12-10-2008, 06:21 PM
| || | I've discussed the issue on loaches and African rift lake cichlids in a few forums. Here is my canned explanation.
| Rift Valley Cichlids |
Rift Valley Cichlids and Loaches: Can they go along together?
There also comes the long been controversial debate about loaches and Rift Valley cichlids. Cichlids, as a whole, take their aggression to another level when you compare it to the loaches. They have various personalities thus making it impossible to predict how they will behave once they establish themselves in the aquarium. It is in the best interest if you are to keep cichlids and loaches together, that both species will not try to harass each other. Consider other variables, not just the individual personality. It has been a mistake of some people to think loaches are able to withstand the aggression and harassments inflicted by most cichlids, the same way that most cichlids can withstand the feisty nature of the loaches. While the cichlids with rather mellow personality do not usually pose a problem towards the loaches, these cichlids will eventually spawn as they mature giving more problems for the loaches thus subjecting the loaches to permanent damage from stress and physical injuries as they fail to cope up with the aggression issues of the cichlids. Loaches are sociable fish forming a hierarchy and even defending their boundaries. They do not appreciate being pushed around by other fish hence it is inadvisable to mix them with those kind of cichlids regardless.
Another issue that will be covered is the temperature. Take into consideration that Lake Malawi cichlids prefer temperature no higher than 78 degrees Celsius whereas several loaches that are often mixed with these cichlids prefer temperature higher than that. If the Lake Malawi cichlids are to be forced in such conditions, they will eventually suffocate. Never forget the Lake Malawi cichlids demand plenty of oxygen and as such their bodies cannot tolerate depleting oxygen levels.
There also comes the issue regarding the loaches being able to tolerate hard alkaline waters or not. It may or may not work. Plenty of loaches that are often suggested to be mixed with these cichlids hail from soft acidic waters which means that while the water parameters can be compromised as long as they “are acclimated properly”, they will still never thrive their best as their bodies are not designed to live in waters where conductivity is very high compared to the waters they are used to which has very low conductivity. Their osmoregulatory system is not designed for this situation and will only compromised their health as well as their lifespan.
Lastly, different dietary requirements are a problem. Which genus of cichlids are you planning to keep? Never forget again that plenty of Lake Malawi cichlids relish meaty foods so much despite being unsuitable in comparison to foods containing high fiber content that they eventually succumb to bloat and other digestion problems. In this case, you are advised not to attempt mixing loaches with these cichlids. Many botiine loaches generally prefer meaty foods as they had always done in the wild. Any attempt to feed the Lake Malawi cichlids occasionally is not without causing so much digestive upsets on their part that they eventually suffer and damage themselves permanently. Either way, you should not opt to keep both together. Anyone telling you that you can is not going to admit readily that he is wrong.