Wild caught Mayan cichlid - Updates

BrandonInsoft

Member
Hey, I was hoping some of yall could help me identify this cichlid and how to raise it. I caught this cichlid while gathering data for an ecology class at University Tampa in the campus river. I know there are adult Mayan cichlids along with blue tilapia in the river and this one was caught by net. I put him in a 3 gallon bowl with Carib Sea Eco substrate to raise Ph and add plants to bowl for him to hid in and eat. I put a heater in there and a sponge filter. I currently treating the tank with Kick Ich and voogle Immunity boost. I also just added some BP to the tank to start the nitrogen cycle. Ive been feeding him crushed up small cichlids pellets that I feed to my cichlids in my other tank but he has a hard time eating them. So I bought some line newborn brine shrimp but I think he might be big enough to eat something else. If anyone could give me some tips on how to ensure his survival it would be greatly appreciated. I would love to watch this little guy grow up and put him in a big tank.
 

A201

Member
I believe you have a baby "Convict Cichlid". They are a tough, very hardy fish. Probably going to have to invest in a 10 gal tank soon, w/ a hang on the back power filter.
Need to change out 25% of the water every other day for approx. a month until the tank cycles.
Need to change out 50% of the water every day while in the bowl. Good luck.
 

FitSoldier

Member

chromedome52

Member
Too many bars for convict or Mayan. This might take a little more research.

Edit: this is going to take a lot more research.
 

Demeter

Member
When in doubt with baby fish, wait a few months.

Get it a proper tank, 10gals will do. Feed frozen brine shrimp until it is willing to take prepared foods (pellets or flakes). Make sure you keep the water safe as I’m guessing the tank is not cycled. Frequent water changes will be in order.
 

AverageDewdrop

Member
I def agree with a 10 gallon tank and a hob soon. And with the mentioned 50% wc for the bowl , also thought convict cichlid.
 
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BrandonInsoft

Member
So I have this 10 gallon planted aquarium that just finished the cycle. I was going to put some fish in it this week. Now hearing that I will need a 10 gallon I'm having trouble deciding if I should put him in here by himself or get the fish I planned to buy.
 

A201

Member
Depending on what type of fish you want to add, maybe you could keep the baby cichlid & the other fish together on a temporary basis.
 

kallililly1973

Member
Seeing you decided to keep the "new" cichlid he is now your responsibility . I would suggest adding him to your newly cycled 10 or return him to the wild.
 
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BrandonInsoft

Member
A201 said:
Depending on what type of fish you want to add, maybe you could keep the baby cichlid & the other fish together on a temporary basis.
I was going to add a school of Celestrial Pearl Danios to the 10 gallon. About 8 of them and one large mystery snail. Could the cichlid live with them for a few months?
 

kallililly1973

Member
BrandonInsoft said:
I was going to add a school of Celestrial Pearl Danios to the 10 gallon. About 8 of them and one large mystery snail. Could the cichlid live with them for a few months?
Noone has verified the Cichlid specie yet so I would think the CPD's would become snacks if you left them all together in a 10
 

A201

Member
I agree with kallililly1973. If that fish turns out to be a Convict, you'll discover what a truly aggressive cichlid is capable of. IMO, Convicts are a nuisance fish. They reproduce like rabbits. You can't give the fry away, nobody wants them. Convicts will even bite your hand during weekly maintenence if guarding a nest. Probably better to send him back home.
 

86 ssinit

Member
Yeah I would hold off on the cpds and put this guy into that tank. Or let it go. I don’t see convict I see African Cichlid. Remember it’s Florida. Someone may have released there’s and they are now breeding in that lake.
 

A201

Member
86 ssinit. You might be right, "African". I looked up Floridas invasive species. Convict was listed, as well a "Spotted Tilapia" an African species.
The juvenile Tilapia closely resemble the Op's pictured cichlid. The stripes fade as the cichlids age.
 
