What do I have

Identifying your cichlid

Moderator: Pam Chin

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What do I have

Post by Artsyone » Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:56 pm

Hi Pam,
We have a 125 gallon tank with an assortment of African and South American Cichlids. We have a pair of Auratus, Convicts, Jack Dempseys, and Leopard Fish. The Convicts have taken over a log in the tank, but the Jack Dempseys also hang around the same area. We have babies! Many batches from very small fry to the ones pictured here. We keep waiting for them to resemble their parents, but still have no idea what we have. We have taken pictures to our knowledgeable aquarium/fish guy, but he can't identify. Any info you can give us would be most appreciated. Can Cichlid species interbreed, or is this a specific species? And yes, he does have those beautiful Orange spots. Thanks for all you help. We love our fish, but are not as knowledgeable as we should be.
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Pam Chin
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Location: California, USA

Re: What do I have

Post by Pam Chin » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:49 pm

Hi Artsyone,

Yes, cichlids can and will crossbreed. So it is going to be hard to tell what you have going.

Crossbred fish are very controversial in the fish hobby. Hybrids are frowned upon. Its not so bad if you keep them in your tank, but often fishkeepers will trade these fish in at the store, and people end up buying them without realizing it. Because most of these fish are only found in one location, in a huge lake, they are susceptible to becoming rare and endangered in their natural habitat. Some are already cross bred in ponds in Asia, that sell to many US stores.

So you really have to do your homework and learn as much about your fish as you can. For example it really isn't best to keep South American Cichlids with African Cichlids. I am not saying it can't be done, but these fish have different water parameters and diet requirements, so if those are not being met it is not in the best interest of the fish.

So you really need to decide which fish you like best, and then design your tank around them. Your fish will do better and look better.

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