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Old 01-19-2014, 09:39 PM   #1
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Firemouth aggression

I have a 55g with a convict, blue acara, a jewel, and a butterfly pleco. All has been well in the tank for a few months. I added a firemouth the other day, he is larger than the others but not by much. For the first few days he was fine but he has become downright nasty. Attacking everything in the tank. He has his own "spot" in the back Of the tank in a rock hideout which I would expect him to defend but he is attacking everything except the pleco all over the tank. Not just chasing them out of his territory. The convict is a little smaller and holds his own but the firemouth is still bullying him and the rest pretty badly... He is a downright a-hole. Also the convict And blue acara have gotten along just fine for months, swimming next to each other, sharing rock spots, almost zero aggression but ever since I added the firemouth the convict is bullying the acara now. When does it get to the point where the firemouth will have to be removed?
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:50 AM   #2
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When one of your fish gets murdered.
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:30 AM   #3
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Well I'd rather not let it get that far. None of the other cichlids have torn fins or anything but he is relentless and chasing them all over the tank, bashes them when they get trapped behind a rock or in the corner.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:18 PM   #4
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Experiencing the same thing. I thought it was just cause mine had fry. Removed the fry and the female and he was still a jerk. I have always read that they just bluffed allot but turns out it is not the case. IMO one of the prettiest fish but when the crazy switch gets flipped they need to be rehomed.

I have to add he was even beating the crap out of my Jag.
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:06 PM   #5
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Yea it sucks, he's a beautiful fish but a total a hole. I think I'm going to give it a few days maybe add some hiding spots (I have plenty but more wouldn't hurt) if it doesn't get better, which I doubt it will the store will probably exchange him and if not ill find somewhere else to home him. Click image for larger version

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Old 01-20-2014, 06:59 PM   #6
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It stinks. I just had to give away my oldest fish a yellow lab and I've heard they're peaceful but he claimed all 90 gallons as his and chased and beat on all 20+ other fish from one end to the other. He was my fave. People say to rescale all rock and that's what I had done during cleaning and that's when he started going insane
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:41 PM   #7
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It stinks. I just had to give away my oldest fish a yellow lab and I've heard they're peaceful but he claimed all 90 gallons as his and chased and beat on all 20+ other fish from one end to the other. He was my fave. People say to rescale all rock and that's what I had done during cleaning and that's when he started going insane

Yeah, I've heard that yellow labs are peaceful too, but I can't tell...my brother in law had one that killed everything in the tank & the other lab left in the tank hides in an ornament & rarely ever comes out.
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:16 PM   #8
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If he were one of the guys you had before but being how he is new you going to have to rehome him some fish are just out for blood. one of the LFS here just throws those fish on the oscar tank yes he has 150g tank with about 4 oscars at any given point.... I thought about it for a second but it gets to a point to what else can your do
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:01 PM   #9
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I called the LFS today and they said they would exchange him if I wanted. He is definitely just out for blood. At this point the other fish can't even eat because he tries to kill them if they try to get food. Just not sure what to exchange him for.

With a convict, blue acara, and a jewel what else would be a good fit and how many more can I add without overstocking a 55g?
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:08 PM   #10
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Id say since you have a mixed tank and keep in mind it's better not to mix at all because of your current problem and others that may arise... That being said I would suggest yellow labs one or two dwarf Africans cichlids you can ever try 1 or 2 peacocks it would all be tries because fish are like people sometimes their fine other times just can't be in he same tank. And the max would depend on the fish you choose the common saying is a inch per fish per gallon but overstocked works better with Africans
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:18 PM   #11
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Firemouth aggression

I shouldn't be mixing Africans with South Americans though should I? I always thought that was a bad idea because of different water conditions.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:25 PM   #12
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Ok I thought you already had jewel cichlid to me is this guy pic kinda blurry Click image for larger version

