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Old 08-31-2006, 02:32 PM   #1
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cichlids for a 10g - apologies to those who i have offended

i am interested in observing some cichlid behavior. but after fitting 2 29gs in my living room, i barely have space for a 10g. i'll list the cichlids that are available in my area -

bolivian rams (kept before not ver interested)
kribs (kept before, not very interested)
GBRs
convicts
sajicas
dwarf curviceps
jewels (can't remember any more at this moment)
(no apistos, or shell-dwellers)

to make a few things clear, i don't want a community tank, just a pair. if i can find a pair, well and good. if not, i'll introduce about 5 of them (with diligent, large pwcs) till a pair forms, and then separate the rest.
i'd like to know about personal experiences, preferences, and ideas. thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 08-31-2006, 03:48 PM   #2
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The best cichlid I have ever kept in a 10 gal were N multies (smallest shellie), they have the same great behaviors as their larger counter parts, but are packed into 1-2" of fish.
A 10 gal is too small for either convicts or jewels.
GBRs have the same behaviors as apistos and Bolivians, they just look a tad different. I have kept all of them at various times, and will say kribs are more active and breed more readily, IME.
I have no experience with the other cichlids on your list. After a quick Google search, it looks like a 10 may be too small for them; however, I will leave the serious research up to you.
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Old 09-01-2006, 08:35 AM   #3
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IMO, the only thing on your list (other than shell-dwellers) that are compatible with a 10 gallon tank would be the German rams; everything else gets too large.
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Old 09-01-2006, 08:50 AM   #4
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GBR's or Keyholes would work well in there....
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Old 09-01-2006, 09:44 AM   #5
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Menagerie, the shellies are unfortunately unavailable in any of the lfs', and i'm not willing to ship them in. Since GBRs have the same nature as the kribs, and bolivians, i'll take them out of the list.
that leaves the convicts / sajicas / dwarf curviceps / jewels.
the dwarf acaras max out at 3.5". the convicts / sajicas / jewels max out at 6". all of them are sold at the lfs at about an inch. i see no reason why a pair can't be raised in a 10g. when they start crossing the 4" mark, i'll either give them to the lfs, or upgrade the tank.
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Old 09-01-2006, 01:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
convicts / sajicas / jewels max out at 6"
I have personally seen convicts larger than that. More research on your end is needed on these cichlids. The problem with buying small and thinking of giving them up later is twofold. 1~a small tank may stunt their growth--both externally and internally, leading to a shorter life span. 2~Often LFS are hesitant to buy larger cichlids because they are harder to sell than the cute little ones. That leaves you with looking at a tank upgrade--before the 4" mark. Cichlids will kill each other due to stress in a small environment. When sexual maturity hits and only one fish is ready, the other may be killed for not wanting to participate; or they may start breeding readily and then you are left with a 10 gal full of fry and two adults. Convict fry are not the easiest things to give away and many people use them as feeders. Think of your fish as you would any other pet. You wouldn't get a Great Dane puppy and say when it hits 75 lbs (and growing) you would give it to a pet store or upgrade your yard/house.
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Old 09-01-2006, 02:20 PM   #7
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i'm sorry but i have to disagree on a number of points. first off, i reiterate that i'll look for alternatives once the fish close in on 4". from what i understand, stunting occurs due to
-buildup of wastes in a closed environment (i'll be carrying out regular pwc's)
-secretion of hormones from competing fish (only a pair remains in the tank, besides, the hormones can be diluted by bigger and more frequent pwc's)

the lfs i go to has taken in fish from me earlier, and i know that they'll do so again.
please don't compare fish to any other pets. each has their own unique requirements. you can't possibly raise all fish from the fry stage to adulthood in the same tank - there has to be an upgrade on the way. so, upgrading is not a problem.

with cichlids from the same parents, i'm expecting the batch to hit maturity during the same time, and a pair forming. the rest would be taken out to avoid harm. in case the pair breeds, and i'm pretty sure they will, i don't want to keep the fry. i'll use them as food for other predatory fish.

right now i'm thinking of settling on jewels. a new batch of sub-adults just came in, they look gorgeous.
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Old 09-02-2006, 07:04 AM   #8
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You haven't taken into consideration the territorial needs of a pair of cichlids. Ten gallons doesn't provide near enough space for two cichlids to each have defined territory. It doesn't provide near enough space for a female to escape the unwanted advances of an overzealous male.

The species you seem interested in need at least 20 gallons of water; anything smaller is irresponsible, IMO.
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Old 09-02-2006, 11:32 AM   #9
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i've pretty much decided on introducing the jewels.
VC, i respect your opinion, but you seem to be missing the word 'pair', where the advances of the male are not unwanted, but welcomed, and the territory is shared. in case the female is uninterested, even a 20g tank would be insufficient for holding the male off. i may well be wrong, but i need to check it out for myself. so, unless someone offers me practical knowledge of keeping jewels in a 10g comes out and advises me, i'll go ahead and stock the tank.
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Old 09-02-2006, 04:47 PM   #10
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Just because a male and female cichlid are a pair doesn't mean that his advances will always be welcomed by her. If the female cannot get away from the male, he may very well kill her; or as someone else mentioned, he may just kill her due to the lack of space a 10 gallon would afford them. I maintain the entire FW section at an LFS, and one thing I've noticed about jewels is that they are extremely aggressive for their size. We keep them with peacocks and even Mbuna at the LFS and they have no trouble holding their own with much larger fish. Every FW tank there is 55 gallons, and the jewels utilize all of that swimming space. They will be cramped and stressed in a 20 inch tank, and IMO you will probably have disappointing results. It's a whole different ballgame than keeping a pair of GBRs in a 10 gallon, or apistos, or any other tiny cichlid with a similar temperament.

JMO.
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