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BrandonInsoft

Member
A201 said:
86 ssinit. You might be right, "African". I looked up Floridas invasive species. Convict was listed, as well a "Spotted Tilapia" an African species.
The juvenile Tilapia closely resemble the Op's pictured cichlid. The stripes fade as the cichlids age.
We caught him in a shallow river on campus at U Tampa that is connected to a spring. Our Marine bio professor does research on Mayan cichlids has caught Spotted Tilapia, Blue Tilapia, Mayan Cichlids, Midas cichlid, Spotted Sunfish, and Black Acaras as well as mollies and mosquito fish. He has yet to catch a Convict and the river is 5 ft deep max. You can clearly see all these species during low tide. Either way, my GF caught it and loves the baby cichlid. So we are going to keep it. I'm going to add him to my 10 gallon and buy another tank for him because I really want those CPDs in my planted 10. I will keep him in my planted 10 gallon until the new tank for the baby cichlid has cycled. so a little over a month. I also heard cichlids eat plants so I would hate to see all my plants be eaten over time. So after I add him to the 10 gallon I want to buy a tank specifically for the baby cichlid and watch it grow to about 3-4 inches. Then depending on species, I could add him to my 90 gallon African cichlid I'm about to set up this spring or get 75+ for central Americans. But for the meantime should I get another 10 gallon for him? 20? 30? Could I keep the CPDs and the baby together for a month in the 10?
 

jjohnwm

Member
The posters suggesting that you return it to "the wild" should bear in mind that you didn't catch this fish in it's natural habitat. It's an invasive and cannot ethically be released.
 

JettsPapa

Member
jjohnwm said:
The posters suggesting that you return it to "the wild" should bear in mind that you didn't catch this fish in it's natural habitat. It's an invasive and cannot ethically be released.
I agree. Returning a non-native species to where it was caught is a horrible idea.
 
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BrandonInsoft

Member
JettsPapa said:
I agree. Returning a non-native species to where it was caught is a horrible idea.
I agree. We aren't realesing him to the wild. it is also illegal to release invasive species back into the wild.
 

Momgoose56

Member
BrandonInsoft said:
I agree. We aren't realesing him to the wild. it is also illegal to release invasive species back into the wild.
In the mean time, you might think about dumping about a third to half of the water out of that bowl. Without an airstone in it, you don't have a big enough surface area to maintain an adequate amount of dissolved oxygen in it for him.
 
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BrandonInsoft

Member
I actually just added him to my planted 10 gallon. Did a water test before adding and read 0 for ammonia nitrites and nitrates with a Ph of 7.4. he is looking very happy in hear with a lot of space. I really want to add the CPD. The cichlid might even be slightly smaller than adult CPD. I don't think he could get big enough to eat them within a month to move him to his own tank which I still don't know what size to get for him until I move to 75 gallon. Please let me know if I'm wrong.
 

Momgoose56

Member
BrandonInsoft said:
I actually just added him to my planted 10 gallon. Did a water test before adding and read 0 for ammonia nitrites and nitrates with a Ph of 7.4. he is looking very happy in hear with a lot of space. I really want to add the CPD. The cichlid might even be slightly smaller than adult CPD. I don't think he could get big enough to eat them within a month to move him to his own tank which I still don't know what size to get for him until I move to 75 gallon. Please let me know if I'm wrong.
I'm glad you moved him. That was a good choice.
Just wondering how you manage to have 0ppm nitrates in that 10 gallon cycled tank-are you using something to remove them?
I personally wouldn't put any wild caught, possibly aggressive, unknown species of fish in a tank with any small tropical fish. But that's just because I wouldn't want to take the risk of losing fish I actually spent money on.
Why don't you just get another tank for the CPD's and cycle it. A month/6 weeks isn't that long and keeping a wild caught fish in quarantine for a few weeks is a good idea anyway to make sure he doesn't have some kind of parasite (other than ich) that he could pass along. He looks a little on the thin side already. You might want to treat him for internal parasites as well as the ich.
As far as food, you could try a flake cichlid food, frozen brine shrimp, blood worms etc. My African Cichlid fry do well with those at all ages and sizes. Just crush the flakes to an appropriate size for his mouth. Good luck with him. I'm curious to find out what the final verdict will be on what species he really is!
 
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BrandonInsoft

Member
Momgoose56 said:
I'm glad you moved him. That was a good choice.
Just wondering how you manage to have 0ppm nitrates in that 10 gallon cycled tank-are you using something to remove them?
I personally wouldn't put any wild caught, possibly aggressive, unknown species of fish in a tank with any small tropical fish. But that's just because I wouldn't want to take the risk of losing fish I actually spent money on.
Why don't you just get another tank for the CPD's and cycle it. A month/6 weeks isn't that long and keeping a wild caught fish in quarantine for a few weeks is a good idea anyway to make sure he doesn't have some kind of parasite (other than ich) that he could pass along. He looks a little on the thin side already. You might want to treat him for internal parasites as well as the ich.
As far as food, you could try a flake cichlid food, frozen brine shrimp, blood worms etc. My African Cichlid fry do well with those at all ages and sizes. Just crush the flakes to an appropriate size for his mouth. Good luck with him. I'm curious to find out what the final verdict will be on what species he really is!
I got the nitrates to 0 by doing a water change before adding him to the tank.
Ive also been treating him with kick ich and giving him an immunity booster from voogle. What other treatments should I be using? Ive been feeding him Xtreme Aquatic Foods cichlid peewee pellets 3 times a day. He can fit the pellet in his mouth but has trouble chewing it (he spits it out then grabs it again over and over again.) Also what temp do you recommend I keep the tank at? Rn it is at 84 because I am treating for ich.
 

Momgoose56

Member
BrandonInsoft said:
I got the nitrates to 0 by doing a water change before adding him to the tank.
Ive also been treating him with kick ich and giving him an immunity booster from voogle. What other treatments should I be using? Ive been feeding him Xtreme Aquatic Foods cichlid peewee pellets 3 times a day. He can fit the pellet in his mouth but has trouble chewing it (he spits it out then grabs it again over and over again.)
He'll be able to swallow flakes and frozen thawed 'bugs'. I would get a medication to treat internal parasites. You usually need to add that to their food. Check around at your local aquatic shops and see what they have. If he's eating and acting healthy and not looking wasted though, you might hold off on treating him for that until he's a couple months bigger.
 
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BrandonInsoft

Member
Ive got some frozen krill that I feed my 2 inch african cichlids. Should I feed him that? He seems to look very healthy. He is very active and comes to the front of the tank and greets me as all cichlids do. He has even gotten used to me feeding him so he comes to surface of the water when I put some food in the tank.
 

Momgoose56

Member
BrandonInsoft said:
Ive got some frozen krill that I feed my 2 inch african cichlids. Should I feed him that? He seems to look very healthy. He is very active and comes to the front of the tank and greets me as all cichlids do. He has even gotten used to me feeding him so he comes to surface of the water when I put some food in the tank.
Are the krill tiny enough to fit in his mouth? if not, go to Petsmart or somewhere and get some frozen bloodworms, flakes and brine shrimp. I recommend the Omega one product. They use few useless fillers and have a quality product.
 

MomeWrath

Member
Out of the types that you said are living in that river, my searches as well as a try with Google lens all come up with a mayan cichlid.
 

chromedome52

Member
It is not African, body shape is wrong for any Tilapiine Cichlid. However, that last list included Midas Cichlid, which in the early stages does have a lot of stripes. The head shape also makes me think Amphilophus. I am interested to see how he develops. But it would certainly be a bad idea to combine that species with fish like CPD, even if he is smaller than they are.

BTW, there is a difference between invasive and non-native. Mayans are currently considered non-native, as they have established without obliterating the native species. Snakeheads are invasive because they wipe out everything when they establish a population. Peacock Cichlids are introduced game fish, brought in to try and control the Tilapia populations, but in the Panama Canal they have wiped out many native species.

Every time he mouths a pellet, he is scraping off some food and swallowing it. This is a baby Cichlid, he will tear pieces off of something to feed. I would be hesitant to try krill or bloodworms, as they are very hard shelled and difficult to take bites off of them. Frozen Brine shrimp, OTOH, is soft, and can easily be torn apart. A fry that young would still be getting live bbs in my fishroom.
 
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BrandonInsoft

Member
chromedome52 said:
It is not African, body shape is wrong for any Tilapiine Cichlid. However, that last list included Midas Cichlid, which in the early stages does have a lot of stripes. The head shape also makes me think Amphilophus. I am interested to see how he develops. But it would certainly be a bad idea to combine that species with fish like CPD, even if he is smaller than they are.

BTW, there is a difference between invasive and non-native. Mayans are currently considered non-native, as they have established without obliterating the native species. Snakeheads are invasive because they wipe out everything when they establish a population. Peacock Cichlids are introduced game fish, brought in to try and control the Tilapia populations, but in the Panama Canal they have wiped out many native species.

