red tail shark with african cichlids. I'm going to do it. Opinions? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-01-2011, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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red tail shark with african cichlids. I'm going to do it. Opinions?

I've had my RTS for at least 2 1/2 years. My 3 year old son loves him. He was part of my 29 gallon community tank(crazy huh), but he actually helped the cardinals and rasboras school together and wasn't hostile, just chased them a little. Eventually i upgraded my planted community tank to a 45 gallon. I decided to keep shrimp in this new no RTS. He stayed behind in the 29 gallon. The shark is about 3 inches long now. He's probably stunted being in the small tank, but his colors are amazing and dark. When i transplanted all my plants to the 45 along with most of my driftwood the p.h. rose to 7.6 in the 29 gallon, making it more suitable to cichlids, enough so that i'm willing to give it a shot.

In the tank also are 3 kuhli loaches, with a white sand substrate over black flourite. I have a lot of rock caves, and coming soon some driftwood covered with java ferns( i have to have some live plants, i'm addicted). I will be tying the java fern to the driftwood. I am religious about my water changes, and am filtered heavily. I've been researching a lot on cichlids and stocking. I've read success stories on keeping the RTS with cichlids and i think i've isolated some useful information on keeping the peace. I need to avoid cichlids with red colors and would like to stick with ones that will stay under 4-5 inches, but if when they get big i may have to upgrade to a larger tank .

I would appreciate opinions on
how many cichlids to stock?
which ones to stock?
male to female ratio?
algae eater(s)?

Thanks everyone.
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-02-2011, 09:46 AM
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I have a Rainbow Shark which if I recall are pretty similar to RTS. I keep it in a 55gal with several tiger barbs and YoYo Loaches. a few months back I had the unfortunately realization that one of my 4 convicts was a female (this realization came with about 30 baby convicts *sigh*) so having no where else to put the female I moved her in to the 55.

They seem to be doing ok together, they have sectioned off their territory and pretty much stay on their own side. I can see how with this particular pair it would most definitely be a problem in a smaller tank. I would imagine that this would be the case with most cichlids.

Sorry I can't be more helpfull, thats the only experience I have.

Edit: I just realized that you said African cichlids, and Convicts are S. American so not sure how much a difference that makes.

  • 55 Gal x2, 30 Gal, 20 Gal, 20 Long, 10 Gal x 3, 2.5 Gal, 1 Gal
  • 4 Beta's, 3 Pleco's, 4 Convicts, 4 Fire Belly Toads, 4 Serpe Tetras, 3 Angel Fish, 5 Tiger Barbs, 2 Rosey Barbs, 2 Cherry Barbs, 2 Odessa Barbs, 2 YoYo Loaches, 3 Ottos, 2 Yellow Labs, 2 Snails, 1 Black Tiger Barb, 1 Pictus Cat, 1 Balla Shark, 1 Rainbow Shark, 1 Ghost Shrimp, 1 Oscar, 2 Chinease Algea Eater,2 Tadpoles
  • 4 Ferrets,3 Gerbils, 2 Cats, 1 Dog
  • 1 Child, 1 Girlfriend
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-02-2011, 02:32 PM
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Aside from behavioural compatibility, the water parameters are very different for rift lake cichlids and RTS.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-05-2011, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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I just put a pair of julidochromis transcriptus bemba in with the ole RTS. The tank is very active. The bemba are territorial, but not overly aggressive. The RTS is no longer the alpha male he used to be. He's met his match. The bigger of the two bemba keeps the RTS away from the cave he and the smaller seem to share peacefully(most of the time). Sometimes the larger bemba pushes the smaller one up agaist a nook in the rock cave. Then later the smaller one will just return to this spot and stay there and the big one just swims by and slightly nudges the smaller one. I'm new to cichlids( this is my first pair). Is this pretty normal behavior? All the fish are eating very well ( brineshrimp, mysis shrimp, blood worms, cichlid pellets)
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-08-2011, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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I'm pretty positive that they are spawning. They are keeping the shark out of the side of the tank with their cave. There are two caves that the pair of dwarf cichlids see to defend. It's the larger fish doing the defending(chasing away the RTS) with the smaller one staying mostly wedged in a very narrow crevass in the cave. Hopefully i will have some fry one day with this pair
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