165G: Oscar and Synspilum (and friends)?

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THQ created the topic: 165G: Oscar and Synspilum (and friends)?

Hi all, tried searching but couldn't find any info.

Visited my LFS today and they have Synspilum, which I have never heard or seen before! Googling pics of adults they look psychedelic. The most colourful freshwater fish I have ever seen! I am really keen to have them. They seem to have many different names: Quetzal cichlid, Firehead cichlid, paratheraps/cichlasoma/vieja synspila?? these are all the same fish I suppose.



Anyone have any experience with these and Oscars? Was planning to have one of each Oscar, Severum, Green Terror plus Red Terror or Synspilum (see other post) if compatible in a 165G 6x2x2. They are said to be peaceful and big CA/SA cichlids, so may be perfect tank mates for oscars?

Thanks!
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OFL replied the topic: 165G: Oscar and Synspilum (and friends)?

I think you probably be better off with one of these than a red terror. Of the two, this would be my choice. Obviously you're in the US, 6' x 2' x 2' is more like 130 gallons here in the UK. You could probably keep an Oscar one of these cichlids together as long as you got really good filtration, but I don't think I would put much else in.

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
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Rocksor replied the topic: 165G: Oscar and Synspilum (and friends)?

Not all synspilum are peaceful. They are moderately aggressive and territorial. Males are capable and strong enough to go on a killing spree. If you have soft water, it's best to keep fish from South America. Synspilums are neutral to hard water fish from Central America.

If you get a red terror, chances are high that it will kill the green terror.

Which is your centerpiece fish? The one that cannot absolutely get hurt or killed?
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THQ replied the topic: 165G: Oscar and Synspilum (and friends)?

Thanks for the advice OFL!

I'm actually Australian but when I post on forums (mostly seem to be US) I use the american feet and gallons as most of the online tank size/stocking calculators (eg., aqadvisor) are also in US gallons and no one understands me when I talk cm and L. My tank is 179x61x57cm. Tank calculators estimate it at about 620-630L/160USG or 130 UKG as you have pointed out.

On this site, when people talk gallons, which ones are we talking about? From your admin post you are based in the UK, but are most of the forum users american like on every other forum??
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THQ replied the topic: 165G: Oscar and Synspilum (and friends)?

Rocksor wrote: Not all synspilum are peaceful. They are moderately aggressive and territorial. Males are capable and strong enough to go on a killing spree. If you have soft water, it's best to keep fish from South America. Synspilums are neutral to hard water fish from Central America.

If you get a red terror, chances are high that it will kill the green terror.

Which is your centerpiece fish? The one that cannot absolutely get hurt or killed?


Hmmm that is a very good point about the water hardness, as my tap water comes out slightly acidic 6.8 and very soft 2-3 dGH <50 ppm kh/dh. I totally overlooked that. Looks like synspilum off the cards along with red terror.

My centrepiece fish will be my red tiger oscar.

So stock all SA cichlids like 1 oscar, 1 red severum, 1 GT? Was planning to also add 2 smaller ones like firemouth, JD, blue acara, but these are CA and would therefore prefer harder water like you say??

Thank you.
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Rocksor replied the topic: 165G: Oscar and Synspilum (and friends)?

if you have soft water, you should not put any Central American fish - no jd and no firemouth. Hardwater fish have a more difficult time adjusting to softer water due to the fact that they lose minerals faster from their body.

I would make sure that the other juvenile cichlids are about twice the size of the oscar when you stock, since everyone else grows much slower.

Blue acaras are from South America, so they should be fine. The GT may show aggression to it since it looks nearly the same.

If you can get them, pike cichlids from the saxatilis family will also work. They don't generally get past 8" like the blue acara.



There are also festivum cichlids, which do not get larger than 6" in total length. These guys are a schooling fish, so you will need 6.



Bandit cichlid (6" for males)



Heckelii cichlid (9")

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THQ replied the topic: 165G: Oscar and Synspilum (and friends)?

Fantastic advice, Rocksor.

I read that Firemouths can be good oscar tankmates, but didn't realise they were from CA, which as you say, has harder water, so may not thrive in my very soft water.

Out of the excellent alternatives you have suggested, the Heckelii is breathtaking! I checked my LFS and they stock those! Is a single one ok or do you need a group? Festivums also look wonderful, almost gourami-like, but I don't think my tank size/filtration could handle a group of them in addition to my oscar/sev. Thanks.
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