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Re: Dwarf Cichlid question

Hi William,
I am not even going to pretend that I know much about dwarf cichlids
having only just acquired some A.cacatuoides. However, I recently asked
a similar question at rec.aquaria.freshwater.cichlids. I have a 35gal
planted tank (soft water, pH 7). Anyway here is a summary of what was
recommended by various people:

As far as beginner's fish A.cacatuoides and rams were pretty unanimously
recommended. Be warned that A.cacatuoides can be aggressive towards
other Apisto spp. Bolivian rams were said to be hardier than Blue rams.
I was also to take claims that rams absolutely needing soft acidic water
with a pinch of salt. One Queenslander said that he kept rams in his
local tap water (pH7.4 and over twice as hard as mine - and I add
hardening salts!) and his fish breed well. I guess it's all about
conditioning them to your water in which case locally bred is probably

Other beginner recommendations were (I asked for fish that would live
and breed in MY tank conditions - you probably should research further
about how they'd go in harder water):

Apistos - trifaciata, nijsenni, norberti, borellii, aggassizi
Non-apistos; Nannacara anomla, Aequidens (now Laetacara) curviceps,
filiamentosa (prefers acidic, soft water)

A. thomasi (African butterfly cichlid) was also recommended. Kribs were
suggested with the proviso that, like many African dwarfs, they can get
very aggressive at breeding time. Would cories and shrimp be OK with

While you've probably already looked there, the species list at
http://www.thekrib.com/Apisto/ was recommended as the best place to go
to find out individual needs. For most common apisto's 1 male to 2 or
more females was recommended. Multiple males of the same sp should only
be added if the tank floor is larger than their territory.

I don't know how Apisto's would go in your water but it seems that if
anything will survive, A.cacatuoides will. FWIW the 1 male and 2 females
that I added a few weeks ago seem quite content. I imagine your best bet
would be rams or Kribs (depending on the extent of their attitude).

Hope this helps


jgarden2000 at juno_com wrote:
> I know this is sort of off topic, but I can't seem to find the
> Apistogramma list, and I know a lot of plant people keep dwarf Cichlids,
> and I figure that if people can talk about lawsuits, we can talk about
> fish too, so here goes:
> I have a 40-gallon planted tank (see, I'm tying it in to plants!) with 5
> Amano shrimp, 3 albino Cories, and a 2" red-tailed shark. I would like to
> add maybe two fish of some dwarf cichlid species, but I can't make up my
> mind on which species. I don't fool with my water, but my tapwater pH is
> 8.5 or so (should get lower in my tank once I get my CO2 working better),
> ammonia is undetectable and nitrate is low (I forget how low...).
> Any suggestions? I want something that won't kill the other fish, but
> won't die easily either. I considered rams, but I hesitated when I heard
> that they are rather fragile... but if that is primarily a concern with
> imported fish (whether from the Amazon on Singapore...), I can probably
> track down some locally bred fish.
> Any suggestions?
> William