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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to convert my 40 breeder betta sorority into a cichlid community tank. The sorority had to be taken down.

I have a dwarf curviceps / Laetacara curviceps who will be going into the tank, as well as a platydoras armatulus (striped Rafael catfish) who I also want to go in this aquarium, and 9 Congo tetra. (which I know are African, but they area hold over from the sorority tank and I love them, so they have to stay!)

Some other fish that I have considered were Bolivian Rams, Angelfish or Rainbow cichlids (which I would love to have, but unsure of the temperament with the tetras). I know the tank is not huge, so nothing too big, and I don't want anything super aggressive.

There are some plants, mostly jungle val and anubias.

What should I keep in this tank? What could I keep in this tank?
Any and ALL suggestions are appreciated!
I've kept fish for 16 years, just never many cichlids so IDK where to start...

:)
 

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Your Congo Tetras are a species that gets over 3 inches in length. In the 40 breeder with the Laetacara curviceps and that striped Rapheal Catfish, you are going to be limited in what else you can stock in that small aquarium. If you wanted more fish, you could consider a 1M'4F harem of Apisto cacatuoides. The Central American Rainbow Cichlid, Herotilapia multispinosa you mentioned - if kept as an individual - is a fine choice. Otherwise, a single Keyhole Cichlid, Cleithracara maronii would work. Or, if you wanted to try something a little different, you could stock with a single Dwarf Pike Cichlid. Crenicichla compressiceps is a good choice, as it is probably the most adaptable of the Dwarf Pike species to more alkaline water conditions.



Crenicichla notopthalmus is a slightly larger-growing Dwarf Pike species, maxing out at over 5 inches in length. But, is also pretty adaptable to harder water conditions and should live peacefully with the fish you already have in the aquarium. I would steer clear of the more sensitive Dwarf Pike Crenicichla regani, unless you can provide a dedicated black water aquarium and can also maintain measured Nitrates in your water below 10-15 PPM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pike's are pretty, but aren't they very aggressive?

I have a pair of keyholes in a different tank, and a single Male Apisto cacatuoides in another tank too.
the Rafael cat is very small ATM, and I heard they grow very slow. Though I won't be able to upgrade the tank for a year or two to anything bigger.
And I had a total mind freeze because I thought Nicaragua, where the Rainbow cichlid is from, was in South America. Gah.
 

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Pikes are actually one of the more easy-going Cichlids. They reserve their nastiness and attitude almost exclusively in the aquarium for OTHER Pike Cichlids. :eek:
Of course things small enough stocked with them, that they think might be pretty delicious? Well, they don't usually fare to well either....
Here is an excellent C-F article on Pike Cichlids,

https://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/ ... chlids.php

And yes, though the Rainbow Cichlid originates from CA... an individual of that species would be an excellent candidate for stocking in that tank. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Huh, now I am second guessing this. Mainly the Rafael catfish and the rainbow cichlid.
Now I think I want some skunk corycats as well, and they would NOT fit in with these fish AT ALL! Though I have corycats in 2 other tanks, so do I really need more of them???
 

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Careful now.....
Both the Striped and Spotted Rafael catfish are known predators in the aquarium. And, it's not exactly a case of 'if', with those, no. With my Spotted Rafael, once it got up past 6 inches in length just about EVERYTHING much less than a third of that fish's length was fair game.
Yep. On the menu.
I'm not kidding! 'The Beast' slaughtered Bristlenose cats, Corydoras, Otocinclus Cats, female Bettas (ate the ENTIRE Sorority Group....), and more!. Rafael Catfish of either the striped or spotted type definitely belong with larger, more 'robust' tank mates. :x
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes the catfish is my issue. I wonder if I should take him to the LFS.
I am also regretting the Congo tetra now too. I should've done like Colombian tetras instead :/

Say the tank was totally empty, what would you suggest for a stock?
 

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Hah! Are you kidding me? I thought those Congo Tetras were your jam?!! And well, your Striped Rafael ain't ever gonna get big enough to mess with those larger (3 inch plus) growing Tetras anyway.
Nope, I think you could plunk an individual, smaller-growing, New World Cichlid in this tank - and call it good. Or not! I believe the tank is actually stocked pretty tight, the way it already is.
Just add more aquatic plants to it! :D
 
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