Aquarium Forum

  · Tropical Fish Home
· Fish News
· Aquarium Forum
· Buy & Sell
· Calculators
· Equipment reviews
· Free Aquarium Ebook
· Feedback
· Link to us
· Photo gallery
· Plant species
· Tropica Plant DB
Tropical fish species
· By Common name
· By Scientific name
Tropical Marine fish
· By Common name
· By Scientific name

        Via paypal

  · African Cichlids
· Algae Control
· Aquarium Decoration
· Aquarium Resources
· Aquatic Plants
· Barb Fish
· Betta Fish
· Breeding Fish
· Catfish
· Central American Cichlids
· Cichlids
· Clownfish
· Corals
· Corydoras Catfish
· Discus Fish
· Dwarf Cichlids
· Fish Diseases
· Frogs and Turtles
· Goby Fish
· Goldfish
· Gourami
· Invertebrates
· Jellyfish
· Killiefish
· Lake Victoria Cichlids
· Livebearers
· Malawi Cichlids
· Marine Aquariums
· Marine Aquarium Fish
· Other Fish
· Pleco
· Predatory Fish
· Photography
· Pond Fish
· Responsible Fish Keeping
· Rainbow Fish
· Shark Fish
· South American Cichlids
· Tanganyika Cichlids
· Tetra Fish
· Tropical Fish Food
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16
  1. #1

    Default Red Empress & "friends"

    0 Not allowed!
    I'm currently setting up a 125G tanks that I want to house 5 red empress (4 F/1 M) and I've been thinking long and hard about what to put in with them. I've had a hard time finding exactly is compatible with what, so I have joined this forum to try and get some help (I don't have a great fish community around me). Anyhoo, I do not want the tank to be a Cichlid tank. I've kept a few red empresses and one thing I really liked about them was their even temperment. With that in mind I was hoping to keep them with between 4-9 assorted Angels and 4 Bolivian Rams. I chose Bolivian Rams because of they'd do better at the higher PH level I'd probably keep for the Red Empresses. I'd love your feedback (and hopefully some personal experience) about these fish's compatibility and if I'm just being a monster keeping the Rams at the higher PH. And what (pretty fish) could go in the tank alongside the Red Empress/Angels?

    Some things about the tank:
    -I'm currently in week 2 of cycling it. There are no fish or live plants in it.
    -It has white sand.
    -I am considering putting in a few Java Ferns, as my natural PH is around 8.7 and it needs to drop and the few wood pieces I have probably won't cut it.
    -Currently using a Filstar XP4 filter. I have an XP3 if needed, but I don't think it will be.
    -I have considered adding danios later in the cycling to help the cycle and then moving them to a 10G.

    Thanks alot for your help!

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    First of all, how are you cycling your tank? If you're not adding anything, then you are not cycling the tank one bit.

    I am not sure about what goes with red empress. What I know is both rams and angels "prefer" slightly acidic pH not basic, meaning less than 7.0.

    Plants won't affect your pH i would say. It's probably best to not mess with your pH anyways.

    I would add another filter if I were you. If you want to get another xp3 then that's fine. But an AC110 would be fine for extra filtration.
    Last edited by pjaldave; 06-23-2012 at 12:24 AM.
    Da name's Paul. Not Dave. ROFL

    Learn to give and take. That's how things should always work.

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    I'm cycling the tank by sprinkling flake food in it daily, like feeding it as if there were a few fish.
    For the xp3, I wouldn't be getting it, I already have it. I don't have much cash in the filter fund after getting the xp4, but thanks for the recommendation.

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    Oh, so you already have 2 filters? Then that should be ok. No need to add another filter.

    Adding fish food into the tank is a poor way to cycle the tank. It is better if you can get a hold of a bottle of pure ammonia instead.
    Da name's Paul. Not Dave. ROFL

    Learn to give and take. That's how things should always work.

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    This one thread has taken on several subjects. Cycling, bringing the pH down, the fish. I think it might be best to address each question in a separate thread as each subject is a conversation on it's own.

    You said you do not want this to be a cichlid tank but yet you want the red empress, rams and angels. Those are all cichlids. You can not keep that many angels together or will have an aggression problem and both angels and rams need a lower pH. They are also totally different types of cichlids.

    Driftwood will not touch that pH. The difference it makes is slight, at best.

    So far, you have done great by knowing it should be cycled first, getting a big tank to start with and asking advice before stocking. But I would like you to start a thread about your cycling and pH first, to make sure you have help with that first. (If needed) Have you a liquid test kit that is giving you the ammonia and nitrites levels? Very important. You have no idea how near you are cycled without one.

    I think you need to address that pH and how to get that regulated. Once you get all this info clear in your head, then make your fish selection. Red Empress is an african cichlid and angels are south american. You can not put those together even with a different pH but so many here will help with that selection.

