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Old 03-06-2014, 11:51 AM   #1
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Firemouth lost it's color.

So I have had two small(2inch) firemouth cichlids, and a small(3inch) Oscar in a 29gallon tank for the last 2wks. One of the two firemouths is clearly dominant over the other. I just expanded from aforementioned 29gal to a 60gal. I filled the tank with de-chlorinated water about 4 days ago. Last night I transferred the fish to the big aquarium, and also took most of the gravel, and 10gal of water from the smaller tank too, in hopes that it would bring some of the existing good bacteria with it. This morning when I woke up I discovered that my submissive/nonaggressive firemouth has lost almost all of it's color. The other firemouth and oscar are still bright and lit up. Should I be concerned about the loss of color in the other firemouth, or is it common for a less dominant fish to subdue it's colors?
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Old 03-06-2014, 12:20 PM   #2
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It could be just the stress of the move. Also, only have 3 fish in the tank may cause stress. The oscar is too big for the tank in my opinion. They don't like company and can take over a whole 60 gallon by themselves one day. For now, since he's small, he'll be fine in the tank. I would purchase more cichlids to spread the aggression around once you have ascertained that the pale fire mouth is not suffering from a disease. I believe the fire mouth is a new world cichlid. I'm not sure if they are compatible with African cichlids.

A cichlid expert will chime in here.
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Old 03-06-2014, 12:50 PM   #3
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Definitely do NOT buy more cichlids. Your tank is overstocked right now (based on adult sizes). An oscar needs a 60 gallon just to itself and many will say that's even on the small side, I suggest a 75 for a single adult. Overstocking doesn't work in Central/South american species and generally doesn't even work that well in Rift Lake species, as opposed to picking the proper stock/m:f ratios. As for your issue, a move is very stressful on a fish, coupled with the fact you just moved them to an uncycled tank. Make sure you are testing your water daily. If the ammonia gets over .25, do a 25% water change. Water doesn't hold bacteria in it, the gravel does, but the filter media is what has the most
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Old 03-06-2014, 12:52 PM   #4
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I used 90% of the gravel from the old tank, and have the filter from the old tank running the the new aquarium too.
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Old 03-06-2014, 12:54 PM   #5
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Also I no intention of keeping the ciclids for the duration if their life cycle. I have a pond on my parents property in central Florida that I put them in once they outgrow their surrounds.
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:08 PM   #6
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Freak, how many new world cichlids can fit in a 60? How many Africans in a 60? Most of the tanks large African tanks I've seen have many fish - at least 30 to a 60 gallon.
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berylla View Post
Freak, how many new world cichlids can fit in a 60? How many Africans in a 60? Most of the tanks large African tanks I've seen have many fish - at least 30 to a 60 gallon.
Depends on the species. I for one would never put 30 fish into a 60 gallon...and I am a firm believe in not overstocking, but finding compatible species, using a proper tank size, and using a proper m:f ratio to curb aggression.
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:20 PM   #8
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Ok. I'm no expert in either type of cichlid. I have a 45G discus tank with 3 discus and some smaller fish.
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:34 PM   #9
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Its just stress from the move. Fire Mouths change colors frequently. You are going to have to remove one of the firemouths if the aggression continues. I would give it time to set up territories but if the aggression goes beyond a week I would re home one it will not get better.
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