Adding Juvenile SA Cichlids with Adult Cichlids. How big should they be?

  • Thread starter

Jeffcameron

Valued Member
Messages
450
Reaction score
9
Points
113
Experience
2 years
Hi everyone, I want to add several juvenile SA Cichlids to my 180G tank that houses a 7.5inch GT and 5inch Blue Acara. My question is how big should the juveniles be before I add them?

My final stocking list for this tank after suggestions from everyone on a previous thread are:

1 GT (currently in 180G and about 7.5 inches)
1 Blue Acara (currently in 180G and about 5 inches) *And yes I have a back up plan for this fish
1 JD (currently in 13G QT and about 3.5 inches)
2 Cons (currently in 13G QT and about 2.5 inches)
1 Red Jewel (currently in 20 gallon and about 2.5 inches)
1 Tiger Oscar (currently in 20 gallon and about 3 inches)

I was thinking the JD is big enough to add in 3 weeks after quarantine time.

I have no experience adding young fish with large cichlids so any advice is welcome. Thanks people
 

Nick G

Well Known Member
Messages
3,577
Reaction score
41
Points
143
Experience
More than 10 years
I added my JD, Jewels, Severum and Cons to my Oscars tank when he was around 6 inches and they were around 2 inches. He made a few attempts to eat them on their first day, but after that gave up as they were way too fast and has never bothered them again. I'd advise making sure that there are lots of hiding places that they can get into but which the other fish can't, and rearranging the decor when you add them, as this should help to keep aggression down. I'd add the JD first and see how he gets on.
 
  • Thread starter

Jeffcameron

Valued Member
Messages
450
Reaction score
9
Points
113
Experience
2 years
Yeah cool. Thanks Nick. I do have heaps of hiding places so that's not a problem.
 

Nutter

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,458
Reaction score
149
Points
308
Experience
More than 10 years
Good advice from Nick. Rearrange the decor to make up new territories & make sure there's the smaller hiding places that the big fish can't get into like he mentioned & you should be fairly right to start adding in what you have when your ready. I wouldn't just add one at a time though as that would increase the chances of that individual being targeted. I'd add in two or three at the same time. Then the larger fish won't spend as long locked onto just one fish.

I do have to say that I think all of those fish will be a bit much in 180gal. They are all mid to bottom dwellers & I think there will be lots of fighting over territory. Probably won't be an issue until all of the fish get to a decent size but I can definitely see problems in the future. I would say that if you add the JD & the Oscar you will be fully stocked, leaving out the Cons & the Jewel. You might be able to get away with the Cons (though 1 would be better), the Jewel & the JD leaving the Oscar out.
 
  • Thread starter

Jeffcameron

Valued Member
Messages
450
Reaction score
9
Points
113
Experience
2 years
Nutter said:
Good advice from Nick. Rearrange the decor to make up new territories & make sure there's the smaller hiding places that the big fish can't get into like he mentioned & you should be fairly right to start adding in what you have when your ready. I wouldn't just add one at a time though as that would increase the chances of that individual being targeted. I'd add in two or three at the same time. Then the larger fish won't spend as long locked onto just one fish.

I do have to say that I think all of those fish will be a bit much in 180gal. They are all mid to bottom dwellers & I think there will be lots of fighting over territory. Probably won't be an issue until all of the fish get to a decent size but I can definitely see problems in the future. I would say that if you add the JD & the Oscar you will be fully stocked, leaving out the Cons & the Jewel. You might be able to get away with the Cons (though 1 would be better), the Jewel & the JD leaving the Oscar out.
Thanks again for your feedback Nutter. I never planned on getting the oscar but I just saw one that looked so cool I couldn't resist. I have all the above mentioned fish in different QT at the moment so I guess I could take one or two back. Do you think it is wise to try them out first? I know a lot of the territorial issues probably won't surface for a while so maybe I could keep them all until problems arise. Or do you think that this will just cause too much undue stress on my stock?

Oh and because you feel I should add more than 1 to the tank at a time do you think my fish are big enough yet or should I wait for a bit more growth?
 

Nick G

Well Known Member
Messages
3,577
Reaction score
41
Points
143
Experience
More than 10 years
The Oscar could be a bit of a problem because it's so small. My Oscar is nowhere near as aggressive as my other fish, but he bosses the tank because he's so much bigger than the others too. To be honest, if I added a 3 inch Oscar to the tank I have now, I don't think it would last 5 minutes with my Cons, Jewels, and JD. If you decide to return a fish I'd suggest the Oscar, as the others are fast and aggressive enough to be ok with the Terror, or the Blue Acara, as I think he might struggle as your other fish mature.
 
  • Thread starter

Jeffcameron

Valued Member
Messages
450
Reaction score
9
Points
113
Experience
2 years
Nick Goody said:
The Oscar could be a bit of a problem because it's so small. My Oscar is nowhere near as aggressive as my other fish, but he bosses the tank because he's so much bigger than the others too. To be honest, if I added a 3 inch Oscar to the tank I have now, I don't think it would last 5 minutes with my Cons, Jewels, and JD. If you decide to return a fish I'd suggest the Oscar, as the others are fast and aggressive enough to be ok with the Terror, or the Blue Acara, as I think he might struggle as your other fish mature.
Thanks Nick. I can quite easily grow the oscar in my 20 gallon tank. That's not an issue. I can wait till he's much bigger. It sounds like you think I should return a fish though and not give them all a go?
 

