Can a single male peacock be kept in a 40G-Br (36") + maybe dithers/others

OuiBonjour

Hey guys, I was in fact first looking for a possibility of dual-colony tank of Malawis for my 40 Gallon Breeder.

I know it's small, and even too small for most Malawis, but I've found some combination that seemed generally accepted in the hobby in cihclid-specific forums.

I know Saulosis appear often as okay for smaller tanks, but I've made a post about those a while ago and some members convinced me that this would be a constant nightmare for the females, so I opted out.

I've been suggested Rusty Cichlids (1m/4f) species tank, Yellow Labs, Yellow Labs with 1 male Demasoni, Jalo Reef species tank 1m/4f, one small colony of Yellow Labs with one small colony of Rusties, got a Central America suggestion of 1x Convict + 1x Firemouth + 1x Red Tail (was surprised by that one), and several options of Victorian Haps species only tanks (ex: Ruby Green, Christmas Fulu, Egyptian, etc). Some of those suggestions got me interested, but so far I'm not sold – And also some other suggestions made no sense to me.

Obviously, since it's a small tank, I've been suggested a lot of Tanganyikan's setups, most with shell dwellers. Even though I would really like to make a Tanganyikan, I would like to not go this route right now.

Anyways, I'd like a very colorful tank, and my girlfriend would like big fish. Or at least one big one with small ones.

My ideal setup would be like a small group of Yellow Labs + 1 male Peacock (or 2 male peacocks from different species) - but I don't think it would be good in a 36" 40g.

So I'm thinking maybe 1x Male peacock + some colorful dither fishes.

Tiger Barbs are often mentioned in Malawi tanks as dither because of a few characteristics (hardy, don't hide, active & fast, not small enough to be eaten, not big enough to be seen as a menace) – And I love the idea of Tiger Barbs as dithers as there are a considerable amount of different colors in their species, and – correct me if I'm wrong – I think we could mix different colors of Barbs and they wouldn't mind, and would school together as one specie (like the Black Skirt Tetras with the White Skirts, and with the 6 different Glofish Tetras)

So yeah. One male Peacock + small school of Tiger Barbs = Is it feasible in a 40 gallon breeder ?

If it'd work size-wise, would the peacock feel alone ? I'm guessing he would not feel less alone in a big all males show tank and he wouldn't hang out with other males anyways. So being the only peacock wouldn't be that different to him as being with peacocks potential ennemies – Would it be correct ?

If so, what specie of Peacock would you suggest ? Would you suggest another fish as dither instead of the Tiger Barbs ?

If I'd go with my favorite look, that'd be any blotched, piebald, OB, looking Peacock. However, I read that pretty much all of those are hybrids, and that hybrids are more agressive than regular ones. However, are they aggressive only to potential menaces, like males of their species and other peacocks ? Or their aggressiveness would extend to the dither fishes as well ?

I'm thinking maybe a specimen of an agressive species would not feel the need to show aggressiveness if there is no male around, and no female to impress/defend ?

If the hybrid are actually too agressive for dither fish, do you have some suggestion of Peacocks that could be compatible, both with the dither fish and my tank size ?

+1 internet point if someone finds me a OB/Piebald looking Peacock that would be peaceful enough (and not to big) for my ideal setup Ideal look would be like an OB Super Red Empress

Anyways, what do you think ? What would you suggest me ? Or the opposite : would you tell me not to do it ? If so, would you have other suggestions that'd fit my taste (besides Rams, Apistos & Tanganyikans) -> One "biggish" fish + small group of smaller ones, or two different biggies, or two small groups of different species (+1 if femaleare not gray/brown/beige, +2 if you find me a specie that could go with some Victorian's Chromogynos – Yay, blotches !! )
 

OuiBonjour

Edit : I just discovered Amititlania Nanolutea (Yellow Convicts) and I love them. Apparently their size and temperament would allow me to get a group of around 6, a school or two of non-cichlids (specially livebearers - I've seen Swordtails as exemple) as dither (or simply complemental) fish. What would be your opinion on those, and do you have any suggestion in making a better setup/stocking/combination including those that would fit my tank ? Also, do they color up early ?

Edit 2 : I also discovered the other species in the Thorichthys genre, other than the Firemouth, and I might say I really love them too! Helleri, Ellioti, Maculipinis, they're all gorgeous. I read they form pairs instead of groups or harems. I read they're slow grower, but do they color up early ?

