View Full Version : South Americans in a 125

03-31-2016, 10:00 PM
I'm picking up a 125 in the next few weeks. It's 72 x 18 x 21, and it will house my dempsey and my pleco. I'm going to be picking up some cichlids to go in there with him, and at the advice of some others I'm thinking of smaller-but-scrappy south and central americans like firemouths or salvinis.

I'd like to do a small-ish group of severum, if it can be done, along with some congo tetras until my JD gets bigger. Aside from that I'm open to anything really. I think salvinis are beautiful but I have very little experience with most of the SA/CA cichlids. Geophagus are another one I'd love to try. The tank will be planted, but mostly anubias and mosses and such that can be attached to driftwood. The rest will be a couple of rosettes like swords potted in corners to keep any fish but especially geos from tearing it up. My JD isn't a huge digger but he'll tear up any plants that aren't bolted down. Most of the tank will be open water, just some smooth river stones scattered around and lots of driftwood. The lighting is 3 x Kessil A150W 'Amazon Sun' if the bright lighting matters to any possible fish suggestions.

How would you recommend stocking a tank like this? I don't want anything that's likely to kill my JD, as he's the centerpiece, but I don't want to fill the tank with punching bags for him either. Thank you very much.


04-01-2016, 09:31 AM
you are on the right track. Im my experience Salvinis can be a bit rough, but ive never actually kept one. just what i saw working at stores. most geophagus are pretty chill, so they may be punching bags for a JD, but it depends upon him really. Most central americans are very scrappy - nanoluteus, any of the cryproheros species really. I had a colony of honduran red points, they werent too rough, just to each other. The lighting may be a bit much. but im sure it will be awesome for the plants. I have a tank much the same - three species of geos, and some severums and angelfish. some festivums too. all doing well except the jerk skunk botias - dont ever get them. they are always nipping fins and flying around the tank. incredible snail control, but just annoying. good luck to you

04-02-2016, 12:56 AM
firemouths are actually pretty shy. I'd go with some dwarfs like laetacara dorsigera, they can hold their own, but don't pick fights.

04-06-2016, 09:44 AM
Thanks mountainman and Demonfish. I had been led along the medium-to-large path - no one seems to be sure about what to keep with my JD. But I trust you and this club more than some random internet people. ☺ Lots of questions today, thanks for sticking in there.

I'd like to keep Geos if possible because I think they're fascinating - will it work? I don't know how my JD will turn out since he's been in a tank almost by himself his whole life. Alone at first, and then with a pleco. No one to challenge him or even occupy the same niche. He's also small-ish still, about 4-5 inches.

I like some of the other suggestions. The Cryptoheros nanoluteus are beautiful, and I'd like to try some. Also some keyholes, if you think they can work. I like them but thought they might be too small and passive.

The acara is also an interesting fish. I know it's hard to see the real colors of many SA/CA cichlids from Google images, but the Laetacara dorsigera look like miniature JDs. Neat! I am fairly unfamiliar with CA and SA cichlids in general, so any more recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

I'd also like to ask who you'd buy these fish from. Most of my knowledge about fish is from the saltwater/reef side, and I know all the LFS by that side of the hobby. Premier Aquatics seems to be good for freshwater stuff, but I don't know who has a good rep or if you'd suggest ordering online.

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