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Discussion Starter #1
I'm posting this thread a bit more specific than my previous thread about tank mates. I have a mix of African and South American Cichlids, a Green Spotted Puffer, and 2 Pakistani Loaches. I have a few fish in mind that I would like to put in my tank. Here is just a small list:
-Elephant Nose
-More Green Spotted or Figure 8 Puffers
-Bristlenose Pleco
-African Butterflyfish
-Leopard Ctenopoma
-Fire Eel
-Clown Knife
-Any kind of Rams

Keep in mind that I only have a 29 gal. tank but am getting a 55 or bigger over the summer and right now the Cichlids area all juveniles none of which are bigger than an inch. I think that if the Cichlids grow up with these fish that they will not harm them as much as if they were already adults. Now obviously I could be absolutely off and that's why I'm posting this on this website. I'll appreciate any feedback. Thanks.
 

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First of all, African and South American cichlids cannot live together as they need totally different water parameters.

What specifically do you have (cichlids)?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The Cichlids are living fine together so far.. and I have
1 Tiger Oscar
Firemouth
Bumblebee
2 Kenyi
2 Electric Yellow
Convict
Red Zebra
Duboisi
 

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not sure if this helps but my friend has two large jack dempsey's and has some mollys in there with a puffer and had no problems he put a divider up for a month or so then took it off and all fish are still there but the diffrence is he had other fish with the jacks when they where babys and when he bought the girls a tank he took the other fish out and put them in there so now he added more i think it has to be the temperment of the acutall fish but thats just my opininon

i dont label all cichlids as aggresive some are very mild manored and some are agressive just like people thats how i see it i have seen 2 betas live together in a tank and do just fine but i also seen them tear eachother apart it just depens on the fish alot of people may diagree butt if its prone to be aggresive and it never learned to live with other fish then it will be agressive when other fish are introduced but if it is raised with other fish i feel there is a good chance they will get along
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah thats what I thought too. I completely agree that if they grow up with the fish they wont be as aggressive towards them. They dont care about my puffer or my loaches at all so far, and I hope that will continue on to adulthood. That example definitely does help me so thank you.
 

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No two situations are alike..it really depends on the nature of the fish..I have had some African cichlids, dubbed as mildly aggressive who have been absolute terrors.

Also African cichlids are not pairing fish, they are harem breeders, a single male and female will lead to the female being stressed possibly to death if she is not ready / willing to breed and the male is. Africans need to be kept in a 1-4 male to female ratio to help spread the aggression across multiple females. Most of the aggression is either co-specific males and females of the same species going after each other, or occurs at breeding time when the male is old enough to breed.

Out of the list you posted, the Kenyi and bumblebee are the most aggressive with the exception of the Oscar potentially. Also if anything from the wanted list, a bottom feeder such as a decent sized pleco would be a good addition.
 

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I'm posting this thread a bit more specific than my previous thread about tank mates. I have a mix of African and South American Cichlids, a Green Spotted Puffer, and 2 Pakistani Loaches. I have a few fish in mind that I would like to put in my tank. Here is just a small list:
-Elephant Nose
-More Green Spotted or Figure 8 Puffers
-Bristlenose Pleco
-African Butterflyfish
-Leopard Ctenopoma
-Fire Eel
-Clown Knife
-Any kind of Rams

Keep in mind that I only have a 29 gal. tank but am getting a 55 or bigger over the summer and right now the Cichlids area all juveniles none of which are bigger than an inch. I think that if the Cichlids grow up with these fish that they will not harm them as much as if they were already adults. Now obviously I could be absolutely off and that's why I'm posting this on this website. I'll appreciate any feedback. Thanks.
Tazman has expertly responded on the cichlid issue. I just want to mention that the fish in this list here are generally incompatible for many reasons. At the very least, a 29g tank is much too small for some of them, and so is a 55g. Some of these are in our profiles, and they contain data on numbers, tank sizes, compatibility issues, etc. Please check the profiles.

Byron.
 

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I think one might want to also consider diet for the South American cichlids is a bit rich in animal proteins that African's will do poorly with .
No one tell's the poor African's that too much meaty foods will cause bloat, and they will happily consume it to the point where they do indeed become bloated.
African's should also have fair amount of algae and or spirulina in their diet and it wouldn't hurt the South American's to have some as well.
I agree with Tazman regarding water chemistry for these two distinct species ,They don't overlap much.
 

