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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks!

I'd like to add some Demasoni to my yellow labs and socolofis (albinos), but have a question about logistics. Sounds like the "magic number" for Demasoni is 12, but my quarantine tank is just a 10 gal. I'm a little uneasy about putting 12 (or more) dems (even little ones) in a tank that small for 2 weeks. Has anyone done this before? I think I'd rather get them in two separate groups (say 2 purchases of 6-8 fish, or even 3 of 5...) and add them 2 weeks to a month apart. This would be easier on the budget as well... Also, I'm a bit worried about the sudden increase in bio-load created by adding 12-15 dems at once.

Do you think the 5-8 would be OK on their own for, say, a month until the second (or third?) batch is added? They'll be going into a 72G bowfront that currently holds 2 yellow labs (will be getting more of them too - just haven't seen any nice ones lately), and 4 albino socolofis that will be out of quarantine (purchased a week ago) just before I go get the dems.

The dems will be juvies, or possibly even fry (not sure if they'd technically be called fry - but the LFS sometimes has them less than an inch long for a few bucks cheaper, and I like to watch them grow anyway). Would these little guys be OK in the tank, or should I get the bigger (still juvie) guys that can hold their own against the socolofis (or keep them in the 10G for a while to grow)?

Thanks a lot!

-Bill
 

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If they are small enough (less than an inch) you might be okay adding them in two seperate groups.

This could present a problem as far as adding them to the main tank, though, if your socolofi and Yellow labs are large enough to eat them!

How long has the tank been set up and cycled?

If the demasoni you get are larger than an inch, I'd stock all 12 at once.

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Kim!

I went to buy dems Saturday, and all the LFS had left was the smaller ones (I'm not the greatesst at estimating length, but I'd say on average they're a little over an inch long - one or two as small as 3/4 inch, and several at 1.25 inches, maybe even 1.5?) I asked and paid for 12 of them, but after chatting up the LFS employee while hand-picking fish, he gave me a "1 or 2 extra." (got home and counted 16 fish :eek: )

They've appeared perfectly happy in the 10G quarantine tank (after seeing them in there I'm not nearly as worried about crowding as I was in my OP). They eat voraciously, and some of them already claimed small territories on the sand and rocks. I'll take measure tank params tonight, but I just did a water change Saturday before adding these guys, and the tank is cycled. pH out of the tap is about 8.1, water temp is around 81.

However, I found one of them dead this morning. Upon examination, I found that his/her fins were pretty deteriorated. No fuzzy fungus or anything, just torn up and ragged, with possibly some white edge (not sure if it's an un-natural white edge, or if it's normal - dems seem to have a black stripe on the dorsal fin similar to yellow labs, with lighter coloring above it? I may just be seeing this). After close inspection, some of the other fish have torn up fins as well. I hadn't really noticed before because they're so darn fast and tiny! Not all of them have it, I only noticed a few.

As an aside, there is another possible cause for this death, and it makes for a funny story. I pre-soak my fish food in plastic cups in an effort to avoid bloat. The new dems picked up on this very quickly, and will already swim right into the cup as I dump in the food to get a head start on breakfast/dinner. My 2 1/2 year old daughter has been watching me feed fish, and thought it looked like fun. Apparently she gave it a try the other day, and came running over to mommy yelling "Mommy, I caught a fishy!" Sure enough, she tried dipping the (empty) cup into the 10G tank (I have the lid off, since I have additional filters on the tank that won't allow the lid to seat properly), and one of the dems swam right into the cup for her. I have no idea what sort of trauma she might have inflicted on that poor fish before my wife got it back into the tank, but thought this was worth mentioning :)

They do plenty of chasing each other around so it may just be the results of aggression and fin nipping, but I'm leaning towards melafix and maybe salt just to be safe (I do have one dead fish after all). Would you agree? I've also noticed they spend a lot of time playing in the filter's exhaust. I thought they were just playing in the current, but could this be a symptom of fin rot? They also "follow" me around the room begging for food, so it could just be this as well - I'll try to "spy" on them tonight and see where they hang out when they don't think I'm around. I also noticed that their heads have a reddish tint to them - particularly when the harsh 10G lights are on. I thought this was simply the red gills being seen through their tiny gill covers under that harsh light (that light really washes out their blue color as well, and I tend to leave it off completely since it also raises the water temp a few degrees). I still think this is the case based on pictures I've seen of fry - does that sound right?

