General African Cichlid Discussion • Are my fish outgrowing their tank?

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Are my fish outgrowing their tank?

Postby Mr.noobfish » Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:16 pm

I have a fluval 406, with polishers, purigen, floss, carbon, etc. 55 gallon tank. 1 small air stone, and LED lights that came with the hood (not sure of the lights specs). They are on for 7 hours a day. It used to be 10, but I started getting too much algae. 1 Java fern plant, wood pieces, shells, rocks, a few fake plants, and 2 resin molded "rocks". My PH is a consistent 8.2, ammonia is always 0, nitrite always 0, but my nitrates I'm still fighting with (just learned how to properly feed the fish). The species in my tank, with size is, 1 red dwarf gurami (2.5"), 1 yoyo loach (4"), 2 straita loaches (2.5"), 2 masked Julie cichlids (2"), 1 fairy cichlid (3"), 3 neolamprolagas cichlids (4-4.5"), 2 emperor tetras (1-2"). I apologize in advance if I have butchered the spelling in this post. My main concern is the neolamprolagas cichlids, they have atleast doubled in size since I got them. Being the aquarium noob that I am, I am wondering if they are going to keep growing, and if so, is it ok? Are they going to start eating other fish? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Here are some pics in case I am wrong about the species. Please tell me bc I'm just guessing my their looks.
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Re: Are my fish outgrowing their tank?

Postby Fish Jerk » Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:35 pm

They should be about full grown now, they won't get more than 4-5 inches.

But when they spawn they are likely to kill your other fish.
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Re: Are my fish outgrowing their tank?

Postby Mr.noobfish » Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:28 pm

Is there a way to identify male from female? Will any fish still lay eggs in a tank even if a male is not around? Why have I not heard about this lol. I never knew fish go into "heat"? Or did I misunderstand. Also, even if they stop growing, is my tank overstocked now?
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Re: Are my fish outgrowing their tank?

Postby Fish Jerk » Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:35 pm

it's not overstocked.
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Re: Are my fish outgrowing their tank?

Postby Deeda » Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:15 pm

Can you post a pic or two of the three Neolamprologus cichlids that you have since there are quite a few species available? Check the link in my signature for Posting Pics instructions.

The 3 Lake Tanganyika cichlid species you have are usually sexed by venting them, Here is a good explanation of the procedure with some pics for examples. Sometimes the difference between the sexes is noticeable due to coloration or size but this is not always the case.

Yes females can lay eggs without a male present but they aren't viable. Fish don't come into heat like mammals do, they can usually breed year round, depending on species, as long as they are in good condition and their environmental conditions are met.

Your fairy cichlid is most likely a Neolamprologus brichardi and the masked julie probably a Julidochromis transcriptus. You can post pics of them also is you aren't 100 % positive what you have.
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Re: Are my fish outgrowing their tank?

Postby Mr.noobfish » Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:26 pm

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Re: Are my fish outgrowing their tank?

Postby Mr.noobfish » Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:28 pm

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Re: Are my fish outgrowing their tank?

Postby Deeda » Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:31 pm

Thanks for the pics, I recognize the fish in the 2nd photo but just can't put my finger on the species. Hopefully someone else can help identify them.
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Re: Are my fish outgrowing their tank?

Postby james1983 » Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:52 pm

The barred fish looks like Neolamprologus sexfasciatus.
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Re: Are my fish outgrowing their tank?

Postby Mr.noobfish » Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:21 pm

Do fish feel cramped on the same level as a human would? I've also heard that too much space can also be a bad thing. I'm an "animal lover" and would never contain any other kind of animal, but after doing some research I've taken the stance that the fish don't even know they are caged. When I see this almost 5inch fish swimming around my tank, I just wonder if he is unhappy since he probably wants so much more space. Am I over analyzing this, bc I have been told I do that.
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Re: Are my fish outgrowing their tank?

Postby Deeda » Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:13 pm

james1983 wrote:The barred fish looks like Neolamprologus sexfasciatus.


Yep, that is the one I was thinking it might be.
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Re: Are my fish outgrowing their tank?

Postby Deeda » Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:25 pm

Fish are all about territory and if James & I are correct on the Neolamprologus sexfasciatus ID, they have another inch to grow and the males and females are monomorphic which means they look the same. I would not add any small fish that can fit in their mouth as they will be eaten. I've never kept that species so can't offer any experience with them.

If you want more info on particular cichlid species, click on the Species Profiles tab at the top of the page > Search the Group > select Lake Tanganyika > select Tanganyikan Lamprologines and then scroll down the page to the desired species.
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Re: Are my fish outgrowing their tank?

Postby Mr.noobfish » Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:47 pm

Ok, thank you for the help guys. I really appreciate it! If I end up taking the cichlids back to the fish store for store credit, are there any particular species y'all recommend to replace them with? I'm looking for a colorful cichlid that doesn't get over 4 inches. I would rather have lots of fish, then only a few big fish when it comes to stocking my tank.
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Re: Are my fish outgrowing their tank?

Postby Deeda » Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:57 pm

I'm going to move this topic to the General cichlid forum so you can get more advice.

Check out This article on Pseudotropheus saulosi as they may fit the bill for you.
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