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Firemouth advice

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Firemouth advice

Postby Katfish » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:25 am

I have a soft spot for firemouth's and I have been told by a few LFS that they are good for community tanks as they have low aggression until they want to breed.

Now my question is would they be ok in with my current stock which the smallest fish is cardinals.

I would not be looking to breed them so to avoid breeding aggression would it be better to get 2 males or 2 females or a different mix like 1 male and 2 females ?
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Re: Firemouth advice

Postby POS_miniracer » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:40 am

I have kept Firemouth's since I started keeping fish and they can be aggressive even when not breeding. They tend to be very territorial. Most of mine will claim a spot/section of the tank for themselves and run off anything and everything that dares venture into their territory. And size doesn't matter to them either. I've got one little male runt that thinks he owns the lower center third of a 4 foot 75 gallon tank. He's only about three inches (at best) and he'll chase off fish many many times his size.

They don't seem to do a lot of damage biting but they can be huge bullies and will run off or chase other fish down relentlessly and also tend to do a lot of ramming.

You definitely don't want to end up with a pair. They'll breed young and constantly. They're pretty much the same as Convicts as far as breeding habits and the way they'll defend themselves, their territory and their young.
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Re: Firemouth advice

Postby Katfish » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:51 am

Thank you for the reply I am going to have a think on this.

Is there other cichlids that are peaceful besides rams?
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Re: Firemouth advice

Postby POS_miniracer » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:37 am

I think it's really all a matter of the individual personality of the fish. That little Firemouth I have for instance really doesn't do any damage to it's tank mates it just likes it's personal space. His mother on the other hand spends most of her time hiding. She's very peaceful but then again you don't really see her either so the trade off is the fact you never really get to see her much.

I've had Keyhole cichlids and they're relatively peaceful but again, they're also kind of shy. And they like the bottom so depending on the amount of bottom dwellers you have they may never settle in or thrive and be lively. They could easily just end up hiding all the time which quite frankly many cichlids like to do anyway.

My own favorite are my Chocolate cichlids (Hypselecara temporalis, Cichlasoma temporale, Heros temporalis)

They're a little hard to find here in the states and seem to show up kind of seasonally but they're worth looking in to.

They grow fairly large at up to about 11 inches or so but they're generally speaking fairly peaceful. It is recommended that they be added in groups though as they are reportedly aggressive among their own kind when introduced as adults. Now having said that I can tell you that I have one that I raised from 2 inches to now nearly 7 or 8 and within the last year I added two more juveniles that were only about 2 inches and I didn't have any problems with them getting along together. My chocolates will display a lot (open mouths & flaring gills) but rarely if ever get physical and will often times be the first to back down and swim away. They're generally found swimming all over the tank and are usually very slow and graceful (until you try to net them and they remind you just how powerful they are). They pretty much mind their own business and avoid any sort of fighting.

Their diet also lends them toward a community like set up because they'll eat almost anything. Actually they need a large variety of food stuffs including veggies or veggie flake. They'll take pellets, flake, wafers or disks and a variety of live/frozen foods/bugs/worms.

Mine are a little sensitive though and seem to notice any change in their environment. The times I've had to move them I noticed they don't handle the stress as well as most of my other's do so a nice slow gentle acclimation is recommended. They don't like to be netted (not that any of them do) and you really have to be patient and slow around them.
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Re: Firemouth advice

Postby andy » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:44 am

Some of the other fairly peaceful cichlids include Rainbow cichlids, Festive cichlids, Severums, blue Acaras, brown Acaras, Keyholes and i have a small group of Bolivian rams which are just lovely.

As mentioned above, Firemouths are really only "big fish" community fish as they can get a bit naughty
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Re: Firemouth advice

Postby POS_miniracer » Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:14 am

I have a group of 5 small Rainbow's and they usually social for the most part. They're in the same tank as the aforementioned Firemouth, Chocolate(s)and a pair of adult male Nicaraguan's. It seems like when they're involved in conflict it's always just among themselves. They're actually reminiscent of the Firemouth's in they way they face off or square off against each other. You don't get the dramatic gill flare but they can open their mouth's pretty wide.

Come to think of it my Nicaraguan's are pretty mellow when not paired off. The two males I keep together will bicker but they never do any damage. The females are actually smaller and more colorful than the males but usually only when paired. My males stay colored up but I think that's because they're in the same tank. My female lives pretty much alone. She's in with one juvenile and a clown plec so her colors aren't that impressive at the moment. They're actually kind of under appreciated and not very popular so you don't see them around much here. You don't want a pair of them though. They too breed like rats and are very aggressive during spawning. And they graze on algae and you have live plants so I'd look into that before I considered them. They'll also eat anything that hits the water but there needs to be a good balance of greens in their diet.

All of mine get along for the most part but take any one of them and change things and who knows what that'll trigger. Since this clip was shot I've removed the Severums because they were spawning in there and creating havoc. Everything has been peaceful for a while now in that tank but with cichlids (or any fish for that matter) things can change fast.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvM_D8Qc ... ture=g-upl
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Re: Firemouth advice

Postby Katfish » Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:50 am

Thanks for all the suggestions and advice.

I did c some nice fish today which my LFS got in yesterday which are paradise fish which I know nothing about.

Which fish out of the ones that have be suggested will not rip up or eat my plants?
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Re: Firemouth advice

Postby andy » Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:42 am

Paradise fish are related to gouramies and fighters. They do usually require lower water temps (70f) and some individuals can be a bit nasty.....again, similar to fighters.

Most of the cichlids i mentioned will be ok with plants although this can't be guaranteed especially if they pair off.
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Re: Firemouth advice

Postby andy » Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:45 am

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Re: Firemouth advice

Postby malakye » Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:48 pm

Paradise fish can be really mean, I know a few folk who have tried them with no success they took down and killed much larger fish too, small fish are a big no, they wouldnt think twice on taking on your cardinals. The only person I know who didnt moan about them being nippy only kept a solitary specimen and got it as a tiny youngster and never added any more fish into the tank.

Have you considered something like a shoal of boesemani rainbowfish, they are lovely fish.
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