Mixing South and Central Americans

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THQ created the topic: Mixing South and Central Americans

Hi guys just wanted advice on this as I have read conflicting things.

As a general rule I understand it's not a good idea to mix species from different biotopes. eg., Americans and Africans are a big no no due to mainly ph but also hardness (although some people seem to force them together).

I understand CAs come from harder and slightly more alkaline water than SAs. Some have said don't mix them yet others have had no issues at all eg oscars and firemouths. This is further compounded by the fact that there are some species which live in both CA and SA (blue acara).

Apart from the issue of CAs being more aggressive, what are people's opinions on this? It would open up literally a new world of possibilities for stocking my Oscar tank if I could mix SA/CA. What parameters ahould I aim for in regards to pH and hardness? My tap water is slightly acidic and very very soft.

Thanks very much.
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Rocksor replied the topic: Mixing South and Central Americans

Not all SA's come from soft water areas. The festae, gephyrum, and atromaculatum come from more mineral rich water, and then there are the fish from Uruguay and Paraguay that come from water that gets colder and a bit harder than the Amazon.

The problem with mixing CAs with SAs is generally most CAs have a different mouth and jaw structure that make their lip lock more powerful than most SAs. For instance, a midas could literally break or tear apart an oscars lip if it is grasped in a certain way. I

The next problem has to do with osmotic regulation of water. If you place a CA in soft water, it will lose the minerals in its body faster than in hard water. The loss of minerals will lead toloss of color, stress, and eventually disease. If you place a SA in hard water, it will be force to work harder allow all the minerals to leave its body in a certain time frame, eventually leading to mineral build up in it's body. SAs can survive many years in hard water but they do succumbed to illnesses such as HITH due to the fact that their body is working much harder than it needs to.

Folks who have both CAs and SAs tend to have water closer to the hard level, which is why it works for a period of time. Those who have soft water with low TDS, tend to have the harder time in keeping CAs with their SAs.

What is the water hardness, ph and TDS level of your tap water?
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THQ replied the topic: Mixing South and Central Americans

pH 6.8
3 dKH/GH (both < 50 ppm)
don't know TDS. i have API freshwater master kit.

Thanks for reply. That's what I thought, but I see and hear about so many people, including some of my LFS, mixing CA/SA like it's a non-issue.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Mixing South and Central Americans

I do have, and in the past have had SA/CA mixes. Milder mannered and smaller CA like Nicaraugans, Cons, JD and Firemouths. My water is friendly for mixing, but yours is more SA suited. As for LFS, they dont keep the same fish for years on end, so wouldnt see any long term issues.


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