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Cichlid tank mates for golden zebra loaches

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,339
I'd stick with 2 angels and be happy; while young lots of angels are really nice but once they reach maturity you will end up with issues depending on sexes. Also if you have m/f angel the territory requirement during breeding cycle and be anywhere between 6 inches and 4 feet depending on specific fish behavior. I've had extremely good mothers who can raise free swimming fry in a community tank and only require a small area around her brood; but have also had others that try to claim the entire aquairum. If you have 2 males they might bicker a little to see who is 'boss' but won't do serious damage - 2 f all sort of things can happen. The issue is more problematic as you add more angels. You really need a min of a 6 foot aquarium for a group of angels so pairs that form have some space of their own - otherwise keeping them in a group can be 'fun'.
 

vertigo

Member
Messages
31
I'd stick with 2 angels and be happy; while young lots of angels are really nice but once they reach maturity you will end up with issues depending on sexes. Also if you have m/f angel the territory requirement during breeding cycle and be anywhere between 6 inches and 4 feet depending on specific fish behavior. I've had extremely good mothers who can raise free swimming fry in a community tank and only require a small area around her brood; but have also had others that try to claim the entire aquairum. If you have 2 males they might bicker a little to see who is 'boss' but won't do serious damage - 2 f all sort of things can happen. The issue is more problematic as you add more angels. You really need a min of a 6 foot aquarium for a group of angels so pairs that form have some space of their own - otherwise keeping them in a group can be 'fun'.
How about the Festivums... is 3-4 bad idea?
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
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1,339
How about the Festivums... is 3-4 bad idea?
Not sure - i've had mine for 1 year in 2 weeks; they were not super young - i'd guess 5 to 7 months old - so that is a bit over 18 months - either they haven't reached breeding age yet or they find the tank too crowded to do such so i can't really comment. @Mazan might have more to say on this matter.
 

Mazan

Active Member
Messages
281
Not sure - i've had mine for 1 year in 2 weeks; they were not super young - i'd guess 5 to 7 months old - so that is a bit over 18 months - either they haven't reached breeding age yet or they find the tank too crowded to do such so i can't really comment. @Mazan might have more to say on this matter.
I have 5 in a large tank (200 x 65 x 65cm) with other SA cichlids, they are no trouble. I had previously had them for about 9 months in a 240 litre tank (120cm, 4ft long), they were also fine. Mine have shown no indication of breeding behaviour, and grew at very different rates. Two are now very big, two medium and one very small! In fact I had two others initially that never flourished and eventually died. They were all very tiny when I got them, its probably safer to get them reasonably well grown. I think 3-4 should would be fine
 

vertigo

Member
Messages
31
I have 5 in a large tank (200 x 65 x 65cm) with other SA cichlids, they are no trouble. I had previously had them for about 9 months in a 240 litre tank (120cm, 4ft long), they were also fine. Mine have shown no indication of breeding behaviour, and grew at very different rates. Two are now very big, two medium and one very small! In fact I had two others initially that never flourished and eventually died. They were all very tiny when I got them, its probably safer to get them reasonably well grown. I think 3-4 should would be fine
Heres where Im at.
July breeder/supplier list comes out this week. Fingers crossed on the festivums.

I bought 4 new bleeding heart tetras and a 2nd ctenapoma theyll be in a separate tank for a months til they're a little bigger and def. disease free. 2 angelfish, 5 GZ loaches, 4 BH Tetras are in the big tank. All are getting along.

Will 3 Festivums, and 3-4 more Angelfish (5-6 total) be too much in a 4ft tank?
 

Mazan

Active Member
Messages
281
Yes, agreed, that would be too much. You could try 3 angels and 3 festivums maybe? They are known to group together in the wild so together would make a decent group. Of course as with most cichlids you should always have a plan B in case any individuals have to be removed at some point. I would not have got the second Ctenopoma, I believe they don't always get on well together and they get pretty big.
 

vertigo

Member
Messages
31
Yes, agreed, that would be too much. You could try 3 angels and 3 festivums maybe? They are known to group together in the wild so together would make a decent group. Of course as with most cichlids you should always have a plan B in case any individuals have to be removed at some point. I would not have got the second Ctenopoma, I believe they don't always get on well together and they get pretty big.

