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Red Terror, Green Terror or ???

South and Central American cichlids.

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Post Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:21 pm
abmcdonald Level 4 Member
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Posts: 133
Location: Shakopee
For you American cichlid fanatics out there I’m looking for some suggestions, advice, and/or experience. I have been slowly selling off the discus and other community fish from my planted 220 gallon tank and am looking for something completely different. I have or have done most of the usual community fish and loaches. I have done some Malawi cichlids and now have some Tanganyika cichlids. I now have my first Victorians (Hap. Sp. 35). I even did natives at one point. But other than the lone Oscar that ate all of his tank mates 20 years ago I have never done any large CA/SA cichlids. After quite a bit of research I am leaning heavily towards the new set up being centered around either a pair of amphilophus festae/cichlasom festae/red terrors or a pair of aequidens rivulatus/gold saum/white saum/green terror. I like the sound of the “personality” associated with the American cichlids. I’m planning to start with 6-12 and thin the herd as they grow to hopefully end up with a breeding pair at the end.

As far as other fish to include in the tank my only thoughts would be to look for inhabitants that would benefit the ultimate goal of eventually getting to see the pair breed (i.e. do I need some sort of cleanup crew as in my experience the bigger the fish the more messy the eating habits and hence a desire to have other fish that will take care of the uneaten specks of food scattered throughout the tank).

The tank has built-in overflows so filtration consists of a 40 gallon long tank built into a custom sump. I run it with about 35 gallons of water in it. The sump has 4 hydor V sponge filters and a few other miscellaneous sponges as well as a small section of bio balls and a reticulated foam block. Mechanical filtration is provided by filter socks and I run a mag 18 on the tank so between 1000 and 1200 gallons per hour of turn over given head height to tank. I have an 8 bulb T5HO light and CO2 available and was thinking of floating water lettuce on the surface (or something similar) and then using java fern on drift wood or maybe even making a wall of the java fern with some cork board (any guesses where I got that idea?).

For food I have several tanks available to grow marbled craws, cherry shrimp and live bearers, I buy frozen food from Chawks and I have been making my own blend of frozen food for a couple of years now. I would consider pellets but quite frankly it’s as cheap or cheaper to buy from Chawks and to make frozen food myself and my fish have responded very well to a diet almost exclusively of frozen food over the last couple of years.

So, any thoughts on why I should choose one or the other? Any suggestions for how to care for them or recommended tank mates (again with the hope to see the breeding rituals and parental care in mind)? Or even a suggestion for a different central species of fish (focusing on “personality”, a moderately large fish and interesting/vibrant coloration)?

Post Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:05 pm
mrmann Level 8 Member
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Last edited by mrmann on Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Post Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:06 pm
BanjoMinnow User avatar
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Location: Austin MN
I agree with Mrmann on this. I know myself I really like green terrors I have a male and female pair in my 125g along with two pictus cats, Red tailed shark, two bushy nose plecos and a male black convict which im giving him a test run :) . I could add some more but when having a pair of green terrors they tend to be a little more aggressive towards tankmates. Now having a 220g you could prob have a good sized selection. Like Mrmann said its trial and error.
Anything from SA side except "umbee's and red terrors" is fairly compatible. Although sometimes mixing SA's can be challenging and it doesnt always work. Try comming up with a list of SA's that you are interested in and run it by us. :) Or just give it a college try and experiment for yourself. One thing I would try to do is add cichlids when they are smaller so they can grow up together. Having one cichlid alot larger than another can create problems as you prob found out with that oscar that ate everything haha :lol:
"Americans used to roar like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security."
- Norman Vincent Peale

Post Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:01 pm
abmcdonald Level 4 Member
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Posts: 133
Location: Shakopee
O.k., I've got to ask, why not the Red Terrors/Festae? After reading two responses from forum members who are clearly big into the american cichlids I decided it was time to find a different fish. After several more hours of searching, I again stumbled on some pictures of the Festae and remembered why I was so interested to begin with
(http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forum ... -speedlite
which lead to
http://www.brentsmith-photography.com/- ... 5446653435). They are simply a visually stunning fish. I have not been able to find any other Amphilophus that even comes close (at least to what the available pictures look like online). The trimacs, etc. always seem to have faint/washed out colors (compared to the festae) and I don't like the body shape (or colors really) of the midas, way to prounced of a nocul hump for me. Again with the understanding that they would be in a "well" filtered 220 with nothing but complementary fish, if necessary, such as dithers or a clean up crew. Not sure why, but I'm not really interested in a tank of "mixed" CA or SA cichlids, probably because I don't think a 220 is really enough room to do that. Personally, I feel two 10 to 16 inch fish is cramped enough.

