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Old 02-04-2010, 12:15 AM   #1
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Newbie with a pond

Hi Everyone, I have a pond, cichlids & comets together in South Florida. Trying to learn about my cichlids, pond lilies, etc.

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Old 02-04-2010, 12:17 AM   #2
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Welcome to AA!

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Old 02-04-2010, 02:15 AM   #3
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Welcome! I have built many ponds in my day. I like ponds and saltwater. Still working out how I can have both.
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:00 PM   #4
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Pond Advise with Cichlids & Comets

Hi, I am seeking some advise from pond keepers and experienced cichlid keepers. Here is some info of what type set up. Pond is approximately 500-700 gallons as we estimated it measures 20 ft (l)x 3ft (w) and depth ranges from 10" to 16". We knew we wanted less maintenance so having Koi was not an option for us. Although, we love them. Cichlids were the way to go, especially here in S. Fla.
Here are my questions:
Do you need to add pond salt periodically? If so how much and how often.The pond is fed by well water twice daily for about 45 minutes. It has a small rock waterfall at one end and a bubbling rock at the other. There is plenty of algae, rocks to hide under, there are pond Lilli's and some grasses planted.
It seems to be a good idea to purchase a water testing kit or not necessary?
I have placed about 12 - 14 fish from one source that have been together since they were small (blue cichlids & comets). All are fine and very healthy. Last week,I rescued 7 comets from the "feed tank" at "Petsmart" and purchased 10 more various cichlids. Comets in one Large critter keeper tank and all cichlids in the other for quarantine.(I do not have regular glass aquariums)
It has been 6 days, the comets were released into the pond yesterday as they are healthy and striving.
I now have one fire mouth who seems like he will not survive today. I purchased 2 fire mouths and the remainder of cichlids are medium African assorted species, 2 African electric blue and 2 yellow who are small. I have noticed that the tail fin on one electric yellow, one of the electric blue and the other Fire mouth is not really the way it should be. Looks like it may have been eaten by others or may have a health issue. I guess at this point I need to start separating the fish and wait another week before introducing them into the pond, correct? should I go ahead and place the medium assorted ones into the pond? The appear to be very healthy as well but they were in the same critter keeper as the ones who have tail issues.
I want to do the right thing so if anyone can give me some tips, I would really appreciate it. Sorry this is so long but I wanted to give everyone a good picture of the setup.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:16 PM   #5
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I just have a couple of concerns that pertain to aquariums at least, i would think they would be the same in a pond...

cichlids in general prefer warmer temps than comets, africans need 75-80 degree water where as comets prefer much cooler temps in the upper 60's to low 70's... this would be my biggest concern

african cichlids get very aggressive, and will normally kill off any other fish in an aquarium

africans shouldnt be mixed with south/central americans (firemouths) because of water, food, and habitat requirements

africans prefer harder water with higher ph

Like i said, not 100% sure on whether this carries over to ponds, but thats how it is in an aquarium. How cold does it get in the winter? Im just thinking out loud here, so somebody correct me if im wrong

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Old 02-04-2010, 09:21 PM   #6
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Het, welcome. I am a southern floridian too. WHat part are you from. BTW the winter was about 20 degrees at the coldest this year. Record breaking. Normally dosen't go below 40 or 50 degrees.
It is all about the oddballs
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:40 AM   #7
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Hi and thank you both, I have lost one fire mouth in QT tank, the other is not looking very well, dont think it will last. am changing out water each day 50%.
As far as the other cichlids & Comets, they have been living together for about 6 years with other fish and Koi. They were given to me by my friend who helped me start up my pond again with fish after I had a "pond disaster" (another story for another day). I know that they are aggressive fish and I think the small new ones that I purchased last week actually did hurt the 2 firemouths :-(. They were QT'd in the same tank together. But it appears that the large old ones are fine and have survived together without killing each other. I will need to be careful though, thank you for the info about the differences.
I purchased the API freshwater master test kit yesterday so I can test the pond and the individual tank.
I think these current fish are pretty acclimated to the heat here since they have been the same enviornment (pond) for this amount of time.
What do you think?
BTW - I am from Miami, so the weather here is exactly the way Etunes said. Believe it or not one of my Cichlids that was from the initial pond disaster,(which I thought all fish were dead), had survived without my knowledge. I suspected one alive due to the count of dead I removed from the pond, but could never find a body, just assumed he dissolved into the filter. Then, a month later, came the 20 degree freeze weather in Miami and without a heater or food. I am happy that there were plenty of plants to feed on. Now he has joined the bunch and seems to be very happy and healthly. He is tough guy!!!!
Any advise for ongoing pond care, I do appreciate.
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Old 02-07-2010, 03:34 PM   #8
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