Cichlid Compatability?

pieces Member Posts: 4
edited February 2011 in Beginner's Forum
Hi guys,
I recently heard about this site from a friend (highly recommended). My housemate and I are new to the cichlid game and have some concerns about the mix of fish we can have and what others we could introduce to the family. Currently we have;
1 x Texas Cichlid who seems to be the boss,
1 x Jack Dempsey
1 x Rainbow Shark
1 x Sailfin Pleco
2 x Angels (1 large and 1 small) and
1x Female fighter, who some how has survived from our original mix of tetras, guppies, fighters and plecos the texas came into the tank an quickly ate them all!

The tank is large, around 4 ft I think, and we have a large amount of plants and a couple of nice sized pieces of drift wood. I was wondering what else you would recommend to put in the tank with these guys. We are extremely fond of the Angels and the Texas and would hate for anything to happen to them.

We are interested in a firemouth, convict and a gold saum. Which one or hopefuly ones will go best with our community? thanks guys, looking forward to hearing from you!


  • Bob
    Bob Member, Classifieds Posts: 708
    Hi Pieces,

    The first thing we need to know to be able to give you recommendations regarding appropriate fish for your tank is what are the water conditions. Size in regards to volume of water is also an important consideration.

    The fish you have in there have very different requirements in regards to water chemistry. You may get away with a "middle of the road" approach where you look at the water "extremes" required by these fish and then adjust your water conditions to meet the "average". The fish will likely survive but won't neccessarily be happy and you are likely to be having to treat for health problems on a regular basis.

    Your best bet (to reduce costs) is to know the parameters of the water that comes out of your tap and then select fish that do best in those conditions.


  • pieces
    pieces Member Posts: 4
    Thanks Bob,

    We have had the current setup and fish in the tank for a while now, a good few months I'd say. We get the water from our rain water tank outside and we keep the ph at around 7.2, the temp at 26C, we test the ammonia levels every couple of weeks when we change 25% of the water and they are always really good. As for litres I can't exactly remember but I am pretty sure the tank is 4 feet in length, it is a pretty standard size I think. I am waiting to hear back from my housemate who knows the finer details of the tank as he was the one who bought it initially.

    I think we are doing pretty well with it at the moment, we havent lost a fish to disease since the beginning about 6 months ago. We have lost fish to the texas when we first put him in, those were the tetres and guppies which we arent interested in anymore.

    We are really keen to put some more fish in the tank with the ones that we have but obviously the concerns about the more aggresive cichlids and over crouding the tank mean that we dont want to just jump ahead and buy fish whenever we see one we like!

    I have heard that the texas and JD can get to 30cm? Is this true and if so how quickly to they reach these sizes?
    Also if they do get bigger will the angels be in danger? at the moment the bigger of the angels is buy far the biggest fish in our tank.
    Would it even be worth putting one or two more cichlids, say a firemouth and a convict in there now while they are all still small enough not to eat each other before the texas and JD get any bigger?

    I will get back to you ASAP with the proper dimensions of the tank
  • Doug
    Doug Member, Classifieds Posts: 2,371
    if the tank is the standard 4ft tank then it will be 4 x 1 x1.5 ft (L x W x D) which equates to about 200ltrs, once you consider gravel, rocks etc I run with mine being 180ltrs.

    The fish you have there are all large fish. For example, the sailfin pleco, the minimum size tank to keep them in is a 4ft tank. the dempsy and the shark (and maybe the texas, have not had them or had any experence with them so i do not know) are agressive fish so I would suggest keeping the number of fish down.

    Check out <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m --> for fish copatability. it is the best caluclutor out there IMO. see what it says about your current set up then plug in some other fish you are after and see what it says.

    I just ran it through with your current set up. I wasnt sure about your filtration so i used what i have on my tank that size (2 x Eheim 2217s).

    Warning: Snakehead Fighter may become food for Jack Dempsey.
    Warning: Snakehead Fighter may become food for Texas Cichlid.
    Note: Sailfin Pleco needs driftwood.
    Warning: Sailfin Pleco is not recommended for your tank - it may eventually outgrow your tank space, potentially reaching up to 15 inches.
    Note: Rainbow Shark may jump - lids are recommended.
    Warning: Jack Dempsey is too aggressive to co-exist with Snakehead Fighter.
    Warning: Texas Cichlid is too aggressive to co-exist with Snakehead Fighter.
    Warning: Your selected species may eventually require 345% of your aquarium space. You may need to deal with territorial aggressions later on. Try removing some of (Rocio octofasciatum, Herichthys cyanoguttatus, Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps, Pterophyllum scalare) or get a larger tank.

    Recommended temperature range: 24 - 25 C. [Display in Farenheit]
    Recommended pH range: 6.5 - 7.5.
    Recommended hardness range: 8 - 10 dH.

    You have plenty of aquarium filtration capacity.

    Your aquarium filtration capacity for above selected species is 165%.
    Recommended water change schedule: 56% per week. (You might want to split this water change schedule to two separate 33% per week)
    Your aquarium stocking level is 163%.
    Your tank is overstocked. Unless you are an experienced aquarist who can meet the maintenance/biological needs of this aquarium, lower stocking levels are recommended. [Generate Image]
  • pieces
    pieces Member Posts: 4
    Thanks Doug, you pretty much nailed it with what we have, different filters but we have 2 and are of similar size and performance.

    We are still very surprised that the fighter, which is a siamese fighter female, is still around. I think we are going to get a second tank, 6 feet in length I think, so we can keep the fish we have once they get bigger and if the dempsey and Texas get to aggressive with the angels once they out grow them.

    As for the temp, ability and hardness we are spot on and will up the amount of water changed each week to 50% instead of 25.

    One more question... if we do get another tank in time, is it a good idea to get a firemouth and convict cichlid now when they are not to much smaller than our current cichlids so when we eventually put them into a bigger tank they will all tolerate and not each each other?

    Also how long till the pleco and cichlids will outgrow the 4 foot tank?