Every time he mouths a pellet, he is scraping off some food and swallowing it. This is a baby Cichlid, he will tear pieces off of something to feed. I would be hesitant to try krill or bloodworms, as they are very hard shelled and difficult to take bites off of them. Frozen Brine shrimp, OTOH, is soft, and can easily be torn apart. A fry that young would still be getting live bbs in my fishroom.
Live bbs?
would I be able to add any algae eaters to this tank?

Also what temp should I keep the tank at? Rn it is at 86 because I'm treating for possible ich.

One more question. Will this baby cichlid end up eating my plants in my tank? I obviously set up the planted tank for a different species but here we are. I'm excited to grow this baby and see what species it is but id like to have a healthy planted tank.
 

jjohnwm

Member
Difficult to answer specifics such as optimal temperature or plant compatibility without knowing what species of fish this is. Generally speaking, cichlids don't eat that many plants; they just like uprooting and tearing them up for fun! Temperature, after you finish your Ich regimen, would probably be best kept in the 75-78F range, which probably falls within the optimum range of just about any species this is likely to be.

A quick observation: wild-caught fish are generally much more likely to be infested with worms, parasites, etc. than tank-raised. A quarantine tank is always a good idea, and especially in the case of wild-caught specimens. This gives you a chance to observe them closely in an easily-controlled environment, and allows time for any potential issues to become visible before other fish are exposed to them.

Moving this fish from tank to tank to tank is pretty much the exact opposite of quarantining it. If it has any diseases or parasites, they are getting a free ride into all those tanks, where they have free rein to move into new hosts, i.e. all your other fish. Speaking for myself, if I were in your position that little cichlid would be living alone for a minimum of several weeks, probably longer, and there would be no cross-contamination of water, tools, equipment or filtration media for that entire time period. That's what "quarantine" means.

Many folks will pipe up and state that they never quarantine their new fish and never have a problem. My only answer to this is: you haven't had a problem yet.
 
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BrandonInsoft

Member
My little guy has ich now. I don't understand how it happened. The 10 gallon tank has been at 86 F with no fish in it for over 6 days.







Should I take anything out of the tank? I am treating the tank with kick ich with my first day starting today for a treatment that lasts 2 weeks while dosing water with kick ich day 1,4,7,10,13. I have the temp in the tank at 86 F and I am also giving him voogle immunity booster day 4 out of 5 and then continuing to give weekly dosages until ich is gone. Do I need to take anything out of the tank and wash and let dry like the thermometer and the filter box. Or should I keep both in and just take the filter slit out of the box so that it is still flowing water just not filtering it. Filter has active carbon and treatment says to take out any filter media. I also bought cichlid flakes and these micro pellets but he won't eat the flakes. He can eat the micro pellets no probelm.
 

jjohnwm

Member
I am pretty sure they mean chemical filtration media such as carbon, Purigen and the like. That's the only class of media which would remove the medication from the water.

Ideally you should remove the carbon but retain the mechanical and biological media. If you take it all out you will be losing a lot of your beneficial bacteria and will likely crash your cycle or at least experience a significant and prolonged ammonia spike.

If it is in the form of a cartridge...otherwise known as a "money-spending trap"...you should be able to cut it open and discard the carbon while saving the rest of it. Better still, get some high-quality open-cell foam such as Poret and cut yourself a replacement pad to fit your filter. Use it in combination with the matured media you currently have. After a few weeks you can throw away the entire original cartridge and just continue to use the custom foam piece, rinsing it periodically in tank water as it clogs. It's a cheaper and better system; win/win.
 
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BrandonInsoft

Member
So I took the filter out and here is what it looks like. I’m not sure we’re to cut it though. Also I have these extra filters I got a petsmart. Should I take the black part off the blue filter cut to size and put it in the filter box?

So I cut out the carbon and also added a strip of the blue filter I had to it as well and places it back in the filter box.
 

jjohnwm

Member
It looks like the filter pad is actually a pouch containing the carbon. If it were mine, I would just cut a slit in each of those two compartments and remove the carbon. I'm referring to your current in-house cartridge, which is keeping your tank cycled.

The new cartridge seems to have visible carbon sandwiched between the blue pad and the black plastic. You can cut off that blue pad and use it along with the old pad, but that stuff won't work as well or last as long as foam.

Dang! You're fast...I hadn't finished typing before you finished slicing! That looks like it will work, although I'd still switch over to foam when possible.
 
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BrandonInsoft

Member
What is the foam called so I can order it on amazon rn.

jjohnwm said:
I am pretty sure they mean chemical filtration media such as carbon, Purigen and the like. That's the only class of media which would remove the medication from the water.

Ideally you should remove the carbon but retain the mechanical and biological media. If you take it all out you will be losing a lot of your beneficial bacteria and will likely crash your cycle or at least experience a significant and prolonged ammonia spike.

If it is in the form of a cartridge...otherwise known as a "money-spending trap"...you should be able to cut it open and discard the carbon while saving the rest of it. Better still, get some high-quality open-cell foam such as Poret and cut yourself a replacement pad to fit your filter. Use it in combination with the matured media you currently have. After a few weeks you can throw away the entire original cartridge and just continue to use the custom foam piece, rinsing it periodically in tank water as it clogs. It's a cheaper and better system; win/win.
would this work for foam filter? Amazon.com: AQUANEAT Bio Sponge Filter Media Pad Cut-to-fit Foam Up to 23" for Aquarium Fish Tank (17.7"x17.7"x2"): Home & Kitchen
 

AcuarioAmazonico

Member
I have to give it to you man - you hear recommendations and you’re onto it like a gun!
 
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BrandonInsoft

Member
MelbourneGuy said:
I have to give it to you man - you hear recommendations and you’re onto it like a gun!
Well I'm just trying to learn as much as I can and do everything I can for the survival of this baby. I just started the hobby over summer when I learned about the nitro cycle. and now want to learn as much as I can about cichlid bc I love them. I will probably want to eventually breed in the future.

I'm thinking about getting one large mystery snail for this tank to eat some algae in the tank. My tank doesn't have a lid though, will it escape? Also what do yall think about dwarf crayfish. could he live in there?
 

MomeWrath

Member
I'd recommend focusing on getting your fish healthy before adding other critters. He probably got ich because it was already living on him when you caught him - it is present in most natural systems - and when he got stressed by the moves it got a foothold and infected him. Sort of like we are more susceptible to viruses when our system is taxed by stress.
The Aquaneat foam you found on Amazon will do. The Poret foam is only available through Swisstropicals.com. I'm not sure really what the difference is - the material it is made from perhaps? I'm a diehard Poret person myself, just from using it for literally every tank for the last decade, but I think that stuff will do for now. I believe the owner of swisstropicals is at a conference until the middle of the month anyway. While you're at it though, you should go read his website; it explains in scientific detail why foam filtration is superior to just about everything else, and you'll learn a lot especially if you're relatively new to the hobby.
Did you decide it's a Mayan cichlid or something else yet?
 
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BrandonInsoft

Member
Magicpenny75 said:
I'd recommend focusing on getting your fish healthy before adding other critters. He probably got ich because it was already living on him when you caught him - it is present in most natural systems - and when he got stressed by the moves it got a foothold and infected him. Sort of like we are more susceptible to viruses when our system is taxed by stress.
The Aquaneat foam you found on Amazon will do. The Poret foam is only available through Swisstropicals.com. I'm not sure really what the difference is - the material it is made from perhaps? I'm a diehard Poret person myself, just from using it for literally every tank for the last decade, but I think that stuff will do for now. I believe the owner of swisstropicals is at a conference until the middle of the month anyway. While you're at it though, you should go read his website; it explains in scientific detail why foam filtration is superior to just about everything else, and you'll learn a lot especially if you're relatively new to the hobby.
Did you decide it's a Mayan cichlid or something else yet?
I’m thinking it’s a Mayan cichlid but it’s still hard to tell. I will post a pick of him every week to show y’all growth and hopefully soon we can identify him/her.
 
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BrandonInsoft

Member
Here is an update on the little guy. Let me know what y’all think. He has definitely close to doubled his size.

Two weeks into keeping this fry which was caught at the small river coming out of a spring at U Tampa. Our Marine bio professor does research on Mayan cichlids and has caught Spotted Tilapia, Blue Tilapia, Mayan Cichlids, Midas cichlid, Spotted Sunfish, and Black Acaras as well as mollies and mosquito fish. What species do y’all think it is?
 

