Can someone help me identify this African Cichlid

americanninja

So, I was in Petco yesterday and saw this beautiful fish mixed in with the Convict Cichlids and Blood Parrots. It looked so colorful and I wasn't sure what it was. I assumed it was not a Convict (I probably should have trusted my own instincts). I asked the petco staff and she replied that it's a convict, just a different variation. hah. Perhaps she's right, but then I later noticed in the larger "assorted African cichlid" tank they had larger ones that looked the same. So I'm assuming it's an African Cichlid. Anyway, he's now in the 30 gallon tank with my 5in blood parrot and 2 x 1.5inch Mollies. Yeah, I know it's a strange living arrangement, but somehow the blood parrot and mollies get along, and they mark their own boundaries. This little guy is not shy at all and eats like crazy. I love the look of him though, so I'm hoping he can be compatible and stay. I figure he is small enough now (same size as the mollies) and the blood parrot is enormous compared to him, so, I'm hoping things will work out.

But I would like to know what this fish is, so that I make sure not to feed him things that would be bad. I feed a mix of Hikari pellets, Omega one fish flakes, and occasionally frozen blood worms. I've read that some African Cichlids can get sick if eating blood worms, so that's the part I'm concerned with.

Anyway, I would appreciate the help!


IMG_6291.JPG
IMG_6294.JPG
 

Demeter

Definitely an African of the more aggressive variety, a mbuna. That looks to be a kenyi cichlid, these guys are more vegetarian and should not be fed blood worms and the like. As this fish matures it will likely become more aggressive, not suitable for a community tank. Africans should only be kept with other Africans. I suggest doing more researching to get a better idea of what to expect.
 
Upvote 0

americanninja

Thank you!
I recently saw this guys video with his African Cichlid tank with his large blood parrot. I'm actually thinking to do the same.

All I have in my tank today is the 4-5inch Blood Parrot and the 2 mollies. The mollies were really only in the tank to make sure it was safe to add the blood parrot, as I had the LFS keeping it on hold while I was waiting for the tank to cycle. We didn't think the mollies would make it, but they have. ;)

I really like the colors of the African Cichlids, so I'm thinking to make this tank African cichlids with the blood parrot. I think as long as I only add 1 or 2 of these fish over a period of months and buy them when they are young/small (1-2inch), then perhaps they will be used to the blood parrot and won't mess with him.

Either way, the linked video, he seemed to not have a problem. I think it all depends on personalities of the fish, etc. But would love to hear thoughts/advice from others.
 
Upvote 0

Demeter

The problem I'm seeing is the tank size. 30gal will not allow enough room for a full grown blood parrot plus a few Africans and mollies. When it comes to Africans you should over stock them to spread aggression. Keeping just a few in a too-small tank will lead to problems, especially if you end up with breeding and competing males. You can give it a go but given time I'm pretty sure you will run into problems with the African cichlids should you add more.

The key to keeping different cichlid species together is having a large enough tank, proper hardscape to block line of sight and establish territories, and have enough individuals to spread aggression so no one fish is getting targeted. I'm sure blood parrots and a few dozen Africans would be fine in a 300gal tank (in fact I've seen it) but 30gals simply does not allow any wiggle room for medium/large territorial species should they decide to fight it out.

Those haps and peacocks in his tank are not mbuna, I've learned the hard way how much more aggressive mbuna are compared to other Africans. Plus his tank is very large and over stocked. I'd bet money if he were to only have a handful of Africans with the blood parrot there would be bullying and injured fish. Balance in African tanks takes a fair amount of adding and removing individual fish, starting out with several juveniles and raising them up is the best way to do it, adding new fish to established African tanks will result in aggression from the already established residents.

So what I'm getting at is if you are set on your stocking decision then look into getting a much larger tank, adding several new Africans all at once then be prepared to remove individuals should they become a problem. I personally would not keep any mouth brooding African cichlid in anything smaller than a 40gal, 55gal+ being preferable, and I would not have any less than 6 individuals to spread aggression. I currently have 14 peacocks in my 55gal and even then I still have males fighting from time to time when females are ready to spawn.
 
Upvote 0

GlennO

30 gal is barely big enough for a single BP.
 
Upvote 0

americanninja

Thanks Demeter, that's a lot of very helpful information. I appreciate it! Ugh, I just upgraded to the 30 gallon, I knew I should have just went with the 40 gallon. I guess I just figured I would upgrade again in 6-8 months and start with a few of these small 1inch juveniles. Maybe it's still okay to do that plan with 2-3 Africans now and then upgrade, or would you recommend against it?

For right now, that little Kenyi Cichlid is definitely confident, he doesn't care at all that the blood parrot is like 500x his size, he will still go after the same pellet. In fact, it's kind of fun to watch, as the tank has been somewhat boring with just the blood parrot and two mollies. They don't really interact and the mollies just float around.

So far, nobody is bothering anyone and the african is the smallest in the tank, I know that will change, but I'm wondering if I could just go with the approach to "seeing how it plays out" and then deal with it. It's not guaranteed that it's going to be a problem right?

Also, based on that guys videos, he has another great one that is very informative on keeping Africans (
), it seems the agression issue is often due to having males in the tank with females and trying to impress. Right now, the blood parrot, this Kenyi, and one of the mollies are all females. I wonder how things would go, if i just kept stocking with females only. What do you think of that approach (pros/cons).

Thanks so much for the advice, I'm enjoying learning all about these fascinating fish.
 
Upvote 0

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
10
Views
328
Confused
Replies
28
Views
401
MacZ
Replies
0
Views
210
Hemikyle
Replies
2
Views
172
MacZ
  • Solved
  • Cambrianexplosion24
  • Cichlid
Replies
2
Views
296
Cambrianexplosion24

Random Great Thread!

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom