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South/Central American community fish ideas

Whip's World

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11 minutes ago, Whip's World said:

Hit me with your favorites!

SA/CA only. I'm not looking to set up a biospecific tank, but I do want to keep fish from the same overall area. 

Ok. I’m just going to swing away here at some we’ve kept, bred, raised, set up in community tanks, etc.

I love discus. They’re not as hard as so many folks insist. Just keep them warm (80°-89° F) and keep water changes up too. They can be happily kept with Rams, Cardinal Tetras, Bristlenose Plecos, and even (less commonly) with some other cichlids.


Another colorful Cichlid that I really enjoy is Electric Blue Acara. They’re not overly boisterous, and do fine in a community set up.


Of course, if you’re looking for a miniature peacock of color, you’ve got to seriously consider the German Blue Ram. They’re fine tank mates with both Discus and Electric Blue Acaras. Without a doubt, these are my favorite dwarf Cichlid.


I’d also note that Angels are cichlids, and of course they come in a phenomenal variety of colorations.



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When I think of a South American community, my mind immediately goes to a flooded forest sort of biotope in Brazil - with fallen logs and decaying plant matter, and plenty of marginal vegetation. Huge shoals of characins swimming around midwater, while all sorts of wierd and wonderful catfish and cichlids swim below.

Fish I would choose for this sort of setup are some kind of smaller tetras - neons, cardinals, rummynose, pristellas... something like that. Get a big school of those (or a couple schools) going in the tank. Pencilfish would work well too. Hatchetfish would be a good addition, but only if you plan on doing more of a stagnant pool/slow-moving stream sort of habitat. Get a bunch of Corydoras catfish, maybe C. aeneus, C. adolfoi, or something like this. Then of course, some plecos or otos to scour the wood. Finally, top it off with a pair of dwarf cichlids.

Of course, this is only one type of biotope found in the Amazon basin. Here is a link to another thread by @Logan Kemmerer on a Peruvian biotope, in which I also gave a few suggestions.

If you need anymore suggestions, I'd be happy to draft a design and stocking plan for the tank!

I hope this helps!

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