Originally Posted by Ami
I'll look at the BRs. Any tell tale signs that they're a bonded pair ? I guess its a bit confusing since they keep so many fish in a tiny tank...I might end up pointing to two fish and end up getting one I didn't want !
Also, would it be possible to put in a pair of BRs with the one GBR in the 55G? Or is it best to wait?
To get a bonded pair, or a pair that is likely to be bonded, you have to observe the tank of fish for a while, like 15 minutes or longer. You will see males "being male," by which I mean pushing each other around. Sort of charging but not physically engaging, though sometimes they will. Females will not be doing this. If one of these males has a less colourful or slightly smaller fish close to him, that he basically ignores, that is likely a female to which he may have bonded. At this point, observe that pair even more closely. If they remain together, it is more likely they have bonded. But if another female is also allowed to be that close, with no variation in the male's behaviour toward either, he may not have decided.
With respect to the two species together: I personally do not like more than one cichlid species in an aquarium. In my experience with dwarf cichlids, both Apistogramma species and these two rams, a 4-foot tank is best with only one species. My females were killed within a few months, and not by males but by other females guarding eggs/fry. For a small fish (an inch) the female when guarding can be very nasty, and any other cichlids female is seen as a direct threat. Catfish are also hounded, since they just naturally lumber along into the nest area. And cichlids will spawn often and regularly, I had females guarding fry every 4-5 weeks. And this was in my 70g flooded Amazon tank which is thick with plants and wood; but the guarding female seems to "sense" other females even if she can't see them. Watching her charge half way across the tank to take a nip out of one of the other females behind some wood was interesting, though not for the poor female on the receiving end.