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Old 06-17-2012, 10:38 PM   #1
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Possibly adding dwarf cichlids to a 27 gallon

My husband has a 27 gallon tank that is pretty empty, since he can't decide what to do with it. Right now, it has 1 gold gourami (has to stay in this tank because she was getting picked on in my other tank), 3 black kuhli loaches, 1 oto, and 1 cory. All but the gourami can be moved to my other tank. I know that the number of each fish is not appropriate, but we didn't know that when we bought them. I will make any necessary adjustments when the fate of the tank is decided.
Anyway, we are now considering adding dwarf cichlids to this tank. My hubby has always been anti-cichlid, because he didn't want to keep a species only tank with aggressive fish. He saw the German Blue Rams and we read about how they could be kept with peaceful fish and now he's interested in possibly adding 2. What is the best combination to buy, 2 females, 2 males, or a male/female pair? We are not interested in breeding them, but would be okay if they did. Our biggest concern is the aggression that might go along with breeding. Can GBRs live with our other tank residents, particularly the gourami? Can another species, such as apistos, be kept in this community? We are interested in keeping attractive, colorful fish that can lie relatively peacefully in a community tank. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:14 PM   #2
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Speaking from experience, I'd say forget the GBRs as they are HIGHLY sensitive to water quality. I've never had any success with GBRs, although I've had plenty in other dwarf species. Apistos are great and super peaceful, depending on the species of course. Stay away from A. panduro and A. nijsseni as these both tend to be a bit more aggressive IME. A. cacatuoides and A. agassizi are GREAT choices for your tank! Dicrossus are another fun, yet difficult, genus. I have D. maculatus and love these fish to death! D. filamentosus are a blast as well! The other genus worth mentioning is Laetacara. L. curviceps are beautiful in their own right and quite peaceful. L. thayeri (rare,) can be aggressive and will outgrow your tank. If you really wanna stay with rams, then check out bolivian rams. Although not as colorful as the GBRs, they make up for it in personality and hardiness! As for the african dwarves, i don't have enough experience to advise either way with them, although i know that kribensis would work, and I believe nannacara too
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:26 PM   #3
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I wouldnt say GBR's are highly sensitive to water quality, firstly there should be no ammonia, or nitrites anyway.. they like soft, mildly acidic water,

however i have had success with mine, slowly adapted to make them comfortable in a tank, with ph 8.2, Malawi Tank, these are aggressive fish, whereas GBR are really timid. All of your fish are timid community fish, and therefore i'd say definitely get some GBR's, if you plan on getting 4, i'd say 1 male and 3 female, if you get 2 males in a 27gal, there will be fighting over females and territory. however 1 male will enjoy having 3 females (what male wouldnt) and as long as you dont have ammonia, or nitrites, which you shouldnt with any fish, then they will be fine. i have posted a thread in this forum, with pictures showing 3 gbr's 2 male, 1 female, coinhabiting a tank, albeit 50gal, but with aggressive malawi cichlids, with perfect Rift Lake Conditions.. and theyre fine, feeding well, and not being harrassed or having any aggression directed at them.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:59 PM   #4
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Yes, I would in fact say that they are highly sensitive. The GBRs you see in pet stores and stuff are NOT the GBRs you'd see in the wild. They have been poorly bred over the years and inbred as well (part of the process to popularize the Electric Blue and Gold variants). They are notoriously rough to acclimate to ones tank, whether you individually have had some success keeping them. Why get german rams, when apistogramma cacatuoides naturally live in harems, aren't overly and poorly bred and are just as colorful as GBRs?
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:21 PM   #5
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slight typo there, i have 1 male, 2 female...

what im saying is, if they were so sensitive to water quality, then i wouldnt have been able to go from a ph of 6.4, when i had tailored my tank to them, to increasing in 0.1 per week, until now its 8.2, i've not had any ammo or nitrites, which no-one should, theyre probably highly sensitive to ammonia and nitrites, but ive never had any trouble, i had another 3 previously, which were transferred to my father in laws tank, which is too small to have put my current ones in with them...

so from my experience, having bought from a reputable manchester shop, which isnt cheap, and assures quality, GBRs are nice fish, monthly spawners, although not the greatest parents.

i would say, if bought from a known shop, that you've had quality fish from before, definitely get some...

