Mixed Tank, need advice on who needs to go and a medical ?

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adambowersva

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This may be a bit wordy, especially for my first post here, but bear with me please. First off, here is my current setup. I have a 50gal divided tank. Consolidated a 30gal Cichlid setup and a 10gal community setup together. Cichlid side maintains about 40gal of space, community side about 10gal of space. I maintain the tank at about 78deg and the pH seems to be around 7.6-7.8 (colors on test kit are hard to distinguish for me). My ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels are all good. My substrate is 90% gravel/crushed shell and 20lbs African Cichlid Sand. I run a Marineland Biowheel 350 with two filters.

Cichlid Side: Convict (6" male), Convict (4" female), Parrot (6" female?), Venustus (5" female), Auratus (4" male), Jewel (2" male?), Jewel (1.75" female?), Jack Dempsey (5" female), Common Pleco (3").

Community Side: Longfin Serpae Tetra, 2 Glofish, 2 Oto Cat's, 2 Cherry Barbs, 1 Guppy

First, before I get thrashed, I know Central American/African Cichlids really shouldn't be mixed and I believe part of that is what I am here to fix now. I am now only about 8 months into the fishkeeping realm and caught the bug bad . Started with a 5gal, upgraded to a 10gal, added a 30gal, and now have the consolidated 50gal...all in that time. Started with just the community fish then got into the Cichlids when I bought the 30gal off Craigslist with a family of 8 Convicts and a Firemouth. When I decided to diversify that tank and add more color I sold off most of the smaller convicts.

At this time as it sits the firemouth I had is gone as of last week due to a lip lock session with the new Auratus that didn't end well as he dislocated her jaw and I couldn't fix it so she passed on. He was also responsible for the death of a Blue Acei I had recently incorporated into the tank and found dead upon returning from the holiday weekend. So it goes without saying that little devil will not stay. He will be returned to the LFS.

Temperament wise the convicts seem to get along fine with the Africans. Nobody seems to mess with them and they generally keep to themselves. The same can be said about the Venustus (surprised how docile she is...even the 2" Jewels can run her off) and the Jack Dempsey (has been quite docile). The Parrot (dont think is a blood red, has orange body, head to body transition is fluid, not staggered like the typical blood reds) is the "queen" of the tank. Nobody bullies her, she chases others around if they enter her territory or if she just feels like it, but she loses interest quickly, and never nips or bites. The Jewels for the most part since they are half the size of the next smallest fish mainly only chase each other, but occassionally run off the Venustus.

The ones I am highly partial to keeping, if possible, would be the biggest convict, the Jack Dempsey, the Parrot, and the Venustus considering her temperament. The Auratus DEFINITELY will be leaving. The Jewels I'm not sure how aggressive they will get as they get bigger but are gorgeous and after researching I believe my tank parameters (pH mainly) may not be overly good for them. All others I am within their acceptable range for temp and pH.

On the community side there are obviously no aggression issues. Only concern there seems to be the parameters...the Oto's and the Glo Tetras cap below my pH levels. All others seem to be in spec for temp and pH.

So, what do you guys/gals think about my setup and what changes I should make?

As for the medical question...my big convict, upon our return from the long weekend now has cloudy eyes and a bit of an inflated belly. Scales down stick out at all, gill/anus coloring will check when get home. The dead acei was found upon return from travel and was quite decomposed (we were gone for 4 days, but hadn't seem him or body for abt 3 days prior to departure). I'm thinking convicts condition is due to water condition from decomposing fish in tank. I will be doing a 30-40% water change when I get home tonight, but wonder if there is anything else I should do. I also typically add 4-6 tablespoons of cichlid salt when I do a water change.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

A pic of the tank setup can be found attached. The "ruins" is claimed by Parrot and always has been no matter where I move it . The log in middle right now seems up in the air, has been occupied by several at different times. The area behind log in plant is claimed by one of the convicts, the other convict claims behind the ruins. The Venustus just hangs around up high, the Auratus has gone between the log, the cabin, and a 2ft long elbowed PVC tube I have running under the substrate as a large double ended tunnel. The dempsey isn't in specific area, nor are the jewels currently.
 

