle of the foreground to define his area and give the rest of the tank inhabitants a place to hang out. My male is not hyperagressive and has never harmed anyone, but he does like "his" space. Originally, I'd put foreground plants too close to the "spawning rock," and he relocated them.

My male is most vivid orange when he's "in the mood." Not quite at vivid, but still pretty, when he's not.

I would not add another cichlid pair, personally. I'd wait until your pair has babies. Then I'd suggest you snag a few and raise them separately. (I've yet to have my pair successfully get any to self sufficiency. They seem to get bored after a week of free-swimming fry or maybe it's just that there are too many predators in the tank.) Anyway, raise them until they're not eatable size and put them back in the tank with their parents. Rainbows are used to be somewhat crowded in nature and you shouldn't have a problem. (I don't.) Eventually the siblings will pair off and then you might have to remove the rest. Two pairs of mated rainbow cichlids should co-exist just fine in a 48" tank, particularly if you do the planted dividing line in the center of the foreground.

I liked my rainbows so much I went out and got another tank just for the rest of the babies. I have nine in total. Eventually, I'll have to sell or give some away, but not yet.
You seem really bubbly about this lol..

Planted tanks look much nicer imo for CA's..do it. I don't have rainbows but my fish are notorious pitters when they mate there are a few tricks to use if they tend to damage the roots. If its a plant they like to eat you may have more difficulty but it could be they are missing something in the diet too!

I agree with holly on the 2nd female issue, spot on.
 
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