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Oscar, but not oscar?


Dawn T
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FLOWERHORNS!

Some people may not be the biggest fan of them because of there big head, but there persanility is OVER THE TOP!  You could put the bosemani, red dragon or kamfa flowerhorns (probably the most popular flowerhorns) in a 50 gallon easily. Something like the shortbody/ dwarf flowerhorn could probably go in a 40 breeder. 

I saw one at a local fish store where it would do flips for me and EVERYTHING, if it wasn't for me not having enough space for another tank it would have gone home with me. 

I have also heard of convict cichlids having lots of personality, no experiance with this fish so there isn't much I can tell you about it.

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1 hour ago, James Black said:

FLOWERHORNS!

Some people may not be the biggest fan of them because of there big head, but there persanility is OVER THE TOP!  You could put the bosemani, red dragon or kamfa flowerhorns (probably the most popular flowerhorns) in a 50 gallon easily. Something like the shortbody/ dwarf flowerhorn could probably go in a 40 breeder. 

I saw one at a local fish store where it would do flips for me and EVERYTHING, if it wasn't for me not having enough space for another tank it would have gone home with me. 

I have also heard of convict cichlids having lots of personality, no experiance with this fish so there isn't much I can tell you about it.

Convicts are great I love them mine dig a lot it also paces around in the tank for hours and it’s pretty cool to watch 

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Probably one of the most important questions is... what size is the tank?

I don't know that I would suggest Flowerhorns for a 50 gallon. Short body or Bonsai maybeeee, but a full size Flowerhorn has the potential to get up to 16" and they are absolutely filthy. I've had a lot of big cichlids and Flowerhorns are by far one of the dirtiest. Mine has been in a 50 while I get his 3D background siliconed and his 75 gallon ready for him to go back in, and it requires water changes every other day, if not daily just to keep it clean. @James Black is right though, they are full of personality. 

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Tank size - I'm thinking 55g. When time comes, I might be able to go a bit bigger, but I'm mulling for a 55g, to be on the safe side. I'd love to have a 125 again, like I had many years ago, but I don't know that that'll ever happen. It'll depend on the house we finally buy, what the floor and subfloor are.

@H.K.Luterman I've heard and read that Blood Parrots need a specialized diet because of their mouths. Have you found that to be the case? What do you feed yours?

@HenryC I've never seen much on Green Terrors. I'll definitely have to check them out since they fall into a good size range, I think. That second video is so funny! I love how yours interacts with you. That's exactly what I used to love about my oscars.

Flowerhorns - I know some folks love them, but huge size aside, I don't like the look of them. I don't mean to offend or upset flowerhorn lovers, but the kok looks too much like a cancerous growth to me. Makes me kinda sick to my stomach actually, so that species is definitely a no-go. I'm not a fan of any sort of fish that has "growth" looking things on them. That's why some goldfish don't appeal to me either.

Convict cichlids - I've had them in the past. My first one was a wonderful community fish. She never bothered anyone. My last one was a serial killer. Killed any fish kept with him and had to be kept by himself. Problem was, put by himself, he basically hid. Spent the rest of his life sulking instead of being interactive like he'd been when I had him in a tank where he could kill other fish. Go figure. I didn't mind having him be the only fish in a tank, so a species tank wouldn't bother me, but I was disappointed that he hid all the time. His tank had a cave-type structure as well as plants. If I could get one that wouldn't hide, having a single convict in a dedicated tank would appeal to me. If he or she hides all the time like my last one, not so much interested. The only thing that makes me hesitant about doing a species tank with more than one convict is the fact I do NOT want to breed them. I know they breed easily, but I don't want to have to find a way to rehome/sell the fry. They're not easy to home around here, and we don't have a LFS for me to sell them to. With my luck, I'd end up with a 55 gallon tank loaded with a 100 convicts. LOL

@Colu A friend had firemouths a bunch of years ago. They seemed like nice, docile fish, though they hid a lot. I've never known any Jewel Cichlids, so I'll have to check those out. Don't Severums get like a foot long?

@WhitecloudDynasty I'm not familiar with the sunfish. I'll take a look at them.

Thanks for the suggestions, gang! There are so many different species available to us hobbyists that it's hard to know how to narrow down options to pinpoint research. So the help narrowing things is HUGELY appreciated. I'd love to be ready to buy the bigger tank when we buy our next house. (Hopefully SOON!) But I want to make absolutely certain I've done my research and know what I'm getting myself and my new pet into before I bring it home.

When I had my oscars many moons ago, I trusted the input I got from the LFS we had at that time (no longer exists). As a result, I ended up with 2 adult oscars and a foot long common pleco in a 55g tank. Man, the work to keep that puppy clean... I got sick and couldn't keep up with the heavy maintenance. If the maintenance hadn't been so drastic, I would've been fine, but alas.... I ended up rehoming the all 3 fish to someone who put them into a 200g tank. It was a while after THAT, that I found out how big a tank oscars SHOULD be in. No wonder it was so much work. Eesh. I do NOT want to make that kind of mistake EVER again.

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4 minutes ago, Dawn T said:

@H.K.Luterman I've heard and read that Blood Parrots need a specialized diet because of their mouths. Have you found that to be the case? What do you feed yours?

I only know my little dude, so I can't speak for all blood parrots, but he eats everything I put in the tank. If he can't outright fit something in his mouth, he will crunch it or tear it to pieces. He does seem to have more trouble getting floating stuff, but he still gets it in, no doubt about it. 

His staple is Bug Bites cichlid pellets, the small/medium size. He also gets frozen mysis shrimp, frozen blood worms, frozen brine shrimp and crushed ramshorn snails. He also will steal my bichirs' chopped tilapia and carnivore pellets; I have to distract him by feeding him first so I can give the bichirs a chance to eat. 

He is the fastest fish in my tank (2 bichirs and a ctenopoma), so he really has no competition at dinner time. Your miles may vary if you keep faster fish. 

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1 hour ago, Dawn T said:

That reminds me - Is there a good place online to order frozen fish foods? I don't have access to them where I live. The LFS where I used to buy them closed, and the nearest places (45 minutes away) aren't accessible to me at the moment due to mask requirements (I can't wear one because of chronic health issues).

Until you can get frozen fish foods, you can just shop at your local grocery store. Chopped up shrimp and tilapia will be eaten by a lot of fish. Another option is freeze dried foods; not the best, but it'll do until you can get the frozen versions. Big box stores like Petco usually carry freeze dried bloodworms and various krill and shrimp. The Co-Op has a few listed as well if you want to order online. 

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On 2/28/2021 at 8:22 PM, Dawn T said:

I LOVE oscars, but I'm not sure I'll ever have a tank big enough to truly accommodate a pair of them like I had years ago. Are there any other cichlids that have the same type of personality but don't get so big? Maybe something that gets no more than 8-10" at most.

Lots of other good fish, but there isn't anything quite like an Oscar. 

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