Originally Posted by Chickadee
I am actually setting up a 90 gal just for African cichlids as I think they are so cool... So I already have kribs in the tank, I really, really would like to have the congos and Pearl Gourami in my tank. Of the fish I mentioned which would be best to have as a shoaling fish with these two? cherry barbs, could I have the rams too? - yes I was thinking of the ramirez- could I have a couple of shoaling fish? The tank will be planted and I am currently researching plants.... Thanks again!
You pack a lot of questions in your posts chickadee
. A quick note on the plants, the type that will work depends upon your setup. The most important aspect is light; it must be sufficient in intensity(some plants grow well with less light than others) and be the correct spectrum. We can get into all that later if you need to.
On your fish ideas, I really would caution you on the rams. These are very sensitive fish, as you will read in other threads from aquarists who never manage to keep them for more than a few weeks, always due to the water parameters; not only soft and acidic, but warmer than many tropicals, above 80F which would soon exhaust some of the other fish you have mentioned. The Bolivian Ram [Mikrogeophagus altispinosa] is far less demanding, and would manage quite well in your water as is. Although not as colourful (depending upon your point of view), it is still a small cichlid with personality. They do better as single specimens though, unless you can get a pair (male/female), not easy because there is minimal sexual dimorphism. In their natural habitat, Bolivian rams occur in isolation, coming together to spawn. So one in an aquarium works very well; I have one in my 115g tank. However, I am not sure how another cichlid would behave with kribs (they are cichlids as you know, and a cichlid is a cichlid in terms of personality).
Congos would certainly work with kribs--they are both from Africa, not that that makes any difference to compatibility, but congos are shoaling tetras and large enough not to be a problem. Cherry barbs would be fine with these, in a group of 6+ (like the congos). With these I see no problem for the Pearl Gourami (thought it was an Opaline...no matter). Then some bottom dwellers? And with plants, some rockwork and/or bogwood--a very nice aquascape.