what would you add?
ok heres the deal. i will be upgrading to a larger tank shortly (month) 100gal +/-. this will be kind of a transition tank because in about 6-8 months i will be moving and dont want to have to move a huge tank .when i move i will be upgrading again to atleaset a 200gal, room will be the determining factor. anyways i have some little baby monsters now 1 orange pike cichlid, 1 firmouth, 1 ob peacock (sold to me as a kalidascope peacock cichlid? is their such a fish?) also i will have a sailfin pleco for the 200. now my question is what should i add? if i let them grow together im scared that once they get big i wont be able to add anyone else. i figure even with the size of these fish (adult) i will be on the thin side of a 200gal.so what would you get?
Thats going to be a hard mix to find something compatible to mix in... it is also very likely that as they mature your firemouth will become a victim of the peacock or the pike, if not both.
A large part of your limit will be in size, shape, and decorations/territory given them in the new tanks. The better way to add more would be as they change tanks into the bigger tanks... this takes all territory away from the existing fish and leaves for no intruders being entered.
One suggestion I would have for your fish if you're going to be working with 200 or more gallons soon would be a jade sleeper goby. These are cool fish, but like the others they get very large (average about 10 inches) and will eat most anything that fits into their mouths. The JSG isn't an overly aggressive fish, but is territorial as your others. The JSG is a bottom dweller, which will help keep him away from the territory of that pike, but the peackock may show some conflict if they feel crowded.
Let me do some searching, see if I can find some more ideas for you.
first off thank you for the info. why is it yo say the firemouth will be eaten? is it that it doesnt get as big or something?
also if i add fish in a month that would be fine but by the time i get the 200 i would probably have to buy quite a big addition wouldnt i ?
thank you again and any more info would be great.
Full grown a firemouth will average about 6 - 7 inches, and they are much less agressive than things like your peacock and usually also the pikes. Pikes I notice tend to be per fish, and personalities vary greatly, but space makes a huge difference.
Also remember that a fish doesn't have to be large to be aggressive enough to fend for itself or to attack/eat a larger fish. I have seen a 1 - 2 inch convict cichlid tear apart a 7 inch oscar in less than 24 hrs, and that in a 75 gallon tank.
As for the size of the fish you'll need to add, again it depends on how the tank is decorated and how the fish are introduced. If it's done all at the same time and the decorations are dense enough and plentiful enough, you'd be surprised what can work. A 7 or 8 inch fish isn't going to follow a 3 inch goby into a tiny cave with a 1 inch opening... especially if the cave is on the other end of a 200 or more gallon tank. If that goby has say 5 - 10 caves like that strategically placed throughout the tank, where it can get from one to another... with lots of dense plantwork (silk works great for this) anchored around the bottom, it can be done.
When trying to accomplish things like this its more a matter of knowing your fish and how best to shelter them from each other until they are all close enough in size to not be eaten, and providing them enough appropriate territory of their own for their needs.
Another concern I have is your water params considering you have African cichlid mixed in with Central American cichlids. You're talking about soft water and hard water fish all in the same habitat. Long term this isn't going to be good for someone. Central and South American cichlids can usually work well in a tank with floating live plants, which helps to eat some of the nutrient levels in the water and also provides wonderful shelter and territory up high, but African cichlids are primarily vegetarian, so they will usually eat and/or tear up most plants.
Another thing for you to consider is the diet differences in the 2 types of cichlids. A good standard pellet food for the peacock would be spectrum pellet food alongside of frozen forumla 2 food and algae wafers, but with your others things like Hikari cichlid pellets will be appropriate, along with live foods such as worms and brine shrimp, etc. (veggie vs high protein)
Have you considered seperating them?
i havent realy thought about that. also i didnt relise the firemouth was central american. as of now the firemouth and the peacock are eating tropical flake, cichlid pellets, freez dried plankton and earth worms. the pike only eats the plakton, worms and feeder goldfsh. i realy would rather not part with any or split them up but i dont want anyone to suffer/be eaten for it.
what would you do given my situation?
I'd move the peacock to a tank of its own with the proper conditions. If you don't, long term someone is going to suffer just because water quality won't be in a condition to support their specific needs. I know its hard to part with a fish sometimes, but it is better than watching it die.
in my experience, the peacock will get beat by the firemouth, but the pike will eat them both whole eventually anyway.
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