Help with African Cichlid tank

  • Sully
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Sully created the topic: Help with African Cichlid tank

Hello! My boyfriend has a 55 gal tank with african cichlids and peacocks. I know absolutely nothing about african cichlids but I'm quite sure that your not supposed to put peacocks with them. I am going to be doing some reading on here to learn more about them but I wanted to at least figure out what it is we have first (I have pics). Plus I have a feeling he's not doing something right as I only really know about oscars and how to care for them.

First let me give some details...
-He bought them all from petsmart :dry:
-55 gal tank, 2 marineland 200 hob, heater, aerator
-Cycled tank as previously had an Oscar in it (Ph 7.8, Amm 0, NitrIte 0, NitrAte 10)
-Same maintenance as O tank (gravel vac/wc once a week, add prime with every wc)
-2 months ago he first bought 6 baby african cichlids (2 blue, 2 yellow, 1 white, 1 orange)
-1 month ago he added 4 peacocks and 2 black striped african cichlids (1 blue, 1 yellow)
-Now he has a total of 12 fishies
-A few days ago one of the peacocks died (not sure why but probably cuz they're not supposed to be with african cichlids)
-Now he has 11 fishies :(

Alright here's some pics!

Tank:


Yellow and black striped african cichlid:


White/albino african cichlid:


Yellow african cichlid:


Orange african cichlid:


Blue african cichlid and in background blue and black striped one:


Peacocks:



And this peacock looks like he's next to go:


I have labeled these according to how they were sold to him at petsmart. I don't even know if I am naming them correctly or if there is different names for them as I saw there are african cichlids from 3 different places and would like to know where these are from so I can give my boyfriend better instructions on how to care for them. Like for example is the yellow one a "yellow lab" and such?

I have been looking through some of the topics under african cichlids and would like to thank Nina for already providing some very helpful information... with the O's too :cheer:

Like I said earlier I am really only knowledgeable with my O's so I just want to make sure my boyfriend does the right thing with his cichlid tank :pinch:
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  • Brooksie
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Brooksie replied the topic: Re: Help with African Cichlid tank

First... Nina should jump in here and be the best source of information. She rocks on this subject. But I'm going to give you a tiny bit of info.

Second... this is a site that I use for identifying my African Cichlids. Great info for me at least:
www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/african_cichlid_genus_gallery.php

Third... here is what I found for you... I put the link to the page where I found the fish too so you can have a look.

Yellow and black striped african cichlid:

This is a Pseudotropheus crabro aka Bumblebee - I personally love these little guys! I have two in my tank. I have one that turned black with faint striping and the other stayed the Bumblebee stripes.
www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=845

White/albino african cichlid:

I have one of these and he is just that, an albino african cichlid, as far as I can tell... not sure what he really is. Maybe Nina can tell you something else but I think she didn't have a specific name for that one for me either.

Blue african cichlid and in background blue and black striped one:

The Blue & Black striped one in the back may be a Pseudotropheus demasoni but I'm not quite sure. I can't see him very well.
www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=849

The Blue african cichlid in the front could be a Metriaclima callainos aka Blue Cobalt. I had to get rid of this guy because he was pretty aggressive in my tank. Don't take that to mean that is the problem in your tank. PLEASE ! I'm just helping identify some of your fish.
www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=787

Those are the only ones that I know. Sorry. The other two yellow & orange ones, I've never seen before. Not sure what they are. I'm sure Nina does! Good luck. I'm going to watch the thread so that I can see what she has to say.

Brooksie

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  • Joshm13
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Joshm13 replied the topic: Re: Help with African Cichlid tank

Bummer about the loss, should the nitrate be that high? They're suppose to be at zero I do believe.

75 freshwater Malawi Cichlid tank
20 gallon long nano tank
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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: Help with African Cichlid tank

Sully wrote: Hello! My boyfriend has a 55 gal tank with african cichlids and peacocks. I know absolutely nothing about african cichlids but I'm quite sure that your not supposed to put peacocks with them. I am going to be doing some reading on here to learn more about them but I wanted to at least figure out what it is we have first (I have pics). Plus I have a feeling he's not doing something right as I only really know about oscars and how to care for them.


