75 Gallon Tank Keyhole Cichlids eating peas (video)

ChrisX

Member
 

Leeman75

Member
Love it! How old are your Keyholes? I have 2 and they are my favorite fish, though they're still only an inch or less.
 

faydout

Member
Holy smokes, I thought mine were almost done growing (I've had them for 6 months). Those look like they're twice the size of mine (the 2 boys are pushing 3.5" now). I wish I could get a better sense of scale on them. I don't have any of the same types of plants to compare against. Beautiful fin extensions on them. Absolutely agree that they've been my favorite dwarf cichlid that I've kept.

 
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ChrisX

Member
faydout said:
Holy smokes, I thought mine were almost done growing (I've had them for 6 months). Those look like they're twice the size of mine (the 2 boys are pushing 3.5" now). I wish I could get a better sense of scale on them. I don't have any of the same types of plants to compare against. Beautiful fin extensions on them. Absolutely agree that they've been my favorite dwarf cichlid that I've kept.

They are almost exactly three years old. They are from the first batch of fry I grew out.

Here is a video of them on day 4.

They got about 15-20% larger than their parents. I am guessing the males are 4.25". After raising them up in a 55g to jueveniles, I put them in a 75g display tank and sold the rest to the LFS.

I don't think most will get this big in captivity. The original ones I bought were in the LFS for a long time. The ones I grew out had uninterrupted nutrition in a 75g tank.

Yours will still probably grow some more. What you may notice is that after the females stop growing, the males will keep growing another 15% or so. I would say the original father was 4" long, but not as tall bodied. (He just passed last week.)

But they are voracious eaters. I was feeding them 3x/day in the first year. Now I feed them 1x/day sometimes 2x/day. Flake, frozen bloodworms, and peas.
 

Leeman75

Member
That's a great video!! Thanks for the tips too!! If you're ever interested in selling some that you've bred, I'd definitely be interested even with shipping costs. They are almost impossible to find near me in IL!
 
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ChrisX

Member
Leeman75 said:
Love it! How old are your Keyholes? I have 2 and they are my favorite fish, though they're still only an inch or less.
Just keep doing large 50% water changes at least once a week and feed them 3x/day so they keep putting on size. It might seem like you are overfeeding, just make sure to do a quick vac every couple of days. They will hoover up any food that falls to the substrate.

The only problem is if you have other small fish that might get too much food. You'll have to find what works best for your tank.
 

Leeman75

Member
ChrisX said:
Just keep doing large 50% water changes at least once a week and feed them 3x/day so they keep putting on size. It might seem like you are overfeeding, just make sure to do a quick vac every couple of days. They will hoover up any food that falls to the substrate.

The only problem is if you have other small fish that might get too much food. You'll have to find what works best for your tank.
Yeah, the challenge there is that I have a couple of EBAs that could probably eat as much as me if I let them!! I will see if I can do something there though. I do always make sure to feed long enough to see them eat. It's a tough balance because when I overfeed, I tend to get BBA.
 
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ChrisX

Member
Leeman75 said:
That's a great video!! Thanks for the tips too!! If you're ever interested in selling some that you've bred, I'd definitely be interested even with shipping costs. They are almost impossible to find near me in IL!
I have a batch at 2" that I will be selling to a LFS in a couple weeks. I don't know how to safely ship them. I think it would require an oxygen tank. I'm just a hobbyist that sells to the LFS.

 

faydout

Member
ChrisX said:
They are almost exactly three years old. They are from the first batch of fry I grew out.

Here is a video of them on day 4.
So adorable, they already have their keyhole marking that young. My 4 look like they're about the size that the parents are in the video. I've got mine in a 40B and I've debated either getting 2 more, or a pair of Leatcara curviceps (they coexist in the wild from what I've read). I'm just thinking this 40B might be the right size for 4 adult Keyholes, so I haven't.
 
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ChrisX

Member
40b is the smallest I would keep them in. I think four is enough. If two pair up it might be too small.

When mine pair, the chase all the other keyholes into the corners. I don't think a 40b is large enough for that, oth they may not try to spawn

I've never had a spawn in anything less than a heavily planted 55.

I've grown out three spawn from three different pairs. I don't think I will do any more.
 
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ChrisX

Member
Leeman75 said:
Yeah, the challenge there is that I have a couple of EBAs that could probably eat as much as me if I let them!! I will see if I can do something there though. I do always make sure to feed long enough to see them eat. It's a tough balance because when I overfeed, I tend to get BBA.
I can imagine with Eba in the tank, the keyholes may not be getting as much as they could. Depending on how bossy the eba is.

Mine always at top of tank begging for food. They can see when I'm feeding bloodworms and they go nuts.
 
