220 Gallon Questions:

Q&A about cichlids in community tanks

Moderator: Pam Chin

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220 Gallon Questions:

Post by Snake42490 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:45 pm

Hey Pam, You used to help me a couple of years ago on cichlid-forum chat i believe. Anyway, i have a few questions regarding my 220 gallon. I started the tank off almost 2 years ago, all of the fish were fry when I got them.

Stock List for the Tank:

Red Empress: 2 Males, 2 Females 4- 5 inches
blue dolphin moorii: 12.. Not sure on the Sex of any of them. 3-3.5 inches
Nimbochromis venustus: 1 Male, 2 Female Male 5 inches, females 3-4
champsochromis caeruleus: 4: about 4 inches. Unsexed.
Syno Multis: 5

The first few months a lot of fish died... Mostly between Red Empress Venustus and Champs. I think it was the extra males that were fighting it out. Anyway, the past year has gone great and I have not lost 1 fish. I was wondering if you think that i should get a couple more Female Venustus and a couple more Female red empress. I know I am having no problems, but the males are breeding the 2 females hard. I have about 300 fry babies that i have acquired in the last 3 months from 4 female fish. The females are doing alright, but I am not letting any of them hold. I have been harvesting the eggs as soon as i see them holding. I am fine having babies.. I would actually like to sell them, but i don't want to put stress on the females in the tank now.

Do you know how I can sex my champs? I am curious if I have any males left in the group. If I do have any males when should they start coloring up?

Pam Chin
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Re: 220 Gallon Questions:

Post by Pam Chin » Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:04 pm

Hey Snake!

If you can find females close enough to the same size it would be the best way to go. Then I would do a major water change and move the rocks around and add them all at one time. If you had add enough new fish and mix it up with the rocks, they will usually be able to merge in quickly. If you add just one or two fish at a time, they could be singled out. Believe it or not in an established tank like yours every square inch is owned by somebody, so you have to mix it up enough to force them to define new territories.

As far as sexing Champs, the only accurate way is to vent them, and with their size it should be fairly easy, you can compare the vents of the fish you have and go from there. Or you just let the Champs figure it out on their own, it is possible that one of your other haps is dominating the tank and they are avoiding confrontation by holding their color in.

Sounds like a nice tank!
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