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Old 08-09-2012, 10:42 AM   #11 
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I spoke to someone at the local fish store and they told me that the fish frequently try to spawn in their tank and they can observe them and look for a pair for me. When I went it was just to buy stuff for the tank and I wasn't ready to buy any fish, but she pointed out males that looked ready to breed and told me that there would be attempts to spawn soon, which wuold make pairs more evident.

Should I trust the fish store to pick out a pair for me? The staff's generally pretty knowledgeable. They tend to give good information and the tanks are almost always kept very well and the fish are healthy. I've very rarely seen dead fish in tanks and the last time I did I'm pretty sure that it was because they got a bad shipment. When I went to pick up stuff for the tanks the fish were brightly colored, the tank was clean, and I didn't notice a single dead fish in any of the tanks.

Also, if it makes any difference the tank isn't 29 gallons as I originally thought. It's actually a 30 gallon breeder. While the volume is only a gallon more, it's half a foot longer than a 29 gallon. I read that footprint is more important than volume for some cichlids. Is that the case here? If it is, does the extra 6" make any difference or would it have to be more like an additional foot before it starts to matter? The tank was pretty old. My dad bought it when my sister and I were maybe three or four years old so we didn't really remember. I had just assumed it was a 29, but when I got the green light to set it up I measured it and discovered it was considerably longer than I had originally thought.
If you have your heart set on the Jewel's, then I would let a pair form in dealer's tank.
They should be able to pick out the pair, much more color in spawning condition, digging in substrate.
Regarding the tank,,, inches count with cichlid's.
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:13 PM   #12 
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Thanks for all the info. I do really like the jewels and if it's safe to get a pair from the store I think I'd like to do that. When I went last she pointed out one male who was trying to spawn while we were standing there, but I wasn't ready to get fish yet. But, they said if I called in advance they would be able to observe them and find a pair of them.

Would rainbows be a better bet, or are they both kind of the same?
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:59 PM   #13 
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Now I'm kind of leaning back towards the rainbows... I love the colors of the jewel cichlids, but I've read the rainbows are less aggressive and I'd prefer if my dither fish didn't get mauled... I picked zebra danios because I was told they're very fast, they swim near the top of the tank, and they're fairly inexpensive. I didn't realize how much I absolutely adore them until I watched the way they interact with each other.

Are the rainbows really less aggressive than the jewels?
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:02 AM   #14 
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Now I'm kind of leaning back towards the rainbows... I love the colors of the jewel cichlids, but I've read the rainbows are less aggressive and I'd prefer if my dither fish didn't get mauled... I picked zebra danios because I was told they're very fast, they swim near the top of the tank, and they're fairly inexpensive. I didn't realize how much I absolutely adore them until I watched the way they interact with each other.

Are the rainbows really less aggressive than the jewels?

By far less aggressive.IME
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:38 AM   #15 
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Is one species more difficult to keep than the other? Also, their colors at the fish store were much duller than I had expected. Is this just because they're probably stressed from an over-crowded tank? And what should I look for when picking food for them?
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:18 PM   #16 
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So... I took another trip to the fish store and the rainbows and jewels pretty much went out the window... They had so many gorgeous cichlids I had looked at briefly but didn't think I'd be able to find! There were these electric blue rams that were just lovely and they had bolivian red rams and high fin gold ones. They had blue balloon rams, too. They just had everything!

So I spent quite a lot of time browsing and talking to people in the store and came out with two albino kribs instead of the jewels or rainbows. I've read that they're more peaceful and I do have a soft spot for white fish. I was pretty tempted to snatch up the electric blue rams, though. Those were just gorgeous!
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