New Festae, Take a Lookski
I came across two true red terror cichlids about three days ago. I put them in my 135 gallon with the three false red terrors I have left out of the 10 I started with. They're 4 inches and I think they're both male, but I'm not quite sure.
Would not expect to keep any live tankmates with the Red terror's unless a larger tank is in the future and fishes are large enough,tough enough, to withstand the abuse.(not many)
If you in fact have two males, Then it will soon be one, once the fishes reach sexual maturity (4 mo).
Have followed this thread quietly for some time, and while I understand that there are those who like aggressive tank's with fishes being killed, and or sporting scar's ,tattered fin's, constant attack's by other more aggressive fish, these latest addition's earned their names, and in anything smaller than 200 gal,,will eliminate either outright,or through damage inflicted,, most any other fishes you choose to place with them.(with few exceptions).
Responsible fish keeper's, as opposed to those who collect fish for the wow factor,seldom lose fishes for they much prefer to enjoy them over the long haul and take measures to ensure their longterm health.
Other's stock their tank's with assorted cichlid's and watch the carnage unfold once the cute little two inch fish reach maturity. Then as mentioned,,,they find themselves with a tank full of fishes with varying degree's of injury inflicted by other fish ,fishes being killed outright,other's cowering in corner's under considerable stress .They then attempt to return these fish, or pass them off onto someone else when in fact most reputable stores will not accept them out of fear of introducing possible disease to their otherwise healthy stock,and fishes are possibly too large,too aggressive for most tanks.
I follow these threads frequently and when I ask the question.. What happened to your Oscar,Dempsey,Jaguar,Green terror,etc poster's often reply .."Oh I found him a new home, I returned him,
He jumped out and died,He got sick and died,"
A little research and planning,and one can have a large tank with one specimen of a few species from same general area who share same water parameter's, and same level of aggressiveness. And provided enough space,, little to no damge can be realized.
What type of hobbyist do you wish to be? one who cares for fish,or one who collect's fish ?
Woa 1077 way to grill the OP...
The OP is simply looking for a nice single pair to house in his 135. The mayans were not working out so he went with the festae. I don't think he plans on keeping them all together long term anyway. I do think he should get more than 2 because one will most likely be killed. And it is not true that responsible fish keepers seldom loose fish. I know many very experienced fish keepers that have trouble with some fish. Festae is one species that comes to mind. They are highly aggressive toward their own kind and some people go through many fish before they get a compatible pair. It is not because they are "irresponsible" but simply the nature of the species. I know from experience. I have a pair of cubans. I originally had 5 but they killed eachother off to a pair. Cubans have very high conspecific aggression so sibling casualties is common. I take good care of my fish feeding them quality pellets and performing 50% water changes weekly. And this was in a 125 and the cubans were no more than an inch or two long. Aggressive cichlids are hard on each other and other fish that's just the way it is. I do not condone keeping several large aggressive fish in a small tank to watch them kill each other but I understand that sometimes causalities happen when trying to get some of the heavy hitters to get along in a large aquarium. I don't think the OP is putting them together to watch them fight. He has simply been unfortunate in getting the mayans to cooperate.
To the OP festae are very hard on each other. A pair may form and get along for years then the male snaps and kills her. It happens. Know you may go through several fish before you get a compatible pair and even then success is not guaranteed. They are also very slow growers so it is a slow and long process. Be prepared. They are gorgeous fish when mature though and look stunning as a pair.
I'm a fairly new hobbiest, while I have had my 135 gallon stocked with healthy cichlids before, I've always wanted some festae because their color is amazing. These fish are hard to find in the hobby due to a freeze on their exportation in South America. I orginally bought the mayan cichlids thinking they were Festae because that is what the store owner told me. I don't want mayan cichlids, I had planned to relocate them some short time after i bought them. My original plan though, was to get 8 to 10 festae and let a pair form and get rid of the rest, as its much harder to get a pair to form when they are older. After I get a pair I'm keeping those 2 in the tank until they get so old they pass away. I seen these two festae for sale and jumped on it because they are no where to be found here in northern california. I'm keeping these mayan cichlids in the tank to help with the aggression between the two festae until I make a tank divider for the two males. After that I'll be relocating the mayan cichlids, and eventually selling one of the two males. I'll be looking for some females to pair up with the male in due time. I am no expert, but I found something I really enjoy and am learning along the way.
Sadly ,it is largely,nearly alway's, the uninformed,misguided,that lose fishes.
Those who research ,plan,seldom lose fish for they are fully aware of what is needed for the fishes longterm,healthy existence,survival.
Large tank's to hold fishes like the fish mentioned between mating, so females can rest, to seperate aggressive male/female fish, or to seperate Fry for growing out .(Even fry can become aggressive,more tanks).
Plans for selling, or housing the offspring if that is the goal, (not many taker's for large aggressive fish).
Tankmates that are able to defend themselves .
As mentioned ,large enough tank's 200+gallons for keeping more than a pair of species mentioned.(this is key)suitable decor and lot's of it to help curb territorial disputes.
No need to go through several fish as you mention, if Research, plans, are made in advance (spare tank(s).
Have kept these fish, along with Parachromis Dovii,Managuense,Buttikoferi,Trimaculatus,etc when I was much younger.(Yes,I lost many ot of ignorance)
They are very hard for many to care for properly, and trying to place a pair is indeed difficult.
Would in my view, need several juveniles ,with plans made for those that Male/female reject's.
No need to place a bunch of fish in the tank to be killed ,tore up, while trying to find suitable mate, but many don't plan, and sadly,, ,that is normaly the outcome or,,fish are released into streams,lakes,once they become too much for hobbyist's to care for or they become bored with large tanks with but one or two fish.
I personally love these large cichlids and am just offering some words from expierience for other's to consider BEFORE,, more of these fish are flushed,tossed,killed,due in large part from failure to research,plan.
Some fish, such as those mentioned above just can't be housed with other fish no matter how well we plan.
They can still be quite a site as specimen only and with proper care,provide year's of enjoyment.
As single specimen,,they don't need quite as large a tank.
Can find it at lowe's or perhap's other hardware store's.
I was planning on egg crate, at least for the short term. I would like plexiglass to be a more permanent solution because it looks nicer. I don't really want to silicone anything down in this tank, but I found this article that shows how to make a plexiglass divider out of plexiglass without the need for silicone.
Building A Divider For A 135 Gallon Tank - Flowerhorn Craze
Could work well.
I am not referring too irresponsible fish keepers who place many large aggressive fish in an undersized tank. I am referring to responsible fish keepers who grow some of the harder to raise fish out and end up with casualties because of high con-specific aggression or even worse bloat. All the fish you mentioned don't have this problem. But there is a reason there are not a whole lot of hatiensis, islatum, festae, grammodes, etc. pairs around. They are hard to raise fish and like I said many experienced keepers I know have suffered with them. Con-specific aggression as well as bloat can deliver a major blow to you juveniles even with proper care. This is well before the fish are large. CA pairs can be extremely unpredictable and deaths do happen even with the most experienced keepers. I have seen it happen many times.
To the OP I would't go for the divider just yet. I would focus on finding more festae to grow out. There are plenty of places online that sell festae. There seems to be a bit of a festae craze happening.
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