Lake Malawi Species • wild caught cichlids

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wild caught cichlids

Postby infamous » Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:05 pm

I recently bought 14 Demasoni and 2 yellow labs from a fish store that is basically loaded with African cichlids. I've had them for about 6 days now and these fish are acting differently than any other ciclids I've had. First being If im watching the tank from my chair that is basically directly in front i have to sit still for a while before they come out of the rock pile and go about their business,If I stand up or move too much They all dart back into the caves among the rock pile.After about 30 seconds go by I will start to see little blue and black heads very cautiously peeking out at me,and then eventually after a few minutes they come out and resume swimming around the tank.Second being they all like to stick close together almost like schoolfish. Third being when i feed them they will not eat off the top at all and they feed like its gonna be theyre last meal...darting around flake to flake,they seem like the fastest cichlids I've ever seen.The fish supplier says that they are wild caught Demasoni...Is this behavior normal for wild cichlids? Im not complaining,I actually really am enjoying these guys more than any of my other tanks. Thoughts?
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Re: wild caught cichlids

Postby fusion » Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:12 pm

Not sure about wilds but mine do exactly the same,(not Damasoni) if i approach the tank from the side they will all hide in the same cave, when i go to the front they all come out thinking they are going to be fed, begging at the glass lol
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Re: wild caught cichlids

Postby Byrne2533 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:13 pm

What size are the demasoni and labs and how long ago did you buy them? They only way to truly know if they are wild caught is go to lake malawi and catch them yourself.
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Re: wild caught cichlids

Postby aicardi » Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:28 pm

My Mbuna's do the same thing sometimes. They see me and they high tail it to the caves.
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Re: wild caught cichlids

Postby Fogelhund » Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:55 pm

Wild caught cichilds can be a bit more skittish at first, but this is something that they typically get over pretty quickly. Now the biggest question is whether they are actually wild caught, as they would be very pricey if they were. Think somewhere around $75 each + for the Labs, and $30 each for the demasoni.
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Re: wild caught cichlids

Postby cichlid-gal » Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:55 pm

I have wild caught fish (not demasoni) and they don't hide when I come to the tank. They just about jump out of the water waiting for me to feed them. I think some fish can be more skittish depending on how they were raised and handled prior to coming to you...did the breeder or LFS use automatic feeders...did they spend a lot of time in the vicinity of their tanks, did they feed the fish, where there children running through the store tapping on the tanks...those things I think can make a difference in the general behaviors of fish. But, I also think that over time your fish will come to know you and know what to expect from you and therefore will become comfortable with your routines and you will see them that much more often. Oh and do my fish hide...oh yes...when strangers come into the house...I get to show them my tanks full of beautiful rocks :wink: :roll:
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Re: wild caught cichlids

Postby scooter31707 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:52 pm

Just give them time to adapt to their new home..mines took about 2 weeks for them to start swimming around without fear!!
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125 gallon: White Top Hara, Yellow Lab, Chailosi, Labeotropheus Trewavasae Ochre Chilumba, Albino Zebras, and Williamsi North Blue Lips
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Re: wild caught cichlids

Postby cichlid_crazy » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:09 pm

Where did you get WC Demasoni. They are almost unheard of.
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Re: wild caught cichlids

Postby fusion » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:44 pm

cichlid_crazy wrote:Where did you get WC Demasoni. They are almost unheard of.


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Re: wild caught cichlids

Postby infamous » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:39 pm

Im not sure if they are really wild caught,and really don't care either....they're incredible quality. I do beleieve the supplier though....and if you seen the shop you would too. They have a ridiculous amount of different species available. They also had wild caught tropheus and haps. I pre-ordered my Dems and they were in their shop within 5 days. I didn't ask for wilds....the owner told me on his own will that they were wild caught and he gets his Malawi's from Florida. I was just curious if anyone else experienced this skittish behavior. My other 2 mbuna tanks,the fish swim at the glass and dance around like a bunch of foolish oscars whenever I pass by the tank (begging for food) its funny but not natural as the Dems act. These Demasoni are so much fun to watch...my wife thinks I'm losing my mind staring at fish for hours.(maybe I am) Cichlidgal....loved the tank full of beutiful rocks line..wicked funny.
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Re: wild caught cichlids

Postby Fogelhund » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:26 pm

Keep in mind that wild caught demasoni are not necessarily what you might call quality fish. The wildcaught fish don't have the even barring that we have come to expect. When they first were imported years ago, most breeders very selectively bred them, to choose for the even bars. It wasn't very hard to do, and after a couple of generations all of the barring was even. But our WC, and our F1 had pretty messed up bars. In addition, if any of you thought that keeping a group of regular tank raised demasoni was tough, WC fish were multiples worse. They bloated easily, and the aggression was off the charts.

Given the opportunity, I would not keep wild demasoni again, far preferring tank raised.

I only know of one Importer of wild cichlids in Florida, and they don't have any on any of their import lists.

Back to the original question though, wild fish can be skittish at first, but then demasoni are small rock dwelling fish, so they too can be more skittish than average at first.
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Re: wild caught cichlids

Postby brinkles » Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:36 am

Pond raised fish are usually pretty nervous at first in a tank, and most of the ornamental fish sold in the US are pond raised in Florida.
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