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The green spotted puffer is brackish. I have one in a separate tank from my african cichlids, as I assumed that the ACs couldn't handle the salt. Is this correct?
 

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The green spotted puffer is brackish. I have one in a separate tank from my african cichlids, as I assumed that the ACs couldn't handle the salt. Is this correct?
Correct.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So far everything you guys have said has been disproved by my tank. All my fish are extremely happy and I do plan on getting an extremely large tank. The South American love the Spirulina and the Africans onlg get a few bloodworms when I feed my Puffer and South American Cichlids. I also have a little bit of salt in my tank and everyone couldn't be happier. All of the cichlids arent even one inch yet so my tank is perfectly fine especially including the facts that I have built plenty of caves and hiding places for them to temporarily enjoy. I'm not saying that you guys are completely wrong, but sometimes what you read and what you believe isn't always true. I've had the tank for a decent amount of time and nobody has had any of the problems you guys seem to address. Maybe when they grow there might be a few problems but these fish are more active than I am. There are always exceptions to the generalizations made by scientists and fish hobbyists alike.
 

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Perfectly fine for now, Pseudotropheus Crabo (bumblebee) can and will be a nightmare to the South Americans when it matures, maturation with cichlids can happen a lot sooner than you think...it is not just reaching adulthood, it is when they are old enough to breed.

Again, some fish also grow faster than others and if the slower growers are not matured enough when another fish reaches adulthood, it can very easily become food.

It is not about they get along now, it is about caring for them in a manor appropriate to where they originate from... different parts of the world which has different water chemistry and requirements for caring for them.

I respect that your fish are getting along fine and if you have the funds in place or source for a large tank then great, but at the end of the day, there is going to be issues which will come up. Granted a lot of fish in the hobby these days are not live caught but tank raised which gives them slightly more tolerance to water parameters..
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well from all of the information I've gathered and from the stories I've heard from friends, and even an example from this thread, I'm going to stay with the idea that they'll be fine together. The loaches I have are small enough to fit in their mouth yet they ignore them, and they could care less about the puffer. I still do think, and not just with fish, that they will grow up considerate of each other. I'm not saying there will not be no aggression whatsoever, but they will be more kind to each other because they grow up with each other. The post in here was explaining about the 2 Dempseys and the mollies, and how nothing happened. These fish will always be aggressive towards each other, but I don't believe to the extent that you explain. Sure they will want to breed and all, but honestly saying that does not seem a problem with aquarium fish. I know people who have Cichlid tanks, and they have numerous Cichlids, and mostly males, and they respect each other to the point a fish can show respect. They will spar no matter what, and if the fish becomes a problem then it can obviously be fixed. I'm no fish expert, actually not even close, but all of these concepts are just derived from personal experience, and each fish is different, as well is the owner.
 

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The general accepted methods as proved by some people on this forum, scientific research and other sites is what we base our information we gain as fish keepers from, personal experience more than anything though.

No fish is a like in how it will behave, hybrids for example, you can get some amazing looking fish that would make an excellent show piece, however that fish could be an absolute nightmare depending on what it was breed from.

I actually have fish in my 180g tank which should not be there with the Haps /Peacocks but have been working for me and so I have left them alone..they are all adults but where introduced at different times.
The tank is actually sold and is being moved to it's new home this coming weekend...now the new owner does not want some of the fish, he is actually moving them to 2 x 75g tanks and using the 180g for a reef tank upgrade from his 75g reef...I am actually a bit worried with these fish as I have to house them for now...my 75g is actually going to become a 125g the following weekend. I have it now cycling and it is almost complete.

The point being here is that I will closely monitor these fish once they are in the 125g and have the 75g running in case I need it..your fish would be in the same situation, monitoring them and be prepared to remove fish should you notice anything. With most aggression going largely unnoticed to our eyes, we see results of it, such as torn fins etc then closer attention will need to be paid for illness showing as a sign something is not working.
Your fish being young is sort of an advantage as it does give you a little extra time to work with until the fish mature..if it works out and in some years you show on this forum that it has then kudos to you.
To be honest with the issue I mentioned before of most fish available being tank raised and able to survive in broader parameters then given the fish it is quite possible it may well.
 

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It is the size of the tank that will become problematic sooner than later. The tiny fish won't stay tiny for long, and metabolic input into glass box of water will be harder than it need's to be to control(Frequent water changes).
Pleased that you are looking for larger tank for the fish you have chosen to care for.
 
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