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Nicaraguan Macaw Cichlids, need opinions, Wills?

Eliza J

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Hi Ive just joined, as I read a thread from January between Wills and ChasingFish about Nics. My intro explains more about how I got 5 juvie males but I need advice. I picked up 5 juveniles at a fish store an hour away 2 months ago. I knew nothing about them… Ive got 3 left, 2- 5” nose to tail tip, and 1 - 4”. The 2 larger ones have been separated in a 20 long after starting out all 5 together in a 75 fully planted with a few other fish (2 EBAs, 2 young 11 month old male Brichardi cichlids, and 2 Rubberlip Plecs.) The 2 largest ones were horrible and had to be rehomed immediately, leaving me with my 3. The 2 - 5” fish I thought were male and female but during their month long stay in a divided 20 long, ( I know too small but all I had at that moment since their aggression was ramping up) I saw during their stay in 20 that the supposed female might actually be male. I’ve since gotten a young Jack Dempsey cichlid and moved out the EBAs from 75 gal, and added back the 2 bigger Nics just this week. So another Nic enthusiast on another forum has confirmed yesterday they are all male, from pictures I sent.

Now what? His advice was to get a sure female, let her pair with one of these and remove extra males. I don’t want a breeding tank. Nics are very hard to do anything with, UNFORTUNATELY.

I’ve noticed the chasing is just mild since they were separated a month(and during that stay they dug under divider and though the subdominant was up in corner ready to be rescued, no damage was done in those very close quarters) the 2 older seem to be full brothers by their actions, they even rest side by side sometimes. But there is a dominant one. I’m asking if you think I can keep all 3 together awhile with the young Jack Dempsey(too young to sex), 2 male Brichardi, and 2 small plecos? I’m trying to rehome them but other than carting them off to a fish store 2 hours away for $5 each credit, I’ve had no luck. (other than the 1st 2 larger boys I gave to friends with appropriate set ups) I want to keep the prettiest specimen. I would include pictures below but its not opening up my gallery when I choose photos. These fish are fascinating, I’d like to keep them all.

Thank you!
Elizabeth Jackson

PS. I added an album in the gallery of all 3 Nics. I think its title is Nicaraguan juvenile male cichlids, only way I could figure to add pics.
 
Hi Ive just joined, as I read a thread from January between Wills and ChasingFish about Nics. My intro explains more about how I got 5 juvie males but I need advice. I picked up 5 juveniles at a fish store an hour away 2 months ago. I knew nothing about them… Ive got 3 left, 2- 5” nose to tail tip, and 1 - 4”. The 2 larger ones have been separated in a 20 long after starting out all 5 together in a 75 fully planted with a few other fish (2 EBAs, 2 young 11 month old male Brichardi cichlids, and 2 Rubberlip Plecs.) The 2 largest ones were horrible and had to be rehomed immediately, leaving me with my 3. The 2 - 5” fish I thought were male and female but during their month long stay in a divided 20 long, ( I know too small but all I had at that moment since their aggression was ramping up) I saw during their stay in 20 that the supposed female might actually be male. I’ve since gotten a young Jack Dempsey cichlid and moved out the EBAs from 75 gal, and added back the 2 bigger Nics just this week. So another Nic enthusiast on another forum has confirmed yesterday they are all male, from pictures I sent.

Now what? His advice was to get a sure female, let her pair with one of these and remove extra males. I don’t want a breeding tank. Nics are very hard to do anything with, UNFORTUNATELY.

I’ve noticed the chasing is just mild since they were separated a month(and during that stay they dug under divider and though the subdominant was up in corner ready to be rescued, no damage was done in those very close quarters) the 2 older seem to be full brothers by their actions, they even rest side by side sometimes. But there is a dominant one. I’m asking if you think I can keep all 3 together awhile with the young Jack Dempsey(too young to sex), 2 male Brichardi, and 2 small plecos? I’m trying to rehome them but other than carting them off to a fish store 2 hours away for $5 each credit, I’ve had no luck. (other than the 1st 2 larger boys I gave to friends with appropriate set ups) I want to keep the prettiest specimen. I would include pictures below but its not opening up my gallery when I choose photos. These fish are fascinating, I’d like to keep them all.

Thank you!
Elizabeth Jackson

PS. I added an album in the gallery of all 3 Nics. I think its title is Nicaraguan juvenile male cichlids, only way I could figure to add pics.

Hi I think you've probably got too many fish and too many cichlid species in a 75 gallon to be honest. Nicaraguans are at the upper end size wise for a 75g, especially the males.

What are the Brichardi you mentioned? Are they Tanganyikan Cichlids? If so I'd take them out.

In a 75g I think you could do a single male specimen of three species with the Jack Dempsey and one of the Nicaraguans along with a third species - though this is very hard to balance. I agree that it would be best to avoid breeding them as they are prolific and you will be over run quickly. I think there is a very slim chance that 3 male Nics with a male JD could work but I'm not sure thats in the best interest of the fish.

I'm setting up a Nicaraguan tank in a 75g at the moment but my plan is a single female Nicaraguan with other non-cichlid species around her. Possibly considering a smaller, diminutive second cichlid species like a small Amatitlania species or Rainbow Cichlids. The reason I'm choosing to do this is, in Central American lakes Cichlids have a lot of space naturally especially compared to Rift Lake Cichlids and to an extent South Americans, they are very territorial that often outstretch our capabilities in a tank and unless you have lots of tanks and are happy to juggle and rehome fish Centrals are so unpredictable its best to keep them on their terms rather than trying to break a mould or guidelines to do something a bit different.

