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|Cichlid Newbie with Newbie Cichlids|
I'm pretty sure they're "metriaclima" the tank they were in was labeled "assorted african cichlids"
They were free since the place can't sell animals born in the store, they're not in the inventory.
They've proven to be very aggressive, 1 died after a week, and then a week later another one died. Then after I moved them to a new tank (were in a breeder net in my 20 gallon) they attacked and killed another.
I'm down to 2 now.
They're living in my Fluval Chi for now with lots of hidey holes, I hardly ever see them except when it's food time.
I do have a home lined up for them, but I'm just wondering what to do until then. They don't want them until they're an inch or more and I don't know how long that's going to take.
I know nothing about cichlids other then they need high pH (which my water is normally anyway, about 8.2-8.5) and lots of places to hide.
|Posted 29-Jan-2012 23:34|
Small Fry with Ketchup
Welcome to the site.
Do you have a complete test kit? One that can measure ammonia nitrite and nitrate as well?
I did a search online as I've never heard of the Fluval Chi, looks like it's a 5 gallon tank? Is yours larger?
I ask these questions for one main reason, fish need a good living environment in which to grow.
Less than perfect water quality or too small of a tank, or worse, the combination of the two together (!) will stunt a fishes growth and increase stress. Stress in fish quickly leads to death.
Since you're trying to encourage growth, what I would do is plan on a 1 gallon water change a day (if the tank really is 5 gallons) making sure you're using a quality dechlorinator and matching the temperature. Don't over feed too much that will just increase waste in the water and you want to try as hard as you can to keep perfect water levels. Small tanks (anything from 1-20 gallons IMO) are very unstable. One day of overfeeding could quickly lead to a tank crash and deaths. If you have frozen peas (just plain frozen peas, no mint, no sugar, just plain peas) you can feed that once or twice a week. Let one or two warm up, then roll them between your fingers until they pop from the outer skin. The skin can be tossed in the compost, then divide the two halves in half again and feed them to the fish. Veggies are good for helping move things along on the inside (to put it nicely ) and can help provide some additional nutrients that may be missing from their dry food. Be sure you take a little extra care with the gravel vac to get as much of their waste up after feeding peas as they tend to leave a bit more of a mess while eating them.
You mention you had a lot of hidey holes, do you have lots of plants in there as well? They do not need to be live plants (although that would be best) anything to help give more coverage would be good.
If you have some plastic mesh you can insert in the tank that would allow water to flow through the tank but still give each one their own side that could help as well.
You can have a look through the cichlid profiles to see if you can find exactly the ones you have.
I'm glad you've got a home lined up for them , keep up with daily water changes that should help them grow quickly. Once they've moved on to their larger home, please just keep a betta in that tank, it can't take much more than that!
|Posted 30-Jan-2012 00:18|
They look like really small versions of this one, but they have dark spots on their heads, I've been calling them "Top Hat" and "Half Hat"
They're both peachy colored right now, so does that mean both are female, or is that just a juvenile color?
I can definitely add more plants, I switched my 20gal to live plants so I have a TON of fake ones laying around
Yes, the Fluval Chi is very small. I did have my betta in it before but now he's in the 10 gallon with 5 female guppies and they're getting along great. I have plans to turn it into a planted Nano Tank after the cichlids are gone.
I have the API Master Test Kit, I'll get those readings later tonight when I have the water changes scheduled for all 3 tanks.
Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it. I know I'm in way over my head here, I even had the silly idea of keeping some of them before they died O.o
|Posted 30-Jan-2012 18:36|
Small Fry with Ketchup
I've only kept a few cichlids (not a huge fan of the aggressive behaviors) so I don't know how their juvi coloring is, you might have two females.
Add as many plants as you can realistically, the more cover you can give them the safer they should feel. I have one lionhead that I almost never see except at feeding times, whereas the kribs I have are almost always out and bossing the rest of the tank. So long as you are seeing them at feeding time I wouldn't worry too much if they hide in a small tank.
The reason I'm urging frequent water changes is that a few years ago I read a post saying how growing fish release a specific hormone into the water when they're growing and that the buildup in a small tank can trigger them to stop growing therefore stunting their growth. The whole idea being that nature wouldn't let them get too big for their environment. That said, I've not been able to find evidence since then to support the idea, but in a way it does make sense, which is why I'm urging the extra water changes. Keep them happy and they'll grow basically .
|Posted 30-Jan-2012 22:44|
I'm constantly adding water to this tank as the evaporation rate is INSANE. I find myself adding about 3 cups of water to it every 2-3 days to keep the filter from chugging. Soo ready to chuck it...
I added more plants, so now this little 5 gallon square is packed full of about 10 fake plants, and the little guys have been coming out and exploring more. They're definitely getting bigger too.
I've found "Half Hat" to be more dominate than "Top Hat," it also explores way more than the other. They seem to enjoy veggie flakes too...
I've got my gallon jug set up and the water setting, so they're all set for today
This has been quite the experience, I can't wait for them to get big enough to go to their new home. Seriously. I am counting down the days, LOL!
|Posted 01-Feb-2012 17:43|
Small Fry with Ketchup
It's hard to enjoy having fish when they're causing trouble. Is the tank covered? That will help reduce some of the evaporation. Lowering the temp slowly by one degree a day can help as well, just keep it inside the range that they're happy with.
Glad they're out a bit more, it's a good thing you had those spare plants on hand!
|Posted 06-Feb-2012 23:37|
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