I've been working on a heavily-planted, 3-foot, 65 gallon tank. It has an Eheim 2217. I live in the Pacific NW where the water is very soft and has a pH generally around 6.6-6.8. I keep the temp 78-79-ish.
Here's a photo of the current setup.
Here's my current stocking:
- 6 Daisy's rice fish (Oryzias Woworae)
- 5 Purple pencilfish (Nannostomus rubrocaudatus) - would like to get 3 more when they are available.
- 10 Marbled hatchetfish
- 12 Spotted blue-eye rainbowfish (Pseudomugil Gertrudae)
- 8 Kuhli loaches
- 2 Stiphodon Elegans Gobies
The only other additions at this point would be:
- Farlowella acus
- 2, hopefully 4 dwarf cichlids depending on species.
SO.... now that that's out of the way.... I need your help with my dwarf selection. Many years ago I had a tank with German Blue Rams and I just fell in love with them. So initially I wanted to have them again. Doing some internet reading, I got pushed towards Bolivians as they are supposedly less sensitive, a little more mellow, and generally happier at a lower temperature. But at the same time, in the past my German Blues were I think happy in the high 70s... Probably tank-raised and from this very reputable LFS with exceptionally healthy fish, so maybe I just lucked out?
I also flirted with the idea of Apistos, however when I see them in the store, even though they're beautiful, I just prefer the curious nature of the Rams. That "whatcha doin?" temperament. (But feel free to try and sell me on Apistos if you like!)
I have also seen some Dicrossus Maculatus and they are so beautiful! They seemed less interactive than the Rams, but I actually am drawn to them over the Apistos.
I have seen some Laetacara Curviceps, and they are really cute and gorgeous and seem to have that similar "Hi there!" temperament. So that led me to do a ton of reading on the Laetacara. Actually I think the Dorsigera are more beautiful (I am drawn to reds) but I've read that they can be more aggressive. I love my current fish and don't want a fish that will bully them. I've read about wild dorsigera that have bulled and/or killed schoolers and even hatchetfish! I don't want that. But I've also read about Dorsigera that live peacefully with other fish, even other cichlids like Rams.
I've read that tank-raised cichlids are less aggressive than their wild counterparts. This may be a part of the equation. And I know that the layout and scaping of the tank can also make a difference.
So, in my ideal world I'd have a Laetacara dorsigera pair and another pair - Dicrossus? Rams?
I have an amazing LFS with lots of variety, but they dont' currently have Dorsigera. They have Thayeri and Araguaiae, but both are wild. I know Thayeri tend to be more aggressive. They do have tank-raised Curviceps.
They also currently have tons of Rams and do have tank-raised and wild Dicrossus. http://www.wetspottropicalfish.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id= 51&Itemid=64
Help! I'm so torn!
Do you think that a tank-raised pair of Laetacara could work in my community tank? Could I do Dorsigera or should I stick with the possibly safer bet of the Curviceps? Or should I skip the Laetacara all together??
And if you think they would work, could I do another dwarf species? Remember that my tank has a 3-ft footprint.
What would you do if you were me?
Thanks for reading my novel!