New cichlid tank!

Discussion in 'Cichlids' started by mmolitor87, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. mmolitor87Well Known MemberMember

    Hey all! :D I did a lot of browsing through these forums before I got my tank and fish, found a lot of useful information and would like to say THANK YOU! :)

    I don't so much have a question as I would like to know what you all think of my setup and fish choice as well as any general tips you may have. I have had experience keeping fish in the past, but just tetras and the like. My best friend kept cichlids though and so I have spent time around them.

    The tank is 60 gallons with a 100gallon/350gph canister filter. Substrate I chose was sand because those lil guys love to dig! I have fake plants all with rock bases that are buried down in the sand. There's a cave, a hollowed log, a rock wall/cave structure, and a giant tree/roots base. I let the tank cycle for 3 days. Ammonia was 0.5, nitrates 30~ and nitrites 0.5. The only chemical I used to start was a tetra aqua safe dechlorinator and then 12 hours later I added tetra safe start. (I haven't tested since then.) PH is 8.0-8.2 (high range ph test and it was still a color in the middle lol). Tomorrow I plan on testing all the levels again with the api master kit I got. Temp is 78~.

    Fish selection is:

    1 JD
    1 Jewel
    1 Acei
    1 pleco

    They are all juvies. :) The only thing I've noticed so far is that the JD and jewel both seem to like the cave...the JD is a bit smaller but seems to be holding it's own and even winning. It's never lost color since introduced to the tank, though the jewel keeps switching in and out of the vibrant red depending on if they just duked it out or not. Needless to say, I'm keeping a close eye on them. If it seems like too much trouble the jewel will be going back.

    Thoughts, suggestions? I'd love to hear them!


    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  2. QQQUUUUAADDDWell Known MemberMember

    Sorry! A tank can't cycle in 3 days. For a full cycled tank it needs to have params of 0 ammonia and nitrite and >20 nitrate.

    Do daily 50% W/C with Prime

    Good luck!

  3. mmolitor87Well Known MemberMember

    The prime would kill the live bacteria introduced by the Tetra Safe Start. That wouldn't be any good at all.

  4. QQQUUUUAADDDWell Known MemberMember

  5. mmolitor87Well Known MemberMember

    :) It's quite alright. I do definitely appreciate the effort to help though!
  6. QQQUUUUAADDDWell Known MemberMember

    I was glad to help.
  7. mmolitor87Well Known MemberMember

    I would also like to point out that I got cichlid pellets for the JD/Jewel and algae wafers for the Acei/Pleco. I planned on the ages wafers being temporary for the pleco and it turns out the Acei LOVES them too. Is that enough to hold it or what would be recommended as a long-term food source? Admittedly the Acei was a last-minute decision.
  8. w_boughnerValued MemberMember

    in my opinion i would return the pleco because if you start feeding algea wafers they may stop cleaning the algea from the glass and substrate..... when you have a healthy growth of algea then get a pleco
  9. mmolitor87Well Known MemberMember

    Even with the Acei pecking at it as well? Surely a 60 gallon tank won't take long for one to clean anyways...I figured it might always be needed to throw an algae wafer in there once in a while.
  10. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    I'm a bit confused when you say you let the tank cycle for 3 days. When did you add fish and when did you add SafeStart? When in relation to adding fish and SafeStart did you test and get those water parameters?

    I ask because you need to add fish and SafeStart at the same time or the SafeStart has a high possibility of failing.
  11. QQQUUUUAADDDWell Known MemberMember

    Also what kind of pleco do you have? The "common pleco" can grow to 2 feet. It needs a 150+ gal tank long term.
  12. mmolitor87Well Known MemberMember

    I cycled the tank for 3 days and that's when I got the water parameters. Added the Safe Start, then went and got the fish immediately. :)

    Yes, common pleco. I planned on finding him a home once he gets bigger.
  13. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Okay, just to help you with terminology: running a tank without fish for some set length of time is not cycling a matter what the fish store tells you. Cycling a tank is actually going thru the process of develoiping the bacteria in your filter media that converts ammonia into nitrites and nitrites into nitrates.
  14. mmolitor87Well Known MemberMember

    The jewel is harassing the other two cichlids like crazy. They just swim away and the acei hides in it's sleeping spot under the tree trunk/roots, but the JD has taken to hiding up top behind the intake/output from the filter. It's been eating the sinking and floating pellets but I don't want him to be so stressed he can't even hide in any of the structures at the bottom of the tank. :( Seems that 'the jewel might have to go back' might come to reality.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  15. FriendsNotFoodWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome and glad to know you found lots of info on fishlore for starting your fishtank. And good on you for choosing to go with lovely cichlids ;)

    Sorry to go picking away at your tank as well, but...I have some additions regarding your stocking also. Basically, you're got some problems sorry.

