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Old 09-18-2014, 08:12 PM   #1
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What to do with my FM and JD?

I'm trying to decide my stocking for my 40g. It's a 3 foot tank and I've had it for years, but I plan on upgrading to a 4 footer when/if the need arises. I've never had a reason to yet as my initial cichlid (a firemouth) taught me that firemouths are incredibly slow growers.

Right now, it has 5 colombian tetras, a bristlenose pleco, and 2 male cichlids, a firemouth and a JD. They are now just under 4". The firemouth has been with me for almost 2 years (got him at under 1"), and the JD I just got about 2 months ago at ~3".

My FM has always been pretty peaceful with his various tankmates over the past years, so I decided to add the JD that was similar sized so my FM wouldn't be bullied. Turns out I should've went bigger, as the JD is the one being bullied. It has never once been to the point of damage, as I've never seen a nipped fin, just a lot of chasing every now and then. The FM keeps to the bottom, and the JD will roam the upper half. I'm aware this wont last forever either as the JD will outgrow the FM. Seeing how the FM is now though is giving me hope that he can hold his own with the JD when he matures.

With that in mind, seeing as how young the JD is I want to get this situated sooner than later. I'm stuck between 2 options: Re-home the FM, and find a female for the JD (not interested in breeding, just for compatibility) or keep the FM/JD as they are? I'm sure there will be some aggression either way, but which will give the least headache?
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:03 PM   #2
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If your Meeki is only 4" inches after two years then it's incredibly stunted. I have some young Thorichthys sp. "Gold Mixteco" that I've grow from wigglers to 3.5" + in 10 months.

That tank you have is really only suitable for the 1 Meeki and the tetra/pleco. The Jack will out grow that tank, a pair of jacks would be pushing it in a 55gal.

Personally I would ditch the Jack and concentrate on figuring out why the Meeki is so stunted. They really aren't that slow of growers.


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Old 09-19-2014, 02:13 AM   #3
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If your Meeki is only 4" inches after two years then it's incredibly stunted. I have some young Thorichthys sp. "Gold Mixteco" that I've grow from wigglers to 3.5" + in 10 months.

That tank you have is really only suitable for the 1 Meeki and the tetra/pleco. The Jack will out grow that tank, a pair of jacks would be pushing it in a 55gal.

Personally I would ditch the Jack and concentrate on figuring out why the Meeki is so stunted. They really aren't that slow of growers.


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Thanks. Although I don't know how he can be stunted. I feed NLS cichlid twice a day, frozen bloodworms twice a week, and do 50% water changes/gravel vacuum once a week. Could it just be a female or a runt?

The first picture is when I got it. January 2013, about an inch. The second, is from July 2013. It's about 3-3.5 inches at that time, taken right after I upgraded to the 30g. The last pic is from July 2014, in the 40g.

Looking back it seems to have done the majority of its growth in the 20g long, and stopped once I got bigger tanks (which is why I even upgraded in the first place, to not hinder the growth).

Other than me experimenting with finding him a tankmate (which failed, and was mostly in that 20g long) he's spent the majority of his life with a bristlenose pleco and tetras.
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Old 09-19-2014, 05:04 AM   #4
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Might just be a runt then, that's pretty interesting. Looks pretty healthy too, what a head scratcher!


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Old 09-19-2014, 07:20 AM   #5
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Out of curiosity what temperature is the tank?


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Old 09-19-2014, 12:05 PM   #6
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Out of curiosity what temperature is the tank?


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78f his entire life, but in the last 2 weeks I've had it down to 72 to try and reduce his aggression to the JD.
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:26 PM   #7
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That really doesn't decrease aggression it just makes them more lethargic.


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Old 09-19-2014, 08:30 PM   #8
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That really doesn't decrease aggression it just makes them more lethargic.


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Yeah, I haven't noticed any real difference in aggression anyway. I'll slowly increase it back to 78.

I'm going to keep them in there for now (as there's never been damage) and hope the JD develops a backbone soon to stand up to the FM. I'll most likely upgrade to a 40 long, maybe a 55 if I have to when they start to get some size.
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