General African Cichlid Discussion • Newbie to Cichlids Questions on tank and pet store fish.

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Newbie to Cichlids Questions on tank and pet store fish.

Postby Kimsfish » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:47 pm

Hey everyone. I'm new to cichlids, so new I don't have any yet. LOL

I have a 40g breeder tank and have it set up with rock to eventually house some cichlids. I'm currently getting all the equipment for it and I'm waiting for the heater and air pump to get here. I looked at the "cookie cutter" page and it looks like I may have a chance at doing a few cichlids.

I was wondering what kind of cichlids are commonly kept at pet stores like Petsmart, Petco, or Walmart. I'm liking some cichlids I found at Walmart (believe it or not). I would like to get around 4 or so of them. Some were a really pretty blue, yellow, and some were light blue striped. I wish I would have taken a pic. They are all about an inch or less in size, but I know they will grow.

Here is my tank so far. I have filter media from an established tank running in it right now. I'm hoping if all goes right with perimeters and shipment of the needed equipment, I will get some fish next week.

Image

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Oh, one more question, what are some ways to tell the sex of the fish, specifically the pet store variety?

Thanks for any advice you all can give me. :D
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Re: Newbie to Cichlids Questions on tank and pet store fish.

Postby Deeda » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:01 pm

Hi and Welcome to C-F!!

Nice looking tank setup!!

Ideally the store you will be buying from will have the Genus and Species name such as Labidochromis caeruleus rather than the common name of Yellow Lab. If not, see if there is a store that specializes in cichlids or fish rather than ones you have named.

Some fish need to mature before they can be sexed though that will depend on the size of the fish and the species as many have males and females that could be the same color or different as they mature.

Do you have an aquarium test kit to measure pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? If not, I suggest you buy one and get familiar with testing. There is also a process called cycling your tank that gets it ready for fish. You can check the link in my signature for doing a Fishless cycle or you can use a bottled bacteria product to help jump start the process.

The idea of using mature media or a filter from another tank is a good idea though a few factors come into play. One, what was the bio-load of that tank and how will it compare to the new tank. Second, you need to feed the new tank with the old filter to keep the bacteria alive and ready.

Sorry if you are familiar with what I've asked as you didn't say what your experience is.

Dee
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Re: Newbie to Cichlids Questions on tank and pet store fish.

Postby Kimsfish » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:13 pm

Thanks Dee. I'm somewhat of a novice. I have a 55 gal established tank. 2 5 gal betta tanks, a 20gal tall betta and dwarf gaurami (sp), and also a 10 gal with a few tiger barbs. On all those tanks I did a fish in cycle and used Safestart Plus. This time I figured I would try the media from another tank as I kept reading that it pretty much instantly cycles it. I do have the big test kit. I will test it a few times and do some water changes before I get fish.

I will try my local aquarium store before Walmart then. Hopefully they will have something for me. :D I just want to avoid buying online. That and I don't want to have to spend hundreds of dollars for 3 fish. LOL
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Re: Newbie to Cichlids Questions on tank and pet store fish.

Postby Deeda » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:19 pm

Definitely ask more questions about which fish to choose and how many to stock in the forums here. You will get a lot of great advice and avoid some headaches as cichlids and very much different than the usual tropical fish for community tanks.

Are you more interested in stocking for colors or are you interested in breeding behavior and raising fry?

Just to double check, what are the dimensions on your 40B? Usually it is 36"L x 18"W x ? High
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Re: Newbie to Cichlids Questions on tank and pet store fish.

Postby DJRansome » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:25 pm

What kind of cichlids are you interested in? You want to avoid Malawi if you want only 3 or 4 fish and the Malawi that work in a 40G that is 36" x 18" are very limited.

Bright blue and light blue striped and bright yellow could be Malawi mbuna. But I would not stock them in a 40G and definitely not if you want 3-4 fish. Malawi need to be in big groups to manage aggression and most are too aggressive for a 36" tank.

Tanganyikans could be an option. Jewels. Angels. Apistogramma.
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Re: Newbie to Cichlids Questions on tank and pet store fish.

