Mixed Cichlid community tank

Wartank

Member
Yes. Finally, after months of trials and errors, conditioning and reconditioning; my very own mixed cichlid tank.
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Best Answer - View MacZ's answer

BigBeardDaHuZi

Member
Nice job OP. That looks like a fun tank. How big is it?

... you might want to switch your substrate out a bit. Those Geophagus are all sand-sifters. They really, really want to be rooting around in sand all day. It looks like you might have sand under the pebbles. Maybe cut the pebbles down by half? If the substrate was all sand, they would be pretty happy
 
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Wartank

Member
Thanks, pal. It's a 65gl.
Fun tank indeed. I've ensured each species have their respective environment to thrive in.. The Geos have their fun sifting through the tiny substrates at the bottom, but cut the pebbles? How do you even do that?
 

BigBeardDaHuZi

Member
Wartank said:
Thanks, pal. It's a 65gl.
Fun tank indeed. I've ensured each species have their respective environment to thrive in.. The Geos have their fun sifting through the tiny substrates at the bottom, but cut the pebbles? How do you even do that?
Sorry, I mean cut down on the pebbles. Take some out, but leave enough to keep the color.

What all do you have? I see some good looking EBAs.
 
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Wartank

Member
BigBeardDaHuZi said:
Sorry, I mean cut down on the pebbles. Take some out, but leave enough to keep the color.

What all do you have? I see some good looking EBAs.
Oh.. OK. Lol. More sand than pebbles. Now that makes sense.Thanks for clarifying.

My mix would give rise to controversies.
New World and Rift lakes.
Geo Altifrons
Yellow Lab
Rainbow shark
Peacocks
Rusty
Blue Moorii
EBAs
& Pleco
Take a guess on the most and least aggressive species
 

Leeman75

Member
Wartank said:
Oh.. OK. Lol. More sand than pebbles. Now that makes sense.Thanks for clarifying.

My mix would give rise to controversies.
New World and Rift lakes.
Geo Altifrons
Yellow Lab
Rainbow shark
Peacocks
Rusty
EBAs
& Pleco
Take a guess on which is the most and least aggressive species
I have had pounded into me "Do not mix South American and African Cichlids!!", though it is a secret desire of mine to do so. I've just never acted on it because others have said that it's basically a recipe for disaster. So, I am beyond intrigued by your set up!! :)

I'm not sure what a Rusty is, but I would guess that the Peacocks would be the most aggressive (depending on size) and the EBAs the least.
 
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Wartank

Member
Leeman75 said:
I have had pounded into me "Do not mix South American and African Cichlids!!", though it is a secret desire of mine to do so. I've just never acted on it because others have said that it's basically a recipe for disaster. So, I am beyond intrigued by your set up!! :)

I'm not sure what a Rusty is, but I would guess that the Peacocks would be the most aggressive (depending on size) and the EBAs the least.
I agree that it is definitely a challenge. Takes lots of work, strategy, time and effort. What with compatibility, acclimatization, water parameter, food, layout, when to place which fish & objects ..and what not.
It started off as a Geo community tank with a pleco. I got bored, and started having some crazy ideas.

Wartank said:
I agree that it is definitely a challenge. Takes lots of work, strategy, time and effort. What with compatibility, acclimatization, water parameter, food, layout, when to place objects ..and what not.
It started off as a Geo community tank with a pleco. I got bored, and started having some crazy ideas.
So realizing that some aggressive CA cichlid would be a definite no-no, I'll first need to begin the process of elimination.
This guy gets his own tank. A no brainer
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Wartank said:
So realizing that some aggressive CA cichlid would be a definite no-no, I'll first need to begin the process of elimination.
This guy gets his own tank. A no brainer
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Likewise, this lass.
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Leeman75 said:
I have had pounded into me "Do not mix South American and African Cichlids!!", though it is a secret desire of mine to do so. I've just never acted on it because others have said that it's basically a recipe for disaster. So, I am beyond intrigued by your set up!! :)

I'm not sure what a Rusty is, but I would guess that the Peacocks would be the most aggressive (depending on size) and the EBAs the least.
You'd be surprised that's not the case. It's the EBAs that are the dominant fish. They are the ones I spent hours observing, ever ready to isolate the male to another water setup when aggression sets in. They won't fin nip. They'll usually attack from above, and can cause injuries, even casualties to smaller fish. It's a relief that the isolation and added hiding places methods worked, and I can now be at ease.
The Geos seem to be in a world of their own, with the EBAs occasionally join them to school.
Then, there's the RS that will go after my dark coloured Red Peacock(seems more like navy with red&blue fins). This usually won't last more than a few seconds.
Oth, it's the yellow lab that's the most docile, the bottom of the pecking order. The plastic wire fencings are there for it to hide out.
So, the next time someone tells me that the EBA does not retain the aggression of their cousins from the wild, the BAs & rams; I'll make sure to give them a piece of my mind. Lol!
 