Ctenapoma aren't like typical gourami, aggression is on the low end of the spectrum, they generally ignore each other and rarely leave their hide spot. Since I already know they can handle the loaches, and they're bottom dwellers won't interact with angels felt like a much better fit than kribs or other bottom dwelling fish. Might be an issue with size difference but there's plenty of hidey holes in the big tank and the quarantine tank til it gets a bit bigger.

And big news! all 4 mesonauta species were on yesterdays list: insignis, acora, erigius, mirificus, all are wild caught which I've never done before, all would be special orders (sight unseen), which I've never done before either .


Every post I've seen from people who've had both CB vs WC say the wild are more aggressive with each other.

The cleanest, most reliable LFS
I think it just getting 2 is wiser. If I pick a species today, I can have them by Sunday.
 

vertigo

Member
Messages
31
Ctenapoma aren't like typical gourami, aggression is on the low end of the spectrum, they generally ignore each other and rarely leave their hide spot. Since I already know they can handle the loaches, and they're bottom dwellers won't interact with angels felt like a much better fit than kribs or other bottom dwelling fish. Might be an issue with size difference but there's plenty of hidey holes in the big tank and the quarantine tank til it gets a bit bigger.

And big news! all 4 mesonauta species were on yesterdays list: insignis, acora, erigius, mirificus, all are wild caught which I've never done before, all would be special orders (sight unseen), which I've never done before either .


Every post I've seen from people who've had both CB vs WC say the wild are more aggressive with each other.

The cleanest, most reliable LFS****
I think it just getting 2 is wiser. If I pick a species today, I can have them by Sunday
***Copy/paste error***
The cleanest most reliable LFS already got the M. Erigious in (8 of them). They're bigger than expected 2¼" pale & clamped. Being medicated for the next few days. Not sure if that's more risky or less than blindly ordering.
 

vertigo

Member
Messages
31
Drove 3 hours, spent an ungodly amount for them but.. Festivums!
20230703_203513.jpg
 

vertigo

Member
Messages
31
Drove 3 hours, spent an ungodly amount for them but.. Festivums!

I had bought 2 @ $52. (it was the only 2 they had) one already died =(
They both looked fine in the store, the festivum in the background had pink-ish gills, stayed pale, never left the surface of the water, ate only once in 4 days, was dead at the bottom yesterday.

Ammonia poisoning, right? My water #'s are fine, did a 4hour drip acclimation, assumed he'd bounce back.

Would it be chaos to buy another mesonauta online, knowing it probably won't be the same species?
 
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anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,339
It is nearly impossible to identify species of mesonauta unless you know their catch location. There is an interesting article about them on tangleupcicihld web site. pink gill could be parasite but given the short time line of the fish it might have been nitrite or ammonia - are you sure your tank is cycled ? If this is your first fish in the aquarium then it could very well not be cycled. Adding some prime will help neutralize nitrite and ammonia while it cycles.
Do you know anything about the history of the fishes (tank raised/wc and if wc were they qt and treated for parasite prior to purchase) ? 52 for a pair is pretty high esp if they were tank raised.
 

vertigo

Member
Messages
31
It is nearly impossible to identify species of mesonauta unless you know their catch location.

That's my point, I bought the only 2 festivums they had. These were tank bred, If I buy more, it will have to be online, most likely a different species.

. pink gill could be parasite but given the short time line of the fish it might have been nitrite or ammonia - are you sure your tank is cycled ? If this is your first fish in the aquarium then it could very well not be cycled. Adding some prime will help neutralize nitrite and ammonia while it cycles.
Do you know anything about the history of the fishes (tank raised/wc and if wc were they qt and treated for parasite prior to purchase) ? 52 for a pair is pretty high esp if they were tank raised.


My tank is well cycled, over filtered (brought over the filters from 3 cycled tanks when I transferred to the bag tank). The festivums would be fish #14 and15. Whatever was wrong with that festivum was from the drive home or from the LFS water.
one festivum was great right off the bat, hangs out with the angelfish, follows be when I pass the tank. The, now dead, one just stayed in the top corner of the tank til it died. I think he was already sick the stress from moving pushed him over the edge.

Both by QT tanks are full, so I added them to the big tank (..not the smartest nice in my part but have been looking for festivums for so long didn't want to pass them up, I've got 2 UV sterilizers running, chance of disease spread is low).


