In conjunction with Mr Git, I have a stocking list compiled which comprises the following:
One pair of angels, one pair of festivums, 2 pairs of keyholes, a good pair of non Singaporean British bred blue rams , some dwarf neon rainbows, and a small shoal of SAE's , a shoal of around 6 otocinclus (a larger species just in case the angels get a bit predatory)and a huge wadge of plants. That way you have a beautiful tank where the plants are safe...
That was LHG's original suggestion which has been slightly modified to ...
At the moment I have the the Angels, Festivums, 1 pr Keyholes, the Rams, 6 Rainbows and 3 SAE's and intend to get another 4 Rainbows and a Giant Brochis.
The thing is it's lacking in variety of colour a little IMO, the Festivums, Angels, and Keyholes are all shades of black and silver/white, and while the Rams are obviously not dull and the Rainbows have a gorgeous blue iridescence, I'm just wondering as to what else would fit the scheme which is maybe a little more showy?
There is a distinct possibility that the Festivums may have to go too, the buggers are tearing the Hell out of my plants at the mo, just trying to wean them on to lettuce!!!
Tank is 100% over filtered, heavily planted and 56 gallons genuine (250ish litres).
Unlucky on the festies, mine havent touched the plants.
How about killies or nothobranchius? Some of those guys are small, moody enough to be cichlid resistant, and immensely colourful.
Seems a shame having started a fairly advanced tank to bum out and go for bread and butter species. I wouldnt mix praecox with glosselepis, theyre'll be harrassment of females. Rainbows can be a right bunch of interspecies rapists!
Keyholes are very laid back, and like the confidance of numbers, pairs will do though. Festies are a little less calm so festies put in multiple pairs might scrap a little and I assumed youd want it a bit more peaceful than that. Keyholes are abit easier going on territorial space.
TBH I wouldnt get rid of the festies, you know how it goes theyre a little harder to care for than angels and some numpty wont appreciate them, Id just give them a "sacrificial plant" thats grows quickly and propagates from cuttings really fast. a wysteria would do.
Fair comment, the Festies stay then, it's not like they are decimating everything, but mosses or anything 'wispy' is a big no!
Another pair of Keyholes is viable without a problem, now, bearing in mind that I don't have the shoal of Oto's nor the Corys (but do have 3 SAE's and should have 2 Giant Brochis imminently), will I have sufficient room for another pair of Angels? Is there any weakness in the coloured ones?
Angels would be compatible, but their height and size plus the brochis might be a touch much. Youre rreally getting it now, and the angels might shoot up, dont expect them to stay small for long, and 9 inches plus is a big fish.
On the colour variants for health, of the "wild colour" striped are generally healthier than reticulated, retics are a bit overbred. The yellow and silver ones are usually fairly health as are all blacks or "lace" types. I find the koi angels a bit suceptible to cancer, and swimbladder issues in later life. The koi colour cross is probably the prettiest yet the best to avoid.
If you dont mind pushing the boat out a little on price , try longnose angels(pterophyllum dumerilii) their slightly smaller size and slightly more interactive personality without being especially aggressive might suit your community better, plus its a touch of the subtle yet unusual. Their genes will be closer to wild than most of the other almost factory bred angels, and they will probably have excellent potential for longevity.
I dont know what species of brochis youve managed to get but some are really chunky. I think it would be between angels or brochis, but I wouldnt push for both unless your happy to push for a bigger aquarium later on, the extra keyhole pair is a smaller thing, so you could probably squeeze another in. Mine sort of hang out in a minor colony, often feeding together and being social, which is quite a nice way to see them.