Postby Kimsfish » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:00 am

I'm interested in colors mainly and also I like the looks of the ones like you would see in the pet stores. I wouldn't mind having a lot but I hear that my tank isn't big enough for a lot of them because they get bigger. That is another reason I would like a smaller variety of the species. I like this type, Electric Yellow Labidochromis African Cichlid, I like the looks of that fish.

Here is one I like. Telmatochromis brichardi (Chituta) Thing is, I don't know if I can get it in my area. I will have to look at the aquarium store we have here.

From the top of the tank to the very bottom is is 17 inches. But when you add the sand it is about 14 inches from the top to the sand.

I think I will run out to the aquarium store on Monday and see what they have. :D
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Re: Newbie to Cichlids Questions on tank and pet store fish.

Postby DJRansome » Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:23 am

If you want fish like yellow labs...I would see what is in your 55G and if possible put them in the 40G.

A 55G works for mbuna like yellow labs and others, but you would want 15 fish...not 4 to manage aggression. They like to be in groups of 5 or more in each species.

Usually the fish they have in the chain pet stores can be way too aggressive for a novice and/or for a 36" tank. Especially those bright blue ones!!
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Newbie to Cichlids Questions on tank and pet store fish.

Postby Kimsfish » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:56 pm

The 55g has 3 angel fish, a half dozen mollies, a betta, and Cory Cats. It is a planted tank, so wouldn't be good for cichlids unless I tore it down and started over, which I really don't want to do.

Here is a pic of it.
Image

I'm going to go to the Aquarium store and see what I can find to put in the 40. I know there are some cichlids that stay 2 to 3 inches, so I will try to find that variety.
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Re: Newbie to Cichlids Questions on tank and pet store fish.

Postby DJRansome » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:34 am

OK but don't do the Malawi that stay small. It's not a size thing with them...it is aggression.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Newbie to Cichlids Questions on tank and pet store fish.

Postby Kimsfish » Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:05 pm

Bringing this thread back up from the depths. LOL Just a little update. I ended up getting electric yellows and then I had some peacocks and blue dolphins. (The LFS said those would go with the yellows). The peacocks ended up dieing and I only have one blue dolphin left. I also added some blue cichlids that I don't know the name of but they were in the same tank as the electric yellows at the LFS. All have been doing great. So I now have 7 fish.

Everyone said that the 40 breeder was kind of small for mbuna. So I recently picked up and set up this 125g. :D Now the 7 are in that tank and I will eventually add more. :D They are loving their new home and swimming all over it. They love the wave maker. It's fun to watch them swim against it, then stop and let it take them away. LOL

Image

Here are some close up of my guys. :D

Image

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Image

Image
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Location: california

Re: Newbie to Cichlids Questions on tank and pet store fish.

Postby The Morning » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:28 pm

That is a great looking 125.

Don’t count out online stores especially if ou are ordering in quantities.
I have found that ordering 10 fish or so at a Time is very comparable to store prices even factoring in shipping.
Plus there is a much better selection and the quality is generally solid as well. Last order I paced for 6 fish came out to about 20 per fish but that included 3 perricolas that we’re 20 each by themselves. And I got stuff I never see in local stores.
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Re: Newbie to Cichlids Questions on tank and pet store fish.

Postby DJRansome » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:08 am

The Morning wrote:That is a great looking 125.

Don’t count out online stores especially if ou are ordering in quantities.
I have found that ordering 10 fish or so at a Time is very comparable to store prices even factoring in shipping.
Plus there is a much better selection and the quality is generally solid as well. Last order I paced for 6 fish came out to about 20 per fish but that included 3 perricolas that we’re 20 each by themselves. And I got stuff I never see in local stores.
Plus one. But watch out if you are being sold petricola. 99.9% of them are lucipinnis.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Newbie to Cichlids Questions on tank and pet store fish.

Postby The Morning » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:04 pm

Wow. Apologies for my typing errors. I really need too proof read prior to submitting.
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