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Old 01-21-2014, 10:29 PM   #13
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Yea I do, however I only took him to re-home for a friend. He was getting annihilated in a friends tank so I took him. He is the only African though and he has done fine in the tank despite it being set up for SA's.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:30 PM   #14
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And if you have new world cichlids some cats look nice can't remember how big a convict gets though gar like a needle nose you can try jacks but they might get too big a rope fish would work
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:35 PM   #15
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Are you planning on keeping your current stock I know the jewel doesn't get bigger than 6 inch so you would be limited on what SA you can get as most of he those get huge. Maybe some Bolivian rams? But wherever you go keep in mind somebody is going to have to compromise if I were you I'd see what are the water requirements for each fish your thinking on and try to find some middle ground and of course this is was it's not recommended doesn't mean it won't work but you could lose some fish in the process
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:43 PM   #16
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I hear ya, thanks for the advice and Info. I usually do research before hand however I took the jewel because there was no where else for it to go so I figured I'd see how he would do. I'm definitely keeping the convict and acara. If I can find a home for the jewel I would probably let it go. Both the convict and acara from what I've read max out at 6".
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:13 PM   #17
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Id say since you have a mixed tank and keep in mind it's better not to mix at all because of your current problem and others that may arise... That being said I would suggest yellow labs one or two dwarf Africans cichlids you can ever try 1 or 2 peacocks it would all be tries because fish are like people sometimes their fine other times just can't be in he same tank. And the max would depend on the fish you choose the common saying is a inch per fish per gallon but overstocked works better with Africans
Hemicachromis bimaculatus (and all the hemicachromis species for that matter) are a riverine species from west Africa into the Congo. They are NOT a rift lake species and prefer softer water as opposed to the hard water of the rift lakes. They are not a proper tankmate for Mbuna, peacocks, malawaian Haps, Victorian Haps, or tangs.

The one inch of fish per gallon rule is useless. You would not put a 10" Oscar into a ten gallon. Stocking a tank is much more complex than a general rule and its for that reason look at a tank on a tank-by-tank basis and decide based on a number of factors, such as the footprint of the tank, the adult size of the fish, the filtration, etc.

Overstocking a rift lake tank is old practice. The main reason people need to overstock is basically a lack of research into stocking. If a tank is stocked properly, that is, a large enough tank and the proper male to female ratio of COMPATIBLE species (species of similar temperament and behavior), there should be no reason to overstock. However, many people buy incompatible species, and just 1-2 of several different species, in a tank too small, and that's when aggression issues erupt. Overstocking is NOT necessary if the tank is stocked properly.

If you like Meeki (firemouth), I'd look into the other members of the thorichthys genus, which tend to be bit calmer. I personally prefer T. Maculipinnis (ellioti), but pasionis, mixteco 'blue', mixteco 'gold', and aureum are also all nice.

I'd also check out the members of cryptoheros, like nanoluteus, sajica, cutteri, and spilurum.

Amatitlania sp. 'Honduran Red Point' is a cousin of the convict, but much more peaceful. I actually wouldn't add a HRP or cryptoheros to this tank unless you got rid of the convict, as hybridization can easily occur between all of these species.

Archocentrus multispinosa (rainbow cichlid) would be a great addition.
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:16 PM   #18
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Jewels are from Africa but not the rift lakes. They're from rivers and much more should be w new worlds not african rift lake mbuna and haps. Dwarfs like rams and apistos should not be with those medium size much more aggressive guys. You'd be better off trying a different firemouths I have never had a firemouth be bully of a tank in fact I had a jewel clear out a tank full of larger fish! Ha that shows how fish do have personalities in some way!
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:18 PM   #19
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And that's a fat jewel! Maybe that's why he was getting picked on? Pick on the fat kid! Jk
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:23 PM   #20
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Firemouth aggression

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Originally Posted by Freakgecko91 View Post
Hemicachromis bimaculatus (and all the hemicachromis species for that matter) are a riverine species from west Africa into the Congo. They are NOT a rift lake species and prefer softer water as opposed to the hard water of the rift lakes. They are not a proper tankmate for Mbuna, peacocks, malawaian Haps, Victorian Haps, or tangs.

The one inch of fish per gallon rule is useless. You would not put a 10" Oscar into a ten gallon. Stocking a tank is much more complex than a general rule and its for that reason look at a tank on a tank-by-tank basis and decide based on a number of factors, such as the footprint of the tank, the adult size of the fish, the filtration, etc.

Overstocking a rift lake tank is old practice. The main reason people need to overstock is basically a lack of research into stocking. If a tank is stocked properly, that is, a large enough tank and the proper male to female ratio of COMPATIBLE species (species of similar temperament and behavior), there should be no reason to overstock. However, many people buy incompatible species, and just 1-2 of several different species, in a tank too small, and that's when aggression issues erupt. Overstocking is NOT necessary if the tank is stocked properly.

If you like the look of a firemouth (thorichthys Meeki), I would look into some of the cousins of meeki, thorichthys aureum, maculipinnis (formerly 'ellioti'), and pasionis. These are much less common, and feature much different coloring and generally a bit calmer personalities. Personally, I prefer T. maculipinnis.
Ok for the sake of argument say I have just a blue acara, butterfly pleco, and a convict. I know the convict is female, not sure what sex the acara is yet. It's a 55g tank with two aqua clear 110's. Where would you go from there stocking wise? Just looking for advice and different points of view.
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