Can you Pictus some cichlids?
For christmas I will be getting a new fish tank. It will be atleast 30 gal and I already know that I want American Cichlids in it. Besides from a clown pleco, I would like some Pictus Catfish, about 2-3 of them. I'm just wondering on what kind of Cichlids I should get. All I have came up with are convicts and firemouths. Please give me your opinions.
I think any American cichlid that stays small enough not to make an outright meal of the pictus should be fine. Anything up to the size of a Jack Dempsey or Green Terror would probably work well. Oscars might even work well. Something like a Jaguar or Wolf cichlid would probably eat them. However, with the more aggressive cichlids stocking is always a bit risky, so even with something like convicts or Dempseys you'd definitely have to be on the lookout for aggressive behaviour.
Keyhole cichlids, bolivian rams, apistogramma, kribensis would work in 30 gal. I would look for corycats for clean up crew. I would also use a filter capable of filtering twice the number of gal . of tank. Emperor 280 would be my choice.
Oops, I totally ignored the tank size mentioned. I agree with what the others have added - the larger fish I mentioned (i.e. the Dempsey and Green Terror) would need a larger tank, 55g minimum. Also, though they only get to about six inches, the pictus are active swimmers and would benefit from a tank at least four feet in length.
Okay I've came to a decision on my tank size. I'll use a 55 gal, with 2-3 pictus, my clown pleco, and I'll try to fit my dempsey into it. If he is too aggressive I'll switch him for my green terror.
To quote batman's advice to me regarding my pictus awhile back:
"If you're going to have more than one pictus, I would definitely get three rather than two. It's a good rule of fishkeeping to get more than two of a species of fish (other than those species that form pairs) to avoid bullying. This way, if the fish eventually decide that they're not the best friends in the world, the meanest fish will have two fish to pick on and therefore you won't get one fish that gets constantly harassed by the meaner fish."
I hope you get three! They are such cool fish and I love mine!!
Anything aggressive can make the Pictus sketchy and worried, which can lead to ick. I found that out the hard way. My rainbow shark wasn't aggressive towards anything in my tank besides the Bala. Even in that case, it's more playful aggression. I added a Pictus, which stayed in quarantine for 2 weeks, and the Rainbow chased him non-stop. Eventually, the Pictus developed a case of the ick. I had to take him out immediately, and fortunately he only spread to ONE of my neon tetras, but took out my whole school of black neons. (due to ick of course)
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