For the posters benefit...Apistos are nice fish, as are Kribensis, and could also, be placed in a community tank with no long flowing finned fish, in a ratio preferably of 1male to 3 female, but only one of these species in your size tank, mixing Apistos and Kribs, would be a big mistake, but if he likes GBR's, go for it..
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnighttang
My husband has a 27 gallon tank that is pretty empty, since he can't decide what to do with it. Right now, it has 1 gold gourami (has to stay in this tank because she was getting picked on in my other tank), 3 black kuhli loaches, 1 oto, and 1 cory. All but the gourami can be moved to my other tank. I know that the number of each fish is not appropriate, but we didn't know that when we bought them. I will make any necessary adjustments when the fate of the tank is decided.
Anyway, we are now considering adding dwarf cichlids to this tank. My hubby has always been anti-cichlid, because he didn't want to keep a species only tank with aggressive fish. He saw the German Blue Rams and we read about how they could be kept with peaceful fish and now he's interested in possibly adding 2. What is the best combination to buy, 2 females, 2 males, or a male/female pair? We are not interested in breeding them, but would be okay if they did. Our biggest concern is the aggression that might go along with breeding. Can GBRs live with our other tank residents, particularly the gourami? Can another species, such as apistos, be kept in this community? We are interested in keeping attractive, colorful fish that can lie relatively peacefully in a community tank. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
I heard they do great in community tanks, as for breeding , sexing the fish is hard so you won't probably get a pair. But if you can see any differences when you look at them then always try for a pair. I have seen a lot of posts where people have kept them with Gouramis, just watch out tho.
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:39 PM   #7
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I'm not married to the idea of having GBRs. I think the apistogramma cacatuoides look beautiful in pictures and I would be equally happy with that breed. Water quality is not a big issue here. I keep up on my water changes, tank cleaning, etc. My bigger concern would be the pH. My tank is definitely not acidic. My pH runs around 7.8. Would that be okay with apistos? What size harem is the minimum to keep them happy?
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:47 PM   #8
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if you're liking of them, a 20 gallon long tank, would be adequate for 6 juveniles if you were buying them wanting them to breed, as you're not, you could just as easily buy 2 or 3 females and one male, and they would be fine in your tank. Commercially bred fish are really not fussy with ph, as most tanks in lfs are around 7, even with fish like malawi's theyre kept and bred in neutral water at lfs. in order to breed, theyd need water between 5-6, but 7.8 would be fine, and they'd live happily, just acclimate slowly, because of the change of about 0.8ph from the lfs to your tank, its not a shocking difference, you'll be fine, Apisto's are really nice fish.. by all means, if theyre what you like, get them...
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:53 PM   #9
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I had pair of GBRs in 25g community tank. My other fish were:
Dwarf gourami
5 candy cane tetras
4 otos
5 corys
GBRs started breeding almost immediately and became very territorial and aggressive. After few days I had to isolate them because most fish were intimidated. Dwarf gourami was bigger than them so he was constantly attacked. I traded them for a pair of Australe killifish. GBRs are now happy in 120g tank with other community fish. now they have plenty of space to breed.
IMO I do not recommend them for your set up. You can go with much more peaceful killifish. I love to watch my killis chasing each other.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:05 AM   #10
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It has been my experience that Apistogramma cacatuoides are much easier to keep than GBR. It's very difficult to find GBR stock that will last more than a couple of months. They're so mass produced that they're just weak fish. I'd recommend seeking out a breeder rather than purchasing from the lfs, if you decide on GBR. Apisto cacatuoides are great fish and very similar in terms of temperament to rams. If you like rams you'd probably enjoy cacatuoides a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emmamc91 View Post
I wouldnt say GBR's are highly sensitive to water quality, firstly there should be no ammonia, or nitrites anyway.. they like soft, mildly acidic water,

however i have had success with mine, slowly adapted to make them comfortable in a tank, with ph 8.2, Malawi Tank, these are aggressive fish, whereas GBR are really timid. All of your fish are timid community fish, and therefore i'd say definitely get some GBR's, if you plan on getting 4, i'd say 1 male and 3 female, if you get 2 males in a 27gal, there will be fighting over females and territory. however 1 male will enjoy having 3 females (what male wouldnt) and as long as you dont have ammonia, or nitrites, which you shouldnt with any fish, then they will be fine. i have posted a thread in this forum, with pictures showing 3 gbr's 2 male, 1 female, coinhabiting a tank, albeit 50gal, but with aggressive malawi cichlids, with perfect Rift Lake Conditions.. and theyre fine, feeding well, and not being harrassed or having any aggression directed at them.
I'm not trying to be harsh at all here, but once your Malawi cichlids start to mature (and become hyper-territorial), your rams are going to be ripped to shreds. These fish are 100% totally incompatible. They absolutely will not coexist in the long term.
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