Hi Grim have you considered the humble jolly awesome Bolivian Ram at all? Beautiful to look at, very cheeky little characters, pretty peaceful with other fish - even when trying to defend their young - and great to watch as they go about their tank rescaping business when they have young. I've found them to be very tolerant of water parameters too. Mine are in RO/thames water mixed, 8 gh, 5 kh, ph 7.4 ish, and have just started to breed. As of today, no survivors from their first spawn of two weeks ago ( :( ) but with a community of eat-anything-cherry barbs that isn't surprising!
Thanks for reminding me, I've meant to ask about the Ram - is it really a delicate fish (the natural type, not the cultivars) compared to other Cichlids with regards to water problems, sicknesses and medicines?
Cheers Noodle, I'd read that but forgotten what it said, and then in early morning tiredness posted before checking it again!
I forgotten that I'd ruled out Rams because of their Nitrate sensitivity; Nitrates are relatively low here at c.10ppm, but we have lots of nitrate sensitive farmland due to the ease with which nitrates get into our chalk aquifer as it is often only overlayed by very sandy soils. I have had readings which seemed to be around 40ppm from the tap (which could be dangerous to Rams even with 2/3 RO) although I'm not 100% certain that was a correct reading as it was done with a stick. Either way, I thought it was better to be safe than sorry and avoid Rams
Grim.Badger wrote: Reading about Madagascan has re-ignited my desire to raise and keep some cichlids and I've fallen for the rare Katria katria (formerly known as Ptychochromoides katria).
Unlike my dismal attempt at keeping Convicts, I have hope that I'd be able to take better care of these as they are much less aggressive (and so will hopefully be less distrustful of me) and breed much less so it should be much easier to sell/give away the young.
But how do you actually get rare fish like this? Where do you go to buy rare cichlids? Can they be shipped safely across the pond from the US if need be?
I've learnt that they like well oxygenated fast flowing water, but not a strong current, with few plants but lots of rocks and sand - but not what pH and hardness; I'm guessing that like other Madagascans it would be high pH but soft water which might be difficult with my liquid chalk Also, I've seen it suggested to have a 4ft for a group, but I was hoping to get a similar tank to the one I have (100cm 160L) for a single mated pair, is it alright to keep a mated pair of cichlids that are usually kept as groups?
I don't know if he's still in business, but Rehoboth Aquatics in the states used to supply a whole range of very rare american cichlids. He alo used to export to the UK using a transhipper. I've not read the rest of the thread, but only think about doing this if you have lots of fishkeeping experience and fully understand the significant import procedures and costs. They scare a lot of people. ;)
Alternatively join the BCA (British Cichlid Association)and seek out Steve Chester and ask him where you can obtain such fish. He posts on the SVAS (Sheaf Valley Aquarist Society)forum from time to time so you could always pm him on there.