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Old 04-09-2010, 03:46 AM   #1
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Question Killer Cichlids?

Hello fellow fish enthusiasts. I'm a new member and have already found much needed advice and information. I have a 60 gallon cichlid tank with one large, around 12" long, Pleco that I purchased three months ago. He was less than 3" long at the time but grew much faster and larger than I had anticipated and outgrew his original 40 gal home that houses nearly 100 other fish. All fat (too fat) and happy. Enough about him. LOL I seldom lose fish. Until the past week or so I had lost 4 fish out of around 150 or so of varying types. I have gradually introduced a few more varieties into the cichlid tank and all peacefully coexist except two tiny bullies, one being from the original stocking. I am new at the cichlid game, so please feel free to laugh but only behind my back. I have electric blues, Texas greens, red parrots, albino Jacks, buttakofris, yellow somethings, bla bla bla. The problem fish, and by far the least appealing visually have remained small (around 3" length) but are little S.O.B.s! I have absolutely no idea what kind they are. The have a very long dorsal fin that extends the length of the body, they are greenish/yellowish and striped. There is a band of yellow edging the dorsal fin and tails. When I introduced the second one to the crowd, the two squared off, and I was pretty sure it would be a battle to the death. Each has since staked out their territory at opposite ends of the tank. While the much larger Jacks and parrots lumber through just enjoying life, as to the rest, all are subject to attact. Even the large pleco. During the past week or so I have discovered three of the smaller cichlids dead - mutilated. I have not witnesses such severe attacks, but somebody in there has a shank and is cuttin' some folks. I hate to point fingers, but it has to be one or both of those little unidentified devil fish. I've tried to net them, but they ain't stupid. While it would be no problem to catch any of the others, these two scramble into a cave or under the nearest rock like Bin Laden and always on the lookout for my approach with net or disapproving finger pointing, which actually makes them stop whatever bad thing they are doing at the time. It's actually kind of funny until I leave the room and an unsuspecting passerby gets dragged behind a rock and carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey. Any advice? How do it catch the two short of removing all the rocks, draining the tank, and disrupting life for the peacefuls?
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:53 AM   #2
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Just guessing but from your description they sound like green terrors. You may have to drain atleast some water and remove the hiding places to catch them. It is imperative to get them re-homed ASAP or you could lose lots of fish..........
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:01 AM   #3
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You have 150 fish in there? May be time to get a new tank or 5 lol
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:12 AM   #4
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yeah, im trying to figure out why you have so many fish... even if they were neon tetras, you'd be pretty overstocked. can you elaborate a little more?
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:23 AM   #5
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Also you have africans and New World mixed together which is a no no.
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:54 PM   #6
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Thank you all for your responses. Let me clarify. There are NOT 150 fish in the 60 gallon cichlid tank. I have five tanks with about that many fish total. As for the cichlids, I thought that they might well be Green Terrors until I looked them up, but they do not look at all alike. Given the name, I would have given these two the dubious honor. Many of my numerous fishes such as the tiny exotic guppies are only about 3/4 long. In all the other tanks I have schools of different varieties. They are all well, happy, and I stay on top of water quality obsessively. Never even an illness. All 27 cichlids in the 60 are healthy and peaceful aside from the two trouble makers. That tank alone has six different filters from canister to UV. The water is balanced and clear. I've had visitors in my home remark on how clean and crystal clear all my tanks are. I may overcrowd just a bit, but my only regret is the fact that all my fish have grown much larger and more quickly than expected. Whenever it is time, I buy a new tank and move some to that newest one. My angels paired off and within two months of having them, there are two of the three couples now laying eggs as I
write this. Unfortunately on the sides of in tank filters. I feed mostly a live diet to all of my fish which they seem to prefer. My only issue at the moment is the two outlaw cichlids. I agree that it's best to do a partial water drain and remove the rocks in order to capture them. That is unless someone has a tiny spear gun that I could borrow.
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:44 PM   #7
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If your tank is working, I'd just worry about the two trouble makers. If it is peaceful and the fish are healthy then no need to worry.
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Old 04-10-2010, 03:11 AM   #8
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I don't know anything about cichlids but could they be:

Salvin's cichlid
Salvin's cichlid (Nandopsis salvini) with photo / picture

from your description?
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:31 PM   #9
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Killer cichlid mystery.

