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Tankmates for German blue rams in 55 gallon tank

Discussion in 'Central and South American Cichlids' started by Mythic Figment, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. Mythic Figment

    Mythic Figment
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    I currently have a 55 gallon rectangular tank with 4 juvenile turquoise severum (2.5-3" long), 5 GBRs (all roughly 3" long) and a bristlenose pleco. So I will be getting either a 75 or 90 gallon tank in the near future to rehome my severums into so they have space to grow and hopefully a pair will form and breed. I have been thinking about what I should add to the 55 with the GBRs once the severums are situated. I have read a lot of forums asking similar questions and the only thing I seem to read unanimously in all of them is that angelfish or discus are a great tankmate for GBRs. I would not mind angels, but all of the local stock is ugly and almost completely cream or white with little to no black. I would love to keep discus, but with prices ranging from $50-120 locally with no one willing to guarantee them for more than 48 hours, its too big a financial risk for me right now. If I could definitely get my money back if they died in the first week, I would save up and go for it, but alas, tis not the case.

    So I have been trying to think outside the ram box here and I have come up with a few ideas that I would love to hear opinions about. The first and top of my list are festivum. I love severum and festivum sound and even look a little similar, so it sounds like a good fit for me. But the catch is that I have read males reach sizes of up to 8" and they need to be in groups of 4 or more. I also read they are gentle at smaller sizes, but can get aggressive as they reach their 6-8" sizes. Can I house 4-5 festivum in a 55 gallon with 5 GBR?

    Second on the list are Cupid cichlids. Now this was a random post and the only one I saw recommending them, but I looked at their info and pictures and I like their appearance. They appear to be a pretty sensitive fish according to some and they are not readily available to me, so I may pass on them if I have to rely on shipping a sensitive fish. Any thoughts on these guys?

    Beyond that, I am out of ideas, so all suggestions or opinions are more than welcome. I would like to avoid shipping in fish if possible (or I will see if my LFS can get them in). The tank is set up with small tan/brown gravel, live plants, flower pots and 4 pieces of medium/large driftwood. I am hoping to avoid changing anything in the tank, so fish that will do well in the environment will get the most consideration.


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  2. Mythic Figment

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  3. Mythic Figment

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    Oh, and the temp of the tank is kept around 80-81 degrees.


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  4. gutted

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    There aren't too many cichlid options with GBR's since they're small and peaceful. You can look into Rainbow cichlids, H. Multispinosus, as I've heard they're are one of the most peaceful CA cichlid. Apistogramma are another dwarf cichlid that could work.

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  5. Cyberman

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    Keyhole cichlids are good with Rams, I've heard.. I'd also have a catfish or two there (not to large) to scavenge uneaten food.. just fish that will not challenge the Rams or upset them and put them off eating... also these catfish will prevent the water getting poluted as Rams are very sensitive to ammonia and Nitrates..

    Discus I've seen mixed with Rams, so theres plenty of options there :D
     
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  6. Mythic Figment

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    I am pleasantly surprised by some of the pretty coloration of some of the rainbow cichlids. I asked my LFS about apistos months ago before I had my 55 fully cycled because I wanted a dwarf cichlid. Well they get some in, but they are bland and lackluster. They don't get any of the good ones in, like cockatoos(sp?). I will have to ask if they can get any rainbow cichlids in. I really like the yellow one with black bars and hints of blue on its lower body (Archocentrus multispinosus). I think that would be an excellent addition to the tank. Some of the red ones are pretty too.


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  7. Mythic Figment

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    I like the contrast of black and white with the keyholes. I like the idea of rainbow cichlids a bit more, but keyholes are a strong 2nd. Never honestly been a huge fan of catfish. I like loaches, but they are too busy for most cichlids and I like cichlids more. :) Plecos are more of a necessity fish than one I like. I only have the pleco because my girlfriend got him for her 20 gallon, then decided she wanted a colony of cherry shrimp instead, so he got moved to my tank for cleaning purposes.

    Discus would be my first choice if not for that horrendous price tag. I would even risk it if they were $20 each, but with recommended groups being 6 or more and them costing $50 minimum each, I don't have $300 to drop on them. LOL And the $50 are the so-so colors, not the awe inspiring colors everyone wants.


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  8. Mythic Figment

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    So if I can get rainbow cichlids or keyholes at one of my LFSs, I might remove 1 or 2 of the rams that are not paired up. The girlfriend would really like some Dennison barbs. Do you think I could have a school of 6-8 barbs with 3-4 rams (two are a breeding pair) and either 3 rainbow cichlids or 2 keyhole cichlids? That should work because the barbs are top dwellers and everyone else is bottom, right?


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  9. Mythic Figment

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  10. Mythic Figment

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    Any thoughts on rams with rainbow cichlids or keyholes and Denison barbs? Also, what are the thoughts on mixing festivum with rams? I read a lot of mixed opinions.


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