Re: Cichlids, plants and rules

>From: Chris Teichreb <teichrch at Meena_CC.URegina.CA>
>Date: Tue, 20 Aug 1996 19:03:28 -0600 (CST)
>Subject: Re: severums and plants
>Hi Erik,
>> Now I am considering growing plants in my severum tank.
>> Does anybody know if they will eat plants? I have looked
>> in a couple books, but could not really find anything. And
>> of course the guy at the pet store would say no.
>> Thanks for any info.
>> Erik
>	I've never kept severums, but as a rule, cichlids are
>usually pretty hard on the plants.  Those cichlids that don't
>dine on your vegetation often root up the plants or will even
>rip them apart because they're just in the way!  Two exceptions
>are Discus and, as you know, Angelfish.  Try some cheap hardy
>plants and see what happens, but don't be surprised if you have
>to stick with the plastic variety ;-)

There are dozens (hundreds?) of Cichlids that can be successfully maintained
with plants. Many more than Discus and Angels. Cichlids are a large and
diverse family and unfortunately too often get a bad rapp. Alot of the
disruptive cichlids are the larger ones. I can't remember if I kept many
plants with Severum. They like to breed on rocks, so I don't think they will
move gravel. There are many small cichlids that are very plant friendly.
They come from Africa and the new world - Lamprologus, Juliodchromis,
Tropheus, Apistogrammas, Aequidens, Cichlosoma, Geophagus,  and
miscellaneous popular ones like keyholes, geayi,... Some of these fishes
will move a little gravel during breeding, but this adds to the excitement
of maintaining an aquarium.  
Even many of the disruptive cichlids can be kept with plants. I have even
kept mbuna with plants - java moss. There are other cichlid resistant
plants, including anubias and Crinum.  I can hardly think of a fish that
can't be kept with the mosses or ferns.

And don't forget the axiom about rules. For every rule, there are many

Neil Frank
Lifetime member of the American Cichlid Association

Neil Frank, TAG editor    Aquatic Gardeners Association    Raleigh, NC USA