Which Cichlid To Keep?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by Miaw, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Miaw

    MiawValued MemberMember

    I have some cichlids that aren't ideal: A pair of juve convicts, juve firemouths, juve t-bars; and 1 male and 3 female geophagus steindachneri.

    I went a bit cichlid crazy after I got the convicts.

    In an ideal world I would have a community for each but I only really have one tank for them at the moment. It's a 50g with some peaceful communtiy fish.

    It's hard but I think I have to get rid of at least 2 species.

    Ideally I'd keep the one(s) least able to eat red cherry shrimp (I understand they are all able and likely to - just not equally so). I suspect this is the geophagus.

    The geophagus seem like they'll be the most peaceful, and they have a really great eating behaviour with how they sift the substrate. T'mhey are mouthbrooders so don't take a territory. The male is full size and it's quite impressive, about 13cm.

    Convicts are the most striking and the female is beautiful. They don't get too big. If I could keep these and the Geophagus I'd be quite pleased. I'm just scared of how aggressive they might get when spawning. So far they have been in the tank for over a month and not spawned because of all the cichlid action. I've seen mixed information on whether they are bothered by tetras and things or not when spawning.

    Firemouths are kind of nice. Worried they get a bit too big.

    T-bar are nice but the female is more aggressive than the convicts. Though she is actually full size.

    I suppose what I'm hoping to do is keep the geophagus and convicts. Tank is 50g.

    I am expecting the geophagus are the only ones I will be able to keep :)
  2. DutchAquarium

    DutchAquariumWell Known MemberMember

    I'm thinking with you in the idea that convicts with geophagus might get a little rough with the provided aquarium size. however, they all will eat your red cherry shrimp, surprised they haven't done that already.
  3. OP

    MiawValued MemberMember

    Oh yes all but the sneakiest cherry shrimp are snacked up. They're easy enough to recolonise if the environment becomes less hostile. From current experience T-bar seems the most dangerous. I haven't seen the firemouths hunting them, they could be awesome The convicts and geophagus have made pitiful attempts to eat shrimp, but I sure they must have ate one or two with sheer perseverance

    Don't you think the convicts will kill cardinals and things if they start to breed
  4. DutchAquarium

    DutchAquariumWell Known MemberMember

    covicts will kill everything. Sorry if i wasn't clear above, get rid of everything but the geos
  5. OP

    MiawValued MemberMember

    Okay lol. It was worth a try Geos it is :)

    Do you think it's possible to breed convicts and select for temperament? Like how you can breed domestic versions of wild animals like foxes. I have no idea how you'd select the most chilled out fry to continue the line though. I bet with a few years of special selection it's possible to have a peaceful line of convicts :)
  6. chromedome52

    chromedome52Fishlore VIPMember

    Nope, you cannot breed the aggression out of common Convicts. They've been in the hobby for close to 80 years so far as I can tell, and remain just as aggressive as wilds (which I have kept, so I do have a comparison model). You can try a different species of convict, some of them are less aggressive. The HRP seems to be less aggressive, but that may have just been the individuals that I had. I've had T-bars a couple of times and they were slightly less aggressive than regular Convicts, so I'm surprised that you have one that is more so. Personal favorite is the Yellow convict, Amatitlania nanoluteus. Much smaller than A. nigrofasciatus, and not very aggressive. More colorful as well.

    Firemouth doesn't really get too big for a 50, but would eventually be crowded with the Geos in there. And even at maturity they are mostly bluff, and no real threat. I'd keep those and the Geos, at least for a while. Actually, if it were me, I'd get rid of the Convicts and keep the other three species. The T-bars might calm down with their most obvious competitors removed. However, long term that would certainly be a bit much for that size tank.
  7. OP

    MiawValued MemberMember

    I'm going to upload a video of my tank with the cichlids doing their thing.

    As of yet I haven't removed any fish. I am saving to buy a 125L (33g) tank in 3 months which I'll put a lot of the smaller fish in and maybe one species of big cichlid. I'm banking on things staying this "peaceful" for another 3 months :)

    Feeding time is basically when they're like "oi, this is mine!" The rest of the time they're kind of chilled out. The convicts have dug a little hole and they defend it, but not without mercy.

    The T-bar is actually quite chilled. She's a full grown female and I have about a 1.5 inch small one which I'm not sure yet is male or female. I'm hoping for a male. So "pair" is tentative. The female has just been aggressive in her own right lol. She is calm this week though.

    At night red cherry shrimp actually do come out. If I turn the lights on after leaving them off for a while to put on later they are out in the tank.

    The tank rear is hardscaped to have possibly more than 10 caves/areas and there's a little line of sight blocked corner in the front too.

    Am considering rescaping it to have hardscape dividing the whole tank up to the front into sections, with caves in the rear still. I think this will be very effective at keeping everyone nice. Can have a place dedicated to pure sand too for the geophagus.

    Maybe some of the clamness is now that my nitrates stay 5-10 :) I started using tetra nitrate minus and wow it works. Coupled with an external filter with some seachem matrix it's doing a great job.