I've stagnated on my interest with the current stock (mostly pictured above). I think I fancy myself a community person, but 1 large, 3 grown medium, and 3 (still growing/to be) medium cichlids isn't 'community-y' enough for me. At least in a 150. What I'd like to do is perhaps thin the small heard and see if breeding keeps my interest in this CA community.
Keep the pair of Nics in there. They have been a [non-breeding] pair since they matured but I'm certain the Vieja and Thorichthys keep them stressed enough that they won't spawn.
Keep the male Vieja--remove all of the other cichlids, and return one of the two mature females that currently reside at my fathers house. Some background to their removal was that as he matured he decided to lay into them. I've never tried a reintroduction. I really don't want to keep playing the back and forth game with them and don't want to put the females into an abusive relationship. The sump is the only other place to move a fish if a partnership doesn't form. (Until I can move [her] back to my fathers or offer for sale).
This is my first experiment with all of the species in this tank and I've never spawned any of them. Either the nics or Vieja [melanura] would be entertaining, I think. I also realize neither is super rare, but I don't think I've have a difficult time moving juveniles in this area with a strategically placed CCA & PVAS post.
With either pair I try, I'd really like to get an active background community of smaller fish. I've tried swords a few times. I'm not sure who enjoys eating them, but they didn't last. Tetras, same story. Even some rams (when the cichlids were juveniles). I know the caliber of fish I'm working with and wasn't surprised in the least that everything else disappeared.
Anyone have thoughts or opinions? Ignoring which fish you like more, what would you try, and why, given the circumstances.
Just some low-hanging-fruit fish discussion on a Friday morning.
Maybe get some big goodeids? Like Chapalichthys encaustus or Ilyodon furcidens? I think they are comfortable with a wide range of water conditions and are big enough that they might not get eaten. Their fry probably won't survive, however, unless you remove them right after they are born.
Funny enough, I did get a group of I. whitei last year about this time from a NANFA member who raised them in an outdoor patio pond. They started breeding while in QX. However a few of the adults developed these white, raised, lumps (almost like yellow grub infections) and I was never comfortable exposing them to my cichlid collection. So that was a bust. But they are certainly still an option. I wonder if anyone in CCA is working with any [species] bred and raised indoors that would be 'clean'?
I don't know if anybody in CCA is actively breeding any goodeids. They are frequently available in the PVAS auctions, usually supplied by John Mangan, although occasionally others also bring goodeids. In fact, I picked up both Chapalichthys encaustus and Ilyodon furcidens at recent PVAS auctions.
My guess is that there will be a few bags of goodeids in the next month's PVAS all day auction on October 6.
Several types of barbs would work too, they usually get big enough not to be eaten and are fast enough not to take too much damage. Christine had a bunch of Odessa Barbs, but several other types would work too.