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Re: dwarf cichlid question

William wanted to know about some good dwarf cichlids
for a planted tank.  First off, the PH.  Even with co2
it will most likely still be pretty high.  Could you
dilute it with distilled or something?  There are a
bunch of dwarfs that don't care much, but I don't
know...  Same for plants.  What's growing in there

Second, the corys.  Some more sedate dwarfs might not
have a problem with them, but if breeding occurs,
watch out.  

Anyway, supposing you get the PH down to a reasonable
level (what's the hardness by the way?), here are a
couple one to try.  

Apistogramma cacatuoides is a good one.  Sometimes
lives in semi-hard and alkaline conditions in nature,
and since you can easily get captive bred ones, water
chemistry is even less of an issue.  Not to aggressive
and nice looking.  You could go with 2 males and maybe
4-5 females in a tank that size. 

Apistogramma borellii is a great one everyone should
try at some time or another.  Average water values are
fine, even for breeding.  Gary Elson tells me that
this species would be a good one to try and establish
a breeding colony in a large planted tank, something
I'd very much like to try some time.  

Apistogramma agassizi is another undemanding one, and
the first kind I kept.  Captive bred specimens are
easily available.  

I had a pair of kribs a long time ago that slaughtered
a bunch of tetras when they had fry.  I have a pair of
taeniatus that don't bother anything with fry all the
time.  Go figure.  I don't know if it's the different
species or a crapshoot.  Both will eat shrimp.  Corys
will be a definite problem with fry unless the tank is
big enough.  Other than that, they're great!  

Laeticara dorsigerus (sp?) is a docile, undemanding
species that you might try.  

Captive bred rams are far easier to deal with than
wild specimens.  As with any dwarf, they will learn to
eat from a turkey baster, making getting them food a
lot easier.   

Nannacara anomola aren't picky and breed like rats. 
Breeding time can get tense though.  Give them room.  

You might consider a few rasboras or something like
that for dithers.  It will bring the cichlids out

I know a local guy who probably knows more about
dwarfs than anybody I know.  He breeds all kinds of
things and runs an outfit with two other guys.  If you
want his e-mail, let me know off list and I'll send it
to you.    

Good luck, Cavan

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