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Shawnie

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welcome to fishlore!!!

now this tank is pure addiction to all kinds of fish and trying to make it all work!! BUT, as you are finding out, its not going to....even suggestions, are going to be either more tanks, or rehoming fish...at least for their health and well being.......

even if some are getting along now, the lifespan of these fish are going to diminish as the water requirements are just too different....not to mention bullying as they mature....

heres some of my advice ....all your africans and cons can go/stay in the same tank....stable ph with them, is best and not worry about it being too high..the only issue is the food requirements...cons need meat and africans dont....both need veggies so target feeding is going to be a must....although the jewels and the dempey can stay, again as long as the ph is stable, I dont think they are going to be brave enough, as your africans grow....the parrots most definately will not make it with africans...they just do not have the power to hold their own......and she needs a buddy to be really happy....they are not fish that do best just alone...their personalities will really shine with a buddy of her own....firemouths are going to be a total victim to the africans....

im sure there is something positive I could advise, but its really hard with the mixture of fish you have and how they are acting now....I have had to downsize tanks and have a very mixture of fish most normally wouldnt recommend....but all my africans are in their own tank (with cons) and I would most definitely rehome my fish, before mixing anything with them....they just arent nice fish except with other africans...

I sure hope you are able to get another big tank, or rehome some of these guys so no more deaths occur...and I wish you a ton of luck either way
 

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i think your tank has just got way to much going on! sometimes less is more,
would get rid of half of the decor and fish.
 
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adambowersva

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Yeah I know rehoming is gonna have to happen for some. As said the Auratus is DEFINITELY going...as in today. I'm just kinda torn on which ones have got to go from the Cichlid tank and also wanna make sure that the Community guys don't suffer either in the process.

Firemouthfreak, I'm sorry about the firemouth too as is my fiance. She was a GORGEOUS girl with lots of sass and character (the fish too ...). Unfortunately, the dislocated jaw (even after trying to relocate it myself) did her in (so I'm clear I do mean the fish...)...she didn't eat for a week and her mouth got to look like that of a small mouth bass so I had to euthanize the poor girl =(. As for the convict spawning, the firemouth had paired with the big convict so he is in mourning in addition to his cloudy eye issue. The remaining smaller female convict is his offspring.
 

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i think your tank has just got way to much going on! sometimes less is more,
would get rid of half of the decor and fish.
+1, not to mention, the more decor you have, the less space your fish have.

First and foremost, your concern needs to be the health and well-being of the fish. Every single person here has gone through the "desire" phase with fish. But we simply can't have every fish that we want. It's inhumane.
 
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Welcome to FishLore!
Sounds like your getting good advice there so I won't add my two cents since it would just be to repeat others advice
Do I spy a can of Omega One food there to the left of the tank ?) Good choice in food brand.
keep us posted and let us know how things are going.
carol
 
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adambowersva

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I also since yesterday, ironically before even seeing the questions regarding, have looked further into my "parrot". LFS had labeled as "large Parrot cichlid" when bought, but I now think it is what is commonly referred to as a "Rose Queen". Many consider it a flowerhorn hybrid. I started to question this as you'll talked about the parrot getting beat up where as mine is quite the opposite and quite domineering in the tank, but not violently agressive. I have attached a pic. If anyone can properly identify and maybe with info on that particular one that would be great. From mouth to tip of tail she is 6-7" long. Any possible approx on age or full grown size either by chance?

I have also rearranged the tank last night...lol, once again before reading posts today mentioning it being to crowded. I removed the "ruins" and restructured the rocks to give multiple hiding/cave points and extra swim space up above setup and around. Is this enough removal or should I take out more? Pics from front and back are attached.

I have also attached a pic of my poor sick male convict with the cloudy eyes and inflated belly. He can't see as he ran into me several times while I cleaned/rearranged tank last night. You can see the cloudy eyes well from the pic, but can't see the inflated belly well...he wasn't cooperating . He is very lethargic, slow moving, bumping into things, and occassionally turning a bit sideways then righting himself.