    Jack Dempsey and Jewel Cichlid vs Pseudotropheus Acei (Aceis are totally my favourite cichlid atm)
    Issue 1, they are two different types of cichlid (mbuna mixing is possible, but not really a good idea).
    Issue 2, Acei are omnivores leaning to herbivores. They're best with a plant heavy diet. JDs are carnivores. If you feel an Acei too meaty a diet they will develop bloat (found that out myself the hard way). Vice versa, feeding a JD a plant heavy diet is also a bad idea. Jewel cichlids? not so fussy. They're more of a "see food and eat it" kinda fish. (Note: Tis good that you went and bought the specific foods though)
    Issue 3, Though I've found Acei to be very hardy and dominant without being overly aggressive, a Jack Dempsey is likely to become very agressive and territorial and injure an Acei, possibly kill it. Acei's understanding of "territory" is pretty much nil.

    Plus though... Jewels and JDs are compatible. I would suggest you return the Acei and keep the other two.

    Edit: Just saw you mentioning the Jewel harrassing everyone. Yes, Jewels are one of the "aggressive" cichlids, but JDs are also and will definitely hold it's own and should be fine as long as it's not too much smaller than the Jewel. JDs are territorial, so it's current hiding could be the first start of a territory claim. Unfortunatley I haven't had the chance to keep a JD yet, so can't say for sure. In the long run you're probably going to need more fish in there to "share the agression".
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  16. mmolitor87Well Known MemberMember

    The acei avoids the pellets and the jd avoids the algae, but by all means I don't want to harm any of them. I think the acei is a bit too passive. It doesn't get pushed around, it just leaves. The jd tries to fight back but is half an inch smaller. Sometimes it wins but the hiding at the top worries me. Originally I wanted 2 jewels but I can't deal with them spawning at the moment. I got an acei simply because they were in the same tank and very pretty.

    Edit 1: Took the acei back and am heading home with a convict the same size as the jd.

    Edit 2: Taking back the jewel as it already took a chunk out of the poor convict's tail. -.-; What a jerk.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  17. mmolitor87Well Known MemberMember

    Don't like to double post but I have something else..

    The JD now terrorizes the Convict in a similar fashion to how the Jewel treated him. He doesn't nip at his fins though, just chases until he drives him into a corner. I think I might need to re-arrange the tank to throw the JD off and give the Convict a fair chance to establish a territory in the 'new' environment.

    Opinions? I know this is normal behavior but it seems silly that in a 60 gallon tank one fish gets driven into a corner just because he refuses to go to the other side of the tank. Sad I don't want him to be stressed because of the JD right after getting his tail injured by the Jewel.

  18. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    I can't help with your fish, I don't keep those fish.

    Just wanted to say hi, Welcome to Fishlore! It's nice to see more St.louis area people around.
  19. mmolitor87Well Known MemberMember

    Thanks! (I got rid of the old post cause I'm not sure of double posting rules and I didn't want to make another thread, but I wanted to keep the thanks!)

    Slight update if anyone is curious. :) The JD continues to chase the Convict in random intervals, but the Convict is keeping colors and eating well! Both of their tails are almost completely filled back in from where the Jewel nipped at them. The pleco happily munches away on leftovers and spends the majority of his life upside down! I'm good at picking strange fish, apparently.

    Last night while I was at work the power went out and I have no idea how long it was out for. :( When I got home and turned the lights on I did some tests with the api kit. Day 12 in the TSS cycle and it looks about right as far as what others have reported. 0.25 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 5 nitrates. This means the cycle should finish in a few days and I can do a 25% water change and siphon up some poop!

    I'm excited! I hope my fishies are enjoying their home! I love that they greet me every time I walk into the room. :) For anyone who hasn't seen I put up photos of them.

    I'm thinking of another way to abate the aggression between the JD and the Convict a bit. It doesn't seem harmful and I doubt it ever will be, but I'm thinking some Giant Danios might make the Convict a bit more comfortable and give the JD something else to chase a bit. 60 gallons so I was thinking 6-7 of them. Thoughts?
  20. w_boughnerValued MemberMember

    i would setup a agressave comunity tank , afferican cichlid only or south american cichlid only so its easier to match compatability....and you can put jds and jewels in a comunity as long as you have other fish that are too big to eat and not a cichlid as cichlids will be seen as comeptition for teratory and will bring out the agression

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