RE: Questions from a beginner Chris Scharpf's E-Mail

On 25 Sep 1996, Chris Scharpf wrote:
> I have no hard evidence to support this, but I believe intentional
> over-crowding (assuming, of course, the filter can handle the bio-load),
> reduces the aggressive impulse. I've seen public aquaria loaded with large
> centarchids (and other territorial fishes) who seem to be getting along quite
> nicely.
> I would be interested if anyone has had any similar -- or dissimilar --
> experiences.
Ok, you've asked for it... :-).  As far as similarity to Cichlids, there 
is quite a bit.  Anyone familiar with the new genera carved from the old 
Cichlasoma will recognize Archocentrus, the type species of which is 
centarchus.  Centarchus is (its something similar anyhow) the genus into 
which many Sunnies go, a scientific way of saying "Hey, these fish are 
sorta alike."  Also, a while ago I sent an E-Mail dealin with Bass in the 
genus Cichla.  Again, just a little note on the affinity of the Sunfish 
family (To which bass belong) and the Cichlid Family.... Ok, enough with 
all this scientific truck.  Sunfish and many of the cichlids, especialy 
the south/mesoamerican ones, are very similar, and (by inference... not 
neccessarily true, but in this case so...) can be kept under the same 
rules.  Overcrowding will help minimize aggression, as well as 
undercrowding (to extremes) and the use of target fishes.  I preffer the 
latter and not the former method myself, but as anyone who knows me can 
attest to, I'm weird.
  Occasionaly overcrowding in fishes with good pecking orders will result 
in more fish to "peck" on the ones at the bottom.  Not neccessarily a 
good thing.. :-)
J. L. Wiegert
NANF List Manager