Any comments on Cichlasoma bocourti? Is this the same as the Herichthys bocourti? Some pictures of a Cichlasoma bocourti I found (http://www.brentsmith-photography.com/- ... 5446585750) were absolutely amazing, lots of blues, oranges, yellows, greens and black. But, every picture I find when searching Herichthys bocourti only shows yellow and black.

Finally, any suggestions for the best way to get my hands on Parachromis motaguense if I were to go that route? Any local breeders of these?

Thanks for the input.

Post Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:30 pm
Ron User avatar
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Location: Afton/Cottage Grove, MN area
abmcdonald wrote:
.......Any comments on Cichlasoma bocourti? Is this the same as the Herichthys bocourti? Some pictures of a Cichlasoma bocourti I found (http://www.brentsmith-photography.com/- ... 5446585750) were absolutely amazing, lots of blues, oranges, yellows, greens and black. But, every picture I find when searching Herichthys bocourti only shows yellow and black.

Finally, any suggestions for the best way to get my hands on Parachromis motaguense if I were to go that route? Any local breeders of these?

Thanks for the input.


Yes - "Cichlasoma" bocourti and Hericthys bocourti are the same. The photos of bocourti on that website are pretty amazing. I have photos of mine on this forum
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=38159

but the pictures don't look that good. On the other hand, if you talk to anyone that's been to my house and seen them they will tell you that the pictures don't do them justice. They are definitely one of my favorite Central Americans. My wife - who is not a fish person - refers to them as the big "sunfish" if that hints to you at the colors they have.

I do have fry of the bocourti that are about 1.5" right now if wanted to come and check them out.

Post Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:36 pm
mrmann Level 8 Member
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Posts: 1228
Location: St Paul Park
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Last edited by mrmann on Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Post Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:14 pm
abmcdonald Level 4 Member
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Posts: 133
Location: Shakopee
Ron wrote:
I do have fry of the bocourti that are about 1.5" right now if wanted to come and check them out.


Are you kiddng, there is no way I'd turn down an invitation to come check out your fish. I've seen some photos and read and heard some stories about your collection. Plus those are exactly the size I'd be looking for. I very much enjoy buying small fish and watching them grow. The remaining current inhabitants of the 220 will be gone Saturday midmorning. Any chance you'd be available Saturday late afternoon/early evening or Sunday morning? I'll pm you my phone number if you want to call to arrange a time to see the bocourti.

Adam

Post Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:15 pm
Passionfish User avatar
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abmcdonald wrote:
O.k., I've got to ask, why not the Red Terrors.

They are terribly mean fish (aka terrors), red terrors are significantly more terrible with tank mates and each other than green terrors. Red terrors spend most of the day in hiding waiting for food to come into tank. Reds do not like other fish swimming around their tank either. Reds will terrorize fish they do not like often until other fish die or push back hard. Agreed it is well worth seeing a red terror female with fry. Very beautiful sight indeed.
Green terrors enjoy patroling the tank and are always out and about. Older males that are left alone to become show fish can become extremely large and thick along with finnage and trailers to rival any other fish. They are defintely colorful and showy.


Brent Smith's photos are art. C. bocourti colors (mainly reds and blues) have been enhanced with photo shop or similar program. It is possible to see red and blue color in raw images of bocourti but saturation is much reduced compared to that seen in BS photos.

I was fortunately to see Ron's bocourti pair about 2 weeks before they spawned. They were dancing to that breeding beat. Colors were excellent but erect finnage and seeing the two perform together was almost too beautiful to watch.
Maybe

Post Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:35 pm
abmcdonald Level 4 Member
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Posts: 133
Location: Shakopee
Passionfish wrote:
They are terribly mean fish (aka terrors), red terrors are significantly more terrible with tank mates and each other than green terrors. Red terrors spend most of the day in hiding waiting for food to come into tank. Reds do not like other fish swimming around their tank either. Reds will terrorize fish they do not like often until other fish die or push back hard. Agreed it is well worth seeing a red terror female with fry. Very beautiful sight indeed.
Green terrors enjoy patroling the tank and are always out and about. Older males that are left alone to become show fish can become extremely large and thick along with finnage and trailers to rival any other fish. They are defintely colorful and showy.