Feohw

Member
Looks to be a Mayan juvenile to me.
 

chromedome52

Member
Okay, he looks a lot more like Mayan now, so my guess of Amphilophus was probably mistaken.
 
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BrandonInsoft

Member
What gender do y’all think?
 

chromedome52

Member
BrandonInsoft said:
What gender do y’all think?
Juvenile. It has not yet determined what gender it will be. I'd say 5-6 months before you might get a hint.
 
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BrandonInsoft

Member
So in the big picture I’m going to move him to a 30 gallon once he outgrows this tank. And the end game is to put him in a Community tank 200+ with a peacock bass, Oscar, and maybe a flower horn. Do y’all think they would get along?
 

86 ssinit

Member
No flower horns should be by themselves. May look great together for years and than kill the guy you found and the Oscar. Not sure about the bass but they may fight.
 

JessicaSwanlake

Member
Yep, definitely no flowerhorns. They are very agressive. The others are each aggressive on their own, especially when breeding. Even 200 gallons would be pushing it with those three, in my opinion. My oscar shows very little aggression and tolerates his 1 tankmate but that is only because it's an eel who spends most of the day hiding. And he is somewhat unusual in that way.

If you wanted a tank that was over 200 gallons you would be better off, but then it's still a lot of luck. Either the fish would work out, or they wouldn't and would fight. If you did want to try something like that it would be better to get them sooner than later otherise the bigger fish would bully or even kill the smaller ones.
 
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BrandonInsoft

Member
JessicaSwanlake said:
Yep, definitely no flowerhorns. They are very agressive. The others are each aggressive on their own, especially when breeding. Even 200 gallons would be pushing it with those three, in my opinion. My oscar shows very little aggression and tolerates his 1 tankmate but that is only because it's an eel who spends most of the day hiding. And he is somewhat unusual in that way.

If you wanted a tank that was over 200 gallons you would be better off, but then it's still a lot of luck. Either the fish would work out, or they wouldn't and would fight. If you did want to try something like that it would be better to get them sooner than later otherise the bigger fish would bully or even kill the smaller ones.
So, it would be a good idea to get an oscar that is the same size as my mayan when they are still small and have them grow up together. Are you saying that if I raise this mayan alone until its around 6+ inches and then throw an oscar or peacock bass of equal size they will be more likely to fight than if I raised them together from as small as possible? I would really like to have him in a 200-300 gallon with a bichir and one or two other big fish. That's why I liked the idea of the peacock bass and oscar because they all live together in the everglades even though they are invasive.
 

JessicaSwanlake

Member
Yeah, unless you also plan on changing the tank at the same time as getting a new fish (as long as the new fish doesn't fit in the older fish's mouth). Otherwise the older fish will have a "territory" and be much more aggressive defending it from the new fish. Younger fish are also bullied easier, either just from being in a new environment or by being smaller. Most oscars tend to be sort of cowards when introduced as juveniles to a new tank, for example. I've never had a peacock bass so I can't speak for their behavior.
 
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BrandonInsoft

Member
JessicaSwanlake said:
Yeah, unless you also plan on changing the tank at the same time as getting a new fish (as long as the new fish doesn't fit in the older fish's mouth). Otherwise the older fish will have a "territory" and be much more aggressive defending it from the new fish. Younger fish are also bullied easier, either just from being in a new environment or by being smaller. Most oscars tend to be sort of cowards when introduced as juveniles to a new tank, for example. I've never had a peacock bass so I can't speak for their behavior.
So let me break my plan down to you real quick. Right now I have a 29 gallon tall with 4 african cichlids all about 2 inches and I have the juvenile Mayan in a 10 planted gallon with some snails and 2 oto cats to keep the algae in check. I will be moving this summer to a new home I plan to live in for a while. When I move their I'm going to buy a 90 gallon for the africans and move the mayan to the 29 gallon until he gets around 3-4 inches. By that time I will have purchased and set up the 200-300 gallon depending on available space. In what tank and at what size should I introduce the oscar or any other simial sized cichlids to the mayan tank.
 

86 ssinit

Member
I think you will have the best results by getting them both now and at the same size. But every time you move them to a bigger tank you could have a problem.
 

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