I've seen posts around the web implying they would fit but I'd like your opinions on those. I read they're slow grower, but do they color up early ? Could they fit, and could they be combined with another specie I like, or could they go with some small schooling fish ?

Could a pair of Thorichthys cohabit with 1M/2-3F Yellow Convicts ?

Could I do a trio of males like 1x Yellow Convict + 1x Thorichthys + 1 Red Tail Shark ?

EDIT : However it seems like other Thorichthys than Firemouths are very rare and hard to find in the hobby. If that's the case, could I do 1M Firemouth + a group of Yellow Convicts ? And add something else ?

Okay, I'll stop trying to find new ideas and let you guys tell me what you think !
 
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MacZ

Just do a group of Thorichthys (whichever you can get) and some middle sized tetras like red eye moenkhausia. You can even try to get the right combination for a biotope. And leave out the Red Tail, those need a tank at least 1.5m long.

I hope the original plan with the peacock is out. Don't mix Malawis with anything. (Sometimes not even other Malawis.)
 
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OuiBonjour

Just do a group of Thorichthys (whichever you can get) and some middle sized tetras like red eye moenkhausia. You can even try to get the right combination for a biotope. And leave out the Red Tail, those need a tank at least 1.5m long.

I hope the original plan with the peacock is out. Don't mix Malawis with anything. (Sometimes not even other Malawis.)

Thanks for the reply! I like the idea of the Thorichthys with some Red Eye Tetras. Could the same be done with Nanoluteas and a school of Red Eyes too?

Also, if you could suggest me some other schooling fish that would do with either the Thorichtys or the Nanoluteas instead of the Red Eye Moenkhausia ? I'd be curious about some that would be from the same biotopes, but I'd also like to about non-biotope ones, maybe some very fast but also pretty colored ones ?

As for my orginal plan about Peacocks + schooling, I guess it's out if it would be a very bad idea I just thought that if the dithers would be smaller than him (but not enough to be a snack), and quick enough to avoid him, maybe the Peacock would not see any interest in them and wouldn't care at all about them!

Also : Duly noted about the Red Tail Shark. Do you however think a different stocking including a Firemouth as a center piece could work ? Maybe one with dithers, maybe one with a small group of yellow dwarf convicts (or with a single one). Anyways, thanks for the reply, and thanks again in advance if you reply again!
 
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MacZ

I have no experience with Amatitlania (even had to look up the nanoluteas), but people say they get really aggressive during breeding, which they will a lot.

I named the red eye moenkhausia as a size-example. Diamond Tetras or Blackskirts would also fit sizewise. What do you call "very fast"? All fish will only be darting around when stressed.

As for my orginal plan about Peacocks + schooling, I guess it's out if it would be a very bad idea I just thought that if the dithers would be smaller than him (but not enough to be a snack), and quick enough to avoid him, maybe the Peacock would not see any interest in them and wouldn't care at all about them!

Just don't. A tank is a confined space. That is a recipe for fish soup. Please note: NEVER mix Rift Lake cichlids with anything non-riftlake. Period. Sorry to be so stern, but lately similar things cropped up and I feel all but comfortable to give anyone even the slightest hope such things could work out.

Also : Duly noted about the Red Tail Shark. Do you however think a different stocking including a Firemouth as a center piece could work ? Maybe one with dithers, maybe one with a small group of yellow dwarf convicts (or with a single one). Anyways, thanks for the reply, and thanks again in advance if you reply again!

I don't know what you have with dithers. Dithers are for shy species to see it's safe. The cichlids will only be shy for a few days and then become the opposite.
I can't tell you whether two sizewise so similar Central American cichlid species can work. My experience with those except Thorichthys is basically non-existent. Central American fish are rare to come by here and if so only the giants, so I never kept any of them.
 
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OuiBonjour

I thought that, since their presence means there's no danger ahead, them being in the tank would only be comforting to all its inhabitants - even to those who don't feel threatened. Like, even if they already feel pretty safe, I feel like seeing a swimming confirmation that they truly are would still be a nice thing.

Like "If you're not anxious, well good for you, but if you are, just look at us!"

But also, I love seeing schooling fish. So even when their presence is of no use to the other fish, I still think they'd add a little something to the tank. Like, I'm happy to know they could help, but I'll also be happy to see them

Unless you think bold Thorichthys will simply kill the Tetras if they're of no use to them ?

