What are some interesting plant safe peaceful cichlid that are 6 to 8 inches ?

jake37
  • #1
I'm thinking about stocking for a ram tank - approx 250-350 gallons (3 feet wide, 6 or 8 feet long, 18 to 22 inches high). This tank will have rams and some sort of tetra (probably cardinals). Originally i was thinking of discus but I don't want to go above 82. I also liked the idea of geo and they might be the best bet unless there are other fishes i should consider. I don't want angels because i have angles in another tank and would like something more interesting and unique. i was thinking maybe uaru but of course they will eat the plants. Are geo the best bet or are there other candidates that will co-exist with rams and cardinals at around 80-81 and not eat plants ?
 
BigBeardDaHuZi
  • #2
Geo's are pretty sweet, but they might dig up your plants.

Keyhole cichlids, Electric Blue Acara, and Salvini's are all pretty peaceful. The EBAs can be stunning and prefer to live in plants.

Sorry, those are all on the smaller side. 3-5", I think
 
GlennO
  • #3
Problem is most 6-8" Cichlids will make a meal of Cardinals and/or eat or uproot plants or bully the Rams.
 
jake37
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
I was thinking maybe a type of geo. They dig but won't explicity uproot or eat plants. Angels would probably work but would like something more interesting.

Problem is most 6-8" Cichlids will make a meal of Cardinals and/or eat or uproot plants or bully the Rams.
 
GlennO
  • #5
I was thinking maybe a type of geo. They dig but won't explicity uproot or eat plants. Angels would probably work but would like something more interesting.

Any species in mind? Most are fairly large. Might be ok if you have sturdy plants but I think the Rams would be freaked if not bullied. Are we talking about Blue Rams?

There's quite a few Cichlid options in the 3" range.
 
jake37
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Yes german blue ram - so fishes comfortable in 79-81 range. There are a few apistogramma that do well in that temp range but was looking for something larger. If i knew a species i wouldn't ask the question
 
GlennO
  • #7
Yes german blue ram - so fishes comfortable in 79-81 range. There are a few apistogramma that do well in that temp range but was looking for something larger. If i knew a species i wouldn't ask the question

I'm just not sure if Geo's and Rams can mix well. Maybe someone who's tried it can chime in. Keyholes would work. They get to 4 or 5". Festivums are attractive and interesting and should spend most of their time above the Rams without bothering them. But, I had some and they started picking at my plants.
 

faydout
  • #8
Keyholes would fit the bill perfectly in terms of personality, and I know the species profiles around the web indicate they can go up to 81, but mine showed stress coloring until I brought them down to 76. That and they don't get anywhere close to that 6 - 8." It says they max out at 5, but none of mine are more than about 4. Really social dwarf cichlids, though. I wish I had more than the 4 that I do.
 
jake37
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Hum. So not so many options
 
faydout
  • #10
Something like a red head tapajo (which, of course is a Geo) is the best that I can come up with.
 
jake37
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Yea I was thinking of that just don't know if there are any negatives. It will dig but doesn't explicitly go after plants so some well placed drift wood seems to work. I might try two or three discus in the tank but not optimistic they will do ok at 82. So maybe 4 red head geo, 20 rams, 3 discus, 80 cardinals and 80 rummynose along with a few pleco (mostly l204) and sterbai.

Something like a red head tapajo (which, of course is a Geo) is the best that I can come up with.
 
TClare
  • #12
What about Mesonauta (festivums)? I think they would look really good in a group especially as they use mainly the middle and upper tank levels unlike your other fish. I have never kept them (I want to though) and I do have a couple of reservations that maybe someone else could confirm. Not sure if they are 100% plant safe, I’ve seen conflicting information, also the temperature might be at the upper limit for them? Would the cardinals be safe? I’m not sure.
 
GlennO
  • #13
What about Mesonauta (festivums)? I think they would look really good in a group especially as they use mainly the middle and upper tank levels unlike your other fish. I have never kept them (I want to though) and I do have a couple of reservations that maybe someone else could confirm. Not sure if they are 100% plant safe, I’ve seen conflicting information, also the temperature might be at the upper limit for them? Would the cardinals be safe? I’m not sure.

They are not plant safe in my experience. It could possibly be done if you were very selective with your plants. They never ate my swords, val, anubias or java fern but anything softer was a target. They really liked duckweed. Their natural diet apparently includes some plant matter. I never kept them with very small fish. I suspect that small Cardinals would be at risk, fully grown ones might be ok. Similar to Angels in that regard.
 
toeknee
  • #14
Also recommending Keyhole Cichlids. Not the flashiest but the closest that fit what you're looking for. Peaceful, won't bother plants, won't bother other fish. I have 7 full grown Keyholes, my two biggest males including the full length of their fins are a little over 5 inches. Most other larger cichlid species and you'll run into problems with them eating other smaller fish or digging up plants.
 
TClare
  • #15
Well, If festivums are not suitable I also agree with the keyhole option.
 
Leeman75
  • #16
I'll also echo for the keyholes. Mine are still very small (inch or less), but already they are my favorite in a tank with a ton of really cool fish. Very, very underrated fish. Hard to find locally though.
 
TClare
  • #17
I’ve recently ordered 5 juvenile Keyholes, and should be getting them later this month, I did keep some many years ago and am looking forward to getting them. In such a huge tank you could have quite a big group with the potential for interesting but not too dramatic interactions. I do think Mesonauta would be a really interesting and beautiful option in that tank, but I guess keyholes would be safer!
 
jake37
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Well keyholes prefer cooler water than rams so that alone makes them not the best fit. This combined with the fact that I'm not sure what they offer over the rams....
 
toeknee
  • #19
I have group of Keyoles with a group of Bolivian Rams, they're temp compatible, they all get along. Depends on which rams you're going with since other Rams outside of Bolivians do tend to prefer higher temps. They're much more social with eachother than my rams are. Very different personalities compared to rams, more peaceful. Full grown they're twice the size of Rams, not in length but in body height. They don't necessarily offer anything over Rams. Just the closest to the type fish you're looking for.
 
faydout
  • #20
There's a social dynamic to them that I haven't seen in other cichlids. That's what I'd say they offer.
 
jake37
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
german blue rams.

I have group of Keyoles with a group of Bolivian Rams, they're temp compatible, they all get along. Depends on which rams you're going with since other Rams outside of Bolivians do tend to prefer higher temps. They're much more social with eachother than my rams are. Very different personalities compared to rams, more peaceful. Full grown they're twice the size of Rams, not in length but in body height. They don't necessarily offer anything over Rams. Just the closest to the type fish you're looking for.
 
GlennO
  • #22
If we're talking about a 250-350 gallon tank I'd say the main thing they offer over Blue Rams is visibility.
 
TClare
  • #23
Mmm it’s difficult as mostly the more peaceful ones are not plant friendly. I liked the idea of the festivums as they would be in a different part of the tank, what if you just get tough plants and driftwood??
 

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