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Hello everyone, longtime lurker and aquarist here. I just recently decided to take the plunge into some of the larger, more aggressive species of cichlids after 2 decades in the hobby with standard community fish, planted tanks, dwarf cichlids, reefs, etc.

Two species that always caught my eye for some reason were the common Firemouth Cichlid and the Yellow Dwarf (Amatitlania/Cryptoheros nanotluea). Not sure why, but reading about these and seeing pictures as a kid was always a "someday I'll keep these" moment. I was doing some research into each of these and was getting my 75 gallon revamped and ready to go when a well-intentioned friend "gifted" me with 6 tiny firemouths that they rescued from a local Petco. So far all seem to be doing okay - we'll see how things go, I guess.

I'm having difficulty finding any reliable information about tank mates for both species, and I was wondering if the two can co-exist. I'm seeing a lot of conflicting ideas about the aggression level of firemouths in particular: some sites make them out to be monsters, others label them as community fish. I'd like to do what's best for them, so what are your experiences with these two species? Can they coexist? Is it one of those "it's do-able but every fish is different situations"?

If it helps, my current setup is a standard 75, but I have a 125 sitting in the garage that I'm planning on setting up within the next year.

Thanks for your time!
 

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Hmmmmmm... it's a shame this one didn't get a response earlier. :(
And yes, I DO have some ideas about this stocking arrangement! One that possibly everyone won't - quite - agree with.
But, well... and, that's actually a GOOD THING, y'know? So, before I put my 'bacon' on the line here in making some recommendations to you, in providing some advice, etc.... are you still around?
Hoping for a response?
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Well, alrighty then. I've got one. 8)
 

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Well now... this should be fun! :roll:

Auballagh said:
So, before I put my 'bacon' on the line here in making some recommendations to you.....
And, my apologies to the OP in advance, if you see this and are back to 'lurking about' on C-f again? There will surely be some WILD, OFF-BASE, UN-INFORMED speculation regarding what may have NEVER been your original stocking intent! And yes, it is an absolutely reasonable assumption on your part to wonder - 'HAS THIS GUY LOST HIS FREAKING MIND?!!'
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So, alrighty then.... let's take a 'deep dive' into setting up 'zano8214's' 75 gallon aquarium with both Thoricthys meeki and Cryptoheros nanoluteus cichlids!
- Stage Setter:
The 75G is up, cycled fully and running beautifully! It is currently stocked with 6, 'tiny' FMs. Those 3/4" long Cichlid babies are currently the only residents of the tank.
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To begin.....
- I recommend he contact my friend, Ken Davis of Fishfarmusa and check on the possible availability for purchase of SIX, C. Nanoluteus. Eureka! He has the fish!! And now 'zano8214' will soon to be the proud recipient of 6 C. nanoluteus.
- But, whaddabout those FMs, yo'? They ain't gonna stay tiny forever, y'know. Oh, but the solution is well in hand I tell ya'. In a (fit) of (desperate) inspiration I inform the anxious 'zano8214', that he must wait to observe his FMs. Having disclosed earlier that he is interested in "saving as many of the rescued FMs as he can..." He will observe the FMs closely, to detect emergent pairing behavior. And ultimately, some selections will have to made. So, if he winds up with FOUR females? He will keep all four females - and find new homes for the males. If there are 3 males in this 6 fish group? He has rather judiciously decided that he prefers to keep the more colorful, showy males. In that case, the 3 remaining female FMs will then be pulled out of the 75G.
- The C. nanoluteus arrive! And wow, Ken said they would all be over an inch in length. But geeeze, these shipped Cichlids are all nearly TWO inches long! Go Fishfarmusa!!!! :thumb:
- 'zano8214' informs he is concerned about the seemingly low stocking levels in his 75G - will only 9 Cichlids in there be enough? He wants more fish. More!!! In response, I recommend he stock with a 10 - 12 group of Black Widow Tetras (What else?!!) as Dither Fish. Cause well.... why not?
- The 75G community tank is now set and running! And, now slavishly following my stocking & management recommendations to the letter....
:lol: (like everyone does, right?) :lol:
'zano8214' eventually pulls out THREE FM females from the 75G that emerge from the original 6-FM rescue group. Those once tiny little ol' male FMs, grow out and become indeed the most aggressive Cichlids in the tank! However, the aggression is actually manageable because there are simply no FM females in the 75G to pair off and spawn with. And, the T. meeki and C. nanoluteus are just too radically different-looking from each other to inspire any inter-species spawning interest. NO HYBRIDS!!! And yes, some C. nanoluteus pairs are attempted. But unfortunately, they all go nowhere because of the heavy stocking load of Cichlids in the 75G. Stressed C. nanoluteus females wind up eating the eggs almost immediately before any fry are hatched out. :(
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And so, there you have it then. Is it a nice piece of elaborate fiction? Sure! But, if things HAD gone that route? I believe it would have worked!
Throw your thoughts, comments (or any rotten vegetables) in replies below! :)
 

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Thanks for that! Might be a silly question but isnt the purpose of having females so that the male fish would show optimal colors and behavior? How much do you lose by removing the females?
 

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That's a good point. And yes, a male in spawning condition will color up much more vibrantly than in 'normal mode'. Oddly enough, it's been the females I've seen however (at least in New World Cichlids) that REALLY put on the show, when in spawning mode. The males get into it, yes. But, just don't seem as well, 'INVESTED' in the coloration thing as the spawning female is. Maybe that's just with the species I've kept and spawned successfully, and others will behave differently?
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But, not to worry! There is still plenty of high-color potential with this social thing called being, 'The Top Dawg'. Or in this case, the most dominant Male Cichlid in the tank. THAT GUY is definitely gonna color up a bit. And, will almost certainly show all of his subordinate 'fans' in there, just how awesome he (thinks) he is! :roll:
 
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