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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been keeping CA cichlids now for 5 years. Recently I changed things up and cleared out one of my tanks and got a new chocolate that is about 2" right now. It is in my 72 gallon bow front for now. I am wondering how fast they grow? I have heard they are slower growing cichlids so I was wondering if this was true. I know they get about 12" long and am wondering if it will be able to stay in this tank or will I need a larger tank?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I forgot I have a couple of other questions:

When can you normally tell the sex of these fish? What should I be looking for as far as being able to sex it?

I'll try to post some picks when my wife gets back on her trip (she took the camera with). But that will not be for about two weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
:roll: ...still nothing? I must have scared everyone away by replying to my own post.
 

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Don't you know only crazy people talk to themselves?? But since I'm crazy too ...

Males will get a nauchal hump, though at what size it starts to develop I couldn't tell you ... I have read they will breed at the 4-5" mark though, so I image that's when the male's head shape would at least start to change.
 

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I have a 5" Chocolate that purchase about a mont ago at 4 ". He hasn't just grown the 1" in length but has thickened and his fins trail almost to the end of his tail fin. I would think the 4-5" inch mark for breeding is a little young. Mine has very vibrant emerald green hues and burgundy fins when he is happy and content. I think they grow at a very steady pace as I have seen big changes in just the 4 weeks. Time will tell! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Malawidolphin said:
I have a 5" Chocolate that purchase about a mont ago at 4 ". He hasn't just grown the 1" in length but has thickened and his fins trail almost to the end of his tail fin. I would think the 4-5" inch mark for breeding is a little young. Mine has very vibrant emerald green hues and burgundy fins when he is happy and content. I think they grow at a very steady pace as I have seen big changes in just the 4 weeks. Time will tell! :)
I was wondering if your Chocolate is a pig. Mine sure is! I have to be careful not to feed him too much because it would eat any amount of food that I put in the tank. I have only had my chocolate for about a week now and obviously have not noticed a change in length but I have seen him fill out some.

Also is your chocolate very personable? Mine goes crazy when I go by the tank. Of course this could really just be because of the above statement. My chocolate really loves its food. :)

Thanks you guys for any help. If anyone else has anymore chocolate cichlid experience or advice I would really like to hear it. Thanks again.
 

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My chocolate would grab the pellet shaker and go wild if he had arms! :lol: He looooves to eat so I have to be sure the other fish are getting some. He/she is very personable, comes up to the glass and often puts his body verticle with his belly to the glass and looks at me from this strange angle. I call him "Buddha" (booda). :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
:lol: That's great, mine has been doing the same thing! It will stay at the top of the tank until it has a mouth full of food and then go back to the bottom and chew then go back up for more. Sometimes I even put in the cichlid sticks that I still have from my other cichlids and it will grab one even though it will not be able to fit the whole thing in its mouth. And it will then swim around with part of the food sticking out of its mouth. It kind of looks like it is swiming around with a cigar in its mouth.
 

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Hoping to get a chocolate or two to play with our severums.... any idea how chocolates behave with other chocolates?

-Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I believe that, like most cichlids, they can be more aggressive with their own species (especially if you end up with two males). But I don't have any real life experience with them more than a week and a half. Plus I only have one. Maybe someone else out there that has experience with multiple chocolates would have a different experience. So anybody else wants to share they are welcome to.
 

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When i purchased my Chocolate he was in a tank with another Chocolate and a Oscar. He had killed the Oscar and the other Chocolate was hiding where ever it could. ( it was about an inch smaller than the one I purchased) I probably would have bought both had I not witnessed him beating the **** out of the other Chocolate. (the dead oscar was only about 3 inches, shoudn't have been in there). I did go back to see the other Chocolate who was swimming about happily but was still too small for me to risk buying it.
 

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Well,

We just picked up a "free" chocolate form our LFS!

Why free? Oh, he's just a wee bit ill... with whatever killed off *all* of the other chocolates at the store. This little guy's still has a little spunk left, so we have a little bit of hope. LFS owner thinks it might be a case of velvet. He/she is bathing in acriflavine in our quarantine tank for the next couple weeks.

Any thoughts or tips here? Think happy thoughts! :)

Thanks!
-Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As far as tips go I got a couple. When ever I had a sick fish in the past I always went with a little increase in the water temp. Also add in some salt (follow the recommendations on the label) and do water changes everyday. You can also check out some meds if you think it is needed. I know that this is kind of generic information but IMO it works very well. Good luck with the new chocolate.
 

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Thanks, Cage!

Temp up, salt in!

It's doing pretty well. Appetite is up, fins are unclamped, and we're swimming around. Very encouraging. I'll probably get a water change done tonight.

Any idea how big the little guy should be before being moved into the "big" tank (after a proper quarantine!) with our two 6" Severums? Would they harass the chocolate at his current 1" size?

Long term plan is to get another "big" tank (75 or 90 gallon) and split up our sevs, the chocolate will go in one with a severum...

Thanks!

-Ryan
 

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I've got three chocolates at the moment, an older one and two younger ones:

The bigger guy 6-7 inches stays kind of on his own, he lost his mate a while back and has been somewhat anti social since then.


I picked up these two to try and bring him out of his shell, they're about 3-4" and very very social with each other but not the bigger one....



As far as how social they are with the other fish, they're about right in the middle. Meaning, they're not as social as my oscars but they're not as anti social as say my catfish :lol:

And yes, they're pigs, the bigger one usually waits to eat but he's emotionally scarred....

I'd also say they're in the medium range for growth rate too. They don't grow as fast as an oscar but not as slow as a green terror. I'd say 5/8" a month or so... maybe a little more...

I used to have a rather huge male quite some time ago who wouldn't eat unless I was the one feeding him LOL

hope that helps a bit :)
 

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Here's a pic of my Chocolate.


Mine also eats like a pig, and she grew like a weed. Close to an inch a month! She's probably the most docile fish I've ever owned. I used to have her in a 180gal with an Oscar, JD, and an Uaru until she started getting pushed around by the Oscar. She never fought back. Mine only has a slight greenish tint to her in a certain light, and is normally a deep 'Chocolate' color. She's pretty interactive with me and is a camera hog as well. Right now I moved her into 90gal with a Dollar Sunfish and all is well.
 

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Pretty chocolates, FishGuy! You're not far from where I am (Athens, OH)!

Al'Thor, Beautiful! how long did it take for yours to grow to 8"? Did it grow up in the 90 gallon tank?

Our's is doing much better, spending much more time out and about. Little guy sucks down big flake food like something out of a Terry Gilliam cartoon. :)

Thanks!
-Ryan
 

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RyanR said:
Al'Thor, Beautiful! how long did it take for yours to grow to 8"? Did it grow up in the 90 gallon tank?
Thank you! She spent the first couple of months in a 55gal before graduating to the 180gal. She lived there for a few more months before I moved her into her 90gal. She got to 8" pretty quickly, somewhere around 9 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for all the personal experience you guys. It has been very helpful. The pics are also great. It is nice to see some pics of these guys because they are not as common as other species around here.

My wife just got back from her trip so I now have access to the camera. I am hoping to take some pics and post them in the next couple of days.

If anyone else out there has anything to add (info, experiences or pics) that would be awesome.

Thanks again guys!
 
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