05-28-2009, 11:25 PM
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Apart from the aforementioned Apistogramma are various other types of dwarf cichlid. German blue and Bolivian rams are both commonly available. I've seen nannacara for sale in several places as well. Kribensis are also readily available and, although they are African riverine cichlids, are similar in care requirements to their American cousins. Just a few alternatives, as some species of apistos are hard to come by and can have a hefty price tag.
Also note that these are territorial fish that can be aggressive, mostly towards other cichlids. Even when not in spawning mode, they will still not really take kindly to other dwarf cichlids, so multiple territories should be set up if you wish to keep more than one. If you get pairs of cichlids they are fairly easy to spawn (in other words, they are quite likely to do it on their own) and will aggressively defend their eggs and fry from any and all threats, including non-cichlid tankmates. In a 40g tank your dither fish (i.e. tetras) should have plenty of room to swim away from any angry cichlids, but keeping multiple breeding pairs of dwarf cichlids in a tank of that size would almost certainly be problematic.