03-21-2009, 11:30 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Bloomington, MN
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
| | Re: South American Planted Tank Fish (Feedback)
What size tank? A 58 gallon? Methinks you might be having constant squabbles over turf going on in your tank. All of the cichlids mentioned have similar requirements for their territories. I would be trimming that list and setting up another tank! Maybe a pair of one type and a pair of another type would work well together. I recommend you shy away from mixing apistos as there is the possibility of hybridization and continual picking at each other.
It is VERY easy to succumb to the temptation of packing 'em in there because it is a pretty good size tank and they are not very large fish... I know, I've done it before. Territorial fish tend to need more room than we think they do. Sight lines need to be broken by plants and hardscape as well as providing many hiding places because the dominant fish are relentless in their pursuit of the vanquished. In the wild, the sub dominant fish can flee from the dominant fish's territory. In our aquariums they really can't and at some point they will blunder into the aggressor's domain and the cycle begins anew.
Maybe you could do one pair of each of two species and provide an area for each on opposite sides of the tank with plants and hardscape between the two to keep them out of each others line of sight. I hope some others will pitch in here with some other ideas. We have a lot of experienced people on the forum who can offer some additional insights. Good luck.