So hitting a brick wall right now and not sure what I can do even if there is anything I can do. I've had my cichlids for about 7 months now and they just hide behind my rocks almost all the time. They come out every morning when I turn on the lights and feed them but after that behind the rocks they go. At most 1-2 might be sitting in the rocks starring out front but that's it.
75 gallon wide - Been running strong for a year now.
Eheim 2217 (159gal) + Aquatop CF400UV (125gal)
lights (2 led
Lots of lace rock, white sand, and fake plants, 1 piece of driftwood.
I feed them once a day with new life spectrum.
Use prime conditioner, seachem cichlid lake salt, seachem malawi/victoria buffer.
Ph at a constant 8.2
Ammo - 0
Nitrites - 0
Nitrates - 10-15
Temp - 77 f
About a 15% WC
1m/6f - Sunshine peacocks (3 in - 5 in)
1m/5f - Electric blue haps (2 in - 4 in)
1 Calvus (2 in)
2 angelicus botia loaches (3 in)
1 rainbow shark (3 in)
I used to have more fish in the tank, but got rid of them because my nitrates would keep rising like crazy.
I had 4 rainbow fish in as dither fish for 3 months hoping it would help them feel more safe but sadly the rainbow fish would sometimes run into hiding with the cichlids.
I have changed the rock/plant setup about 2 times now hoping that might help but it didn't change anything.
The rainbow shark is the only one in the tank who wanders around all the time and is never timid, just doing his thing and looking for food 24/7.
There is no aggression issues with the fish, they all just do their own thing or hide in the back. Only when the male peacock is mating will there be any chasing but its nothing serious.
When I am home I spend a good amount of time on the computer which is located next to the fish tank, about 2 feet away hoping they would see me a lot and associate me not trying to hurt them and that I am the one who feeds them.
Not really sure what I can do.
I thought about trying to add a different set of dither fish but not really crazy about the idea.
Any thoughts, suggestions, comments are welcome.
Also forgot to mention there has never been any type of sickness, disease, illness. All fish seem to be healthy and never lost a fish.