Would this combination work?

Discussion in 'American Cichlids' started by ccb04, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. ccb04

    ccb04Well Known MemberMember

    Hello all.

    I'm wondering if the following combination would work.....

    - 1 Bolivian Ram
    - 1 Rainbow Cichlid
    - 1 Keyhole Cichlid

    Tank would likely be my other 20g Long ... and looking to get males.

    If that combination wouldn't work ... any suggestions? I'm not looking for another pair to breed ... would simply like 2-4 of the least aggressive cichlids in the 20g Long if feasible.

    Water is too hard and PH from tap too high for anything like Cockatoos, GBR's, etc.

    Lastly, do males of the same species get along well enough in most cases? Like 3 Bolivians ... or 2 Keyhole males with a male Bolivian, etc.
  2. KyWildFish

    KyWildFishWell Known MemberMember

    Ive had some VERY aggresive Rams before, its iffy because you cannot predict the behavior of the fish till they get home.
  3. gunner13Well Known MemberMember

    Labs,Acei and kribs are on the lower scale of aggression IMO and some of them are very colourful. Hope this helps.


  4. harpua2002

    harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    IMO none of these belong in a 20 gallon. They are on the lower end of aggression for Mbuna, with adequate space and appropriate stocking ratios (neither of which would be possible here).

    I think your stocking plan would work in a larger tank, but I wouldn't try it in a 20 gallon. The ram should be fine, and then I'd suggest choosing either the rainbow cichlid or the keyhole, not both.

  5. gunner13Well Known MemberMember

    Yep your right HARPUA. Here in the uk we work with litres not gallons(at least i do) and i can never be hassled to work out the difference. 20 gallon is roughly 80 litres, so yeah your right.

  6. OP

    ccb04Well Known MemberMember

    Thanks for the replies.

    harpua ... would the plan be bad from a potential aggression/compatibility standpoint? Bio load standpoint? Or possibly both? I know Keyholes can be timid; Rainbows are supposed to be pretty peaceful but can be active.

    Already having Cons, I'm not looking for another breeding pair of cichlids, lol. Thus I thought about some of the options you had mentioned in my thread about the Cons.

    If 3 of the smaller more peaceful cichlids is possible in a 20g long ... what would you recommend? Keeping in mind, I don't really want a pair and am somewhat limited by hard/higher PH water. Would love Cockatoos etc... but simply don't think they'd survive/thrive in our water.

    Would 2 Bolivian males and a Rainbow work, etc.? I've read some people here have actually noticed aggression amongst a grouping of Bolivians ... which is why I was considering a Keyhole, Bolivian, and a Rainbow.

    Thanks again.
  7. harpua2002

    harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    I'd still go with one of each. I'm one of the ones that have had problems with Bolivian ram conspecific aggression. I don't think it's common, but it does happen from time to time. One thing I'd consider is that the cichlids are going to hang out in the same area of the tank (bottom half). There really isn't a whole lot of space in a 20 gallon, so I'm not making that suggestion based on bioload, but rather room to claim a territory. You could keep a school of less common tetras with them, maybe green fires or similar size, to add a splash of color. You could go with 10 IMO of a small tetra and you'd be stocked at that point. :)
  8. OP

    ccb04Well Known MemberMember

    Thanks alot, harpua. You've been a great help on more than one occassion. :)

    You mean one of each as you stated earlier (2 of the 3 I originally mentioned) correct?

    The 20g is certainly a smaller tank ... but I have always heard that while it doesn't have the same volume as a 29g, it does have a similar footprint being 30" long and 12" wide. Difference of course being depth (6" difference). But if they're all hanging out near the mid/bottom region ... the extra 6" depth may not make a difference.

    By conspecific ... you're speaking in terms of same species aggression, correct?

    My thinking on the original plan was this.....

    - Rainbow: 4-5"
    - Keyhole: 4-5"
    - Bolivian: 3-3.5"

    Differing species in the tank was the starting point vs. more than one of the same. The tank would contain cichlid stones among other nooks and crannies in which to claim. And with no breeding going on ... prehaps that would help temper the most aggressive behavior? A main sticking point would be 2 or more males in the same tank.

    I've got a lot to learn with Cichlids ... and you among others, have been a big help.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2009
  9. harpua2002

    harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    Comments in green. Good luck! :)
  10. DRock914

    DRock914Valued MemberMember

    I think if you get 2 Bolivians you would be fine. I currently have 2 Bolivians in a 20g and they show no signs of aggression but that doesn't mean that yours won't. I would stay away from the other cichlids you mentioned in a 20g. If you did get 2 Bolivians then you could also get a few smaller schooling fish.
  11. OP

    ccb04Well Known MemberMember

    Thanks again so much ... harpua. However, I'm not the one setting up the 75g planted (wish I was) lol.

    Out of curiousity, what's the minimum tank size you would consider for my original stock list? 30g?
  12. OP

    ccb04Well Known MemberMember

    Hello, DRock.

