African Cichlids. Grr! - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Angry African Cichlids. Grr!

I don't know if this is a question or just a vent lol. I have an acai and a domasoni cichlid and I think I totally misjudged their personalities in the store. I totally thought the damasoni was a sweet fish and very personable and the acai I thought would turn out very pretty(which he is). Seemed like two fish suited to be together in a tank. WRONG! I think now that they are housed together I realise the damasoni wasn't being "cute" with me he was approaching me to defend his territory. A human?!?? Do they actually defend against something so big?? These are some weird fish and it's sooooo complicated to keep them. I really want this to workout but they are constantly trying claim tank territory. I haven't had them even a week yet so maybe they'll sort it out. Or maybe I need to overstock to spread the agression but gah!! so much thought going into a "simple" tank.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 11:11 AM
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Heh... cichlids. Cichlids and Gouramis are one of the most wonky fish ever. -.-; "semi aggressive" and "non aggressive" versions usually end up aggressive. Though, if the tank is big enough they should be fine. I am looking after three darn cichlids. One is a big boy, mean as can be. One is a pink fella, wimpy as can be. The third is a small grey, who is half way between mean and nice. The owner had them in a 38 TALL and they got sick, after being so mean and jumpy. Currently they are in my 30 gallon (I want it back ;( ) because I feel they needed the longer space.
And they are getting better (columnaris....), pinky has to be medicated some more directly with malachite green... But it has not spread! The tank size may have dropped, but the space they gained back was better.

Awesome thing about cichlids: I learned they rarely leave 10-12 inches above gravel/bottom. Long tanks, are AWESOME. Not sure if you can find one in your area, as they can sometimes be hard to find. But you know what? They are worth hunting for.

Also tons of decor!! Soft, decor. They like to tear stuff up (sigh...) and they also tend to ram into things

The bigger the space, the better they behave ;p

But it is a good thing you see his behavior. Because it is better than him hiding all the time!!!

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sena Hansler View Post
Heh... cichlids. Cichlids and Gouramis are one of the most wonky fish ever. -.-; "semi aggressive" and "non aggressive" versions usually end up aggressive. Though, if the tank is big enough they should be fine. I am looking after three darn cichlids. One is a big boy, mean as can be. One is a pink fella, wimpy as can be. The third is a small grey, who is half way between mean and nice. The owner had them in a 38 TALL and they got sick, after being so mean and jumpy. Currently they are in my 30 gallon (I want it back ;( ) because I feel they needed the longer space.
And they are getting better (columnaris....), pinky has to be medicated some more directly with malachite green... But it has not spread! The tank size may have dropped, but the space they gained back was better.

Awesome thing about cichlids: I learned they rarely leave 10-12 inches above gravel/bottom. Long tanks, are AWESOME. Not sure if you can find one in your area, as they can sometimes be hard to find. But you know what? They are worth hunting for.

Also tons of decor!! Soft, decor. They like to tear stuff up (sigh...) and they also tend to ram into things

The bigger the space, the better they behave ;p

But it is a good thing you see his behavior. Because it is better than him hiding all the time!!!
lol.. Thanks. Yes, I heard they like to uproot plants *sigh* MY one and only nonplanted tank. I didn't believe it till I got them. The demasoni likes to dig in the sand I've never seen fish act like them before it's fascinating but annoying. I don't have long tank yet as really I wasn't going to buy them a tank until I knew their behavior and needs first. They are babies so I feel the 20gallon is ok for now till I figure out who likes what and if they will be compatible in the long run. I at first put them in my 75 gallon while I was waiting for everything to look right in ttheir tank. They actually were fighting over one particluar cave looking decor in there. . I have a feeling at their size the gallans aren't the issue it's "Who get's the log and who gets the rock?" They seem to agree the Acai gets the top region but there are still squables over the log OMG what did I get myself into?
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 12:51 PM
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Heh... Well, more space will be better. Try adding another similar cave... Take the fish out, rearrange absolutely everything, acclimate them back in, and see if that helps I try to add as much decor for them as possible so they can hide, claim, and feel more secure. Cichlids, to be honest to me they are such a pain

Breed for the breed, not for the money; the words any REAL breeder would understand.

You must know nothing in order to know all, for all is nothing and nothing is for all.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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well. You were right! I just looked closer and I see they have been tearing up the silk plant haha. I am beggining to think they are the "bearded dragons of the lake" lol. I guess I shouldn't judge them too harshly now thinking of it like that. I guess all the decor that my dragon outgrew can get thrown in there. They basically are from the same environment but underwater and are just as picky and bratty.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 02:55 AM
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Um, I'm no expert on cichlids, but I'm 99% positive 20 gallons os far too small for africans.

i also believe you're going to have some issues with your stock. Tazman, a mod, has a lot of experience with african cichlids, id highly recommend you ask him some questions.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 07:16 AM
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They did mention they are babies.

Though I forgot to mention, they do grow fast. The three I am looking after would do best in 50-100 gallons since the biggest is double the smaller one's size, already ate one before I got them... the bigger the better basically. The more suff to hide in the better too.

Breed for the breed, not for the money; the words any REAL breeder would understand.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by djembekah View Post
Um, I'm no expert on cichlids, but I'm 99% positive 20 gallons os far too small for africans.

i also believe you're going to have some issues with your stock. Tazman, a mod, has a lot of experience with african cichlids, id highly recommend you ask him some questions.
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Oh I know! I plan a 50-60 gallon for them but I'm not going to rush into it as I am aware their needs aren't just gallons but the kind of space they get. I am 90% ceertain the 2 I have are both Malawi rock/ sand dwellers and their diet should be the same so in that aspect what I have should be fine. It's personality matching that sucks. But I understand every African tank has a "tank boss". I have them perfectly size matched as babies but the acai will grow bigger. IDK they take waaay too much brain power lol
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 07:45 AM
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I wonder what the the monster one is that I have respectively named "Bully"

*edit: He is a jack dempey. The interesting grumpy faced green speckled one... -.- I should really see the recommendations for these fish..

Breed for the breed, not for the money; the words any REAL breeder would understand.

You must know nothing in order to know all, for all is nothing and nothing is for all.

Last edited by Sena Hansler; 05-16-2013 at 07:50 AM.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 07:59 AM
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My older brother purchased this massive synspillum cichlid from a fish store. It was there because it had killed several fish, an oscar among them.

That fish would attack you if you put your hand in its tank. It used to try and bite your hand if you were feeding it or doing water changes. Not in the sort of curious way of a betta, but in a sort of 'get the hell out of my territory' way.

So yes, going a human is not out of the realm of possibility haha

Also, that synspillum liked arranging his own tank. He used to push rocks around and dig in the gravel to make holes and mounds. I think a lot of cichlids are into 'home decorating'.


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