Salvini tankmates in 55 gallon

Jai'galaar

Feeder Fish
Jan 10, 2022
1
3
3
21
Hi guys, newbie here.
I have a 55 gallon tank with a salvini male in it. He's around 6" and four years old so I assume he won't get too much bigger. I rehomed him from my 112 g around a year ago. He wasn't a bully to other fish, in fact he was pretty docile especially for a salvini but around that time some young firemouths disappeared without a trace so I decided to better be safe than sorry.
My question is, can I have any fish to live with him in there? Female salvini, or a con, or a...?
If yes, would it be a better/safer idea to keep a female sal with him or a cichlid ofdifferent species that doesn't trigger conspecific agression?
The reason I'm asking this is because 1.) I don't really like one-fish tanks and 2.) he's pretty much a caveman, rarely leaves his cave. I guess if there would be another fish with him then he'd be a bit more outgoing.
But if it's unadvised and he should be alone then I'm fine with that too, better be safe than sorry. Don't really wanna see dead bodies.
 

Deadeye

Goliath Tigerfish
MFK Member
Aug 31, 2020
5,794
7,045
178
Welcome to the forum!
Sals can get quite nasty, so I wouldn’t really try other cichlids with him in less than a 75-90. You might be able to do a pair, but with any cichlid there’s a chance of that going badly.
I would look into livebearers like platies or mollies. They are a natural tankmate to salvinis in the wild, and their activity may help to get the sal out more.
Smaller synos, bn pleco, or a Raphael cat would also hold their own (though they do produce a lot of waste).
 

RedRaven

Candiru
MFK Member
Aug 8, 2017
92
100
41
I've never had much luck with Livebearers being kept in small aquariums such as a 55g with the more pugnacious cichlids, Salvini in particular tend to cause issues in my attempts. If you are set on adding more fish then choose something that can take a little bit of punishment from an assertive species like this. I'd think more along the lines of Hoplo catfish, robust smaller cyprinids etc.
 

duanes

MFK Moderators
Staff member
Moderator
MFK Member
Jun 7, 2007
18,088
20,110
2,910
Isla Taboga Panama via Milwaukee
Agree with the others, your salvini is now total owner of the 55, and it is likely any other cichlid added will be killed (probably) overnight.
My guess is also, the FMs were its victims in the 112 gal
Large enough live bearers would work if the tank was a lot larger, but not a 55, salvini are predatory, and in nature small live bearers are a large part of their prey.
Some kind of similar sized, very fast tetras such as Astyanax might have a chance, but its so easy to get cornered in a 55, any other tank mate is highly unlikely.
 

robmcd

Goliath Tigerfish
MFK Member
Jan 19, 2007
3,546
1,018
179
50
Laguna Beach
A small pack of buenos aires tetras would bring him out of his/her funk.
 

Deadeye

Goliath Tigerfish
MFK Member
Aug 31, 2020
5,794
7,045
178
A small pack of buenos aires tetras would bring him out of his/her funk.
+1 on the BA tetras. They don’t take crap from anyone, and are super tough. Based on the damaged lips, I’m pretty sure mine periodically pick fights with my Dempsey…
 
  • Like
Reactions: robmcd

Gourami Swami

MFK Moderators
Staff member
Moderator
MFK Member
Jul 13, 2006
6,834
7,894
753
NJ
I have a 7" cichlid in a 55 gallon tank, with a single male swordtail and a small clown pleco. The sword seems like a good match, the cichlids chases him here and there but can't catch him. Between the three fish I have to do two water changes per week, or one fin-level on on busy weeks, to keep the water quality high enough to prevent HITH.
I would say go for a swordtail or three (no more), as a 6" chunky cichlid in a 55 gallon is already a good amount of bioload. I also agree that other cichlids would be over-doing it.
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store