General Aquaria Discussion • Cichlids Hiding all of a sudden

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Cichlids Hiding all of a sudden

Postby Markito » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:36 pm

so im fairly new to the game of fishes, as usual my cichlids would be out and about all day until i turned off the light. i used to be able to enjoy watching the tank untill recently...

the other day i noticed that they would hide once i came close to the tank or if they saw anything moving in the area. i can get them out with food, and maybe they will swim about around the tank but if i make any sudden moves they all scram back inside the rocks and hide around inside. they never did this before.

i have about 20 fishes in a 60 gallon, most of which are about 1"-3" but only about 6 of em are 3" the rent are smaller. my water levels are good

nitrite 0ppm
nitrate 5ppm
ammonia 0ppm
ph 7.8
temp 80

i put in a 3" rusty the day before but didnt notice anything till the day after, he seems to hang out in the back of the tank and not seem to be as active like the others when they are out. also that night i noticed everything. my nephew flew a big paper airplane across the tank and was looking at the fishes while holding the plane. would the fishes think its a larger fish or bird and be terrified? how can i fix this? i heard about adding dither fishes but i dont really want them in the tank and dont want em to be target fishes for them to kill. could the rusties behavior affect everyone else behavior and cause them to be skittish?

any help or info would be greatly appreciated, thanks guys!
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Postby fmueller » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:31 pm

I'd feed a little less. They'll come out when they are hungry :wink:
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Postby Markito » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:53 pm

yah i did that. theyre coming out alot more... if they do decide to dart and hide.. they usually come back out sooner rather than just staying hidden...

im wondering why it gave me another thread? rather than add a second page to my existing post?
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Postby firenzena » Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:59 am

Sometimes a new addition can upset the dynamic a bit.
If one of the biggest fish is acting nervously it may give the smaller ones reason to do the same.

As long as there is no aggression probs then I'd say give them a bit of time to adjust.

The tank dynamic will continue to change also as the fish matures depending on the mix you have in there.

What is the mix?
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Postby football mom » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:33 am

I have noticed that if really spooked, it takes a few days for my fish to get back to normal.
If I have to move rocks around to catch a fish or two, they are skittish for a few days after.
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Postby Markito » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:21 pm

hahah i got a bunch of species. just a mix tank

3 kenyis, 3 yellow labs, 2 rustys, 3 red tops, 2 OB, 2 cobalt blues, 1 auratus, 2 red zebras, 1 venustus, 2 vc-10's, 1 acei, 1 socolofi, and 1 unknown... all are between half inch to 3 inch, with the majority at about 2". I've only have had the tank up for about a month. i got some free fishes from friends (cant say no to free fishes when your starting out) and got the rest here and there

everyone seems to be getting along. i will probably take out a few fishes in the next couple of weeks and try to weed out the aggressive ones. i bought then read about them.. i know, my mistake...

i noticed when 1 would dart the rest would dart also. but theyre getting better! there is also plenty or crevices and caves for each of them to hide in as well...

thanks for all the tips and info guys it is greatly appreciated.
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Postby remarkosmoc » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:26 pm

I would give them some time. Changing just about anything in the tank can cause them to be a little more cautious for a while. You can also use dithers to pull out some activity. I like to use a small group of giant danios sometimes. They are always out and about and tend to draw everyone out from the rocks. I had a tank of demasoni a while back and you would have to just trust that there were fish in it because you could never see them. Within a week of adding some dithers I saw them all day long.
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Postby tooch420 » Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:48 am

I've got a Demonsoni in my mixed tank too and I notice the same behavior in the other fish too. What are dithers? You think it would bring my fish out a bit more often :D
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Postby aquariam » Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:07 am

It just sounds like something freaked your fish out and eventually they will forget :)
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Postby football mom » Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:44 am

A dither fish is a group of fishes that are not shy, and by these fish being out and about swimming in your tank, that is, showing there is nothing to afraid of, give your shy or spooked cichlids more confidence to come out of their hiding places and swim about.
Some people use non-cichlids for dither fish, but by accident think I have hit on the best dither for cichlids: Astatotilapia latifasciata (Zebra Obliquidens), a cichlid from Lake Kyoga. I have an over abundance of the little guys, and basically have them growing out in just about every tank I have. They are like puppies, swarming out and begging whenever you walk by, and even the most 'fraidy cat mbuna come right out and swim with them. The added bonus is the females look almost as good as the males, they are not aggressive, and don't dig.
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Postby gatorsaver » Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:21 pm

Football mom
How well do the Astatotilapia Latifasciata treat the other cichlids.. I have 9 labs 8 rusties in my main tank and 5 albino zebra and 5 Astatotilapia Latifasciata in my QT tank.. It was an off shot that i got the AL "Zebra Obliquidens" and at the time did not know they were Haps. Will this be a problem with my Malawi's?
125gal, 18gal wet/dry, Anubias Nana / Java Fern / Moss
Labs x 9, Rusties x 8
Zebra "Obliquidens"x 7
P. Zebra Albino x 8
M. Estherae "Cherry Zebra" x 4
Albino BN Pleco x 3
P. yellow tail Acei x 6
S. Multipunctatus x 8
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Re: Cichlids Hiding all of a sudden

Postby papijuno82 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:22 pm

mine are doing the same all of a sudden. I'd say the freshest fish added have been in there for 2 yrs by now with the a cat fish thats been in there for maybe 5 years that only comes out at night or when he's really really hungry. but all of a sudden all my cichlids are hiding and jumpy. i know yesterday i forgot to turn on their light and open the blinds for the day but today it was well light and they are still hiding. and all their fins are sticking straight up on defense. I'm hoping it was the no light from yesterday. it may also be that some of my convict laid eggs. or i highly doubt it but maybe the catfish is stressed and picking at them. he is too big for the ornaments he hides in. I'm hoping for eggs. this thread looks deserted, hope someone can help...
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Re: Cichlids Hiding all of a sudden

Postby DJRansome » Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:13 am

I'd say the eggs. Convicts are defending their eggs and the aggressive tank mate is intimidating the others.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Cichlids Hiding all of a sudden

Postby BC in SK » Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:47 am

papijuno82 wrote: but all of a sudden all my cichlids are hiding and jumpy. and all their fins are sticking straight up on defense.

The "jumpy" and fins up is a description of scared/spooked fish. I doubt defending eggs or aggression is the likely explanation.
More details are needed. Size of tank and entire stock list. Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate.
Changing the lighting schedule certainly could have initiated it. All it takes sometimes is one fish that is spooked, and the others may follow suit.
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