Can I keep my Firemouth by itself? Bad idea? Add more?

firemouthfreak

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Well I just rescued a Firemouth from a petstore that did little to help it. (Convict was nipping its fin, so i decided to buy it) Its in the tank with Yellow Lab Cichlids (Bad mix I know), I'm going to move the labs in a few weeks. I was wondering if it is okay to just have 1 Firemouth? Should I add more?
 
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firemouthfreak

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40 gallon. Also, it seems to hide a lot, is that due to the fact that its by itself?
 

Nitro Junkie

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A 40 is perfect.

How long have you had it? Is the lab picking on it?

It could be hiding from being new in the tank. They also like to have a spot to have to themselves. Driftwood,flower pots,caves,plants,all make good hiding spots for them to have.

You could also try to keep a school of giant danios with it.
 

pepetj

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I don't think you are necessarily doing a "Bad mix" by placing Firemouth with Yellow Labs. Some fishkeepers might find it unacceptable for their standards to mix Central/South American with African.

If you compromise within their ideal/safe pH/hardness range then it's doable. I kept for more than a year, without other problem than over-breeding -which to me is suggestive that fish are happy- Mbuna (Kenyi) with Tiger Oscars, Green adn Gold Severum, Convicts, Angelfish, Silverdollars, Firemouth. I kept pH at 7.2 with 6.5 dGH.

Based on reliable published profiles (e.g. at cichlid-forum) Yellow Labs and Firemouth should do well at pH 7.8 (this value is the minimum for Yellow Labs while the maximum for Firemouth); both like hard water.

A 40gal, I figure it has at least 36"L (or 48"L). Provide shelter at opposite ends of the tank. If needed, you could temporarely divide the tank with egg-crate until they get used to their territory (I used this technique with success with my Tiger Oscars and Severums).

At breeding time there could be aggressive issues but if your aquascape provides "territorial safety" for all of them it might work out. When I try risky attempts as this one I keep a plan B (aka another cycled tank) at hand for the event that it doesn't play out as I expected.

Pepetj
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Pepetj
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firemouthfreak

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I've had it for about.. 6 days now. The male lab is chasing it but not to the extreme. Its fins are still a bit torn up but its eating, so I'm content.
 
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firemouthfreak

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@Pepetj. A lot of ppl told me not to mix them.. since aggression/ph lvls and etc would clash..
 

btate617

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Keeping cichlids form different continents in the same tank is not a good idea,FWIW.

True and I agree.
I think most posts after Pepe are going against what he is trying to point out with mixing Africans and C/A. I don't like mixing them either, in fact if you have a tank big enough for Africans I would suggest you use it for something else but thats just me....

Most people believe Centrals come from a low PH water like South American fish do when in fact most come from a very high PH most in the 7-8 range, with some populations coming from a ph of 9-10. I think Pepe is trying to point out with PH in mind these fish would be fine in the same tank, although I don't agree with the two fish he uses to make his point in this thread. T. Meeki are a show, not attack fish in 90% of the cases, they will flare but are not overly aggressive in most cases.

The other problem is food. But again this can be solved with a high quality staple diet that would be suitable for both species. There are a few out there that could be used for Mbuna, S/A, C/A, Tropheus, etc... without the problems like bloat for example that most worry about when feeding Africans.


Brian
 
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