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Old 08-25-2017, 03:50 AM   #1
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Dwarf Cockatoo Cichlid with rummies?

It's been brought to my attention that having a school of Rummynose Tetras in my tank along with my pair of Dwarf Cockatoo Cichlids could be problematic since the Rummies tend to stick to the lower water column, ending up occupying the same space as the Cockatoos which may end up being problematic during breeding seasons?

I've read that the Dwarf Cockatoos are much more peaceful than other cichlids, so initially when planning my stocking plan, I wasn't too worried about dealing with the possibility of an aggressive fish in my community. I also didn't notice, until pointed out, that Rummies to tend to stick to the bottom of the tank.

I'd like to hear from others who have kept this species to fill me in on just what kind of aggression level, if any, that I may have to plan for, as I wasn't aware that there would be much. Of course the female would defend her fry, but I feel the Rummies would eventually learn to avoid her 'baby area'.

Tank is NOT stocked yet, it's still cycling, but for info this will be a 20g long tank with the following stock plan:
x6 Nanus Cory Cat (Corydoras nanus)
x1 Bushy Nose Plecostomus
x6 Praecox Rainbow (Melanotaenia praecox)
x6 Rummynose Tetra (Hemigrammus bleheri)
x2 Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid (a pair, m/f)

So I got at LEAST a month to figure this out hehehe
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Old 08-25-2017, 07:22 AM   #2
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Drop the pleco and rainbows. 12 rummies will look way better than 2 scattered shoals.
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Old 08-25-2017, 07:52 AM   #3
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^^^ I agree.
You can increase the numbers if you go with smaller species such as ember tetras and CPDs (Celestial Pearl Danios/Galaxy Rasboras).
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Old 08-25-2017, 12:02 PM   #4
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The rummies will not learn to avoid the female. The rummies will try pick off the fry one by one.

It is unlikely the Apistos will do any damage to the rummies because the tetras will just swim away when she tries to protect her fry. The biggest risk is that the female becomes so stressed from defending her young that she stops eating and dies. I would guess that is a 1 in 3 type probability. Maybe even less with a tank raised strain.

I agree with the others on excluding the rainbows.
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Old 08-25-2017, 12:27 PM   #5
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Pencil Fish are classic with Apistos.

The Cories may upset the pair also.

Otos might be good to try a few months along. They need established tanks.

I just got my first Apisto, so I've been rereading lots of info.
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Old 08-25-2017, 12:42 PM   #6
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All things considered, I agree with Brookster regarding the building of a larger school of rummynose. I think it unlikely that the RN's will interfere with your cichlids. RN's are tough little guys as tetras go. I'm embarrassed to say what inappropriate tankmates I've mixed them with where they surpisingly survived. My RN were primarily mid level swimmers. Good luck.
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Old 08-25-2017, 02:50 PM   #7
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Won't RNs eat the fry ?
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Old 08-25-2017, 03:03 PM   #8
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Won't RNs eat the fry ?
They will.

Of course, Apisto fry are so small they need special food so it is very difficult to raise them in a community tank anyway. Apistos are usually fantastic parents so they will try to keep them alive. They are generally satisfied with keeping intruders away from the fry/eggs so they will rarely damage a casual intruder like a tetra.
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Old 08-25-2017, 03:51 PM   #9
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Should I only get a male cockatoo Then? I have no intentions of trying to breed, if it ever happened id have probably just given the fry to my lfs if they'd take em. If not,.like others have said. They'd get eaten. But if it would end up super stressing the mom, should I just not get her?

If they need to pair off, then would it be better if I just drop the cichlid and look at a different fish?
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Old 08-25-2017, 04:07 PM   #10
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Side question about dwarf cichlids (don't want to generalize them) but should they be introduced after the tank has become established? If so, then this might impact the OP's stocking schedule.
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Old 08-25-2017, 05:56 PM   #11
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That is true... I don't remember reading anything about them not being able to be introduced right away. I prefer to add all my fish at once. It's why I fishless cycle, I don't want to risk buying part of my fish one week, then next week getting the rest and those fish possibly carrying something that my current stock doesn't have, and although I have a tub I can use for quarantine... well, lets just say I'd rather not. It's why i fishless cycle afterall.

I also don't want to drop the BN, I love BNs and definitely want one in my tank. In the end it's starting to look like I'll have to forgo getting the cichlids, as I also love cory cats as well lol. I really don't want to drop my ground dwellers.

Would bumping up each school of fish to 8 be ok? Or would it just be best to drop one of the 2 schools and up the numbers like previously stated? I'd LIKE to have both, i've had smaller fish schools in the past composed of 8 and it worked out wonderfully, at least it looked that way. But the rummies and rainbows are a bit bigger than my previous fish all those years ago ahha so I don't know if having 8 of each would overcrowd them.

I've been trying to figure out AqAdvisor for awhile now and can't figure out all the different options and stuff, super confusing.
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Old 08-25-2017, 06:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoveriegnR View Post
Should I only get a male cockatoo Then? I have no intentions of trying to breed, if it ever happened id have probably just given the fry to my lfs if they'd take em. If not,.like others have said. They'd get eaten. But if it would end up super stressing the mom, should I just not get her?
You can certainly keep a lone male in a tank if you prefer. The chances are more likely than not the female would be fine but I have seen them die in this situation fairly often. I have also kept a huge number of Apistos over the years as I used to have 20 tanks dedicated to Apistos so I may be thinking it happened more than often than it really did.


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Side question about dwarf cichlids (don't want to generalize them) but should they be introduced after the tank has become established? If so, then this might impact the OP's stocking schedule.
Apistogramma cacatuoides(cockatoo cichlid) is pretty hardy. As long as the tank is cycled it should fine.

Many of the less common wild caught Apistos need exacting water conditions. Especially some of the blackwater fish. Shouldn't be an issue here though.
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Old 08-25-2017, 06:56 PM   #13
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I'd always recommend a pair, the behavior and displays are part of what makes them such a pleasure to keep. As for the tetras bothering them. If you give them a few caves, when the female spawns than she'll keep them in there for a while, male will stand guard. It may get a little hectic but as long as she has her safe space it should be ok. No guarantees though.
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Old 08-25-2017, 07:59 PM   #14
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So stopped by my LFS, mainly because I wanted to talk to them about store credit for my plant trimmings when it's done (better than tossing them right?) and talked to one of the fish guys (it's 90% a fish store, but they also have other exotic parts, like reptiles and other mammals), and i brought up my concerns with him. He said he much preferred rummies over rainbows and recommend, as you guys did, to drop the rainbows and give the rummies I nice big shoal. He's also kept the Apisto's i want and said I could do a lone male if I wanted if I wasn't intending to breed, a pair will also be fine.

It seems that the Nanus cories will be difficult to source for them, so I may be going with false julii cories after all.

Would rainbows be less likely to bother the cichlid pair? Would I be able to fit a full shoal of them in my tank without crowding? (previously someone said 12 rummies, I don't think I'd be able to do 12 rainbows haha idk though)

I'm torn between which shoal I want to drop. I love rainbows, but I love rummies too -shakes screen- this is hard guys!
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:02 PM   #15
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Rainbows will be worse, I've kept the larger types and they're like little missles on meth when food hits the water..
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:03 PM   #16
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lol oh boy alright. Good to know. Then looks like if I want to keep the cichlids, the rainbows are the ones to be dropped.

I figure if just make sure the rummies are well-fed, would they truly bother the female much? Especially if I offer some small caves that are easy for the pair to guard?
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:46 PM   #17
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lol oh boy alright. Good to know. Then looks like if I want to keep the cichlids, the rainbows are the ones to be dropped.

I figure if just make sure the rummies are well-fed, would they truly bother the female much? Especially if I offer some small caves that are easy for the pair to guard?
I mean.... If the tank is heavily planted/covered? I have about 14 with 2 pairs of ebr, the tank is such a jungle I didn't notice the panda corys had spawned until I saw mini panda corys swimming around.. like.. I having bought new fish for this tank in months???
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:11 PM   #18
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yeah my tank is heavily planted. Lots of places for fish to hide just in the plants alone hehe
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:12 PM   #19
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There is no way to predict 100% success with fish. I would try a pair and see how it works out.

I agree with brookster that keeping a pair of Apistos is what makes them fascinating to watch.
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:47 PM   #20
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Alright. Sounds good. I'll give it a go and worse case scenario, my LFS will take them back. They probably won't give me anything for em' but returning them if needed is better than letting them stress and suffer.

I'll try the following:
x12 Rummynose Tetra
x2 Dwarf Cockatoo Cichlid (pair)
x8 False Julii Cory cats
x1 Albino Bristlenose Pleco.

Figure I'll bump up the cory numbers to give them a comfortable group now that I no longer have 2 separate schooling fish to worry about. I'll see what small, natural looking cave decor I can find for the cichlids should they ever need it
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