Hi!! Adore my NW cichlids, but I don't know what I'm doing with this one
I'm known locally for my ability work miracles on "dead" wild caught and exotic black water cichlids and SE Asian giants- this being said, it was easy for me to understand why a local pet chain store would call to ask me about what they thought was a salvini or firemouth that was apparently shipped in with some festivums covered in ick, gill flukes and obvious internal parasites. I got there and the little guy, about 2 inches at the time, was floating vertically- YUCK is all I can say. My honest opinion, I told the manager, was that they should euthanize him/her, along with the 3 festies that were showing signs of dropsy and flukes/ leeches that were glazed over because there wouldn't be anyone there with the skills or time to nurse them back to health. I told him he would most likely need to treat the rest of the shipment separate from the rest of their stock. As usual they gave me my payment of said dead fish. I lost one festy on the the 15 minute drive home and another during their salt baths within the first 10 minutes at home. The third festy is still battered and frail, but recovering, I doubt as though he will fully recover- has a bend in his back and he swims at an angle, luckily I have a friend who loves "disabled" fish and a spare 30g hospital tank!!!
I hope my pictures are included, pardon the foggy "day spa" salt dip tank, I left the above plant growing tank full spectrum LEDs on all night and wound up with a slight algae bloom. I know for a fact it isn't a firemouth- I have one and they are not the same. I currently don't have much experience with salvini cichlids, though I have rescued and rehomed a few, but I am pretty sure they don't show this type of coloration or finnage without spawning or "juicing" at this size (3inches)- and I've seen him go from ghost white and slimey to colors that can't be caught on my camera, all I could think of was "flowerhorn".... I had an epiphetic moment as this little guy sucked cyclops from my finger one day when I used the tank to rinse the one I used to remix prepared frozen cyclops mixed with frozen omnivore food. I realized I was actually going to be keeping him because I honestly like him. Problem is, after getting over my moral dilemma, I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT GOES INTO TAKING CARE OF THIS MANUFACTURED FISH!!! Especially not one that has been through this much and there doesn't seem to be any information pertaining to parameters that don't make these things seem indestructible (though I know they are supposedly fragile) I've seen it said that they like water as soft as 6.0 to as high as 8.5, temperatures ranging from 65F to 90F, still water to medium high flow/ circulation!!! There is no reference point for a natural habitat for a hybrid NW cichlid cross manufactured in a laboratory in a fishery in Malaysia!!!!
I guess what I'm really looking for is people that have experience with this 'taboo' fish. First off is- do I really have a flowerhorn? If so what are the most favorable parameters? Also- would this be a good candidate for my 60g and what dither fish and cleaners are the best candidates? He's been with me shredding my hospital tanks plants to pieces for about 3 or 4 weeks now. He finally started coming around to eating and playing with different rocks about a week and a half to 2 weeks of walking the hairy line between life and death and I need to hurry up and decorate my neutral balanced, unoccupied 60g to his specs AND start adjusting my hospital tank accordingly. I would appreciate any help I can get, but please be kind flowerhorn haters, I didn't and still don't agree with a lot of the manufacturing processes of this species and to not support the trade of them and still wouldn't purchase one- but if this guy is one, he was an unknown species with no color and what I believed to be an absolute 0% chance of making it to pugnaciously ripping up my moss, playing hackey sack with my banana plants and jumping to the surface whenever he sees me, he's a survivor, as are all of my keepers.... And with that we come full circle.... Hi, my name is Kim, I'm a black water biotope fan. I'm good at saving the impossible to save fish and I now find myself in this situation... Nice to meet everyone.