Also to add pictures once you've added them to a gallery you need to add them to the post which you should see the button for. I don't think we can see the gallery at the moment.

Wills
 
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1st pic dominant male ( look directly above him to left and you'll see 1 of my very small brichardi male, yes Tanganikan, but not causing issues), 2nd pic Jr. male with subdominant male directly above, 3rd pic Jr male showing his colors, 4th pic subdominate male
IMG_0746.jpeg
IMG_0676.jpeg
IMG_0766.jpeg
 
My main concern is hanging onto these 3 for long enough to pick out the best specimen, since my theory of “buying 5 juveniles will surely get me a female” didn’t work. Because I have no source for them except shipping across long distances…the store I got them from had them marked curviceps! They have been corrected now by me. And have not ordered anymore “curviceps”. Hehe

But depending on how slow these fish grow, that may not be a healthy option. And rehoming them is tough! A real pity it is.

Thanks to all
 
Oh and if Brichardi start causing any issues, they are gone, ….once I catch the fast little boogers.
 
I know you only want Wills’s opinion, but I feel the need to chip in…

If you just want to keep one, just keep one and get rid of the others. Keep any of them (if you want a male), it doesn’t matter. On their own each of them will grow into a fine specimen if looked after properly. Together, the biggest one will always be the ‘best’.
75g is too small to keep a Nic with other cichlids. The Nic will need the whole tank as it’s territory, and so will the JD. So either one will end up stressed, bullied or killed, or they’ll both end up stressed. One or both of them will not be able to have a territory, which is fundamental to these cichlids. You can’t get it out of them.
As for the brichardi, they will literally have no place in the tank and will want out.

If you don’t want war and stress, one aggressive cichlid species per tank. Cichlids can’t be kept inside the territory of another cichlid (unless they’re much smaller and seen as no threat).
 
Oh no, I didn't just want Wills opinion, I just knew he had Nic cichlid experience and cannot find alot of people who do.

I could have kept a very large severum as only fish in tank, I just didnt want a wet pet. I wanted some, albeit a small amount, 2 varieties of fascinating cichlids. The Brichardi wont leave anything else in peace, theyre still growing but this is only place they can stay until I rehome them. The parent colony was a murderous bunch, just kept these 2 young males to see how they’d grow.

Thank you very much!
 
It’s hard to argue mixed central tanks don’t work when there are so many examples out there but I do think single species will have the best success and really put the welfare out there.

From your pics I think they all look like males you can tell with the spots in the dorsal fins.

If you are happy with a single male nic that’s great I’d pair them with two to three species of larger livebearers, rubber lip plecos and if you don’t mind breaking the biotope look at the black and white synodintis cats. Maybe golden wonder killies for the surface?
 
Thanks! Appreciate tour insight very much. Im going to rehome the bigger two Nics as soon as possible and hang on to the younger male and baby JD for a bit, they hang out together right now. I will see how that goes.

Im enjoying this forum very much.
 
It’s hard to argue mixed central tanks don’t work when there are so many examples out there

Most of them aren’t working for all the fish concerned. Show me one and in 90% of them I’ll point out the fish that are stressed or inhibited and not living the life they would like to be living.
Just because there’s no violence doesn’t mean they’re all “happy”.

:)
 
Most of them aren’t working for all the fish concerned. Show me one and in 90% of them I’ll point out the fish that are stressed or inhibited and not living the life they would like to be living.
Just because there’s no violence doesn’t mean they’re all “happy”.

:)
I'm not disagreeing with you and this is the route I'm going now but there are examples out there that in a specific post or video works - what it will look like in 6 months or a year is a different story ;).
 
Update: Ive rehomed the young jack dempsey, and 1 of the 2 Nic cichlid. The other Nic is going next Saturday. 2 Brichardi males staying. Im going with a Tanganyikan tank, I was fortunate to acquire a young Calvus last Saturday along with 3 baby Lucipinnis catfish, planning to rescape tank and put all tangs together. I may have to move Brichardis for a couple weeks while new ones get established. ….Any thoughts here from anyone?

I also have access to Julidochromis marlieri 1.5” juveniles, but read 2 rock dweller species would need more room than 75. My calvus is my centerpiece most sought after fish, so its comfort is prioity 1 and Im not interested in breeding any body. The Julis will breed no doubt.

Thanks to all
Elizabeth J
 
Update: Ive rehomed the young jack dempsey, and 1 of the 2 Nic cichlid. The other Nic is going next Saturday. 2 Brichardi males staying. Im going with a Tanganyikan tank, I was fortunate to acquire a young Calvus last Saturday along with 3 baby Lucipinnis catfish, planning to rescape tank and put all tangs together. I may have to move Brichardis for a couple weeks while new ones get established. ….Any thoughts here from anyone?

I also have access to Julidochromis marlieri 1.5” juveniles, but read 2 rock dweller species would need more room than 75. My calvus is my centerpiece most sought after fish, so its comfort is prioity 1 and Im not interested in breeding any body. The Julis will breed no doubt.

Thanks to all
Elizabeth J
That’s an interesting development!

For a tang tank at this size I’d go for one fish from each niche and make sure you get a nice group of cypichromis as they will reallly make the tank.

Wills
 

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