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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello my name is Jamie. I am new to cichlids
> and looking for some advise?I have been
> looking on may web sites and have a few fish
> I'm interesteed in. I think they meet my
> water paramaters. my ph is around 7.6 and my
> water is hard. I have a few species here i'm
> interested in and was wondering waht you
> think? Are these easy to get and care for and
> would they work well together? Any help would
> be appreciated. And was also wondering about
> the cost?
> 1.Gymnogeoghagus australis 1
> pair
> 2.thorichthys meeki 1
> pair
> 3.hypsophrys nicaraguensis 1
> pair
> 4.gymnogeophagus gymnogenys 1:3
> I was
> wondering is that a ratio of male to
> female?
> also my tank is a 150gal.
> thanks
> so much and hope to hear from you
 

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I am not sure to tell you about the cost of your fish, but your selection is nice. The lenght of your tank will determine the ammount of casualties you may encounter if the pair(s) start breeding. The longer your tank is the better. You can never really tell who will kill who until you put all the fish in one tank. I have never have multiple pairs of fish in the same tank aside from convicts. So the fish may go homicidal trying to defend territores and I highly recomended that you create as many natural hiding places as possible. You will need at least 3 caves in your tank as well. I know the Nicaraguan Cichlids like to dig so keep that in mind when your decorate your tank.
 

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G'day jboyd,

O.K. first off I've never kept any of the fish you have listed, so have no first hand experience of them. I know others who keep the two Central American cichlids, but unfortunately gymnogeophagus species aren't available down here in Australia. I do know both Central American cichlids you've listed are pretty commonly available, as for gymnogeophagus, you would have to check the LFS in your city. Luckily for you, there are quite a few regulars here from Ohio, including atleast one Moderator.

O.K. to the fish you've picked. You've selected two Central American Cichlids, Thorichthys meeki which is commonly called a Fire mouth cichlid, Hypsophrys nicaraguensis which is commonly called a Nic (they are also called parrot cichlids here in Australia and not to be confused with Blood Parrot cichlids which are a hybrid). The other two cichlids, gymnogeophagus species, are from Uruguay and Argentina, which have a more temperate climates than the northern countries of South America and Central America.

So you've got fish from two different geographical areas, and becuase of this they have a number of different needs when it comes to keeping them.

The two Central American cichlids like water with a PH range between 7 to 8, and hard water. They also like water temperatures between 75°F - 80°F. So you have perfect water for keeping them.

The two gymnogeophagus species prefer different water parameters. They prefer a PH between 6 to 7, and soft water. And becuase they come from temperate climates they need two seasonal temperature changes, so a Summer and a Winter. It is recommended they get atleast 3 months of Winter with temperatures between 50°F - 59°F, and a Summer period with temperatures reaching a maximum of 76°F. You can find this information here in the species profiles http://www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/r ... p?genus=81. The winter period acts as a recharge for gymnogeophagus species. If they don't recieve it, thier appearance will deteriorate within a couple of years and they will live a shorter life spans.

I do think that the two central American species would be a good mix in a tank. You said you have a 150 gallon tank, what are the dimensions? As cosmic665 alluded to, spawning pairs of cichlids do become aggressive and will protect a territory and thier fry. Becuase I don't have first hand experience with these species, I can't really tell you how large of a territory each pair will occupy. Often it can be measure in feet, depending on the size of the cichlids.

It is not often that you are able to buy a pair of an adult cichlid species from a LFS. It is common for many hobbiests to buy several juveniles to grow out and waite for these to form natural pairs. Once they have the number of pairs they want to keep, they then sell off or return to the LFS for store credit the unwanted fish. Often it's a good idea to ask your LFS if you buy several juveniles, will they take a couple back for store credit.

Personally, I find it rewarding to buy juvenile cichlids and watch them grow and pair off. You do learn a lot by watching them grow and pair off.

As I said earlier, I have no experience with Fire mouths or Nics, but I would make a tentative suggestion, that if your tank is a 6 foot tank, you may be able to buy 6 juvenile individuals of each species and grow them out in your tank, hoping for pairs. This way you can learn about them, and through observation determine how large a territory a pair of each will need. One note of cuation about this, is if you do not have another tank you can move fish to in an emergancy, you may lose fish due to aggression.

Another thing to remember is that many cichlids will reach sexual maturity and spawn before they finish growing. So the territory a pair needs when they first spawn, could in thoery get bigger when they reach thier full body length.

I will make two other recommendations as well. First, check with the members in the Central American forum about these two species. Second, waite for people who can give you advice from personal experiences in regards to keeping these cichlids before you make any decisions.

Good Luck & Welcome to the world of cichlids. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I really wanted to thank the both of you for the very helpful information. I will do a little more research before I buy. I really want this tank to work and I want some happy fish. take care and i'm sure i'll be back. lol
 
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