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FAQs on Red Devil Cichlids: Compatibility

Related Articles: Red Devils, Texas Cichlids, Firemouths, Oscars, Neotropical Cichlids, African Cichlids, Dwarf South American Cichlids, Cichlid Fishes in GeneralCichlid Systems, Cichlid Identification, Cichlid Behavior, Cichlid Compatibility, Cichlid Selection, Cichlid Feeding, Cichlid DiseaseCichlid Reproduction,

Related FAQs: Red Devils 1Red Devils 2, & Red Devils Identification, Red Devils Behavior, Red Devils Selection, Red Devils Systems, Red Devils Feeding, Red Devils Health, Red Devils Reproduction,  & Neotropical Cichlids 1, Cichlids of the World,

"My tank, my town..."

A question about a fish bite     5/21/13
Dear Guys,
I am coming to you to ask a rather unusual question......My male Red Devil Bubba B is very tame, I have been hand feeding him for his entire life now  and he let's me pet his nuchal hump, he enjoys it actually, my question is this,  although he's tame and usually I can clean his tank with him inside, a few weeks  ago, he pulled a sneak attack on me and bit my hand and it drew blood, actually  you could see the teeth mark, I should have known better but I took my eye off  him, he's a fish fcs not a pet dog SIGH.  My question is this, can a fish  bite be harmful to humans in any way at all, I am not talking a shark here of  course, I am talking a Red Devil.  Many thanks as always to you guys at  WWM.   Julia
<Not the bite of a cichlid itself, but there might be bacterial involvement... the possibility of infection from an open wound in the tank.
I would wash the area with hot water and soap... Possibly apply an antibacterial cream... But now that time has gone by... just keep an eye on the wound site. Bob Fenner>
Re: A question about a fish bite     5/22/13

Bob thanks, it's been a few weeks now and it's finally healing but it makes me wonder in case he get's a hold of me again sigh,
<Mmm, well; in a sort of ideal world it would be great to have a very large tank, and a system in place to "drop in" a divider; a physical barrier to keep this fish on one side while you're working on t'other>
 to be honest I do believe I  am going to be left with a scar, at the time it only felt like he nudged me  not bit me at all, wasn't until I actually pulled my hand out and dried it off  and then noticed the blood, I have to be more careful that's for sure, he's  older now and still growing!  I remember at the time I did use peroxide  and I used A & D, I do have a cream though and will use it if it happens  again.  I do think it's time for a bucket while I clean his tank, my  fingers aren't his food lol.   Thanks very much as always, I had to be  sure on this one.   J
<Cheers, BobF>
Re: A question about a fish bite, one of the C. Am. Red Devil spp.

I never thought of putting up a crate screen to keep him on one side, I can do that even with this 110, I have a "egg crate screen" I got in the lighting  dept at Lowe's long ago and made a divider when I was trying to breed my female  with him,
 it didn't work out at all, he loved her but he was a brute to her  small body, I will never do that again.  I can use that to keep him on one  side absolutely.  My ideal dream would be to release him in his native land
<A poor idea for a few reasons... Too much pollution getting it there, too much of a chance of undesirable introduction, small likelihood it would survive...>
  sigh, after he goes I will never have a big fish again, I wish I could donate  him to the Shedd aquarium in Chicago or something like that,
<Ask them... or put an advert on Craig's List, what have you>
he's like a pet dog  here, very loved and spoiled and he has a good life I guess for a fish.  No  more big fish for Julia after this one, I find it sort of cruel to house them in  anything less than a 300 gallon + at this point and I know Bob that you  feel the same way about these marvelous intelligent fish. 
<Ah yes>
 Thanks  again for the idea on the divider, it's better than a bucket, I imagine he would  stress out on that.   Julia
<Cheers, B>

