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Old 06-09-2022, 12:50 AM   #1
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Help Debunking Mixed Advice on Cichlids

I have a tank with some juvenile South/Central American cichlids, rainbowfish, and barbs.

Until recently, there was minimal tank aggression, as the “tank boss” (my firemouth) was relatively unrivaled. Now, my rainbow cichlid has caught up in size, so the firemouth is apparently feeling threatened and is going at the rainbow cichlid every chance he gets.

I’ve had pretty good success with not keeping more than one of the same type of cichlids together so that there’s less risk chance of a male getting protective of a female or two males of the same species feeling the need to go head to head.

I’m going to move the cichlids into a slightly larger, as well as much longer and shorter, tank, in order to give everyone more room to spread out. I’ve also read mixed opinions on stocking the tank. Has it been anyone’s experience that more South/Central American cichlids keep each other too distracted to focus in on beating up on a single fish, or does that generally make things worse?

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Old 06-09-2022, 04:06 PM   #2
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I don't know much about South/Central American cichlids, aside from Apistogramma, but increasing the stocking of Mbuna helps to spread the aggression out. It also helps with Betta Sororities, so the theory is sound. Make sure that everyone has a hiding place, and that there's no two that look similar.



Mixing the genders would probably increase aggression, it does in Mbuna and Apistogramma. The worst case scenario is any of them spawning, that will cause the parents to try and kill everything else in the tank, depending on the exact species, and ability of the other fish to get out of range/hide. Some species can crossbreed with each other, so be careful of any that can potentially create hybrids.
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Old 06-12-2022, 07:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmcnamara View Post
I have a tank with some juvenile South/Central American cichlids, rainbowfish, and barbs.

Until recently, there was minimal tank aggression, as the “tank boss” (my firemouth) was relatively unrivaled. Now, my rainbow cichlid has caught up in size, so the firemouth is apparently feeling threatened and is going at the rainbow cichlid every chance he gets.

I’ve had pretty good success with not keeping more than one of the same type of cichlids together so that there’s less risk chance of a male getting protective of a female or two males of the same species feeling the need to go head to head.

I’m going to move the cichlids into a slightly larger, as well as much longer and shorter, tank, in order to give everyone more room to spread out. I’ve also read mixed opinions on stocking the tank. Has it been anyone’s experience that more South/Central American cichlids keep each other too distracted to focus in on beating up on a single fish, or does that generally make things worse?
It's been my experience that American species of Cichlids (North, South and Central) do not respond to the "more is better" theory of spreading aggression. These species range from slightly territorial (ie Angelfish, Discus, Uaru, Severum, etc) to MASSIVELY territorial ( Red Devils, Jack Dempsey, etc) so the more spread out you can give them and the more hiding places you can supply, the better. Many African Cichlids are a different story in that many are schooling type species with a hierarchy mentality so more is better to keep the peace. What you have are fish with a " This is mine, ALL MINE!!!!" mentality. lol Fun to watch but a pain once the territories begin to get intruded on.
So the theory holds, just not for all Cichlids ( or fish in general).
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Old 06-16-2022, 07:54 AM   #4
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You def don’t want to add more CA/SA cichlids… the rainbow will out grow the FM rather quickly, I would just keep an eye on them and look for any real signs of damage, maybe add some more hiding spots and re arrange the current ones. That way they are less likely to see each other and it gives them their own spot to guard.

You could also add more dither fish, more tetras or barbs of your choosing that’s I’ll work with the temperament of the rest of the tank, more movement keeps them distracted from each other.
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Old 08-15-2022, 06:14 PM   #5
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Americans do not typically prefer overstocking as they spend more time in the open. My American tank is also just one of each sone ies, no pairs or multiples but this will not stop make to female or vice versa aggression. Locks of higher tiered rock spaces around back and corners only. There will always be a tank boss so as long as the peace is otherwise kept, it is what it is. I agree with adding more dithers and simply try rearranging the rock work next time there is a problem. They just want to be able to break the line of sight constantly so the more spread out the hides, the better
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