    While I agree that one of each of the 3 mentioned would likely be too much ... I don't think a bolivian along with a keyhole OR a rainbow would be bad at all.

    Myself (and a few others) have breeding pairs of Convicts in 20g long tanks that are doing quite well.

    I had thought about getting 2-3 bolivians. However, I'm not interested in a pair (ie: breeding). My Cons have that covered, lol.

    Do you have two male bolivians ... or a pair. What schooling fish would you suggest? harpua mentioned Tetra's, but many of them also seem to prefer softer slightly acidic water ... although I know they can adapt if levels remain stable.

    Thanks. :)
  13. harpua2002

    harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    Most tetras can adapt. My green fires, rummynose, cardinals, and many other species did quite well with my old water source... pH around 8.0. Acclimate slowly. Just a thought. ;)

    I would have suggested cories, but I think you've got the bottom strata of the tank covered with 2 species of cichlids, given it's only 20 gallons. But once again, that's JMO, and I'm sure others may disagree. It's really your choice... if you notice issues, any of those 3 species are plant safe and could easily move into your planned 75 gallon planted if need be. :)
  14. DRock914

    DRock914Valued MemberMember

    3 Bolivians would be too much due to the fact that they might get territorial and there's only so much space in a 20g tank. Fish size wouldn't be the problem there. You could get a pair of 1 of those fish but I think you would be better off with the Bolivians because it will give you more of an opportunity to add other fish. I agree a 20g is fine for a pair of convicts but I wouldn't add anything else in because they would probably not survive. It all depends of if you want only 2 fish or if you would like a few more. I believe I have 2 female rams. I had 4 rummy nose tetras but I'm down to one now. I also have a botia kubotai loach, albino cory, and a small pleco with my rams. I plan on adding 4 harlequin rasboras some time next week. I would not add Bolivians into a tank with a pH of 8.0, that is way too high. My pH is 6.8. What is your pH?
  15. harpua2002

    harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    Just saying, I've done it. Bolivians are much more adaptable to a less-than-desirable pH than are GBRs or apistogramma. It can absolutely work. Same goes for rainbows or keyholes. They are hardy and adaptable. ccb04 clearly doesn't want to breed, so it's not going to be an issue.
  16. DRock914

    DRock914Valued MemberMember

    It all depends on what ccbo4's pH currently is. If it's low then I would leave it low. If its high then I would not suggest GBRs because they are a lot more sensitive then the Bolivians. I know it can be done but it's not good for the fish to put them in a situation that has a good chance of killing them. It's all a gamble at the fish's expense.
  17. Nutter

    NutterFishlore VIPMember

    All 3 types of fish should work in a tank together but like Harpua I would pick two of the three. Probably the Ram & the Keyhole. I've kept the two together in that exact same size tank with no problems. I in fact had a breeding pair of keyholes & a Bolivian Ram along with a school of Threadfin Rainbows. It all went along with no problems at all. The most aggression there ever was was when the keyholes were gaurding thier eggs & that was just the usual chase away stuff. Rams are very adaptable despite what drock says. I have mine in tap water with a PH of 7.8, GH 10, KH 8. No problems what so ever. II have even transfered a breeding pair of Rams from a planted tank with a PH of 6.8 to a non planted tank with a PH of 7.8 with no problems. The fish lived out long lives with no health problems & always had good colors.
    For schooling fish I would look at the some of the Tetras like Harpua mentioned or perhaps some of the small rainbowfish species.
  18. harpua2002

    harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    Actually, if you'll read through the previous posts, GBRs were neither part of the original stocking plan, nor ever suggested.
  19. DRock914

    DRock914Valued MemberMember

    Yea, I see I read your comment wrong, sorry. What ever ccb04 ends up doing I wish goodluck. I was just commenting based on the average requirements for the rams but like anything those numbers are not set and can vary. I've seen plecos go into water with 8.1 or 8.3 pH and live for many years but I have also seen them die out with a couple days. I guess it comes down to how strong the fish is.
  20. OP

    ccb04Well Known MemberMember

    DRock ... I wasn't speaking in terms of putting ANYTHING else in with my Cons. They would surely kill anything else put in with them.

    My pH is close to 8 out of the tap. The LFS I would get them from has the same water source ... and Fred (the only guy I've ever found I somewhat trust at these places) has had zero issues with the Bolivians. GBR's were another story ... though he also got some bad stock (had issues upon arrival). He put the last 3 GBR's from their last shipment into a fully planted setup that utilizes RO water. Not sure he'll even attempt to order them anymore.

    He's also had no problems with Keyholes, even though they're supposed to prefer softer water, etc.

    I love GBR's and apistogramma ... but wouldn't try them given the water. However, I've known more than one person here that has kept bolivians with no problems despite our water.

    As harpua mentioned, the bolivians seem quite a bit more adpatable than the GBR's.

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