Well that's exactly what I needed to hear, not what I wanted to hear, but what I needed to hear none-the-less. The evil demeanor towards other fish was not a huge concern as I had planed to have them alone anyway, but the desire to hide is a deal killer for now. For my first foray into the large american cichlids I want to be able to see them.

The bocourti are nearing if not at the top of the list right now even if the Smith images were "photo shopped". Can't beat being able to get my hands on good quality stock without even having to pay for shipping. Though your comments about the Green terrors are keeping them in the game as well. Decisions, decisions.

Post Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:44 pm
scottv User avatar
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Posts: 542
220 is a huge tank for Gold Saum. You could have a breeding pair while keeping the others lol.


You could do any of the large cichlids. With a big tank I'd love to have large amphilophous, guapote or Viejas.

Image
I love Amphilophus

Post Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:05 am
Fortune User avatar
Level 4 Member
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Posts: 199
Location: Oak Grove
You should pick up that F1 Umbee from Rapps that the guy in Lacrosse is selling for $50, if I had the tank for it I would jump on it.
Image

Post Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:45 am
abmcdonald Level 4 Member
Level 4 Member

Posts: 133
Location: Shakopee
Fortune wrote:
You should pick up that F1 Umbee from Rapps that the guy in Lacrosse is selling for $50, if I had the tank for it I would jump on it.

Except my quick reading on Umbees says they get to be 24 inches. The 220 is only 24 inches from front to back (outside dimensions) so the fish would bump the front and back glass when it turned around. Sounds a bit to cramped to me, or maybe I should say more cramped than we normally do to our fish by confining fish that are used to hundreds, thousands or even millions of acres of water into little glass boxes. So Umbees are out for now, maybe when I get a bigger tank. :D

Post Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:00 am
mrmann Level 8 Member
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Posts: 1228
Location: St Paul Park
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Last edited by mrmann on Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Post Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:53 pm
tjrcf25 Level 4 Member
Level 4 Member

Posts: 100
Passionfish wrote:
abmcdonald wrote:
O.k., I've got to ask, why not the Red Terrors.

They are terribly mean fish (aka terrors), red terrors are significantly more terrible with tank mates and each other than green terrors. Red terrors spend most of the day in hiding waiting for food to come into tank. Reds do not like other fish swimming around their tank either. Reds will terrorize fish they do not like often until other fish die or push back hard. Agreed it is well worth seeing a red terror female with fry. Very beautiful sight indeed.
Green terrors enjoy patroling the tank and are always out and about. Older males that are left alone to become show fish can become extremely large and thick along with finnage and trailers to rival any other fish. They are defintely colorful and showy.


Brent Smith's photos are art. C. bocourti colors (mainly reds and blues) have been enhanced with photo shop or similar program. It is possible to see red and blue color in raw images of bocourti but saturation is much reduced compared to that seen in BS photos.

I was fortunately to see Ron's bocourti pair about 2 weeks before they spawned. They were dancing to that breeding beat. Colors were excellent but erect finnage and seeing the two perform together was almost too beautiful to watch.


I agree with Bob. My adult male festae killed the female he was housed with a few months ago. I've tried to add tankmates and move him into other tanks and nothing ever works out. He is currently in a 125gal by himself and although he will come out for food, the tank typically looks empty. He doesnt come out to "greet" me or even come out into the light unless he hears or sees food being dropped in the tank. No doubt they are beautiful, but personable... not so much. Definitely not good in community settings unless you are dealing with a massive tank with other equal sized fish.

Post Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:20 am
greencanvasinteriorscape Level 4 Member
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Posts: 172
Location: minnetonka

Regarding the Bocourti being personable ctrlaltdeletes ensure states his experience with them as skittish, hidden, wary although beautiful. What fish its pictured above, Scott v?
I'm impressed with my vieja synspilum(in fs livestock), and more than ambivalent about selling it after interacting with potential "buyers" from craigslist and their low balling idiocy and fully stocked fifty five that they wish to add to.
ABC mentioned the cramped glass box factor and I recall a conversation with Bob/passionfish where he shared with me that many collectors to go to Central and South America to see the fish in person stop keeping them in their tanks after that because they realize it's inherently cruel.
my ultimate desire is an 8 to 10 foot tank to be able to adequately house these guys.
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