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Hi Crispin,

welcome to the forum - you might find this does better as a post in a species-specific forum.

Most haps (most cichlids at that) are at least a bit aggressive among themselves if not highly aggressive especially when not heavily stocked, not to mention with other species. When I was keeping them I would always keep species with species - meaning no bristle nose, however I've heard of many people keeping more aggressive catfish like plecs with success with cichlids.

Might be useful to consider size as well as how quickly they grow. If you're determined to have a 'rock cleaner' consider something that is perhaps the size of your adult haps. If you have something like a blue dolphin in there (which are a less aggressive hap, but can still have their moments) you're looking at a significant sized fish - or at least something that can compete, and is more aggressive in nature. Plecs can generally stand up for themselves, but again like the bristle, they prefer different ph/hardness etc

What it really comes down to is keeping in mind your fish size, tank layout, fish stocking levels, and being ready to swap fish around. As juveniles develop, they will become more territorial and develop more aggression - not less. Also keep in mind that different catfish and other fish have significantly different preferred water parameters - yes, they might be able to survive in a cichlid environment, but probably not thrive as they could in water suited for them with more compatible fish. Also comes down to individual fish as well.

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Welcome [MENTION=16733]Crispin Nkowara[/MENTION]!

As for keeping your bristle-nose catfish with cichlids I would look into getting a fish that could protect itself from aggressive fish like a pleco?

I have heard and seen pics of a bristle nose stressing out and spiking another fish with it's barbs while the other fish tried to eat it. The result was two dead fish instead of one.

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