I was under the impression that dithers would mostly be ignored by cichlids as they were small enough to not be seen as a menace or a rival (but also being big enough to not to be seen as a snack). Had the feeling that if they're not seen as rivals, cichlid wouldn't be too territorial with them. Like in the same way that some aggressive cichlids seem to tolerate BNP or Synodontis
 
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MacZ

Ok, we have a clear misunderstanding here.

Dithers are as you correctly say used to make shy and skittish fish come out of hiding. Thing is: With the cichlids you are aiming at you don't need dithers. If you want a school of smaller fish with them, you just keep a school of smaller fish with them, but those are then not called dithers anymore. Then they are just fish that live with them in a tank.

Keeping a schooling fish is definitely possible with Thorichthys, and under no circumstances with a peacock. I can't tell you whether this would work with convicts. From what I heard it works until they start breeding.

Malawi cichlids ignore Synodontis, because they are different enough to not pose a thread. On the other hand, some Synodontis (e.g. multipunctatus) are brood parasites to mouthbrooding cichlids in Lake Tanganyika, which is why Tropheus will attack Synodontis immediately. Plecos are ignored because they don't come from the same continent, probably Rift Lake cichlids don't even recognize them as fish.
 
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OuiBonjour

Ok, we have a clear misunderstanding here.

Dithers are as you correctly say used to make shy and skittish fish come out of hiding. Thing is: With the cichlids you are aiming at you don't need dithers. If you want a school of smaller fish with them, you just keep a school of smaller fish with them, but those are then not called dithers anymore. Then they are just fish that live with them in a tank.

Keeping a schooling fish is definitely possible with Thorichthys, and under no circumstances with a peacock. I can't tell you whether this would work with convicts. From what I heard it works until they start breeding.

Malawi cichlids ignore Synodontis, because they are different enough to not pose a thread. On the other hand, some Synodontis (e.g. multipunctatus) are brood parasites to mouthbrooding cichlids in Lake Tanganyika, which is why Tropheus will attack Synodontis immediately. Plecos are ignored because they don't come from the same continent, probably Rift Lake cichlids don't even recognize them as fish.

Oh, okay. I though that the schooling fish had to have the same specific fish as those we usually use as dither in order to be left alone (not too big, not too small, active and fast, not too bold to be fin-nippy, but bold enough to not hide, and if possible part of the same biotope as the species – Those were the criteria I found in a video for choosing good dithers). That's why I thought that if I wanted schooling fish with Cichlid, I had to choose among those usually suggested as dithers.

I didn't know Thorichthys were okay with regular schooling fish around them. To be honest I though they look like nice guys (because they look a little like Rams to me) so it fits! But I know I can't base myself on the look (convicts look cute and gentle with their big eyes and they're not so much hehe)

But yeah, I kinda used the fact that they could be dithers as an excuse to have some smaller schooling fish in a cichlid "one species" tank But only as long as it's not bad for neither of the species!

Thanks for the explanation, especially about why the Synos and Plecos are ignored by Cichlids. Makes total sense !
 
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MacZ

I didn't know Thorichthys were okay with regular schooling fish around them. To be honest I though they look like nice guys (because they look a little like Rams to me) so it fits! But I know I can't base myself on the look (convicts look cute and gentle with their big eyes and they're not so much hehe)

Not regular. Make sure the schooling fish are bigger. Around 7-8cm instead of the usual 5-6cm.
 
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OuiBonjour

Okay. In fact, I love Black Skirts and Giant Danios, so I guess they could do (well, adult ones at least).

Tiger Barbs could maybe do too ? I heard they're nippy though, not sure they would dare to nip at the cichlids but I feel like it would not be a good idea if they do.
 
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OuiBonjour

Hahaha, alright then !

So yeah, I like the suggestion about the Thorichthys and some schoolers, I will talk with my girlfriend about this idea. However, I'm still open to other suggestions.

When I searched the forum in the cichlid section, it seemed like it was super active and each post had a lot of different replies. Some of the suggestions I found, mentioned in my first post, were in fact read here but from a few years ago. Is it possible that this section is less popular than before ?

I'd like to have a few suggestions or opinions about other Central American cichlids, especially what species (if any) could go with a Firemouth in my tank size. I would not want to have a couple in order to prevent over agression during breeding, but I really love them too. I've seen some suggestions including one firemouth, a school of tetras, and either a school of warm water cories or a small size pleco, but I'd like to know if there'd be other options!

I've been told elsewhere to avoid having a convict and a firemouth together, as the convict is truly aggressive while the FM is all bluff, but I'm wondering if a "dwarf" yellow convict could go, as they're a little smaller and apparently way less aggressive.