The Festivum are tank raised and they've had them for 2 months. But the 29g tank they were in had a 2dozen High Fin Banded Sharks def over crowded.
My only precaution was to check them out, come back 2 days later and make sure neither had died.
The sickly one acted weird right off


Rant. Those festivums were cheaper than getting them shipped... only reason I bought them there. The fish store that had them was mainly marine fish. The freshwater section is only 4,000 gallons
and everything in it cost over double what nearby stores charge... So F***ing $26 per festivum. Ie Common Koi and black angels are $8-12 around here that store charges $30 for the 1-1.5" ones, $60 for the 1.5"-2" ones. Insane pricing.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,902
Location
Germany
How different things can be one continent over...
Drove 3 hours, spent an ungodly amount for them but.. Festivums!
Seeing what you ultimately paid... is gas still that cheap in the US? The drive would have cost more than the fish here.
The freshwater section is only 4,000 gallons
"only 4,000"?! The average european store has not even half of that.
The Festivum are tank raised and they've had them for 2 months. But the 29g tank they were in had a 2dozen High Fin Banded Sharks def over crowded.
My only precaution was to check them out, come back 2 days later and make sure neither had died.
The sickly one acted weird right off
Hmm... I hope the second one makes it and you didn't introduce anything.
 

vertigo

Member
Messages
31
How different things can be one continent over...

Seeing what you ultimately paid... is gas still that cheap in the US? The drive would have cost more than the fish here.

"only 4,000"?! The average european store has not even half of that.

Hmm... I hope the second one makes it and you didn't introduce anything.
Marine Section of that store is 25,000gallons and much cleaner
Gas is $3.30/gal and it's 42miles away If I didn't zigzag to every fish store between home and there it takes 50min each way. So something like $8 gas round trip, and $5 more for highway tolls.


NYC wouldve been closer but more time, $36 for just the tolls, 1hr parking could be $2/per 15min Or $30 for an hour in a lot. It's all unpleasantly exprnsive.
The store with the sick festivums was 5miles closer than the marine store, and a lot bigger, they ordered festivums on my request. All of thiers were dead/dying: adults for $14, babies for $9. The entire cichlid room looked diseased.

The angelfish/discus store is bigger than either of those stores and I walk to it. t's 6+ rooms of angelfish and Discus, 1 room for plants. 1 room for all other fish and equipment.
It's very tough abstaining from getting more angels.
 
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MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,902
Location
Germany
Marine Section of that store is 25,000gallons and much cleaner
Clear priorities. With Marine that volume is easier reached than with freshwater.

Gas is $3.30/gal and it's 42miles away If I didn't zigzag to every fish store between home and there it takes 50min each way. So something like $8 gas round trip, and $5 more for highway tolls.
So a gallon is about 3€, that's roughly 80€-ct per liter. Wow... that's so cheap! Here a liter of gas is 1.80€ right now... We don't have the toll, but with taxes we're at 20 bucks extra just for the drive. That's what makes shipping more attractive over here.
NYC wouldve been closer but more time, $36 for just the tolls, 1hr parking could be $2/per 15min Or $30 for an hour in a lot. It's all unpleasantly exprnsive.
Been over 20 years since I was last in the US but I remember NYC being just obscenely expensive even then.
The store with the sick festivums was 5miles closer than the marine store, and a lot bigger, they ordered festivums on my request. All of thiers were dead/dying: adults for $14, babies for $9. The entire cichlid room looked diseased.
Yikes... I prefer stores that wouldn't do orders for a single customer, that put more money in good sources and a good choice of species by themselves. Is that store by any chance more focused on sales and customer service than husbandry?
The angelfish/discus store is bigger than either of those stores and I walk to it. t's 6+ rooms of angelfish and Discus, 1 room for plants. 1 room for all other fish and equipment.
It's very tough abstaining from getting more angels.
I'm very glad to have basically no interest in angels and discus.
 

Mazan

Active Member
Messages
281
I’m sorry about the issues you have had, such a shame. My festivums were tank bred and cost $5 each. They were very tiny at first and initially did not eat well, but after a while 4 of them improved. Two failed to thrive, they just did not eat much, didn’t grow and eventually died. The shop owner actually gave me for free the last one he had left, so now I have 5 but they are very different in size, two big, two medium and one small.

You can identify the species fairly easily if you can see and photograph the stress pattern (which shows when they get excited as well as stressed, eg when feeding live food).
You can find a diagram showing the different patterns if you look up Mesonauta identification. Also in this thread https://www.apistogramma.com/forum/threads/after-months-waiting-i-got-this-flagcichlid.23553/
 

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