Lake Victoria Basin, West African, Madagascar & Asian Species • skitish flamebacks

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skitish flamebacks

Postby ls5292 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:07 pm

I just bought some Xystichromis Kyoga flamebacks and when I move to within five feet of the tank they run and hide. The biggest is about 2 inches so they don't have much color. how normal is this, how much will this lesson over time, will this affect breeding in the future. I have 17 flamebacks, six german reds and and 2 gold fish?
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Re: skitish flamebacks

Postby DJRansome » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:48 pm

Maybe they are uncomfortable with the tankmates...they have a reputation for being timid fish and are often kept in species tanks for this reason.
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Re: skitish flamebacks

Postby ls5292 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:04 pm

I seaperated them so I will see torromow

so what is normal for them and what is recommended GH and KH
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Re: skitish flamebacks

Postby GoofBoy » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:15 am

You need to have fish with them that will stay out in the open even when they bolt. Mine dove for cover when alone, then didn't color up at all when with mbuna, and didn't come out until they were in a tank with hap and peacock breeding groups begging for food.

BTW, I actually just moved the dominant male to my all male tank as he had everyone else within 8in of one side for the last week. So, yes, they will come out of their shells. He has completely colored down right now as he is now in with some truly big boys, but I am no longer hearing him hit the glass as he is going after other fish in my 90 gallon.
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Re: skitish flamebacks

Postby ls5292 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:11 pm

GoofBoy wrote:You need to have fish with them that will stay out in the open even when they bolt. Mine dove for cover when alone, then didn't color up at all when with mbuna, and didn't come out until they were in a tank with hap and peacock breeding groups begging for food.

BTW, I actually just moved the dominant male to my all male tank as he had everyone else within 8in of one side for the last week. So, yes, they will come out of their shells. He has completely colored down right now as he is now in with some truly big boys, but I am no longer hearing him hit the glass as he is going after other fish in my 90 gallon.
GoofBoy wrote:You need to have fish with them that will stay out in the open even when they bolt. Mine dove for cover when alone, then didn't color up at all when with mbuna, and didn't come out until they were in a tank with hap and peacock breeding groups begging for food.

BTW, I actually just moved the dominant male to my all male tank as he had everyone else within 8in of one side for the last week. So, yes, they will come out of their shells. He has completely colored down right now as he is now in with some truly big boys, but I am no longer hearing him hit the glass as he is going after other fish in my 90 gallon.



give me your best guess on this if I have all of the decor one one end and feed them floating food on the other end would that get them to calm down? the German reds ran and hide also. If I would take all of the plants, caves, ... out so they didn't have a choice they have to be in the open. let me guess trial and error isn't it?
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Re: skitish flamebacks

Postby ls5292 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:13 pm

would they breed if they don't have full color?
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Re: skitish flamebacks

Postby GoofBoy » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:22 pm

ls5292 wrote:give me your best guess on this if I have all of the decor one one end and feed them floating food on the other end would that get them to calm down? the German reds ran and hide also. If I would take all of the plants, caves, ... out so they didn't have a choice they have to be in the open. let me guess trial and error isn't it?

Best guess - get dithers, something like rainbows...IME - bare tank, and they were even more freaked...trial and error sounds about right...

ls5292 wrote:would they breed if they don't have full color?

Trust me - you really want to see the males colored up...they are awesome.

My guess is they will not breed until they are comfortable - meaning colored up...
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Re: skitish flamebacks

Postby ls5292 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:29 am

Here is my theory my fish are skittish because most every time some one came near the tank or pond (whatever they were in) it was with a net and some of their buddies never came back, the breeder may have even had automatic feeders. So when they see someone they think they themselves or one of their buddies are leaving so they run and hide.

My reasons for believing this, past experiences with animals (cattle mostly), the fact that the smaller fish (1-1 1/2 inch) are a lot less skittish than the 2- 2 1/2 fish because they haven't been around long enough to have it burned into their minds to run when someone comes around.

Now GoofBoy shot a hole in my theory and tell me how long you had your flamebacks before you put your Hap and peacock groups in with them?
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Re: skitish flamebacks

Postby ls5292 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:31 am

could you also give me a tip on how to take a picture fo my fish while they are in the tank, every time I try it the pic ends up blurry.
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Re: skitish flamebacks

Postby GoofBoy » Sat Aug 18, 2012 11:50 am

ls5292 wrote:Here is my theory my fish are skittish because most every time some one came near the tank or pond (whatever they were in) it was with a net and some of their buddies never came back, the breeder may have even had automatic feeders. So when they see someone they think they themselves or one of their buddies are leaving so they run and hide.

My reasons for believing this, past experiences with animals (cattle mostly), the fact that the smaller fish (1-1 1/2 inch) are a lot less skittish than the 2- 2 1/2 fish because they haven't been around long enough to have it burned into their minds to run when someone comes around.

Now GoofBoy shot a hole in my theory and tell me how long you had your flamebacks before you put your Hap and peacock groups in with them?

I had them alone for about 4 months, skittish as any fish I have ever kept the entire time. Got sick of it so actually put them in with mbuma first, took about a week but they started to calm down at were 'fine' in that tank for a couple of months but never showed color. The day I moved them in with the Haps/Peacocks two males colored up like they were a complertely different species.

My experience with them to date now includes pulling the dominant male because me had everyone backed into 8in of one end for the last week.
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Re: skitish flamebacks

Postby GoofBoy » Sat Aug 18, 2012 11:54 am

ls5292 wrote:could you also give me a tip on how to take a picture fo my fish while they are in the tank, every time I try it the pic ends up blurry.

A better camera, with a point and shoot I would take 100 shots and maybe 1 would turn out. Get a Nikon D90 and the issue is generally if the fish looks good in the shot not did the shot come out.
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Re: skitish flamebacks

Postby Dawg2012 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:10 pm

GoofBoy - After seeing the pics of your Flameback I had really wanted to get some, now I don't know. I have a single Dayglow right now (got him by accident and my GF kind of adopted him), and he sounds very similar. Kind of aggressive, hates being alone, colors up only when interacting (even if it's only chasing a catfish out of 'his' cave)... I wonder if I get him some females if he wouldn't terrorize them.

So what tank did you move your dominant male out of - was it the species only tank?
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55's Paracyps, Alto's, Peacock, BN Pleco's
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Re: skitish flamebacks

Postby GoofBoy » Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:29 am

Dawg2012 wrote:GoofBoy - After seeing the pics of your Flameback I had really wanted to get some, now I don't know. I have a single Dayglow right now (got him by accident and my GF kind of adopted him), and he sounds very similar. Kind of aggressive, hates being alone, colors up only when interacting (even if it's only chasing a catfish out of 'his' cave)... I wonder if I get him some females if he wouldn't terrorize them.

So what tank did you move your dominant male out of - was it the species only tank?

He was in my 90, see sig, he is in the all male 125, he may be going to the 75 as he may be a better fit, my all male has mostly full sized adults & he is looking kinda small.

One of the other 2 Kyoga males in the 90 is starting to show really good color without the stupid aggression.

They a cichlids from Africa, to me, it just goes with the territory.
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Re: skitish flamebacks

Postby DJRansome » Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:22 am

I just put my Flameback in the 125 with haps and peacocks...he turned silver. (The other new additions retained their color.)

I purposely avoided the Kyoga species as it seemed they were more timid than Flamebacks from other collection points. We will see if he colors up again over time.
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