Catfish sel. for Neotrop. Cichlid... comp. - 8/1/10
Hello, I plan on getting a 75 to 100 gallon fishtank, which will have 1 red devil or midas, but before I get them, what kind of catfish could I get?
<Large Pterygoplichthys work well, e.g., Pt. gibbiceps, though this assumes there's a good sized cave where the catfish can hide. I've also kept a Midas Cichlid with a large Ictalurus catfish in a 200 gallon system.>
<Nope. These are very much catfish for their own aquarium.>
And would tinfoil barbs or some kind of higher level fish work if they were at least equal size or bigger then the midas and put in before?
<Nope. Midas Cichlids will harass and likely kill any midwater fish. Do review the literature on Amphilophus spp.; the hybrids sold in pet shops are not good "community" residents and males especially often end up on
their own. Amphilophus lyonsi is an exception, if you can find it. Plus, Tinfoil barbs need completely different water chemistry.>
<Cheers, Neale>

Would a large pike co exists with a midas?   8/1/10
The pike is at the store and about 12 inches.
<No. Pike cichlids are South American cichlids and store-bought "Midas" cichlids are hybrid Central American cichlids. They have completely different water chemistry requirements. Plus, both species can be extremely
territorial and the imbalance in size and jaw-structure here means that fighting between them is likely to be asymmetrical. I have kept both these fish, and wouldn't dream of mixing them. Of the two, Midas cichlids are
most fun, and in a 200 gallon system my specimen got along fine with an North American Gar, and Ictalurus catfish, a Gibbiceps Plec, some Convicts, some Red-breasted Tilapia and a Jaguar Cichlid. The Midas ruled the roost, and spent all his time at the front digging caves and trying to scare away people who got too close to the tank. By contrast my Crenicichla saxatilis pair had to be kept alone, and all they did was hide, and frankly, they
were among the most boring fish I ever kept. Cheers, Neale.>
Could I get away with putting some 6 inch convicts in a month before the 12 inch midas?
<If the tank was big enough, sure. 55 gallons would be too small, but 125 might be okay, and 200 gallons certainly would. But please, get away from the idea of tankmates for a Midas Cichlid -- these are fish normally kept ALONE. Want something sociable? Get an Angelfish. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Re:
I'm just trying to look for something mean around 12 inches, and was trying to see if anything could coexists with it.
<With a Midas cichlid? Not much. And the "mean" aspect is misunderstood. Fish aren't "mean" -- they're predatory or territorial or aggressive towards conspecifics. Understand how and why fish work the way they do, and then you can choose tankmates more successfully. In any case, Midas cichlids aren't fish for mixed species tanks, period. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Re:
By mean, I meant how its aggressive, eats almost anything, and comes to the tank and follows you back and forth.
<Yes, but he's following you back and forth because he's being aggressive, he's trying to scare you off. Mine did the same thing too! A great species, but not easily housed with other fish. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Re:
Yeah, ill keep it singly, but possible try a Siamese algae eater
<Siamese Algae Eaters will be battered to death, and in any case, you don't keep one, they're schooling animals. On the other hand, the Chinese Algae Eater -- which doesn't eat much algae and certainly doesn't come from
China! -- gets along okay with some of these Central American cichlids, given enough space. I have kept them in 200 gallon CA cichlid systems.>
of a large Pleco.
<Can work too. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Re:
And what is the minimum tank size I can keep a midas in, my filtration will be 2 75 gallon air pumps, and 1 fluvial 404.
<Oh, they can be maintained alone in 55 gallons. But these are big fish, at least 20 cm/8 inches long when mature, and very deep bodied. Like all CA cichlids they need a lot of room to stay healthy, otherwise you'll be dealing with persistent health problems including Hexamita and HITH.
Cheers, Neale.>

Mixing cichlids Is it ok to put Parrot Cichlid and Red Devil Cichlid together? <Hello, sooner or later the red devil will kill the parrot. -gage>

CONVICTS WITH RED DEVILS Hi, I am a big fan now. You guys answered a question in record time for me about a year ago, and, are the only people who were able to answer it at all! But, anyway, I recently lost a female parrot who I have had for years and who had been paired up with my red devil . They were inseparable, and spawned many, many times. He has been depressed and hides now. (about 2 mos.) I bought a pair if convicts today in hopes of arousing his interest. He seems interested but not aggressive...yet. I hope to add to the convicts soon, But only if there is still peace., What is your advice? Are these two kinds of cichlids going to be able to co-exist? They are in a 200 gal. thanks, Lori C. < If your pair of convicts decide to breed then they will not let any other fish close to their eggs and fry . The tank seems big enough so they should get along. Sometimes when the fry become free swimming the wander all over the tank regardless what the size. At this point the fry are very hard to catch and the parents will not tolerate any other fish in the tank.-Chuck> 