Hi :) This is going to get long, so bear with me. You don't mix peacocks and mbuna (even though they're mostly from the same lake) because of aggression (more on this later) and diet. The one group is strictly vegetarian, the other more omnivorous. Diet can be managed with a good pellet staple, like New life spectrum or hikari for herbivores. Make sure the protein content is LOW (below 40% is ok).

First let me give some details...
-He bought them all from petsmart :dry:
-55 gal tank, 2 marineland 200 hob, heater, aerator
-Cycled tank as previously had an Oscar in it (Ph 7.8, Amm 0, NitrIte 0, NitrAte 10)
-Same maintenance as O tank (gravel vac/wc once a week, add prime with every wc)
-2 months ago he first bought 6 baby african cichlids (2 blue, 2 yellow, 1 white, 1 orange)
-1 month ago he added 4 peacocks and 2 black striped african cichlids (1 blue, 1 yellow)
-Now he has a total of 12 fishies
-A few days ago one of the peacocks died (not sure why but probably cuz they're not supposed to be with african cichlids)
-Now he has 11 fishies :(


Only problem with petsmart is they don't name their fish, or have hybrids. But ok, onwards.

Alright here's some pics!

Yay pics :D

Tank:

Love the holey-rock, but you could add quite a bit more of it too :)

Yellow and black striped african cichlid:

I second Brooksie, crabbro. Big and mean, usually not recommended for beginners, or for 55 gallon tanks. But Brooksie has two that are mild, so maybe. Keep an eye on these guys as they grow, they can be nasty.

White/albino african cichlid:

Albino red top hara (scientific name metriaclima sp. red top). But this one is likely to be mixed with something else, too, so don't go distributing them as such. Albinos are almost always mutts, unless you get them from a breeder.

Yellow african cichlid:

Labidochromis caeruleus (yellow lab), scared. Poor thing :( Also - very, very fat - this is either bloat (oh, I hope not!) or poor diet or both.

Orange african cichlid:

maylandia estherae, red zebra. Small little thing, very cute :)

Blue african cichlid and in background blue and black striped one:

The blue one in the front is metriaclima callainos- cobalt blue zebra. I love these fish :)
The one in the back may be a demasoni, or it could be a Kenyi (metriaclima lombadroyi). Get me a closer picture of it and I'll be able to say which.

Peacocks:



Too young to say, but it's very very likely that they're hybrids that will be called something like sunshine peacocks or orange peacocks.

And this peacock looks like he's next to go:

She. And yes, this is a typical bullied fish. Vertical in the corner. You have aggression problems. I'd bet this is what contributes to your deaths, this and poor health (excessive feeding and/or bloat).

To help with aggression you can add more hiding spaces - or give the aggressors a time out. But in your case, more significant changes need making. You need to pick three mild species of mbuna, and stock those three species in harem numbers (one male four females). Your blue guy, metriaclima callainos, cobalt blue zebra, is one option. The yellow labs another. The albinos, maybe, but their likely mutt heritage makes it hard to judge.
Or, two aggressive species (one male, seven or eight females). The striped guy - demasoni or kenyi, could be an example here, and the crabbro, MAYBE! I wouldn't suggest crabbro, they really are almost always too aggressive for a 55.

Or, you need to make a peacock tank. Either one species, with male and females (the females are impossible to distinguish, so breeding groups should not be mixed), or all males, eight or so males, and you'll need to order purebred fish to have any luck here, since their colours need to be as different as possible.

I have labeled these according to how they were sold to him at petsmart. I don't even know if I am naming them correctly or if there is different names for them as I saw there are african cichlids from 3 different places and would like to know where these are from so I can give my boyfriend better instructions on how to care for them. Like for example is the yellow one a "yellow lab" and such?