Thanks for offering up a possibility as to the identity of my bad boy cichlids. They are similar, but no cigar. They seem to know I'm gunning for them. I tried hanging out with a couple of nets playing around in the tank. Most of the others swim right into the nets[IMG]file:///Users/wehomitch/Desktop/IMG_2006.JPG[/IMG]. Others had no fear at all. The two green meanies kept well away inside their respective caves. I grabbed a couple of pics and will post the best one. As they are on the move constantly, every pics is a bit soft. I showed this pic to my fish dealer, who only shook his head and said, "aggressive." He wasn't certain of the actual variety. It seems cichlids offer up untold hybrids. It's water change day and I plan to capture the little bullies if it's the last thing I do. At least my fish guy said that I could return them to him. He's great about that sort of thing. Meanwhile, no more fish lost over the weekend. Here's the pic. I'm sure at least one of you knows exactly what this is.[IMG]file:///Users/wehomitch/Desktop/IMG_2006.JPG[/IMG]
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:41 PM   #10
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Let's try this. LOL And it didn't work. Is it possible to post a pic right side up?
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:21 PM   #11
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looks to me like a male auratus... i have one identical to that in my tank

Species Profiles -- Cichlid-Forum
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:12 AM   #12
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Looks like it to me too. They can be very aggressive.
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Old 04-13-2010, 02:17 AM   #13
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You hit the nail on the head. Thanks so much. I captured one of the two today and found it a new home. The other still terrorizes. Cichlids are one family of fish that I should have researched a little better. I was aware that they were all a bit too aggressive to hang with my tetras, but I had not realized the extreems that exist. I may be wrong, but it seems there are scores of different varieties and temperament. It's not like buying guppies, mix and match. These guys should come with a warning label. I continue to be amazed that they even attack my 12" pleco and many other very large cichlids in my tank. Well, one down and one to go before thee is peace again in the valley.
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:01 AM   #14
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cichlids arent just a "grab one to go with the others"... some cichlids are quite peaceful most of the time, others wont let anything else in the tank with them. its all about finding the right ones to go with each other.
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:40 PM   #15
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You got that right. Today, the tank is more peaceful despite the remaining offender. His days are numbered. Having done my weekly water change and filter maintenance, I am reluctant to disrupt that peace again for another day or so in in effort to capture him. He is quite aware of my intent, and it seems I am the only other living creature he fears. Being chased by a large net would probably set me on edge, as well. I do appreciate your advice and finally giving a name to these swimming hoodlums. My original plan was to have all electric blues in an effort to create a certain aesthetic, however my fish dealer decided on my behalf that an assortment of color would be the plan. I'm easily swayed. I'm now conending with a tank of the ever-elusive silver dollar fish. This particular tank was established as a safe haven for the throngs of baby angel fish that met an untimely fate as the mother devoured the eggs while watching me set set it up. I am thoroughly convinced that she understood exactly what I was doing and vowed to have no part of it. I am also a firm believer that angel fish are blessed with I.Q.s far above most people I've come to know. As the tank sat empty I just could not bare to watch it sit there like a watery ghost town. Again, a purchase unresearced in advance gave Mother Nature a chance to play her best practical joke on me. The silver dollar fish remain in seclusion among the dense greenery and driftwood until mealtime, at which time they emerge for out of nowhere, dart about with lightening speed, devouring every morsal, and return to their hiding places in the blink of an eye. So, her I sit with said tank still looking as if no one is home. The lesson learned here is that just because all the cute little fishies at the pet store crowd to the glass and wiggle with frenzied excitement, such behavior is not because they are eager to say hello. Quite the contrary. They are hungry and hoping against all odds that I am bringing them lunch. Once home and well-fed, the fishs' true nature unfolds, be it overwhelming shyness or the inate desire to attack and mortally wound unsuspecting passers by.
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