10" Red Devil + 55 Gallon Tank = More Fish? Maybe not... Is there any type of cichlid I can put in with my Red Devil? <Depends on the nature and size of the Devil.> He is about 10 inches long. <Well that narrows down the possibilities.> He is in a 55 gallon tank. <...And that pretty much kills them.> Do you think I can put another Red Devil in with him? <I don't think you could put much of anything else in with him. a 10 inch cichlid in a 55 gallon tank is already pushing it in regards to bioload. I'd leave it be until you get a larger tank.> Thanks for answering my question. <No problem, glad I could be of assistance. Mike G>

Red Devil Tankmates Hello Robert, I'm Ingrid, my son George has just purchased a 500 litre tank and a pair of Red Devils. Here are two questions for you to answer. 1. What temp. should the tank be [ we are in Port Elizabeth - South Africa] <They prefer fairly warm water temps of about 80 degrees F (About 27 Degrees C) 2. Can one put Mozambique Mouth brooders with Red Devils [ equal sizes] or Convicts or Oscars - which could co-habit with the Red Devils?? <The red devils get big and will be the most dominant fish in the tank. The Oscars would be next and then the mouthbrooders. Keep in mind that if the red devils are indeed a pair and are spawning then you will have a difficult time trying to find any fish that will be able to hold up against a pair of breeding red devils.-Chuck> 

FW/BW Mis-mixes  - 03/26/2006 First off, I just wanted to say that I love your site and you all do a great job.  I was just wondering what you thought about the mixture of fish I have in my 90 gal tank.  I currently have 2 red devils, 1 Florida gar, <Neat fish... illegal in many States... get way big> 1 green terror, 1 tiger Oscar, a small Pleco, 1 figure eight puffer, and 1 dragon goby. <These last two... are increasingly brackish with age, size... should they live...>   The biggest so far is the red devil at about 7 in. <I'll bet! Some of these are really devils!> So far I have had the tank for about 4 months with no casualties. Everyone seems to be getting along swimmingly.  I am worried though that with this size tank there will not be enough room for all species when they reach their full potential. <To put this mildly> I have gotten so attached to them all I can't bare to let one go. (Unless it's for their own good.)   <You need at least two more tanks... and a lake if you're going to try raising the lepisosteid> I do weekly water changes, vary their diet, etc.... and treat them all with the care they deserve.  What do ya think? Thanks - Steve, MI <A brackish tank, an easier going cichlid tank.... See WWM re these species systems, compatibility... Bob Fenner>

Red Devil Tankmates   03/9/06 I have had my red devil for years in a tank by herself with just a nice size Botia. Originally I bought 2 but this 1 killed the other unfortunately, and I just left the tank alone. Its a 20 gallon tank but to get to the point do you think I would be able to put a nice size Texas cichlid in there ''both fish around 8 in''? Im afraid to add fish to the tank. Also, any color enhancing tricks I can try?  She's bright yellow and used to be orange. I saw all the other questions so I figured  I would give it a shot. Thank you for your time. Garrett Deleandro < Unfortunately, large Central American cichlids like yours get to be very territorial when they get older and are usually intolerant of other fish. I would recommend that you not add any other fish to the tank. There is a reason it is called a red devil.-Chuck> Texas cichlid worries, incomp. with Red Devil    7/13/06 My 5 inch Texas Cichlid has a small growth behind its eye. At first, it was only a raised bump, but now it has turned into a light-brown nodule. I thought that it was an injury from a fight with my Red Devil. <Could likely be. These two will definitely tussle> They have been acting weird lately. They swim around each other with their mouths wide open. Then they each try to bite the other's mouth. They rarely bite anything else other than each other's mouth. I also have a foot-long red-bellied Pacu, and two very small Firemouths. <Hope this tank is hundreds of gallons...> My other fish don't get involved in their squabbles. He still eats fine and swims normally. I just want to cure the issue if it is possible. I don't want to infect my other fish with a fatal disease.                                                 Thank You,                                                                   Al <I would separate these two cichlids... likely move the Red Devil to its own permanent set-up... they may be trying to breed... happens... Or just sorting things out territorially. At any length, this won't improve w/o their separation. Bob Fenner>

