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Cichlids and Polypterids

Memeboi

Member
Messages
93
So I have been considering setting up a Polypterid tank, getting back into the hobby and all that, and I was wondering, do you guy's know any good cichlids to cohabitate with the smaller bichir, obviously most apistogramma's will constitute an easy snack to a full grown Delhezi, but I am curious about any other possible combinations.
1. Do you guy's think A.Borellii would be safe around Ropefish (the smallest polypterids, by mouth size)
2. Do you guy's know any good cichlids in the 12-17 centimeter range, my research seems to point to stuff around ~5 inches being safe around proper upper jaw bichir.
Im really just spitballing here, I have no tanks right now so I'm very free to speculate (So I moved, and it royally screwed up the wellbeing of my Apistos, who both sadly died due to the complications of moving.)
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,901
Location
Germany
1. Do you guy's think A.Borellii would be safe around Ropefish (the smallest polypterids, by mouth size)
A. borrellii will be a very expensive snack. Ropefish go for fish bigger than that. (Seen a big one gulping down a fully grown (14cm) Metriaclima male.)

To be frank: Under 20cm no cichlid will work with bichirs. The living fossils are too predatory and I've seen them take bites out of fish their own size, waiting for them to die of the wound, just like a monitor lizard.

And if any I'd recomment African species, maybe different Tilapia/Oreochromis species. The habitats and the requirements of many other species are too different. Also you would have to get the cichlids in a good size, which makes them more expensive.

I mean, of course you can put a bichir in a "small monsterfish" tank with Oscars and the like, but that's basically putting big predatory fish (roughly unable to eat each other) in a big, barren glass box and be done.
 

Memeboi

Member
Messages
93
A. borrellii will be a very expensive snack. Ropefish go for fish bigger than that. (Seen a big one gulping down a fully grown (14cm) Metriaclima male.)

To be frank: Under 20cm no cichlid will work with bichirs. The living fossils are too predatory and I've seen them take bites out of fish their own size, waiting for them to die of the wound, just like a monitor lizard.

And if any I'd recomment African species, maybe different Tilapia/Oreochromis species. The habitats and the requirements of many other species are too different. Also you would have to get the cichlids in a good size, which makes them more expensive.

I mean, of course you can put a bichir in a "small monsterfish" tank with Oscars and the like, but that's basically putting big predatory fish (roughly unable to eat each other) in a big, barren glass box and be done.
Damn, I had heard about people keeping kribs with bichirs, but they probably just didn't have fully grown ones.
Im planning to set up a 40 Gallon breeder and using that as a Bichir tank, (mother won't let me grab anything bigger, and the floor plan should be big enough for bichir (its ~45cm * ~90cm) so 40 breeder it must be), and i don't really see any good options for larger cichlids in a 40 breeder, the reason I came over here is that well, bichirs are lazy fish, often too lazy to put up a fight, often leading to them just not bothering with aggressive cichlids and being forced into the background, and the larger the cichlid, the more intense it can be, which is why I was interested in a smaller cichlid. From what I understand cichlid sand sifting behavior is beneficial to anerobic bacteria, which is why I even am so interested with this. Do you know any cichlids that sit right at the 20 cm range?
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,901
Location
Germany
I had heard about people keeping kribs with bichirs, but they probably just didn't have fully grown ones.
Indeed, either the bichir was a juvenile and/or the person in question did not care about losses. Which is not a healthy example.
Im planning to set up a 40 Gallon breeder and using that as a Bichir tank, (mother won't let me grab anything bigger, and the floor plan should be big enough for bichir (its ~45cm * ~90cm) so 40 breeder it must be), and i don't really see any good options for larger cichlids in a 40 breeder,
90cm is only ok for a temporary growout. Even the smallest species of bichir should be offered a well structured tank of at least 120x50cm footprint to roam at night without the need to try and escape the tank.
Honest opinion: Leave that plan until you get your own place and can use as much space as you want. I hate to break it to you, but I have NEVER seen any kid who was space/money restricted by their parents pulling off something like this without animals taking damage (including death). Don't take this personal. I don't think it's responsible to even try under your circumstances. With support by parents and no space/tank size restrictions, yes. But sorry, your Mum just blocked your plan thoroughly with the restrictions in place.
and i don't really see any good options for larger cichlids in a 40 breeder,
Do you know any cichlids that sit right at the 20 cm range?
That's just a nope. Sorry. No 20cm cichlid in a less than 150x60cm footprint/500 liter volume tank. At that size cichlids are already a possible danger to each other. Adding a bichir won't make things better.
he reason I came over here is that well, bichirs are lazy fish, often too lazy to put up a fight, often leading to them just not bothering with aggressive cichlids and being forced into the background
As Mike already said: Bichirs are nocturnal and have ambush predator tendencies and much more important: What you describe points to information sources from really irresponsible fishkeepers that don't offer their fish the necessary environment to hide by day and who don't care what they do by night. This can only come from somebody very ignorant about the natural lifestyle and behaviour of the fish, only describing what they observe AND misinterpreting things additionally. If a fish is described as lazy or barely moving it's either sick, kept inappropriately or you can bet it's nocturnal and predatory.
From what I understand cichlid sand sifting behavior is beneficial to anerobic bacteria, which is why I even am so interested with this.
First of all: There are no functional fish/invertebrate. Neither algae eaters, nor fry hunters, nor substrate movers.
Secondly: Anaerobic means metabolism without using oxygen. If the sand is moved, there is oxygen. You would need a sand layer of more than 20cm, no water movement and really fine sand to have anoxic pockets and no cichlid will ever dig down there. Additionally such foul spots are NOT something you want in a, likely, unplanted or barely planted freshwater tank.

I rather advice you to a. research more. b. decide for one fish and tailor the tank to its needs and c. drop the urge to cram in together whatever fish you fancy.

In a 150 Liter tank you ought to keep nothing that exceeds 12cm at adult size.
 

Memeboi

Member
Messages
93
So I have scrapped the cichlid idea, mostly due to shifting priorities (I once again have contracted trout mania : so, if I get anything else, Giant Danios!) but also due to practicality. I've been trying to work out details and also have been reconsidering species, mostly considering either a Mokelembembe or a Ropefish instead.
About plants, I've basically been planning on the idea of a val jungle, or some other form of root plant, basically im gonna do the "sand bed with a bit of soil at the bottom" technique. I really just was spit-balling in my first post, always good to get as much knowledge on this stuff as possible.
the way its going this is probably going to be a wet pet tank or maybe an oddball tank with like 5 fish in it.
 

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