Leeman75

Member
Wow! That's really interesting!

I have a 55 gallon with mixed South/Central Americans with 2 EBAs that are pushing 3.5" and are the biggest fish in the tank. Other than weeding out my Black Neons (which the survivers have been moved to another tank), I have not seen them go after any other fish. My Bolivian is probably the one that chases the most, but it's limited to the Rainbow Cichlids and non-cichlids like Platys. I have a Firemouth who can't figure out if he wants to be a bully or be bullied.

I wonder if one of the reasons for the difference in EBA behavior in your tank versus mine is because mine are so much bigger than the other fish and they've been in the longest. They don't have to prove anything to anyone.

I would have never guessed the Labs would be the most timid. Maybe it's a size thing?

Such a cool post and project you've worked on. I'd be interested to know what the order was that you got them in?
 
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Wartank

Member
Real interesting. I'm guessing that it's the EBAs adaptability. The temperament is in relation to the aggression in the tank. They might just leave non threatening fish alone, while raising their aggression up a notch among semi-aggresive cichlids.
I got them in this order:
5 Geo Altifrons & Pleco
2 Yellow Labs (1left)
& Rainbow shark
Rusty &
2 Blue Mooriis (1left)
2 Peacocks (1left)
2 EBAs
lastly, additions to spread aggression, along with hiding places
2 Peacocks,1 EBA
 
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Wartank

Member
Another of my theory would be it's just possible that the harder water and alkalinity somehow altered their temperament. Whatever.. Got what I wanted. Now I just enjoy watching them while lazing around on the couch. Hehe.
 

MacZ

Member
Leeman75 said:
I have had pounded into me "Do not mix South American and African Cichlids!!", though it is a secret desire of mine to do so. I've just never acted on it because others have said that it's basically a recipe for disaster. So, I am beyond intrigued by your set up!! :)

I'm not sure what a Rusty is, but I would guess that the Peacocks would be the most aggressive (depending on size) and the EBAs the least.
Interesting how only the rift lake cichlids had losses. The fact that just one of the two groups has losses is already pointing into the direction of a minor disaster. Won't argue either. If this forum tought me one thing, then what I might see as animal cruelty is the norm in fishkeeping in another country.
Still, I find this kind of fishkeeping questionable. In my opinion nothing to emulate, I might add.

Rusties and Yellow Labs are Mbuna, but the most docile of them. Peacocks are about the same, except among each other. Tropheus are the rowdies among the rift lake cichlids listed.
 
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Wartank

Member
MacZ said:
Interesting how only the rift lake cichlids had losses. The fact that just one of the two groups has losses is already pointing into the direction of a minor disaster. Won't argue either. If this forum tought me one thing, then what I might see as animal cruelty is the norm in fishkeeping in another country.
Still, I find this kind of fishkeeping questionable. In my opinion nothing to emulate, I might add.

Rusties and Yellow Labs are Mbuna, but the most docile of them. Peacocks are about the same, except among each other. Tropheus are the rowdies among the rift lake cichlids listed.
Then consider this.. The losses are mainly due to same species aggression. It took another specie to finally stifle the aggression by dominating. The lesson I actually learnt was there should not be 2 rift lake cichlid of the same kind. The EBAs is actually the answer to my tank aggression.
 

MacZ

Member
Consider me not even considering mixing them the way you did and instead keeping rift lake cichlids in colonies of 1-2 males and half a dozen females each so aggression gets evenly spread and not having to add any other fish at random to deal with a problem I introduced myself.
The fact you started a mixed tank with low numbers per species only brought those problems up and it would likely have never happened in the first place if you hadn't decided to. This is my main argument against mixing like this. Tank stockings like this lead to manmade problems, not to fishmade problems.

You just confirmed that a discussion will only lead to a stalemate of opinions and hopefully to a point of agreeing to disagree. Good luck then with this tank.
 
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Wartank

Member
There is no further discussion as it is unnecessary. Try keeping some cichlids first, and then there might be further discussion. It's evident that other more experienced cichlid keepers are in this forum.
 

BigBeardDaHuZi

Member
Wartank said:
There is no further discussion as it is unnecessary. Try keeping some cichlids first, and then there might be further discussion. It's evident that other more experienced cichlid keepers are in this forum.
He's got decades of experience keeping cichlids. Breeding too.
 
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Wartank

Member
BigBeardDaHuZi said:
He's got decades of experience keeping cichlids. Breeding too.
Oh, I see. That's the reason he suggested as he did. He's a breeder. Others in this forum might choose to do otherwise
 
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