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Old 09-15-2014, 04:17 PM   #1
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Calling all firemouth keepers

I have 7 firemouths in a 47 gallon at the moment. The idea is to get a mating pair. They are all around the 3 inch mark maybe more.

I haven't seen any signs of pairing though. They just act like one big happy family. Is It too early for them to pair yet? Only a couple show their colours after feeding.

I know this tank is too small so I'm wondering how long this is gonna take. Assuming I even have a male and female.

The tank is 47 gallon with the juwel internal filter and an external 2217 Eheim classic. Temp is about 26 degrees at the moment. Everything else is normal.


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Old 09-15-2014, 04:40 PM   #2
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Its not to early you should start seeing signs in no time. I have pair that just breed at the exact same size. Do you have plenty of caves? Also what are you feeding? Try giving some frozen food if you aren't already.

I bet that is a really fun tank to watch. I had a Fire mouth fry tank and I didn't sell my last ones off until they were 2" it was really fun to watch the group.
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Rivers2k View Post
Its not to early you should start seeing signs in no time. I have pair that just breed at the exact same size. Do you have plenty of caves? Also what are you feeding? Try giving some frozen food if you aren't already.

I bet that is a really fun tank to watch. I had a Fire mouth fry tank and I didn't sell my last ones off until they were 2" it was really fun to watch the group.

I'm just feeding cichlid pellets at the moment. The problem is they don't get much human interaction as the tank is in an unused room. Hopefully it won't be long.

Thanks


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Old 09-16-2014, 08:38 AM   #4
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I alternate with frozen foods a couple times a week but if I go into a streak of doing frozen foods for a few days straight that seems to spark something might be coincidence.

Also not being in a place with allot of humans around when you go in it might freak them out have you noticed anything like that? That would set back spawning.
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Old 09-16-2014, 04:06 PM   #5
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Calling all firemouth keepers

-What is the foot print of that tank?
- Are their spawning sites available to them?
-Plenty of cover/breaks in line of sight?
- What brand of food are you feeding?

Sounds like everything is about right, they should be colored up at that size however. Makes me wonder if they are stressed out? Do some 20-35% cold water changes 1-2 times a week after feeding some frozen food, that should set them off.




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Old 09-17-2014, 03:57 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mogurako View Post
-What is the foot print of that tank?
- Are their spawning sites available to them?
-Plenty of cover/breaks in line of sight?
- What brand of food are you feeding?

Sounds like everything is about right, they should be colored up at that size however. Makes me wonder if they are stressed out? Do some 20-35% cold water changes 1-2 times a week after feeding some frozen food, that should set them off.




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Thanks it's 3 foot by 1 I think. I use a varied dry food. New era soft pellets. New life spectrum pellets and tetra cichlid pellets. Perhaps I should feed some live food.

I think they are stressed mainly because the room sees such little activity. They are always hiding and almost white at times.

Here is a pic of the tank.

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Old 09-17-2014, 08:03 AM   #7
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The fact no one is in the room that often should have nothing to do with it honestly. The tank would only be suitable to for pair and even that is pushing it. The smallest I keep Thorichthys in is either a 40b ( 36x18) or a 55g (48x12) .

I noticed you have white sand in the tank and that's exactly why the fish have no colored up yet. It's a natural defense, fish that are in clear water with light color substrate are going to "wash out" in order to blend in to avoid predation. Put the same fish in a tank with natural color substrate and subdued light and you'll be amazed by the change.

My advice would be too:

- Get a larger tank
- Darker substrate
- Add dither fish
- Stop feeding the tetra food it's garbage.
- Feed frozen foods, not live unless it's worms. Thorichthys aren't piscivorous and don't need to be fed live fish.


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Old 09-17-2014, 08:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogurako View Post
The fact no one is in the room that often should have nothing to do with it honestly. The tank would only be suitable to for pair and even that is pushing it. The smallest I keep Thorichthys in is either a 40b ( 36x18) or a 55g (48x12) .

I noticed you have white sand in the tank and that's exactly why the fish have no colored up yet. It's a natural defense, fish that are in clear water with light color substrate are going to "wash out" in order to blend in to avoid predation. Put the same fish in a tank with natural color substrate and subdued light and you'll be amazed by the change.

My advice would be too:

- Get a larger tank
- Darker substrate
- Add dither fish
- Stop feeding the tetra food it's garbage.
- Feed frozen foods, not live unless it's worms. Thorichthys aren't piscivorous and don't need to be fed live fish.


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Ok thanks that makes sense. I am only after a pair and was told a few
Times that 47 gallon was acceptable for a pair. Won't likely be upgrading soon. I'll definitely add some black sand though and look at some subdued lighting.

I'm not not keen on the idea of dither fish off the tank isn't big enough at the moment. Too be honest I don't always have the lights on (due to algae and I can see the black bars and red belly is more prominent now you come to mention it.


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Old 09-17-2014, 08:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caliban07 View Post
Ok thanks that makes sense. I am only after a pair and was told a few
Times that 47 gallon was acceptable for a pair. Won't likely be upgrading soon. I'll definitely add some black sand though and look at some subdued lighting.

I'm not not keen on the idea of dither fish off the tank isn't big enough at the moment. Too be honest I don't always have the lights on (due to algae and I can see the black bars and red belly is more prominent now you come to mention it.


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The volume of the the 47 is yes, the foot print on the other hand is a bit small. Make sure to have lots of breaks in line of sight when you finally get a pair.

The tank is plenty big enough for some tetra, swords or platys as dithers. Adding those fish will also make the Meeki allot more comfortable and likely to come out more.

