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Zincubus 04-07-2008 05:00 PM

An experimental cichlid tank .... your thoughts please !
I have a little experiment going at the moment .

I have a very heavily planted tank about 20 gallons with the following ALL living happily !!

Every fish is very young and under an inch in length .

2 Apistogramma panderini (pair)
2 Apistogramma pulchra (pair)
2 Apistogramma cacatuoides (pair)
2 Borelli Cichlids (Pair)
2 Keyhole Cichlids (pair)
4 Checkerboard Cichlids (tiny)

The only two fish who had a problem with each other was the female panderini and the male pulchra but they took it in turns to "chase" each other .. ... there was no outright winner so they both get on with each other ( well tolerate each other ).

=Amazingly the only fish who has claimed a little patch of tank is one of the TINY checkerboard cichlids

I realise that this tank is only peaceful because they are ALL such yopung fish but it is fantastically intersting to watch them all going about their business.

As they grow I will simply move them to other tanks.[/u]

bbhunter 04-07-2008 05:39 PM

In my personal experiences with cichlids, I have noticed that a crowded tank is usually less aggressive. As they grow, they may get territorial, but I seen and owned tanks with up to 10-15 cichlids at one time in 55 gallon tank and everyone got along. I've also noticed that if you able to keep them all about the same size, they're not near as sketchy and will roam the tank more freely especially if it's crowded. Good luck with the experiment

Texasguy 04-08-2008 10:39 AM

Your Apistogrammas will be the first to start trouble. The cockato male or even the female will be looking for spawning places and the trouble will start.

I know you said you'll move to differnt tank once bigger but why wait for trouble to start and allow one to become injuryed or even get killed in the night? your tanks over stocked for a 20g.

Zincubus 04-08-2008 01:48 PM

To be honest I did a little research about these little beauties and decided to try them togther in a heavily planted tank . Bear in mind that they are ALL unsed an inch long - the checkerboard and pulchra's are only half an inch long.

Nothing sinister going on - I just had a feeling that they would get on as they are so young -and thankfully for the last month or so - they have.

I have 3 other mature tanks ready and waiting if any problems develope.

Heiko Bleher 04-08-2008 04:17 PM


this is Heiko Bleher and I am very happy to read about your 20 gal. tank with the dwarf cichlids.

I think you have a almost perfect combination (without seeing your tank, but by the combination of dwarfs). And I do not think you must change anything, all I suggest to remove the maroni, as they do not belong there and than you can leave all others forever... no worries.

Advice from a collector of all of those dwarf (and a few more...),

Heiko Bleher

beetlebz 04-08-2008 04:25 PM

My (i think) resticulosa (i think) male (lol) is a nightmare to the female, and that IS heavily planted 29g. I dont think id have more than that without a LOT of cave space and hidey holes

Zincubus 04-09-2008 05:08 PM

Funnily enough I moved the Keyholes to a community tank as they were eating MOST of the food I put in !!

Greedy little devils are growing before my eyes :)

Nice fish and really interesting to watch.

tinytawnykitten 04-09-2008 10:59 PM

Are they not stripping you plants? I would love to slowly change my community tank over to a cichlid set up but I love the plants and don't want to let them go.

Lupin 04-10-2008 01:23 AM


Originally Posted by tinytawnykitten
Are they not stripping you plants? I would love to slowly change my community tank over to a cichlid set up but I love the plants and don't want to let them go.

South American dwarf cichlids do not uproot plants. Exceptions include discus, angelfish, and festivums which are a few I can think of.

Zincubus 04-11-2008 04:27 PM


I decided to remove the pair of Apistogramma panderini and the pair of Borelli Cichlids as I wanted to add a small pair of Laetacara curviceps to my show tank .

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