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ChrisX

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Leeman75

Member
This whole discussion has made me rethink my current Keyholes set up. I have them in a 55 gallon with all sorts of various fish including a couple Bolivian Rams (1.75"), a couple Electric Blue Acaras (3") and a couple of Pearl Gouramis (3"). There are many various Cories, Tetras, etc as well. But I'm wondering if the Keyholes are just too overwhelmed and freaked out. They've always been timid and shy, which seems to be what a lot of places say they are like, but seeing your videos, your keyholes act more like my Acaras. So, I'm wondering if I need to consider moving my 2 Keyholes. I have a 20 Gallon Hex tank that is cycled and I've been planning on putting a pair of Apistos in. Maybe, at least for now until the Keyholes get bigger (they're about an inch or less now), I should put them in there so that I can make sure they're eating enough and not freaked out. It's hard to give up on my Apisto dream for now, but I love my Keyholes and I want to see them thrive.

Being a seasoned breeder, what do you think of this? Will this help them or am I being too overprotective? I know the 20 hex is not a long term solution for how big these 2 get, but how long would I be able to keep them in there to try to get their growth supercharged?

Sorry for hijacking your thread, but it's not often that I find people who are very familiar with the Keyholes!
 
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ChrisX

Member
I think they should be the biggest fish in the tank until they are full grown. If they are small and are competing with larger cichlids and schooling fish, they won't get enough food. It's not that they won't eat, just that they won't get enough without creating problems for other fish.

A baby 1" keyhole is more concerned about being eaten than eating.

If they are only an inch, you could put them in a 20g alone and grow them out to about 2.5" before they will need a larger tank. If they are eating well, they will get to that size in probably 2 months or less.

If they are comfortable they will eat flake 4-5x a day and grow very fast. Get some real plants or maybe silk plants. Stuff for them to hide behind and they will come to the glass to greet you.

I have thought about keeping some juvies and growing them out in my 75 with the adults, but if I fed the tank 4-5x a day, the adults would have health issues. If I keep any, I will grow them out in a 55 before adding to the display tank.
 
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ChrisX

Member
 

Leeman75

Member
ChrisX said:
I think they should be the biggest fish in the tank until they are full grown. If they are small and are competing with larger cichlids and schooling fish, they won't get enough food. It's not that they won't eat, just that they won't get enough without creating problems for other fish.

A baby 1" keyhole is more concerned about being eaten than eating.

If they are only an inch, you could put them in a 20g alone and grow them out to about 2.5" before they will need a larger tank. If they are eating well, they will get to that size in probably 2 months or less.

If they are comfortable they will eat flake 4-5x a day and grow very fast. Get some real plants or maybe silk plants. Stuff for them to hide behind and they will come to the glass to greet you.

I have thought about keeping some juvies and growing them out in my 75 with the adults, but if I fed the tank 4-5x a day, the adults would have health issues. If I keep any, I will grow them out in a 55 before adding to the display tank.
I think your advice solidifies it for me. Especially if they are going to get big that fast, I can definitely handle putting off my Apisto goal. Thanks! I'll let you know how it goes!
 
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ChrisX

Member
Leeman75 said:
I think your advice solidifies it for me. Especially if they are going to get big that fast, I can definitely handle putting off my Apisto goal. Thanks! I'll let you know how it goes!
Once the keyholes have a little size, I'm pretty sure you can put your apistos in there with them.
 

TClare

Member
I‘m getting worried about mine now, my second tank wont be ready for their arrival, they will have to go with the apistos to start with. The tank is about 63 gallons and has a lot of plants and hiding places. I hope they will be OK....
 
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ChrisX

Member
TClare said:
I‘m getting worried about mine now, my second tank wont be ready for their arrival, they will have to go with the apistos to start with. The tank is about 63 gallons and has a lot of plants and hiding places. I hope they will be OK....
They will be fine. If you want them to really grow you will have to feed them 3-5x/day. And they should be chowing down, not coming out of hiding to take a few bites.

They are cichlids after all, can't treat them like tiny community fish.
 

Leeman75

Member
Leeman75 said:
I think your advice solidifies it for me. Especially if they are going to get big that fast, I can definitely handle putting off my Apisto goal. Thanks! I'll let you know how it goes!
I pulled the trigger and moved them tonight after work. Half an hour after moving them, they were moving cautiously around the tank and started eating as soon as I fed them. I'm really happy that I made this decision. Their color is still a little dark, but they look so much more comfortable.

 
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ChrisX

Member
Leeman75 said:
I pulled the trigger and moved them tonight after work. Half an hour after moving them, they were moving cautiously around the tank and started eating as soon as I fed them. I'm really happy that I made this decision. Their color is still a little dark, but they look so much more comfortable.

They are really tiny. They look like they need help. Start pumping them with small feedings of flake 4-5x/day. Frozen bloodworms are also a great source of nutrition.

Try to put the tank in a quiet area without alot of foot traffic, televisions, etc. They will need some open areas to swim too. Make sure the tank light isn't too bright.

Keep a bucket behind the tank to do quick substrate vacs every couple of days. 50% WC weekly to keep nitrates down < 10ppm.

The advice for growing them out is very similar to that for angelfish, except they prefer a temp around 75*.

Hopefully they will get in a rhythm and get excited when you approach the tank and start chowing.

I just went through this with a pair of scared tiny angelfish I bought almost a month ago. Its taken that long for them to start chowing without fear. Now they are growing.
 