I have determined that the dead fish from over the weekend was my 3" pleco...no idea who ate him...found tail in the ruins when cleaned out, which is mostly "parrot" territory, but others peruse through often. I guess the "vacation" food tablets were not enough =(. I had given them 3 3day tablets before leaving friday evening. Tested water before doing a 50% change last night...ammonia was .5ppm, nitrite was was 0ppm, nitrate was 10ppm, pH was 7.8, temp was 80deg. Levels weren't as high as would have thought considering a dead fish being there for what could have been several days. Never found the blue acei so he was obviously eaten in entirety.

I have checked on the red devil stuff too.....that seems even more like her (if it's a her and not a he). Would be hilrious if was a Red Devil because after the first few days being in with the other tank mates originally I named her "Anvil"..combo of Angel and Devil" cause she looked so sweet, but quickly dominated tank taking over biggest "cave" territory. Still bewilders me though that I have never seen her bite/nip any other fish...she just chases and they run . Can anybody confirm from above pics if is Red Devil or Rose Queen or Midas or some flowerhorn hybrid or whatever...so many seeming opinions on that one. thanks.

bump...anymore help on this one? Convict unfortunately didn't make it so that part is settled, but still curious as to what ppl thought it was that caused it. BUt moreso now want a bit of help identifying the Red Devil/Rose Queen inquiry. I have also taken even more out of tank since above pics. now has cabin, log, big green plant in middle, a tree stump type cave, and only three rocks instead of the 12 I had in there before.
 

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Shawnie

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awww im sorry for the loss poor baby....as far as whats cause it, could be a combo of water parimeters being off (do you know what ammonia/nitrites/nitrates are right now?), agression in the tank got him hurt and infection set in, to banging himself without space to get away from others..and that got infected.so what exactly is your stock now ? and are you getting another tank to take out the divider?

thats most definitely NOT a blood red parrot and its a hybrid of something with a red devil...with cichlids, it could be just about anything...
 
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adambowersva

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When I tested the water upon returning from Mem Day Weekend trip the ammonia was .5ppm, nitrite was was 0ppm, nitrate was 10ppm, pH was 7.8, temp was 80deg. Did a 50% water change promptly. Left town again on Thursday for business trip (but the Ms. is there to take care of feedings this time) and haven't tested water since the water change.

Will say though i never saw any aggression or signs of from others towards him prior to the trip unless something happened while was gone...but to go from clear eyed and no injuries to cloudy eyes and lethargic behavior in a matter of 3 days is pretty quick isn't it?

I didn't have any plans for using another tank to remove divider...was hoping to keep all the community fish together seperate from the Cichlids as they are now. Should I be concerned about my tank parameters with any of them?

As for current stock in the Cichlid side I have the Convict (4" female), Red Devile Hybrid (6" female?), Venustus (5" female), Jewel (2" male?), Jewel (1.75" female?), and Jack Dempsey (5" female).

Community Side I have Longfin Serpae Tetra, 2 Glofish, 2 Oto Cat's, 2 Cherry Barbs, 1 Guppy
 

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tank perimeters with ammonia, can most definitely cause all his injuries/illness in 3 days...so daily water changes are needed if you still have ANY ammonia/nitrites....and you want to keep the nitrates under 20....as far as leaving the setup the way it is, those cichlids need that entire tank space...without the divider...the bigger they get, they are not going to tolerate eachother in such a small space....I would look on craigslist for a 20g tank for your community fish and get that divider out for more room....good luck!
 

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but I now think it is what is commonly referred to as a "Rose Queen". Many consider it a flowerhorn hybrid.

All flowerhorns are hybrid fish. Rose queen is just one of the names that has been ghiven to a certain mix of that flowerhorn.



Can anybody confirm from above pics if is Red Devil or Rose Queen or Midas or some flowerhorn hybrid or whatever...

The problem with the Red devils in the hobby today is 99% of them are hybrid fish themselves. It is one of the fish that has been ruined in the hobby. To answer your question no to the Red Devil, no to the Midas. However I will say I would guess flowerhorn, and probably the rose queen you mentioned, which could have a bit of those fish in it. Just a note don't be surprised if one day you only have this fish left in the tank by itself, the others can only run/hide for so long. I know it has worked for you for how ever long it has been, but the truth with flowerhorns is they are a fish that is best kept alone.


Brian
 
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