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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I feel like I’m done with my cichlid stocking in my 90g. I have 2 Nics, a Firemouth, Flier, and Myrnae cichlid. Now I want a top/mid dweller that can go with them, the problem I have is there is also a Bichir in there so nothing to small and I don’t like all the common dithers; silver dollars, red hooks, tin foil barbs, giant danios, etc. I was looking into Pike Topminnows but they are so slender im afraid they wouldn’t work with the Bichir. Any fun suggestions?
 

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The four foot long tank length is gonna pose some problems for smaller fish in your aquarium. If a dedicated predator emerges from your group of 'tough guys', that is willing to swim up to the surface in search of live snacks/meals - there isn't very much escape room for any fish chased or caught up there.
But, I did have some success with wild caught Swordtails from Honduras, that I placed in a 4 foot long (150 gallon tank). Those things were pretty wily, and FAST! They seemed to know all about Cichlids. And in a heavily planted aquarium, they seemingly had no real problems in staying away from them. Heck man, those feral little Swordtails even 'taught' some LFS purchased Mollies how to handle themselves in that tank. :oops:
So, you could try things out with some Swordtails and Mollies in there, and see how it goes. Might be kind of a natural 'Darwinian Selection' kind of thing, where the toughest figure out how to handle themselves. The others? Well.... Plus, those live bearers naturally prefer to hang around at or near the surface. To facilitate that, if you place live (or plastic) plants that reach all of the way to the top of the aquarium (beyond?), that should help to encourage them to stay up there on the surface where it's a bit more safe.
 

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Oh, there are NO questions about that. They're totally not! And, if that Bichir is anywhere around them, they won't be seen as anything but FOOD by that little glutton of yours. Fortunately for the potential 'Bichir Snacks' in there, Mr. Hungry prefers to live and lurk around on the bottom area of the tank. A place no self-respecting Swordtail would normally be seen at! So, if you place tall-growing plants, large bog wood pieces that actually emerge from the aquarium surface, and possibly even floating plants in the tank? The small live bearer fish will stay up on top, and sort of 'hug' the surface of the water, where they will be relatively safe.
I say 'relative' in this case, because there will always be adventurers in any group that may want to investigate the lower, much more dangerous levels of your aquarium. Unfortunately, I suspect those more 'adventurous' types of live bearers won't be around for very long in your aquarium.... :cautious:
 

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Hmmm..... maybe the top swimming thing it's doing, is because it is a young fish? They're bottom dwellers! but, Bichirs tend to get pretty active at night, prowling and hunting around for just about anything edible that is small enough to fit in their mouth. Is this when you've seen it up near the top of the tank?
Anyway, I wouldn't go ALL IN with trying out some really nice ($$$) Swordtails for this tank. Cheap is good! Because if it doesn't work out, you may just wind up serving up some more live feeders for this Bichir.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have a 3D background in the tank with a lip about 2” below the surface that he likes to rest on, he has also taken to eating flake and pellet food that the cichlids get that floats on the surface. Other than that he is at the bottom roaming around.
 
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