Cichlid Enrichment

Dingomama
  • #1
My cichlid has to live alone because the people and the pet store that had him previously had him living alone because they said he would attack any other aquarium inhabitant. I think of him more as a mistreated fish I rescued than one I bought.
I love my mean little buddy (named Chicken). I just worry about him being bored. Chicken has rocks, a clay pot, driftwood, 3 marimo and plants, and an aragonite and gravel substrate.

I'd love any and all ideas about cichlid enrichment.
 
Rainbows and Fishes
  • #2
Do you know what kind of Cichlid he is, what size aquarium is he in? Generally fish don’t need much, it sounds like you already spoil him
 
DutchAquarium
  • #3
could you tell us the type of cichlid you own because if he has a big enough aquarium and enough hiding places, you should be fine.
 
Dingomama
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
could you tell us the type of cichlid you own because if he has a big enough aquarium and enough hiding places, you should be fine.
He is a red zebra. He's in a 29 gallon.
 
Rainbows and Fishes
  • #5
Perhaps with lots of cover other Mbuna Cichlid males would work
 
Dingomama
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Would 29 gallons be ok if I got two more? Would they have to be at least close to as large as he is?
I've thought of that but I'd hate to try it out just to see Chicken kill or seriously hurt them. Maybe I could get a larger aquarium and let two other cichlids establish territory before I put Chicken in there.

I guess I need to weigh out the better quality of life he'd potentially have against the stress of moving him out of the home he's built for himself.
 
Rainbows and Fishes
  • #7
The larger aquarium idea might be a good one, you may be able to find really afforadable options on Craigslist or Facebook market place. The new fish could grow to be larger in the new aquarium if need be as they should be around his size when they’re added together. I think the 29 gal could work with cover and similarly sized fish that are added make sure that your fish are all males. In order to do a mixed sex tank you’d need a lot of females to males to make it work.
 
Rainbows and Fishes
  • #8
There are some great videos on YouTube on staring aggressive Cichlid aquariums as well that might be worth checking out
 
Dingomama
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
There are some great videos on YouTube on staring aggressive Cichlid aquariums as well that might be worth checking out
Do you think that living alone is bad for him?
 
Rainbows and Fishes
  • #10
Not at all, he’s an aggressive Cichlid so having his own territory is kind of the goal for him, he also seems to be very lucky with such an attentive owner
 
fishandle
  • #11
You could keep him alone in 29 or a group of 12 or more in a 55. Overstocking is the strategy to keep african cichlids. If you keep just a few, they will fight to the death.
 
Dingomama
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Oh no, it's the classic aquarist moment of "the answer to my concern for my fish is more fish."



Thank you all for your help. The idea that he's very aggressive and his actual goal is to not share his space was an aha moment for me. I hadn't thought of it that way. Chicken thanks you.
 

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