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Old 11-26-2013, 10:43 AM   #1
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New member with Cichlid issues

Repost with edits from new member section of the forum. I am adding here due to cichlid issues.

Hey everybody. I decided I have lurked enough and decided to join the forum.

I am just getting (back) into fishkeeping after a long hiatus. I have a 1 year old son who loves watching fish so I decided to buy a used setup from craigslist. I was initially going to sterilize the whole setup and start from scratch, but once I saw the fish that came with the tank, I couldn't toss them. So now I have a bit of a problem

I bought a running setup from a college student who was moving. The setup is as follows:

20 Gallon tank w/stand
HOB filterpump
heater w/thermostat
aerator
gravel sub with big seashells and conch shells
2, Electric Yellow Cichlids
1, Suckermouth Catfish.

I just got the tank last night with the fish. I know there is WAY too much fish in the tank but I cannot afford a larger tank. The cichlids are 3-5" with one being larger than the other and the catfish has got to be close to 7-8". I would never have put this much fish in such a small tank, but it all came together.

The girl I bought the aquarium and fish from said she has had these fish for 3 years and the roommate she bought them from had these same fish for 5 years.

I don't want to kill these fish, but I don't really know what to do with them.

I heard once a few years ago that a fish will not out grow its tank...is this true? Do I (as i suspect) have way too much fish for my tank?

Summary:

Do I have too much fish for my tank?
If yes, what can I do with the fish?
How do I make the best of it?
Do fish outgrow the tank they are in, or will their growth be stunted?
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:40 PM   #2
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Try to rehome them to a fish store in your area. Seems like they survived for a while In that 20 but they need a bigger tank
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:00 PM   #3
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if you want to keep them, get them a bigger home.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:09 PM   #4
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The cichlids and the catfish have not eaten since I put them back in the tank. I just got an ammonia test kit today but have not had the opportunity to test the water yet, however, it was a fully cycled tank so I don't think ammonia is an issue.

I have floating cichlid pellets and the fish don't seem to be interested in eating them. Mostly the fish stay hidden as best they can among shells on the bottom of the tank.

Is it normal for the fish to stop eating for a while after being transferred? I want to get them healthy and then either sell them or take them to the LFS.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:10 PM   #5
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I would love to keep them, but I do not have the means to buy a bigger tank at this time.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:18 PM   #6
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The fish will both outgrow and get stunted in that tank. Don't try to get them healthy they most likely will just die. Take them to the lfs as soon as you can.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:25 PM   #7
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Didn't you say the previous owner had them for a few years
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:32 PM   #8
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I was told that the previous owner(s) had them for something like 8 years.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:35 PM   #9
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I find it very unlikely that those two electric yellows are 7 or 8 year old fish as was indicated, unless you happen to have two very docile females. Regardless, as has been pointed out, that tank is far too small for those fish. I would rehome all three to the local pet store and purchase something more suited to your tank. I nice planted tank with a school of some sort of fish would be very enjoyable to watch.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:38 PM   #10
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I called the LFS and they are only interested in the common pleco...and not that interested in him.

I want to plant and then add a bunch of schooling fish, tetras, or danios or something...don't know yet.
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