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First time cichlid owner

Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2004 5:31 pm
by Thaiboxer
I have kept fresh water community fish for about 8 years. Time for a change. I've told my friends all my fish are for sale, any that don't sell I am going to trade in at my LFS. Just have a few questions before i get started.

Why should i pick one locale of fish over another?

Some of my friends have cichlid tanks and i hear stories about how Plecos are always getting killed and what not. I currently own 2 Synodontis Petricola which are from Lake Tanginika, Will these survie in a cichlid tank? They are $45 each i would rather sell them then have them die.

My current tank set up is a rectagular 75 gal. (not sure actual dimensions), I'm running 2 Aquaclear 300's one on each side. Keeps the water very clear. I do weekly water changes so my tanks stay pretty clean. I have a friend who is telling me that i will need power heads, i dont know if that is true or if its just because he wants to try and sell me his used ones.

Any thing else i should know or be concerned about?

Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2004 6:41 pm
by Thaiboxer
I've decided to go with Africans and stick to Tanginika. Just so i can keep my petricolas.

Your catfish and so on.

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 4:59 pm
by Willy
I am a little bit shocked to see that people in the USA and Canada are keeping so many different kind of cichlids together,even when they come from very different areas!
Keep catfishes together with cichlids from exactly the area,and the problems will not be so big,depends on the size of the tank.
AND...don't mix-up all the kinds of cichlids!!!
That is a kind of animal-abuse to!!!
This is not an personal attack,excuse me,for everybody,keep Tanganjika-Malawi-Central-Amerika-West-African or what kind of fish togethet with their counterparts from the same country or area or even river when you can find this out!
When you put not to many fish in your tank,you will see that everything after one week settles,and much more quit and peacefull.
A shocked Dutchman

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 9:20 pm
by Lisachromis
Hi Willy,

Personally, I don't see a problem with mixing the different fish together as long as a few guidelines are used. The biggest one is water conditions. After that it's behaviour. You also have to use some experience in mixing fish. Like, don't mix shelldwellers with maybe say Sciaenochromis. That's asking for the poor little shelldwellers to get eaten. I do find that many people tend to keep alot of fish in smaller tanks. That's usually a cost/space factor for most people. For some fish, it's actually better to overstock the tank to reduce aggression. But of course this means that your maintenance schedule should reflect this fact. If you can't keep up with the "housework", don't keep the fish.

Reply on several issues

Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2004 9:50 pm
by Willy
I think we understand eachother.
Do the zoos keep a lion in a cage that just fits?
Of course it is possible to keep fish from different continents together.
In fact this is what most people actually do.
But i like to think that we cichlidlovers are more specialists,and keep the fishes in the best natural circumstances possible,and that we should give newcomers the good advice for the best start in the hobby.
I see everywhere that people start very enthousiastic with this hobby,but after some misfaillures quickly get rid of their tanks.
Here is the job for experienced people and aquariumclubs,because the trade will only think for money(and thats a shame),i think you agree.
I myself am a very active member of the club in my hometown in Holland,and i help many people out with their problems and a lot of other people in the club to.
Probably this is one of the reasons that we are the fastest growing club in our country.
We are not only giving advice,but we have a technical group that will help the people to make a tank as they want it,including every necessary detail,for very reduced prices.
This will people give a good start and keeping them much longer to this beautifull hobby of ours.
we will seeing eachother here more often,succes and good luck,Willy

Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 7:06 pm
by polleni
If this was just another fish forum I would - perhaps - agree with mixing species from different habitats (still taking into account the precautions outlined in brief by Lisachromis). However, in this forum I feel that the main point is to provide correct information first (what "should be done") and then - if absolutely needed - discuss if it "can be done". Anything "can be done", this is true. This "anything" can last an hour or a decade, this is also true. However, the point is not to add this "red" with this "yellow" because they make a nice contrast. I also understand that many people want to keep as many fish as possible but in my opinion, if you don't have the tank space, just don't get that extra fish. I tend to agree with Willy's comments. Sometimes I see some tanks full of almost everything you can think of and I feel really sorry.. for the fish. Surviving is definitely not what we should be looking for. Thriving should be the word.. IMO of course.

Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 8:56 pm
by Lisachromis
polleni wrote:Thriving should be the word.. IMO of course.
Exactly! If they aren't thriving, then something is wrong.