As above, you need to make changes to their diet and to the tank setup to have long-term success.

Like I said earlier I am really only knowledgeable with my O's so I just want to make sure my boyfriend does the right thing with his cichlid tank :pinch:


Hope this helps a bit.
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  • Nina_W
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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: Help with African Cichlid tank

Joshm13 wrote: Bummer about the loss, should the nitrate be that high? They're suppose to be at zero I do believe.


nitrates cannot ever be zero (they are a product of the bacteria that breaks down nitrite and ammonia), but under 20 is a good level. :)
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Brooksie replied the topic: Re: Help with African Cichlid tank

OMG !!! I actually was right on some of those fish!!!! Nina that Albino looks exactly like mine so I thought it was a mutt like you mentioned. I forgot about the Kenyi's... that was my very, very, very first fish after my Oscar and JD... he didn't make it. :(

I'm just happy I got some of them right!

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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: Help with African Cichlid tank

Brooksie wrote: OMG !!! I actually was right on some of those fish!!!! Nina that Albino looks exactly like mine so I thought it was a mutt like you mentioned. I forgot about the Kenyi's... that was my very, very, very first fish after my Oscar and JD... he didn't make it. :(

I'm just happy I got some of them right!


are you sure, Brooksie, about the albino? This guy has an orange dorsal fin, is yours the same?

Also, the stripes on the face, in front of the eye?
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Brooksie replied the topic: Re: Help with African Cichlid tank

Nina_W wrote:

Brooksie wrote: OMG !!! I actually was right on some of those fish!!!! Nina that Albino looks exactly like mine so I thought it was a mutt like you mentioned. I forgot about the Kenyi's... that was my very, very, very first fish after my Oscar and JD... he didn't make it. :(

I'm just happy I got some of them right!


are you sure, Brooksie, about the albino? This guy has an orange dorsal fin, is yours the same?

Also, the stripes on the face, in front of the eye?


Not trying to hijack this thread... sorry!

Nina, to answer your questions... No stripes at all. The only orange is where the body and the dorsal fin meet - there seems to be a hint of orange (or a shade to that effect) where the two connect. But the fins and body - no... he is otherwise pink/white all over his body with pink eyes.

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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: Help with African Cichlid tank

Brooksie wrote:
Not trying to hijack this thread... sorry!

Nina, to answer your questions... No stripes at all. The only orange is where the body and the dorsal fin meet - there seems to be a hint of orange (or a shade to that effect) where the two connect. But the fins and body - no... he is otherwise pink/white all over his body with pink eyes.


(sorry about hijack!) - then yes, Brooksie, I'm fairly sure yours is 100% albino something. But even with this one, there is no confidence that it is a 100% pure species, it's safest to say albino with mostly metriaclima sp. red top.

(end of hijack!)
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  • Sully
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Sully replied the topic: Re: Help with African Cichlid tank

My goodness! You guys are awesome! Brooksie and Nina thank you both sooooo much!

My b/f is on his way home so give me a little while to go through this with him. Already warned him that we are "having a little discussion" about his tank when he gets here! HaHa!

No worries about that "hijack" lol You guys are funny! I don't mind at all.

So a couple things I can tell you as of now... I'm pretty sure he has been over feeding them as when I took those pics he had just fed them...a lot too! That's definitely gonna stop.

We will also rehome the peacocks and stick with a mild species of mbuna. I'm gonna have questions about that once I talk with him so I will be back on after a little bit.

One question I know of so far is...for example...say I pick 3 species such as the blue ones, yellow labs and albino we will get 5 of each species (1 male to 4 females of each species) totaling 15 fishies...do I have this right?
5 yellow labs (1 male, 4 females)
5 bue ones (1 male, 4 females)
5 albino-ish :P (1 male, 4 females)

2nd question is how do you know when buying them if they are male or female? Or is it something that you have to wait and find out once they grow then remove the males as they show up?

Thank you so much!
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