Nutter

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,458
Reaction score
149
Points
308
Experience
More than 10 years
Again, good advice there from Nick. The Oscar would be my choice to return for the exact reasons Nick mentioned. Oscars are pretty passive unless they have a reason to get wound up & they arn't the fastest of fish getting around either. If you really want to introduce an Oscar I would suggest getting one that is at least 6".

You could probably have them all in the 180gal for a little while as long as you have well defined territories for each fish. Make sure the Territories for the Terror & Acara are substantially larger than for the smaller fish. Hopefully the presence of the other fish would help draw some attention away from the Oscar for a little while but there would still be some risk involved.

Given the size of your Terror & knowing how ferocious they are when it comes to hunting down a good feed of live fish, there is going to be a certain amount of risk involved in adding the smaller fish now but that danger will always exist until the Terror stops growing & the others start to catch up. Making a good size tangle of rocks & wood that the small fish can hide out in & that the Terror can't get into will help with the safety of the younger fish alot. After a few days the Terror should be used to them & start not seeing them as a potential meal. If you QT some guppies or something like that that you can throw in the tank at the same time as you introduce the new cichlids your Terror will be distracted for awhile, letting the little ones get their bearings, work out there's a predator in the tank & find a suitable place to hide.
 

Nick G

Well Known Member
Messages
3,577
Reaction score
41
Points
143
Experience
More than 10 years
I don't think your stocking list is a problem in the normal sense, ( i.e, too many fish, too much waste), but I agree with Nutter that you could have some serious aggression issues as the fish grow larger. Personally, I think your Blue Acara will get thrashed as the other fish grow. Blue Acaras just aren't as aggressive as the other fish you have, and whilst the Oscar isn't either, he'll out grow all the others, wheras the Acara won't even reach the size of the Terror or Dempseys. If it was my tank, I'd probably look to rehome the Acara, and keep the others for now. But I'd definitely keep the Oscar separatly until he's bigger if you can.
 
  • Thread starter

Jeffcameron

Valued Member
Messages
450
Reaction score
9
Points
113
Experience
2 years
Nutter said:
Again, good advice there from Nick. The Oscar would be my choice to return for the exact reasons Nick mentioned. Oscars are pretty passive unless they have a reason to get wound up & they arn't the fastest of fish getting around either. If you really want to introduce an Oscar I would suggest getting one that is at least 6".

You could probably have them all in the 180gal for a little while as long as you have well defined territories for each fish. Make sure the Territories for the Terror & Acara are substantially larger than for the smaller fish. Hopefully the presence of the other fish would help draw some attention away from the Oscar for a little while but there would still be some risk involved.

Given the size of your Terror & knowing how ferocious they are when it comes to hunting down a good feed of live fish, there is going to be a certain amount of risk involved in adding the smaller fish now but that danger will always exist until the Terror stops growing & the others start to catch up. Making a good size tangle of rocks & wood that the small fish can hide out in & that the Terror can't get into will help with the safety of the younger fish alot. After a few days the Terror should be used to them & start not seeing them as a potential meal. If you QT some guppies or something like that that you can throw in the tank at the same time as you introduce the new cichlids your Terror will be distracted for awhile, letting the little ones get their bearings, work out there's a predator in the tank & find a suitable place to hide.
Hmm ok you've brought up some good ideas. My fish have never been fed feeder fish but that makes perfect sense if there are tiny fish to go after the others can explore and I guess even witness the predators in the tank so they can work it out. The whole reason I was asking is also to not add them if they're too small. It sounds like it might be worth growing my cichlds out a bit in the tanks they are in. I'm in no rush to add them. In fact they are the last fish to add out of all of my tanks (I'm pretty sure I've reached my MTS limit cause I have no more room anywhere!). Cheers Nutter

Nick Goody said:
I don't think your stocking list is a problem in the normal sense, ( i.e, too many fish, too much waste), but I agree with Nutter that you could have some serious aggression issues as the fish grow larger. Personally, I think your Blue Acara will get thrashed as the other fish grow. Blue Acaras just aren't as aggressive as the other fish you have, and whilst the Oscar isn't either, he'll out grow all the others, wheras the Acara won't even reach the size of the Terror or Dempseys. If it was my tank, I'd probably look to rehome the Acara, and keep the others for now. But I'd definitely keep the Oscar separatly until he's bigger if you can.
I will keep the oscar in my 20 gallon until he grows up a fair bit by the sounds of things. He is awesome looking and I haven't seen one around me that looks as cool as him so I really want to keep him.

I have been told several times about my Acara now so I will definitely look out for him. I can always move him to my 85G and then move my Lemon Tetras if need be. He seems to rule the roost in the 180G even though he is smaller than my GT. The GT always follows him and I've never seen them lip lock or have a go at each other. They will nudge one another every now and then but it really looks more playful than anything else. I realise that this can and probably will change as the GT continues to get bigger so like I said I will be cautious and thank you once again for your advice. Thanks Nick.
 
Toggle Sidebar

New Threads

Similar Threads

Aquarium Calculator

Aquarium Photo Contests

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media





Top Bottom