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Discussion regarding only Central American Cichlid species. (Guapotes, Jack Dempseys, Red Devils, Firemouths, Convicts, Texas Cichlids, etc.)
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20 gal 1 tank mate

Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:47 am

I have 1 convict cichlid, and one ghost lobster (crawfish) in my 20gal tank. The tank has been established for about 9 months, when I got the lobster I upped the size slightly, and before that I had my cichlid in a 15gal by him or her self for about 2 years. The chiclid was a rescue for free from a store and is SUPER tiny. About 3 inches by 2 inches.

I'm having some algea problems, as the new bigger tank doesn't fit in the prior location, and is sort of near a window. It isn't awful, but it's growing slowly and I'm hoping to find something I can put in with these two that wont die immediately. I don't have a lot of time for cleaning the tank weekly, but typically bi-weekly I do a 60% water change roughly, and try to knock off some parts of the algea when it's getting bad.

I tried a generic pet store pleco, Aggro (the cichlid) killed it within a week or so. I've tried a rather large snail, and it did well for a few weeks before he killed it.
My lobster, poor fella, is feeling the brute of this A-holes aggression. I just looked at the tank to make sure the lobster wasn't molting and in danger of being eaten when I saw the little tiki hut head he lives in was completely covered in gravel rocks and the poor thing was trapped. My chichlid absolutely loves interrior design and takes it upon him(?)self to redesign the ENTIRE space and plants, including the occasional murder plot as aforementioned.
He has torn a leg off of my poor Patrick Swayze (the ghost lobster) and broken his antennas repeatedly. I love them both, and have about 10 different plants and rocks for them to hide and break up the line of sight, but the little cichlids rips them all out until the tank is bare and the objects are pushed against the walls.
Any help is greatly appreciated. I don't want to be a tool to this murdering maniacs schemes anymore.

Re: 20 gal 1 tank mate

Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:37 am

Never mind..
This morning he killed and dismembered the lobster.
I'm at a loss and think I'll leave him alone in the tank.

Re: 20 gal 1 tank mate

Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:29 pm

A bigger tank might have helped.

Re: 20 gal 1 tank mate

Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:49 pm

Is 20 gal too small? The lobster was only an inch big and I have a pump for a tank twice the size, as well as an air stone and 3 hiding places as well as foliage. I tried my best to copy a tank I saw for chichlids at a fish show. Obviously it was much better, but the guy gave me advice for stuff for him.
Any ideas for the algea issue?

Re: 20 gal 1 tank mate

Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:11 pm

With aggressive fish like convicts more space usually makes a big difference. In say a 55gal or larger your convict may not have focused as much on the lobster.

Algae grows when there's excess nutrients in the water and the tank lights; both are needed. How often do you do partial water changes, and how long are the lights on for each day? Water changes will decrease the excess nutrients. I have tank lights that I can program to automatically come on at certain times at specific intensities. To control algae in my tanks I have the lights on for only 45 minutes at 30% each day, the remaining time the lights are set to 2% which provides a dim light for the fish.

Re: 20 gal 1 tank mate

Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:26 pm

Every other week I do a 60%, and replace the filter roughly once a month. My tank doesnt have any light other than the light in my office, and the light from a window about 5 or 6 feet away, so its however long it's daylight I suppose. I dont have another location for the tank, and I'm sure the sunlight is causing most of it, but I really need to find a way to slow it down since I cant pick up the tank myself and dont have a vac for it yet.
I'm sure I'm not doing something right, but I've had little guidance.

Re: 20 gal 1 tank mate

Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:12 pm

I'm thinking for one Convict in the 20gal 60% biweekly water changes might be enough, but if it was me I would still change 50% each week for the health of the fish. If sunlight is the cause of the algae problem then I think you have to find a way to limit it. Maybe put something next to the tank to block the sunlight?
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