Leeman75

Member
ChrisX said:
They are really tiny. They look like they need help. Start pumping them with small feedings of flake 4-5x/day. Frozen bloodworms are also a great source of nutrition.

Try to put the tank in a quiet area without alot of foot traffic, televisions, etc. They will need some open areas to swim too. Make sure the tank light isn't too bright.

Keep a bucket behind the tank to do quick substrate vacs every couple of days. 50% WC weekly to keep nitrates down < 10ppm.

The advice for growing them out is very similar to that for angelfish, except they prefer a temp around 75*.

Hopefully they will get in a rhythm and get excited when you approach the tank and start chowing.

I just went through this with a pair of scared tiny angelfish I bought almost a month ago. Its taken that long for them to start chowing without fear. Now they are growing.
Thanks for all the advice! They are in my basement nestled between 2 other fish tanks. The light is a stock light that came with the tank and the bottom with the driftwood and plants has some darker areas.

I will have to make due with 3 feedings on weekdays (in morning before work, after work, before bed) as I won't be able to feed them while at work. I am happy to report that they have eaten very well tonight and were all over looking for food. Also in the tank is a pink glowfish (product of my 7 and 4 year old girls) and 2 Platys. I just saw the smaller keyhole chase one of the Platys, so I can tell they are already getting comfortable in a more suitable environment.

I Typically do 50% WCs every week on all of my tanks. I'll do at least that, but I'll take your advice on the vaccuming. It is a little more challenging in a tall tank like that, particularly with newly planted plants.

I'll also lower the temp of the tank. It's currently at 79.

Again...thanks for all the pointers and the post! I know that I totally hijacked it, but if it weren't for your post and videos, I wouldn't have realized just how important this move was to really take care of the Keyholes well. I'm thrilled with how this turned out!!
 

faydout

Member
ChrisX said:
The advice for growing them out is very similar to that for angelfish
I can't put my finger on why, but my Keyholes remind me more of Angelfish than any of the other cichlids I've kept.
 
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ChrisX

Member
Leeman75 said:
Thanks for all the advice! They are in my basement nestled between 2 other fish tanks. The light is a stock light that came with the tank and the bottom with the driftwood and plants has some darker areas.

I will have to make due with 3 feedings on weekdays (in morning before work, after work, before bed) as I won't be able to feed them while at work. I am happy to report that they have eaten very well tonight and were all over looking for food. Also in the tank is a pink glowfish (product of my 7 and 4 year old girls) and 2 Platys. I just saw the smaller keyhole chase one of the Platys, so I can tell they are already getting comfortable in a more suitable environment.

I Typically do 50% WCs every week on all of my tanks. I'll do at least that, but I'll take your advice on the vaccuming. It is a little more challenging in a tall tank like that, particularly with newly planted plants.

I'll also lower the temp of the tank. It's currently at 79.

Again...thanks for all the pointers and the post! I know that I totally hijacked it, but if it weren't for your post and videos, I wouldn't have realized just how important this move was to really take care of the Keyholes well. I'm thrilled with how this turned out!!
What you can do is get a floating feeding ring. Fill it with flake and they can eat throughout the day.
 

Leeman75

Member
faydout said:
I can't put my finger on why, but my Keyholes remind me more of Angelfish than any of the other cichlids I've kept.
I could see that. I think the band through the eye helps that.
 

Leeman75

Member
ChrisX said:
What you can do is get a floating feeding ring. Fill it with flake and they can eat throughout the day.
I'll take a look at that. Never heard of those before.
 

Leeman75

Member
ChrisX said:
They are really tiny. They look like they need help. Start pumping them with small feedings of flake 4-5x/day. Frozen bloodworms are also a great source of nutrition.

Try to put the tank in a quiet area without alot of foot traffic, televisions, etc. They will need some open areas to swim too. Make sure the tank light isn't too bright.

Keep a bucket behind the tank to do quick substrate vacs every couple of days. 50% WC weekly to keep nitrates down < 10ppm.

The advice for growing them out is very similar to that for angelfish, except they prefer a temp around 75*.

Hopefully they will get in a rhythm and get excited when you approach the tank and start chowing.

I just went through this with a pair of scared tiny angelfish I bought almost a month ago. Its taken that long for them to start chowing without fear. Now they are growing.
A week after our conversation and my 2 little Keyholes are doing amazing!! They are not skittish at all and swim ALL over the tank and just seem like completely different fish than they were in the 55!! They must have been so scared in there...

I've got the temp down to 77 and I can already tell that they are growing even after just a week.

I need to order some food. Do you have a go to flake brand that you use?
 
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ChrisX

Member
Tetramin in the 7oz size is cheap on Amazon.

Post a pic when you can.
 

FishAndDoom

Member
Lovely keyholes! Had a pair a while back, very gentle fish.
 

faydout

Member
I'm rotating between Xtreme Krill flakes, their spirulina flakes, and fluval bug bite flakes. The Krill flakes seem to be the favorite.
 

Leeman75

Member
It was hard to get good pictures...they move around so much!! The more healthy one is the top pic and the smaller one with the cataract (I think) that he seems to have been born with is the bottom one.

 

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