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Old 03-21-2012, 11:52 AM   #1
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Dwarf cichlids for small tank?

Hi guys,

I have a fluval edge 12gallon (46 litres) tank.

It is currently going through it's fish less cycling process and in the mean time I am researching the sort of live stock feasible for this tank.

I really love dwarf cichlids. I know they would be more work than something like a dwar gourami but I think they would be worth it. Obviously German blue rams would be A: way too cramped (unless I got a single fish on it's lonesome..it which case it probably wouldn't be too happy) and B: difficult for beginners. There is Bolivian rams but same issue with size.

What are everyones thoughts on perhaps a breeding pair of smaller dwarf cichlids such as apistogramma borelli or maybe badis badis? I hear they don't mind small tanks (especially in pairs) and are far more docile than most other cichlids.

Or any other small dwarf cichlid species that could really be the "centre piece" of my tank (with only a small shoal of something like tetras accompanying it).

Thanks guys!
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:55 PM   #2
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Also I know badis/Dario aren't cichlids but from my understanding they are similar in nature and suitability to borelli..

Other suggestions: cockatoo or golden dwarves? I'm readin various things about them and would love some expert opinion
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:04 PM   #3
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Not sure what you ph / water is but you could consider Neo Multifaciatus(?) or one of the other small shell dwellers as an alternate choice.
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:40 PM   #4
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i dont think apistos would suit your tank since they are best kept in groups and not pairs, from what i have read, you would need 1 m to 3 f. you may be able to get away with it with good filtration and a really good water change schedule, but its up to you. they like densely planted tanks with at least one open space
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:55 PM   #5
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i have heard of people keeping groups of badis badis in 10 gallons but again i think that would need heavy filtration and a lot of water changes, they get up to a maximum size of 3 inches, although that is rare.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:02 PM   #6
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Yeah I have heard that apistos do well in a harem. I wouldn't mind the 1m to 3f ratio. Obviously it would put a strain on such a small amount of space but I would be willing to do it, and wouldn't mind daily water changes.

I just feel like this would be a more enjoyable and more involved tank than having a single dwarf gourami or a betta or something that's been done over and over....

Anyone with personal experience of apisto borelli or badis badis?
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:25 PM   #7
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Eh. Our apistos are kept in 20 gallon tanks and we have NEVER had success keeping them in groups. The females are more aggressive than the males when breeding and will relentlessly pursue the non-breeding females. This would work in a larger tank, I'm sure, but there is no way I would attempt anything more than a pair in a 12 gallon, and even a pair is pushing it for the long term IMO. We have had a trio of Borelli in which the male was pushing 4 inches and quite bulky. It's the exception to the rule but occasionally it happens. I'm still looking for the pic on my hard drive, it's quite shocking. lol
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:29 PM   #8
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This is surprising everywhere that I have looked has said that apistos are better in groups, I researched it quite a bit when I was looking for something to put in my 10 gallon. I ended up with a flame gourami and a group of neons in the end :P I couldn't find any dwarf cichlid that I would be comfortable putting in a 10 gallon.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:34 PM   #9
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Like I said, it would probably be fine in a larger tank, say 40 gallons or so.

In a 20 gallon or less though? My experience with several groups of several species says no way.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:54 PM   #10
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Thanks for the reply severum mama,

Do you think a pair of borelli's would be ok?

What would make good tank mates and what sort of water parameters and maintenance will they need (in your experience)?
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