Central American Cichlids • Firemouth Cichlid lost colors?

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Firemouth Cichlid lost colors?

Postby juhason » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:46 am

I bought a firemouth cichlid and then shortly after, redid the entire tank. It had gorgeous colors for the short while I had him in the original tank setup. But after I redid the tank, it's belly lost all color and there's only a slight amount of red under the gills. The blue on it's fins is there still but not as strong as it originally was. Obviously the tank redo stressed him out considerably and for a while he would hide behind the rocks and plants if I made any movements. Now he is getting more used to me being around, but the colors won't come back! Sometimes he'll give me false hope and the colors appear to be coming back, only to disappear again the next morning! It's so aggravating he used to be SO GORGEOUS! I just want to know why his colors won't come back or what I can do to make them come back. (P.s. my water parameters are near perfect)
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Re: Firemouth Cichlid lost colors?

Postby CjCichlid » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:55 am

How long has it been since you redid the tank? Did you change the substrate, background, or stock?
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Re: Firemouth Cichlid lost colors?

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:58 am

Be specific with your water parameters.
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Re: Firemouth Cichlid lost colors?

Postby skurj » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:26 am

what else is in the tank?
55g Corner Saulosi, Yoyo, BN Pleco
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Re: Firemouth Cichlid lost colors?

Postby FedEXguy » Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:21 am

How old is the firemouth and did you buy it from a big box store? Some of those stores get their stock from suppliers that hormone fish. It could also be a decor change, water quality, or tankmate stress, like everyone above said.
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Re: Firemouth Cichlid lost colors?

Postby juhason » Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:30 am

The water parameters are 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and very low nitrate (I don't remember the exact number atm) as I have a lot of plants in there. The ph is close to neutral, about 7.4.
He lives with tetras and mollies right now, but before the tank redo, he lived with more aggressive cichlids and would always hide. (Yet never lost his colors) The substrate and background are the same, just rearranged the rocks and driftwood, and added many many plants. I got him from Aquarium Adventure, which I have never had problems with. They take excellent care of there fish at mine, and even their older stocks are more colorful than many other stores have had theirs. Just a few days ago they were selling large German Blue Rams (about 3") and they were some of the most colorful fish I had ever seen in my life. 10x more colorful than I have seen at other stores. ( I asked them what they did and i was what food they were raising them on.
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Re: Firemouth Cichlid lost colors?

Postby CjCichlid » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:54 pm

He may very well just still be getting use to his surroundings. It could also be due to the fact that he is now the only cichlid in the tank and is no longer trying to show dominance. Regardless, cichlids can and do go through a wide array of coloration and patterns. If the water params are good and he's acting normal (active, eating, ect) I wouldn't be concerned. Give him some time and he should color back up.

Also, what size is the tank?
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Re: Firemouth Cichlid lost colors?

Postby juhason » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:11 pm

It's a 35 long tank, I was told it is big enough, if you think not though I can plan on upgrading as he gets older. Hopefully his colors do come back I guess I'll just wait it out! Thanks! :)
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Re: Firemouth Cichlid lost colors?

Postby CjCichlid » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:26 pm

What are the dimensions? It's definitely big enough for a lone T. meeki.. depending on the dimensions I'd actually add a few more.
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Re: Firemouth Cichlid lost colors?

Postby juhason » Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:40 am

Oh, the dimensions are 36"X12"X18". If I get more would that lower his aggression? His aggression is tolerable by the other fish but the less aggressive he is the better.
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Re: Firemouth Cichlid lost colors?

Postby CjCichlid » Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:24 am

What other fish are currently in the tank and how large is your Firemouth? If you're interested in spawning, those dimensions would be suitable for a pair.
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Re: Firemouth Cichlid lost colors?

Postby juhason » Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:04 pm

There are 8 serpae tetras 3 gold dust lyretail mollies and a powder blue dwarf gourami. The firemouth is about 2 1/2 inches. Starting today though the firemouth has been attacking the gourami, and the gourami attacking the firemouth. I would love to have a pair but don't want more aggression than I already have. Any suggestions on the dwarf and firemouth aggression? :-?
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Re: Firemouth Cichlid lost colors?

Postby skurj » Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:34 pm

juhason wrote:There are 8 serpae tetras 3 gold dust lyretail mollies and a powder blue dwarf gourami. The firemouth is about 2 1/2 inches. Starting today though the firemouth has been attacking the gourami, and the gourami attacking the firemouth. I would love to have a pair but don't want more aggression than I already have. Any suggestions on the dwarf and firemouth aggression? :-?


remove the gourami :thumb:
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Re: Firemouth Cichlid lost colors?

Postby juhason » Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:38 pm

skurj wrote:
juhason wrote:There are 8 serpae tetras 3 gold dust lyretail mollies and a powder blue dwarf gourami. The firemouth is about 2 1/2 inches. Starting today though the firemouth has been attacking the gourami, and the gourami attacking the firemouth. I would love to have a pair but don't want more aggression than I already have. Any suggestions on the dwarf and firemouth aggression? :-?


remove the gourami :thumb:

Haha well I might have to actually remove the firemouth because the gourami is not mine, its a family members. Maybe I can keep trying different firemouth until I find a more placid one? I have heard of and seen firemouths in a community setup so I bought it in hopes of that. They are not attacking each other right now though! :thumb:
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Re: Firemouth Cichlid lost colors?

Postby FedEXguy » Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:44 am

Gouramis are very cichlid-shaped. People use them as target fish for cichlid aggression sometimes. I'd say you can make the firemouth work in a community, but not with a single gourami.
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