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    You're right about it sort of being several questions in one, but I never really had any questions about cycling the tank, I just thought that I should include as much information as possible for those trying to help me. I know that red empress, rams and angels are all cichlids, so I definitely wasn't clear on what I meant by cichild tank, I had meant the sort with a bunch of aggressive cichlids like other haps, etc.
    I do indeed have a test kit, and I'm patient enough to wait out the ammonia/nitrites. Also, the pH is now at 8 (as of this morning), so its down from the starting ph. Possible I just mis-read. I've never tried adding pure ammonia, maybe I'll give that a try.
    The real question is the one that the thread is titled afterwords, is the compatible tankmakes for the red empress that aren't the same shaped cichlids (if that makes sense). Basically, I want the "different types of cichlids."

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    I noticed your thread kind of went in every direction there. I have not had Africans so no help from me but many here have and they will give you some good info.

    IMO, I would forget the ferns and wood and stack that tank with rock and go all africans from the same lake. pH is always messed up in cycling tanks so you may not get a true reading until it's finished. Have you tested your tap water by chance? That should give you a true pH reading.

    IF you should decide to get pure ammonia and have an ACE Hardware anywhere near you, they have it. You can bring those ammonia levels up so you can stock several fish at once.

    So anxious to see some pictures when this tank is done! Good luck to you.

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    Why would you wish to keep relatively peaceful south american cichlids with a moderately aggressive malawi hap? It really makes little sense in terms of water conditions and behavior. Domestic angels and bolivian rams are "tolerant" of slightly higher PHs and hardness levels...tolerant does not mean they will thrive in those conditions. I would advise you to never put either fish in conditions above 7.4 PH and only moderate hardness. These levels are also too soft and acidic for your Empress...there just is not middle ground for these species to thrive properly. There are many many choices for keeping a mixed SA community, and many choices for keeping a malawi community...sadly they do not belong together. Your empress are also large growing, and can exhibit quite a bit of aggression especially if you wind up with multiple males in the tank and during spawning. A 125G tank is of good size but when dealing with a group of 10" fish it really becomes quite small. It is also fair game your rams would be eaten by them. Your angels will also have species aggression keeping that many in the tank. I would seriously suggest you rethink what you want for the you want the angels or do you want the empress.

    For cycling...flake food addition to the tank will not produce enough waste to effectively cycle the tank much if at all. Fish produce waste 24/7 not just when they are feeding...pure ammonia is best. For filtration...if you have the XP3 and the XP4 why not use them both? You can not have too much filtration on the tank and a lone XP4 would be minimal filtration at best.
    3x75 gallons|2x55 gallons|2x50 gallons|3x40 gallons|1x29 gallon|1x10 gallon

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    I've had all 3 of the species you have mentioned and I would not recommend trying to keep either angels or rams with the emps. You really are best off making it a Malawi hap/peacock tank. 125 g is a great size for that. You could try giant danios with the emps, but be aware they could get the crap beaten out of them.

    If you really want angels and rams, go for it but don't get the emps. Angels and rams would do well in a planted tank
    Quote Originally Posted by i_am_511
    Lighten up its just the internet its not like someone came in your house and punched a baby in the face.

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    I'm not even sure that I would try and keep the Rams with Angels. Quite often the Rams enjoy swimming around in the mid level of the tank, and you will find that they will enter that area at feeding time. The Angels will hang around in the mid level part of the tank 99% of the time, and when it comes down to who's gonna be the bigger bully, then my money is going on the Angels. I know it's a big tank, and there's room, but personally I wouldn't try that combination.

    While Red Emps can sometimes be pretty laid back for an African, at spawning time they can be pretty damn cranky. And where are the Rams going to be at spawning time? In the lower levels of the tank, right where the Red Emps will be getting ready to spawn.

    I honestly fear for the lives of the Rams, as I don't think they will have a place to go to get away from fish that are far more aggressive than they are.

    The other thing that I look at, is what's going to happen at feeding time, other than the Rams being bashed from pillar to post by Angels and Emps, and the Angles possibly being bashed from pillar to post by the Emps, is how are you going to make sure that the Rams are going to get fed properly? The Rams - especially Bolivians - are very peaceful, and they won't bother about trying to fight the other fish for food - especially fish that are three and four times their size. Red Emps can be big piggies at feeding time, and along with their aggressive nature, they'll get to the food first. The Angels will do their thing, and hang around and grab anything that falls into the mid level of the tank, and unless you really concentrate hard on getting food to the lower level of the tank, then your Rams will surely miss out.

    I agree with Lab_Rat - it would be better to go with all Haps, or leave the cichlids right out of the tank, and go for a more peaceful community.
    Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn. ~Chuck Clark

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts