What kind of cichlid should i get

ocelot1120
  • #1
I have an established 29 gallon tank with a pleco and a convict cichlid. I don't really wanna get more convicts because I have nowhere to put the babies. any suggestions??? the only pet store around me for miles is a petsmart so it has to be fairly common.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #2
What kind of pleco do you have in that tank? It looks like a common in your info. He'll grow too large for that tank actually and needs a 55-75g tank.
 
ocelot1120
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
cichlids here, we are focusing on cichlids. I have heard the whole outgrowing the tank thing, but I have a close friend who has kept fish for over 25 years and he has a very healthy 6 year old common pleco in a 30 gal. the fact is that's probably the oldest fish he still has and it, like mine, seems perfectly happy and well fed. however, I still need to get another south american cichlid that won't mind being around my convict.
 
Barbrella
  • #4
I wouldn't put anything in a tank with a convict. They are one of the most aggressive cichlids there are, and even will take on Oscars. Anything you put in there is likely to be killed or mutilated.
 
Shawnie
  • #5
cichlids here, we are focusing on cichlids. I have heard the whole outgrowing the tank thing, but I have a close friend who has kept fish for over 25 years and he has a very healthy 6 year old common pleco in a 30 gal. the fact is that's probably the oldest fish he still has and it, like mine, seems perfectly happy and well fed. however, I still need to get another south american cichlid that won't mind being around my convict.

hmmm...well healthy and happy and just living, are two different things anyhooo , convicts are fine alone...they aren't as bad as if they aren't m/f pairs ....then watch out ...they will take on an oscar..so u are right on the whole babies thing...as far as recommending other fish, knowing that the pleco will have so much waste and make the readings go sky high, there's really no more room for other fish...how about exchanging the pleco for some corycats? then you might be able to add a few cichlids...and even if you keep fish for 25 years, doesn't mean you can't always keep learning ..goodluck
 
ocelot1120
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
there was a mild disaster with the 29 gal tank a few days ago involving a crack. so most of you will be happy to know that I replaced it with a 40 gallon. I actually got a turquois severum the day before that happened. all that is in the tank now is the pleco, the convict, and the new severum. the severum isn't eating much from what I can tell and he doesn't get along with the convict. he pretty much hides all day either at the top or the bottom of the tank. what's wrong with him? do I need to add more structures and hiding places or what? Petsmart told me that the severum and convict might interbreed if they are opposite sexes. they also told me that they would at least get along. what am I dong wrong.
 
Shawnie
  • #7
sorry for the tank issues that stinks!!! you must be happy with the bigger tank tho? and how did u cycle the bigger one? that mite be his issue... and heres a link for you to get some info goodluck!
 
ocelot1120
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
well, I used the gravel from my 29 gallon and one of the carbon filters and 10 gallons of water from my 55 gal (in hopes of drasticly speeding up the nitrogen cycle) yesterday the tank was very cloudy so I added a small amount of bacteria booster and the tank is nearly clear now. I had no choice exept to put the fish in the tank immediatly after putting the new tank together because when I noticed the crack and leaking water (about 6 am sunday morning) the only safe place I had to save them in (untill the pet store opened) was my 5 gal bucket I use for water changes. but even the first night before the tank cracked the severum was hiding like that. heres a pic of the tank. I haven't yet spent a lot of time decorating but let me know if I need to add more plants structures or rocks to keep them happy...

I have plenty more decorations so just help me decide how much more to add please.
 
Shawnie
  • #9
the tanks coming along great..love the rock cave ...just keep up with testing the water and doing daily water changes as it will take a bit for the 40 gallon to cycle off the 10 gallon filter media...I hope he feels better soon, and in that link I sent you, they will breed if they are m/f goodluck!
 
Barbrella
  • #10
Petsmart told me that the severum and convict might interbreed if they are opposite sexes. they also told me that they would at least get along.

Getting advice from chain petstores is a really bad idea.

Severums are much too mild-mannered to live with anything as aggressive as a convict - sorry to repeat myself. They should be kept with similar, semi-aggressive species, like angelfish, Festivums, geophagus etc.

That tank is not at all a suitable home for a severum, which is why it's so skittish. They are a shyer species who need a natural environment, like a dark substrate, many tall plants and some driftwood to provide refuge.

You may find your severum missing an eye or some fins if you keep it with a convict.
 
ocelot1120
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
is this any better


and yes, I am well aware that MOST of the people who work at petsmart have no clue. but the guy I talked to had a cichlid tank of his own, and the store itself keeps the 2 species together. in fact the guy pointed out a hybrid. also I would be happy to change the blue media but I have to at least let the tank establish itself first. and if I absolutly must I can still return the severum if I do it before 2 weeks are up. what else would go better with the convict? I desprately need suggestions.
 
Shawnie
  • #12
Getting advice from chain petstores is a really bad idea.

Severums are much too mild-mannered to live with anything as aggressive as a convict - sorry to repeat myself. They should be kept with similar, semi-aggressive species, like angelfish, Festivums, geophagus etc.

That tank is not at all a suitable home for a severum, which is why it's so skittish. They are a shyer species who need a natural environment, like a dark substrate, many tall plants and some driftwood to provide refuge.

You may find your severum missing an eye or some fins if you keep it with a convict.

I sooooooooo agree about petstores...but as far as the severums, are we talking bout the same fish? all the info ive read on them, they get pretty big and are aggressive by nature..and convicts are some of the recommended tank mates as long as you don't have a breeding pair of convicts..then NOTHING can be with them LOL
 
Allie
  • #13
I sooooooooo agree about petstores...but as far as the severums, are we talking bout the same fish? all the info ive read on them, they get pretty big and are aggressive by nature..and convicts are some of the recommended tank mates as long as you don't have a breeding pair of convicts..then NOTHING can be with them LOL
Everyone I know who has kept severums said they were shy. We had a full grown female green severum who interacted with me like a Betta...we had a big Oscar who did pick on her too much tho. I can see them being scared of convicts.
Our 10" wild caught caribe & red belly piranhas were terrified of them until they realized that a 6" male convict tasted good. They even got picked on by our 3" breeding pairs. A convict pair in a 120 gallon leads to a lot of babies who survive. The piranha wouldn't eat them until they got at least 4". So what happened was about 50 .5"-3" convicts rules our monster predator tank for 6 months until we gave some away or some got eaten. The purpose of convicts was to have cheap healthy feeders for the piranha who ended up liking frozen shrimp much better lol.
 
Shawnie
  • #14
and allie and barb know wayyyyyyyy more than I do as I'm just reading on them..I have zero experience...thanks galz!!!
 
ocelot1120
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
ok, I agree with shawnie, exept rather than reading I ask friends (who at least one of has kept fish longer than I have been alive). #1 cichlids never do well in a tank with anything other than cichlids from the same region. (personal experience) #2 I can't believe you would call an angelfish mild mannered. a fish keeper of 25+ years told me that angels eat just about everything he put in the tank with them, including oscars. #3 throughout all of this discussion no one has suggested a single suitable tankmate for my convict. as I said if I absolutly must, I can still take back the severum (which I honestly know nothing about) but I need to know very soon if there is no way of getting around returning it, and if that's the case what can I replace him with?
 
Shawnie
  • #16
well I disagree on the angels and oscars..no way ....I don't think an angel would take on an oscar and I'm talking at full size..but I could be wrong...id never dare to put my angels in with my oscars....I have my angels in a community tank..so I guess most will give u advice but there's always an exception to the rules...ive found that ALL the rules change when you have mating pairs of most anything...then they turn into different fish...

some tank mates, green terror, blue acara, and even jd's are enough to keep up with them..if they are the same size and have plenty of tank space...out of them all, and I'm sure others will have an opinion, a green terror is something that mite work...as a single convict that you have but never as a pair
 
ocelot1120
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
i've been reading other posts on this site. it seems like most people are getting jack dempseys, like you said, or oscars. I just think the oscar will most definitely get too big in the long run. what is a green terror? unless there are any major objections I guess I will go ahead and trade it for a jack dempsey.
 
Shawnie
  • #18
ocelot1120
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
it is a 40 gal now, had to replace the 29 gal. thanx but i've been using that as a referance long before I ever joined this forum. it still didnt specificly list compatable tankmates. what would happen if I just got a male (4 the female) convict and let nature take over? the only other thing in the tank is that pleco which the convict has never bothered.
 
Shawnie
  • #20
well I have a pair of convicts, and their fry...and NOTHING can go in with them or else they would kill them...it wouldnt be a happy tank...although the convicts are amazing to watch as parents, would you be happy with just them?
 
ocelot1120
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
I would be ok with them I guess as long as there won't be a problem for the pleco after they mate. also would nature regulate the population (if you know what I mean)? I absolutly have nowhere else for the pleco.
 
Shawnie
  • #22
no, they breed like rabbits LOL and unless your fishstore would take them, it keeps going and going and....you know what I mean the pleco mite have a snack or two, if the convicts let him near them....again, I wouldnt trust a mating pair of convicts with anything...wish I had more answers for ya ...why not return the convict and build from there?
 
ocelot1120
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
they will not take returns after 2 weeks
 
Shawnie
  • #24
give it to them for free! everyone likes free..then you have more choices
 
ocelot1120
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
I tried to give them a 5" goldfish once, free, clear, no questions asked and they refused and told me it was company policy
 
Barbrella
  • #26
When I called angels and severums "mild mannered", I mean mild in comparison to other cichlids. All cichlids are aggressive to different degrees, all the way down to docile Keyholes, who still get territorial at breeding time.

but as far as the severums, are we talking bout the same fish? all the info ive read on them, they get pretty big and are aggressive by nature

Yes, they get very big and are considered semi-aggressive as compared to really aggressive cichlids, like green terrors and convicts, with which they should never be kept as they can't possible hold their own against them.

I kept my breeding pair in a very large tank with lots of plants and wood and large tetras. In that setting they were not shy at all (would eat from my hands) but were easily startled so you need to keep the tank out of a high traffic area.

ocelot1120, if you have a pair of convicts, you're going to have hundreds and hundreds of babies, non-stop. The parents take excellent care of them and will kill any other fish in the tank to protect them.
 
ocelot1120
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
so as I said before, a Jack Dempsey is probably my best bet right?
 
Barbrella
  • #28
A Jack Dempsy would be okay with a convict, but needs at least 55 gallons.
 
ocelot1120
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
why do they supposedly need that big of a tank. especially if they only get 6-8 inches long? if its room to swim or something my tank might be ok, because the tank I bought isn't the standard kind. I think it might be a little shorter than most, but it is much wider (and maybe even alittle longer) than the average 40 gal tank.
 
Barbrella
  • #30
Yes, 40 gals would be fine for a female JD, but you have a convict in there too, so much more room is needed.
 
ocelot1120
  • Thread Starter
  • #31
so u r saying that I can only have about 10 to 15 inches worth of fish (full grown convict is 5-6") in that huge tank
 
Barbrella
  • #32
Inches of fish per gallon is a very rough guideline and mostly applies to small, slI'm bodied fish. For example, you could easily have 40 neon tetras in there, but not 4, 10-inch Oscars. Both examples come to 40 inches, but are not comparable, either in space required or bioload.

Large and/or aggressive fish need the most room you can give them. If you have two, the tank must be large enough for each to try and maintain a territory with some neutral space, so as to avoid constant attacks.
 
ocelot1120
  • Thread Starter
  • #33
ok, I see what u r saying. that makes a lot of sense. thank you
 
ocelot1120
  • Thread Starter
  • #34
ok I'm trying out the jack dempsey. that is going a lot more smoothly than the severum. he hasn't exactly picked his territory yet, but he isn't being chased nearly as much. if he doesn't find some territory soon, i'm going to try rearranging the tank. I know everyone thinks I'm overcrowding my tanks but I just can't stand having an enormous tank with only one fish in it. all of my other tanks so far are very relaxed and harmonious. if they fight or or anything, I will be returning the jack dempsey. trust me, I can't stand distressed fish any more than any of you.
 
ocelot1120
  • Thread Starter
  • #35
ok I managed to finally talk the manager of petsmart into taking my convict for free. I returned the JD and I think I'm gonna stick with barbs and sharks for a while.
 

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