You don't have to add black sand just a light brown will do, allot of times you can find pool filter sand that has that nice natural color. I keep all my fish on that with some floaters to diffuse the light and they color up great.

If you're not going to have the tank light on for at least 6-8 hours a day make sure there's some natural light that gets into the room so the fish have a sense of night and day. Also another reason they could be stressed out.

Out of curiously why have a tank where you can't enjoy it?


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Old 09-17-2014, 08:21 AM   #10
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One of my tanks with the pool filter sand. Fish have plenty of color.

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Old 09-17-2014, 09:29 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mogurako View Post
The volume of the the 47 is yes, the foot print on the other hand is a bit small. Make sure to have lots of breaks in line of sight when you finally get a pair.

The tank is plenty big enough for some tetra, swords or platys as dithers. Adding those fish will also make the Meeki allot more comfortable and likely to come out more.

You don't have to add black sand just a light brown will do, allot of times you can find pool filter sand that has that nice natural color. I keep all my fish on that with some floaters to diffuse the light and they color up great.

If you're not going to have the tank light on for at least 6-8 hours a day make sure there's some natural light that gets into the room so the fish have a sense of night and day. Also another reason they could be stressed out.

Out of curiously why have a tank where you can't enjoy it?


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Natural light does hit the tank although a lot if it is block by blinds. That tank is positioned in a way that means if the blinds were open, the sunlight would hit the tank directly. There is no other place to put the tank. I did you with the idea of tearing down my community in the living room and putting this tank in its place but my girlfriend is too attached to the angel fish in there.

We had just moved to this house and I set the tank up in the dining room as the intention was to use the room however, we have just got bogged down sorting other rooms out that we don't use the dining room at the moment other than for storage.

When you say floaters you mean plants right? Which kind do you recommend and will these block the light for the other plants?

Can I just put a thin layer if darker sand on top of the white sand rather than changing out all the sand?


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Old 09-17-2014, 10:15 AM   #12
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I mixed dark play sand with my white sand to darken up my Firemouths. But you might want to remove some of the sand so you don't have to thick of a layer on the bottom but that is personal reference.

I currently have my FM in a tank with black sand and I think the darkers colored play sand you can get a at home depot looked the best out of all.

As far as floating plants I am not into real plants so in my fry tank I have plastic plants that I removed the base from and they just float at the top. It disperses the light a bit. In my main tank I have one side along the edge that is heavily planted and the other is open swim area. So fish can swim into the plants to feel more secure if they want to.
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:20 AM   #13
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Calling all firemouth keepers

Yes, by floaters I mean floating plants. Frog bit and Salvinia always do well for me, if you find that they are starting to melt add some fertilizer like Flourish comprehensive by Seachem.

You can remover a fair amount of the white sand with your syphon then cap it with black. However when you do that the white and black sand will get mixed eventually.

Also a black/blue background wouldn't be a bad idea.


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Old 09-17-2014, 10:20 AM   #14
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Can I just put a thin layer if darker sand on top of the white sand rather than changing out all the sand?
it will eventually mix in and maybe not give the desired results, but I fully understand not wanting to switch it all out. Maybe get sand a few shades darker than what you want or black so when mixed it gives the look you are after.

in addition you should put up some type of background as the white wall is also contributing to the washed out color and shyness.
with a background in place, the fish can go to the back and feel more secure and adventuress because from their perspective there isn't open space on all sides around them.


edit: I see Mogurako beat me to it by mere seconds...LOL
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:53 AM   #15
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found some pics of mine to help you decided.

I also agree with the back ground suggestion.

White Sand - IMO washed out.


Mixed with play sand -IMO you see more grey,green, yellow, orange





Black Sand - IMO you see more irredecent blues and reds.
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:37 AM   #16
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Calling all firemouth keepers

I'm going have to disagree with the black sand and iridescence to an extent. Genetics also plays a big role in this as well. I get tons of iridescence on natural colored sand even in breeding dress. I think it has to do allot with the intensity and spectrum of the lighting as well.

Breeding dress:
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:44 AM   #17
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Also for reference here's a F1 T. meeki, "Rio Candelaria" on light sand displaying some nice iridescence.

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Old 09-17-2014, 12:02 PM   #18
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All responses have been great so far and I feel much better about moving forward with ideas so thanks a bunch. It does all seem so obvious though now it has been pointed out.

Next questions: how can I "dim" the lighting? I have the juwel T5 fixture. Are there bulbs that can achieve a toned down light or is it directly proportional to the fixture? Could I get dimming ballasts or would you go with the plants to dim the light?

My sand isn't that deep. If it's easily siphoned out I will remove some and add a darker brown shade.

Definitely adding a dark background. Been meaning to do this for a while and actually made a thread for suggestions a bit back.

Just got home from work and took some snaps if the fish with the light still off.

Hope you can see.

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Old 09-17-2014, 12:15 PM   #19
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If you don't have live plants there's really no need to have T5 bulbs on the tank, that is very likely the result of them "bleach out". What spectrum bulbs do you have in them?

You can take out some bulbs so it's not a bright, switch to dimmer bulbs or add the floating plants to help defuse the lighting.


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Old 09-17-2014, 12:18 PM   #20
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If you don't have live plants there's really no need to have T5 bulbs on the tank, that is very likely the result of them "bleach out". What spectrum bulbs do you have in them?

You can take out some bulbs so it's not a bright, switch to dimmer bulbs or add the floating plants to help defuse the lighting.


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Those plants are live plant but low light. The floating plants may help with algae too. I'll do all three.


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