Red Devil Cichlid the Devil? Hello, <<Hi. Tom>> Got 2 questions about my Oscars. <<Shoot...>> First and most important, my female Oscar...I have just noticed a large white spot on her eye and a small one on the opposite side. I have been a vet tech for 11 yrs and in pets it is usually an ulcer and we treated it with eye drops. What do you do for a fish? <<Depends on the cause...>> After looking at my female I started looking around at all of the fish and it seems they all have a small white spot on one or both eyes. I don't know if it is a contagious disease, coincidental that they scratched themselves on a rock, or if it is my red devil (the only resident with NO eye problems) going after everyone's eyes? <<Bingo!!!>> My male Oscar has a small spot, and my Pacu has a decent size one, and I have noticed the red devil chasing the Pacu the last few days. They are all eating normally, but the female who has the largest spot is looking depressed and hanging out in 1 corner of the tank. Any suggestions? <<Get rid of the Red Devil or, put it in its own tank. This is a murderous fish that should be kept alone.>> The other question is, usually they are all healthy and happy, but I have 1 lg female and lg male - proven breeders who have produced babies. She lays eggs every other week! I have 2 different males in the tank and she has even gone as far as laying eggs on 1 rock for the 1 male to fertilize and take care of and 2 feet away on another rock she will lay more for the other Oscar to fertilize and take care of and she swims between the 2 rocks and watches both! Is this normal? <<Not out of the ordinary though it's a little different to see this in an aquarium.>> I know if she were a human she would have a few choice names, but is this normal for fish? <<Oh, stop! Two guys and one girl. And she'd have a few choice names?!? :) >> This has been going on for a long time, and in the past we got as far as swimming fry, and have raised a few, but lately they are eating the eggs after 24-36 hrs and starting all over a week later! I this unhealthy for her to be laying eggs so often? <<Silly as this will sound, would you like me to tell her to stop? Yes, I'm teasing you, but Nature will take its course. If she can't make up her mind, it's not our fault. Basically, it boils down to survival of the species. Tom>> Red Devils As Tankmates - 10/18/06 I was wondering if you could answer 2 questions for me. I originally had 2 Red Devils in a 55 Gal together. One was much more aggressive than the other so much so that I had to separate the 2. I moved the less aggressive one into a 120 gall with 4 Oscars. All of them relatively the same size. The Oscars may be about an inch longer compared to the Red Devil. (6" to his 5"). This Red Devil has regained much of his aggressiveness and has taken over the tank. He forces the Oscars to 1 side of the tank but doesn't seem to hurt them too bad. Do you think this situation will be alright because I did see a similar tank at a auto repair shop where a Red Devil lived peacefully with several Oscars, all near full size, or would it be better for the Oscars just to keep the tank strictly for Oscars. (Ironically, I was out of town for a couple of days before I put the Red Devil in with the Oscars, and came home to find my biggest Tiger Oscar had somehow jumped out of the tank and must have flipped around for a while and until he made it inside the back of the wooden cabinet/stand and died. I was heartbroken and couldn't figure out how he squeezed out through the little area between the glass and filter. <Mixing adult large cichlids is really not a good idea. They will compete for territories and things could get ugly.> 2nd question is I then tried to put my Texas Cichlid (about 5-6') with the similar sized, more aggressive Red Devil in the 55 gall. Suddenly the Texas, which is female, became very aggressive and chased the Red Devil in circles night and day. After a few weeks of this I finally decided to move the Texas back by herself in a 30 gall. Neither of them seem too happy now but also neither of them are getting nicks all over anymore. Do you think both of these fish generally are better off by themselves in the long run? (The only other fish I have with each of them is A Pleco to keep the glass clean) < Keep them by themselves and play it save.-Chuck>  

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