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ZP3051 09-03-2012 12:58 AM

compatibility BRP,convicts,rainbows?
i have a 55gallon established tank with a good bit of hiding spots,like caves and fake plants thats currently empty. i was thinking of going with 2 BRP and a convict with possibly a school of rainbows.the petstore has young BRP's still in the greyish color stage with very small, about an inch and a half convicts together.i was going to get 2 of the brp and one convict,i also herd a small school of rainbow fish would get along with them fine.would these 3 cichlids be ok together and is the rainbow fish a good idea?if so what kind of rainbow would do best,and how many.if not whats a better type of fish to use. or is there a better option of cichlids to go to any suggestions of cichlids/tankmates.thank you

sidluckman 09-03-2012 02:20 AM

I would go with one cichlid or the other. You are putting two substrate spawners (technically)in a tank with limited territory. I know BRPs don't typically breed successfully, but their anatomical limitations, the territorial nature of their parent stock, and the fact that a convict, however small, can be a pretty feisty character, would give me pause. This combination sort of invites confrontation. Leave the convict in the store.

Would rainbows be okay with either convicts or BRPs? I suspect, yes, with BPRs given the slight edge, here. To be honest, I would begin with $1.99 Melanotaenia Splendida from sale day at Petsmart to test my theory, before risking 12.00 Boesmaniis in this situation. I know this sounds like I don't much care about M Splendidas, but that's not true; I am merely looking out for your wallet!

This is an unusual pairing and I am curious to hear what others have to say. I have kept Red Devils, Convicts, and Severums, never BRPs. I am recalling that my Severums never chased any of the tetras or barbs I used with them as dither fish, so if the BPR is closer to the Severum in temperament, it ought to be okay. If more like the Red Devil, I am not as confident.

jaysee 09-03-2012 08:12 AM

The 55 is not a suitable tank size for the parrots. They get MASSIVE.

If you get a nasty convict, it will harass the parrots.

The rainbows will do fine with both, but the larger species are to big for a 55 IME. Mine outgrew a 90. They are active fish that need room to swim. Of course you might get away with only keeping a few versus a proper school, but of you have to compromise school size to keep a fish, then the tank is not large enough.

The 55 is only 12 inche wide, which is why it is not a big fish tank.

sidluckman 09-03-2012 08:22 AM

I agree. Rainbows look better and can be kept in better numbers in a longer tank. I see youngish BRPs all the time, but have not seen them for sale at their eventually huge size. Right again, 55 is small for any fish that can reach 10 inches in length.

What about something slightly milderand mid-sized? Firemouths or one of their close relatives (ellioti, aureum)? Should be do-able in 55.

jaysee 09-03-2012 08:48 AM

Yeah, its not just the length of the BP - it's the overall mass. I always assume that the fish keeper will take good care of their fish, providing for its needs so that it attains its full size, so whether a fish is bought big or small doesn't really matter to me, though growing a fish out in a smaller tank is an appropriate practice. Like was brought up in another thread, while a 55 is not a long term home for a BGK, you don't need to go get a 180 gallon tank for the 4 inch fish you bring home from the store.

I think the fire mouth is a much better choice, though I would pas on the convict.

sidluckman 09-03-2012 09:07 AM

Yup. I have seen so many people bring home a couple of innocent looking convicts (or red devils) as first fish. They spawn, kill all newcomers, (remain unimpressive in appearance, IMO) and live well past their welcome in the eyes of the novice fish-keeper who decides he or she has had enough of the hobby.

Convicts are not the worst fish in the world, just typical territorial Meso-Americans who are very very capable of dominating most tanks. Inexpensive, hardy, and, in the words of Aquariums for Dummies "willing to spawn in a mud-puddle during an earthquake"! If you really gotta have them, go for it. But I would wait, there will always always be more. And if you are not completely entranced by them, it will probably be a relationship that ends in a divorce rather than a "til death shall we part"!

The idea of sequentially appropriate tanks seems to escape lots of people in practical terms. I agree 100% that it may be better to raise juveniles in somewhat smaller accomodations. It's when people say "I will wait to get a bigger tank when this tank is too small" that I get nervous. Once the tank is too small, the fish often is either stunted or dead. It is as though they are waiting for the fish to be unable to turn around before the fish has earned its new home. Maybe there should be a thread about when to move growing cichlids on to larger quarters. We tell everyone to do it, but not how & when.

jaysee 09-03-2012 10:04 AM

Nice post. BTW, the pink cons are significantly more attractive than the regular ones, IMO.

ZP3051 09-04-2012 07:29 PM

i ended up getting 4 tiger babrbs(2 albone 2 regular) i do notice all these fish are particularly messy eaters,i really dont want to add anything else to over stock it but i think i need a good clean up fish.whats a good cleanup fish for the bottom,some kind of corey,loach or catfish?i herd plecos dont really eat the left over food just algae...and an update,all the fish seem to get along well except the larger of the two BRP about 4 inches maybe, which is half turning orange(the others still black with its convict strips and 3 inches) seems to be somewhat aggressive towards the other BRP,itl chase it away or comeover and head butt it,that convict and the barbs are about 2 and a half inches and it dosnt bother them a this something i should worry about?i am happy wiht my choise so far,the day after i got them in the morning i thought the brps were dying but i guess they were sleeping?one was laying on top of a fake plant in the corner almost nesting the other on a rock in the corner,about 2 minutes after the light being on they sprung to life,pretty interseting fish to watch grow.thanks

sidluckman 09-04-2012 10:39 PM

Yes, fish take some time to become "sensible" in the moring, so flipping on the lights suddenly is not recommended. Sometimes large fish, when startled like this,will bolt straight up out of the tank. The collision with the tank's hood can injury or kill them. Allow fish to wake up slowly.

Tiger barbs should be in a larger group. At least double the number of fish you have, or they may start abusing the cichlids.

I would avoid cories with this crowd. Ancistris (Bristelnose) or Peckoltia cats might be okay. BTW, Plecos, Ancistrus and other loricarids WILL eat excess food, it's just that in many cases there is no excess food, so the plecos starve.) I also think milder Botia-loaches like the YoYo or the Angelicus botias would be alright, here. If you add botias, please make sure to give them a hang-out like a hollow log or tangle of driftwood in which to chill and avoid hostility from above. If you get an Ancistrus or other pleco-type cat, provide it with driftwood for dietary reasons.

Do not buy a common pleco aka "sailfin pleco" aka "hypostomus pleco" ak "Hypostomus Gibbiceps" etcetera. It will outgrow this tank, and you have enough big fish to worry about with the BPRs.

edit: FWIW, many many aquarists keep many tanks with no so called scavengers at all. They aren't necssary and are only a "good" idea if you are truly interested in them and want them. Otherwise, leave well enough alone and simply note that the messy habits of the barbs means you may have to do an impromptu siphoning or two between scheduled water changes. . .

3ndler3nvy 09-08-2012 09:30 AM

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I keep Blood Parrots with larger more aggressive Cichlids and they do just fine. I don't think a little convict will give them too much trouble. Blood Parrots grow slowly but do get large! You should be fine with 2 in a 55, just keep up on water changes.

Female Convicts can look amazing! I love mine :-D I've got her growing out in a 55 with a Severum and a Chocolate Cichlid.

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