Anyway, thread is still open guys : feel free to join in
 
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Thatguyfoot

Just do a group of Thorichthys (whichever you can get) and some middle sized tetras like red eye moenkhausia. You can even try to get the right combination for a biotope. And leave out the Red Tail, those need a tank at least 1.5m long.

I hope the original plan with the peacock is out. Don't mix Malawis with anything. (Sometimes not even other Malawis.)
Just curious as to why you say that about Malawi's
 
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Amatyi1

Hey guys, I was in fact first looking for a possibility of dual-colony tank of Malawis for my 40 Gallon Breeder.

I know it's small, and even too small for most Malawis, but I've found some combination that seemed generally accepted in the hobby in cihclid-specific forums.

I know Saulosis appear often as okay for smaller tanks, but I've made a post about those a while ago and some members convinced me that this would be a constant nightmare for the females, so I opted out.

I've been suggested Rusty Cichlids (1m/4f) species tank, Yellow Labs, Yellow Labs with 1 male Demasoni, Jalo Reef species tank 1m/4f, one small colony of Yellow Labs with one small colony of Rusties, got a Central America suggestion of 1x Convict + 1x Firemouth + 1x Red Tail (was surprised by that one), and several options of Victorian Haps species only tanks (ex: Ruby Green, Christmas Fulu, Egyptian, etc). Some of those suggestions got me interested, but so far I'm not sold – And also some other suggestions made no sense to me.

Obviously, since it's a small tank, I've been suggested a lot of Tanganyikan's setups, most with shell dwellers. Even though I would really like to make a Tanganyikan, I would like to not go this route right now.

Anyways, I'd like a very colorful tank, and my girlfriend would like big fish. Or at least one big one with small ones.

My ideal setup would be like a small group of Yellow Labs + 1 male Peacock (or 2 male peacocks from different species) - but I don't think it would be good in a 36" 40g.

So I'm thinking maybe 1x Male peacock + some colorful dither fishes.

Tiger Barbs are often mentioned in Malawi tanks as dither because of a few characteristics (hardy, don't hide, active & fast, not small enough to be eaten, not big enough to be seen as a menace) – And I love the idea of Tiger Barbs as dithers as there are a considerable amount of different colors in their species, and – correct me if I'm wrong – I think we could mix different colors of Barbs and they wouldn't mind, and would school together as one specie (like the Black Skirt Tetras with the White Skirts, and with the 6 different Glofish Tetras)

So yeah. One male Peacock + small school of Tiger Barbs = Is it feasible in a 40 gallon breeder ?

If it'd work size-wise, would the peacock feel alone ? I'm guessing he would not feel less alone in a big all males show tank and he wouldn't hang out with other males anyways. So being the only peacock wouldn't be that different to him as being with peacocks potential ennemies – Would it be correct ?

If so, what specie of Peacock would you suggest ? Would you suggest another fish as dither instead of the Tiger Barbs ?

If I'd go with my favorite look, that'd be any blotched, piebald, OB, looking Peacock. However, I read that pretty much all of those are hybrids, and that hybrids are more agressive than regular ones. However, are they aggressive only to potential menaces, like males of their species and other peacocks ? Or their aggressiveness would extend to the dither fishes as well ?

I'm thinking maybe a specimen of an agressive species would not feel the need to show aggressiveness if there is no male around, and no female to impress/defend ?

If the hybrid are actually too agressive for dither fish, do you have some suggestion of Peacocks that could be compatible, both with the dither fish and my tank size ?

+1 internet point if someone finds me a OB/Piebald looking Peacock that would be peaceful enough (and not to big) for my ideal setup Ideal look would be like an OB Super Red Empress

Anyways, what do you think ? What would you suggest me ? Or the opposite : would you tell me not to do it ? If so, would you have other suggestions that'd fit my taste (besides Rams, Apistos & Tanganyikans) -> One "biggish" fish + small group of smaller ones, or two different biggies, or two small groups of different species (+1 if femaleare not gray/brown/beige, +2 if you find me a specie that could go with some Victorian's Chromogynos – Yay, blotches !! )
I'm getting ready for work but I was just going to do a quick reply you should think about the fire mouth cichlids and a male peacock cichlid. If you do an all male tank your aggression won't be so bad my firemouth cichlids get along great with my peacocks and they color up very early. Both of them interact great with me and they get along with my Pictus Catfish as well. I did have some yellow labs but I ended up giving them away because they were too aggressive. I'll read more on your post later and comment further though.
 
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