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While I have not kept that combination together, I would think it could work, if time and consideration were given to the species selection.  I have kept whiptails and my primary concern would be to make sure the other fish housed with them are not fin nippers, as the whiptails have very long streamers on at least the tail fin.  My other concern would be that the other tankmates are not too aggressive of feeders and allow the loricaria to eat. With that being said, barbs contain many different species and African cichlids are a species that spreads across a continent.

Some smaller peaceful species of barbs such as cherry or drape fin could work. As far as African cichlids go, I would probably look into some of the west African species, maybe African butterfly cichlids.

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