was there a particular species you are thinking of? the only small catfish that you could have are Otocinclus sp , but you have 2 have a few at least, they like to have some of their own company but as they do not shoal together they like to know there are others around and the other but is they need real algae, rather than wafers, as they graze on that and need mature alage for the microscopic life that lives on it forms most of their diet. so you would have to mature the tank (around 6weeks) then introduce the Betta, then leave it another month or two to ensure good algae growth before adding Otocinclus. i have a soft spot for catfish too, i have a few different species throughout my tanks. catfish are ace on their own, they are one of the most diverse fish groups on the planet, so a lot of interest there on their own!
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hi ,wonder if anyone can help,just set up a new tank a couple of days ago and the water has gone a bit murky ,its only been a couple of days since i put the bacteria activator in , is this normal and do you think it will clear
I think five males of just about any cichlid species would fight in that.Its only 20 gals. Even 5 all male bolivian rams would fight in that. Even the smallest shellies, nannacara and apistos have a territory of about a cubic foot each. That equates to tiny territories of 6-7 gallons each, and you can expect chasing at the margins.
Think in pairs , and not many of those. 1x pair each of maybe 2 species. Maybe 3 pairs max, with the understanding it may be pushing it, and dont mix apisto species or the females will all be nicked by the dominant male irrelevant of species. You could do something like 1 pair of bolivian rams, 1 pair of apistos, maybe one pair of keyholes.
Or if starting out, forget the apistos, too fragile, go for keyholes , laetacara, bolivian rams (not blues).
The radical difference in species should stop some fighting, even then, expect some trouble if they breed, and you will still need bogwood caves, and visual barriers like plants in fairly hefty amounts.
In their own species, same sex cichlids fight directly and persistantly, pairs of unrelated cichlids fight less but will do it over territory , so there has to be room, and some species are so aggressive they will fight anything anytime anywhere, especially in small spaces.
Across species, males are usually the most aggressive, males fight with males and females fight with females, often whether the other sex is present or not, pairs of anything will victimise anything unpaired.
So what you do , is choose unrelated species, lessening the initial urge to fight, keep them in pairs, in enough room for a proper territorial boundary, with visual barriers between, so that they take a territory per pair, and stay there, thus leaving the other pairs of unrelated species to have their own territorial space. Its a bit like trying to keep isrealis and palestinians from fighting by drawing lines in the sand really, but its often works.
...and it doesnt work on larger species , because generally they just dont like other species,and their territory usually exceeds the size of the tank, hence most good non malawi keepers tend to keep pairs of one species seperately, unless theyre moderate or have semi shoaling tendancies like angels, severums, uaru, and discus. Complicated innit.
Theres communication style differences between south american, central american, african river, and rift cichlids too. Generally they fight like hell if mixed, so you tend to keep cichlids from one region only with cichlids from the same region , with a few exceptions for the peaceful species, which are few and far between. Even then, certain fish react to fish that look like them through convergent evolution, and in response to certain physical attributes like big lips (african, madagascans, and geos) red chins (firemouths and jewels).
Then theres the ph factor to consider. most rifts cant go in with african river or american river fish anyway.
Enough to give you a headache yet? Its a bit like multi-layered chess except with living chess pieces that kill each other, and you have to guess the moves, and which board they are allowed on. Losing the game makes you a fish abuser.
Needless to say, dont buy cichlids without reading up on them first. Lots.
Bear with me. l'm still getting ready for the monster tank to arrive so am testing out my new toys beforehand. l've now mastered the cleaner thingy, thats okay.
Question. (oh boy, this isnt going to make sense). Okay, l bought the ph testing kit, now l need to know how to use it. l've read many a sheet on the net so tackled my current tank. For the life of me, l dont know if the reading is good or bad, no where on the kit does it say so. The kit come with the blue solution, also ph Up and ph Down bottles. The little sample bottle l filled turned color to match 6.9. The readings on the container are 6.4 up to 7.6. So. Is there a chart somewhere that lists these readings? Is each kit specific to the readings or is a reading just a reading, reguardless of the brand of kit? (l told you l were a newbie). Next question. The supply place l ordered my box of goodies from has thrown in a gift. A hydrometer. Why do l need this? Whats it for?
(Was a good parcel of goodies too - water ager, stick on thermometer, ph pro Kit, Fry food (for the fry l cant see), 2 different kinds of fish food (for when l cant track down live food for the 'kids'), water heater (for the mum danios), new tank light, new air stones (for the brine shrimp that l hatch)...weeee...the list is endless!)