I started keeping fish last summer and have been through a lot of tribulations along with some unexpected success (I think!). Initially, I had (don't hate me) a 5 gal
portrait tank and really just wanted one fish to enjoy while I worked from home. The nice kid working at the LFS
told me I could have 4 cichlids in a tank that size, so I tried it out. Obviously, it did not go well. I then updated to a 20 gal
in the fall, and then by winter - had a custom table built to hold a 55 gal
on top (now we're talkin!), and the 20 gal
as a quarantine tank on the bottom. After seeding the 55 gal
, the fish moved in and seemed elated. My female Red Peacock cichlid immediately mated with another fish (I think the father is the tank boss, a male Kenyi cichlid), and now they've had TWO batches of fry in under 2 months! The first batch was released in the 55 gal
- 8 fry. The second time, Red was holding a mere 2 weeks later, and I moved her to that original 5 gal
where she had more than 30 fry on 4/26. So.. maybe I've got a super breeder? Honestly, her red color is so pretty, I thought she was a male.
I just love how much there is to learn in maintaining the aquarium environment, and I further revel in creating ceramic caves and decor for them to explore and stake out as their own. I studied fine art/ceramic sculpture in college, and find that cichlids are quite curious and discerning critics of my work! And yes, I only use food-safe, non-toxic glazes on SOME of the pieces, and mainly on the outside so bacteria can colonize the inside
Anywho, I definitely have questions from time to time that the LFS
guys aren't always great at answering. Such as, one of the 30 fry in the nursery tank is flashing, but the water parameters are fine (when I noticed this, the tank was at 80 F temp, 8.0 ph, 0 am, 0 ni, <20 na
) and I'm performing WCs 1-2 times a week. Yesterday, I turned the temp up to 82 F. They are all eating and active, and their mom (now back in the 55 gal
) has not had ich or gil flukes... so my question is - can they develop ich in a sterile environment with no external factors impacting it? And, if it is ich, will all 29+ of the other fry get it? Hopefully, the higher temp, perhaps up to 85-86 F, will eradicate it along with the WCs, but I welcome your thoughts on that.
Sorry for the long intro - here's my list of tanks/stock:
- listed by sex and order of dominance...
1 OB Red Zebra cichlid (female)
1 Nimbochromis venustus (giraffe hap, female)
1 Red Peacock (female)
1 Kenyi (male)
1 Blue Peacock (male)
1 Red Balloon Jewel (male)
1 Sunshine Peacock (male)
1 Zebra Obliquidens (male)
8 hybrid fry from Red Peacock, released ~3/25 (sex and father unknown...)
3 clown loaches - dunno sex, but gotta love those guys!
- before the fry explosion, plan was to move them into 55 gal
after quarantine, but they got ich and are now being watched after treatment last month. Now, I'm reassessing...
2 Blood Red Parrots (LFS
told me they'd co-exist with my African cichlids but I'm not convinced.. sex unknown.. might give back to LFS
, they're kinda mean..)
1 Kenyi (female)
1 red/blue OB Peacock (male)
5 gal nursery tank
- containing 30+ hybrid Red Peacock fry, released 4/26. I'd like to move them into the 20 gal
to grow out, if I can move the current occupants to the 55 gal
. I realize that eventually, most will need to be given away..
hopefully, they are pretty!
All tanks are kept at 8.0 PH, 80+ F temp (depending on if ich is suspected), 0 am, 0 ni, >20 na
- nitrate has always been a problem for me... I've never seen it at 0. I have air stones in each tank and plenty of water circulation. Lights are kept off a lot to reduce tension.
Look forward to doing my best to follow all the forum rules and learning a bunch from you kind folks. Fish friends unite!