55 Gallon cichlid tank journal

Discussion in 'sick-lid boy' started by sick-lid boy, Apr 1, 2007.

  1. sick-lid boyValued MemberMember

    Quick (or maybe not so quick) review:

    Bought a stocked 55 gallon tank on eBay with a 9" Oscar, an 8" Jack Dempsey, two huge catfish, and a small African Cichlid. The African Cichld died a few days after I got him home.. Tank and filter were extremely dirty when I got it home. I cleaned them both out as much as I could without ruining the beneficial bacteria. Took a few weeks to get the tank, gravel, rocks, and filter as clean as I like to keep things.
    I was thinking about keeping the fish that came with the tank.. they were pretty much the same type of fish I was planning on getting anyway, but I ended up trading them in at the LFS for an Albino Oscar, a Green Terror, and a Chocolate Pleco. I already had a Bala Shark that I stupidly bought for my 15 gallon, so I threw him in there as well. But he's getting evicted soon. I also have a few other temporary tenants - a pleco and a black upside down catfish. I got a 2" Red Jewel African cichlid with a big pile of small tropical fish a guy sold me for $10, so I put him in the 55 gallon as well. By the end of the week, the only fish in the 55 gallon should be the Albino Oscar, the Green Terror, the Red Jewel, and the chocolate pleco. Wouldn't mind holding on to the black catfish as well- he's pretty cool looking- but he's the same type of fish that came with the tank, and that fish was around 10".. just not enough room. The smaller one I have now is growing really fast, so he's outta here very soon...

    Out of the three cichlids, the Green Terror is by far the most aggressive so far. Especially towards the Oscar. He nips at him on a regular basis, but so far, I haven't seen any damage... just seems to be kind of a dominance thing. Lately, the Oscar has been standing his ground instead of swimming away and hiding like he used to. Sometimes he even retaliates with a little nip of his own. He's no longer intimidated.

    I've got conflicting reports on a Red Jewel. When I first got him, I looked him up on the web and read that Red Jewels are one of the more peaceful Cichlids, yet they can defend themselves against bigger bully fish. "Perfect!", I thought. So I put him the 55 gallon( he's around 2.5", the Green Terror is about 4, 4.5" and the Oscar is probably somewhere around 5 inches.). Then last night I found a Red Jewel profile that say he's a VERY aggressive fish. He already chases the Bala Shark around and the shark is at least twice his size. I guess I'll see how it all pans out. Hopefully they will all be buddies, but at this point, it doesn't look like there's much of a chance of that.

    Set up came with a Magnum 350 canister filter, a light fixture with a 48" Aqua-Glo fluorescent tube, a 150W heater, a ton of rocks and caves (enough for two large tanks), the fish, and a big pile of miscellaneous aquarium stuff- including a one gallon desktop tank, 3 or 4 old power filters (I don't think any of them are complete), a couple nets, magnetic glass wiper/algae scraper, a algae scraper/planter, a bunch of plastic plants, a bunch of food, chems, and fish medicine, and any other fish tank related items the guy had.

    I replaced the Magnum filter with a new one since it was so badly neglected for so long and had too many problems as a result. I took out the single tube light fixture and built a double one in it's place. I am going to make a hood/canopy sometime within the next week or so. Probably going to paint the back of the tank black
  2. sick-lid boyValued MemberMember





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  3. sick-lid boyValued MemberMember

    Nothing new, but just an update on what's happening...

    When I bought my 80 gallon Discus tank, the guy who sold it to me threw in 10 or 12 tropical fish (besides the discus)... a couple guppies, a few harlequin rasboras, a few neon tetras, and a few dwarf puffers... and a little baby red jewel cichlid. I gave a few of the fish away, put the neon tetras in with the discus fish, put the rasboras and guppies in my 15 gallon, and put the red jewel in the 55 gallon. Well... he's growing extremely quick due to his enormous appetite (eats anything and everything I put in the tank) and he's developed one of a bad attitude also. He must think he's bigger than he really is, or he has a Napoleon complex or something, cause he unseated the green terror as the most aggressive fish in the tank. Kind of interesting... ever since he started being so aggressive towards the other fish, the green terror- who was highly aggressive before the red jewel came around- has turned into kind of the peacekeeper of the tank. The green terror used to constantly box with the oscar, but now he never does.. instead he kinda nudges the red jewel away when he starts nipping at the oscar. The oscar isn't really intimidated by the red jewel, but he definitely keeps an eye on him all the time. Fish politics... what a concept. Here's a recent shot of the red jewel. When I got him, he was about an inch and half and basically colorless... now, a month later he's about 4 inches and bright red.

  4. Stradius011Well Known MemberMember

    I read in a book that this was to test who was stronger. I thought that was interesting. Anyway, nice tank and fish.
  5. sick-lid boyValued MemberMember

    That's exactly what it looked like... some kind if a dominance thing. In any case, my Oscar and Green Terror are both very happy he's gone. I just went to the LFS where I traded the Red Jewel, and they haven't put him out in the 'for sale' tanks yet... I guess he's still in solitary confinement somewhere in the back of the store...
  6. susitna-flowerWell Known MemberMember

    :) I bet an employee has that bad boy in their own tank, if he is so aggressive, either he went out to someone who knew what they were getting, or it is a prize specimen in their private collection! Doesn't it give you an agitated feeling to see such tank conflict! I know it is the natural way of things, but I am more into watching active, but peaceable fish.

    Fish in the Frozen North 8)
  7. sick-lid boyValued MemberMember

    Funny you mentioned it. The other day when I went in to that LFS, I asked the owner if he had sold the Red Jewel yet. He told me, "It's still in the back." Hmmmm...