I had planned to let them grow out a bit in the 10G before adding them to my main tank, but if it turns out that aggression is becoming a problem in the 10G, how large should they be before adding them in? The other occupant are 4 albino Socolofies (about 2 inches long - they nipped at each other a bit while in quarantine in the 10G, but seem quit peaceful in the 72G), and 2 Yellow labs (one is 3 inches, and is the tank boss, but doesn't chase anyone other than the smaller lab of 2 inches, who is harmless). Do these dems still look like tasty snacks to these guys, or would I be safe adding them once sorting out the fin issues and completing quarantine?

So, to summarize this rather long post (sorry about that :oops: ), would you recommend melafix or salt treatment at this point (or even progressing beyond to antibiotics?), or some other course of action? And secondly, is there a magic size these little guys should be before adding them into the big tank?

Thanks very much!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
In retrospect, this probably ought to be moved to the "health and illness" forum now - could one of the mods please move it? Thanks.

-Bill H
 

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I think you need to get them out of that 10G tank ASAP. The ones that are 1.5 inches are maturing enough to be doing the damage you are seeing.

Basically, they have to be large enough NOT to fit in the mouth of your other fish. The 3/4 inch one wouldn't be safe from the Yellow lab, but the 1.5 inch one might.

Melafix might aid in healing, but it's not going to stop the aggression, and it might just get worse.

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Kim, I have some updated info: Looks like I was a bit off on my estimates. Now that I'm home and the kids are in bed, I held a ruler up against the tank. I don't think there are any dems in there larger than 1.25 inches (the one that died this morning was 1 1/8 inches). I think I was about right with the smallest one being 3/4 inches though. Most are right around the 1 inch mark, maybe slightly larger, but there are two that are about 3/4 inches (I was specifically choosing the larger specimens so they'd sooner be most compatible with the existing tankmates, but the two "extra" he gave me were smaller).

I also brought the ruler over to the main tank. I was pretty close there, but the large lab is only 2.5 inches.

The dems still eat quite well, and while "spying" on them it looks like they hug the bottom and play their territory games like normal. Water params were right on: Ammonia = Nitrites = 0, Nitrates = 5 ppm, pH = 8.1, kH = 160 ppm, temp = 81 (temp fluctuates a bit though - I'm having a hard time keeping a tiny 10G stabilized with these spring temperature fluctuations. All the same, I did a water change for good measure, and will now add salt and melafix.

I'll keep trying, but my digital camera's not behaving at the moment. I'll post some pics once I get get it straightened out.

With the updated fish sizes (not that different I suppose) do you still think I need to get them moved over as quick as possible? I was hoping to keep them in the 10G for a month or two to let them grow a bit before moving them over. I know this obviously isn't ideal, but I do have the 10G heavily filtered (close to 300 GPH on a 10G tank, at least for rated flow-rate), and it's easy to keep up on WC's on a tank that small.

Thanks very much for all your help!!!

-Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Got the camera working. Here's the little guy I found this morning:



Here are two pics of the others. First one from Saturday when I brought them home:


Then this morning:


Probably can't tell much or see much difference, but there they are... I don't see any fish in there now that look as bad as this guy did. Maybe he was just at the bottom of the pecking order?

-Bill
 

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The fin damage may have happened after he died. I've had as many as 30 one inch Ps. demasoni in a 10 gallon for a few weeks at least. I use 10 gallons to grow them out. You may find that adding more rocks to that tank will help. Too few rocks means too little territory for them to fight over.
 

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I agree with Joea. I'm not an expert, but I would add a bunch of rocks and give it a shot.
 

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I have 1 inch dems with 4 inch labs and 5 inch callianos. Just make sure your main tank has a bunch of rocks and all the dems will be fine. When you first add them the bigger guys will be curious but once they get used to them they will not bother (well atleast mine didnt).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the input everyone. I didn't even think of adding more rock in there, but I do have lots more small stuff I'll put in tonight - I just didn't want to add too much to such a small tank volume with that many fish in it. Glad to hear I'm not way off base keeping this many in a 10G for quarantine/grow out though.

I also have quite a bit of rock work in the main tank, and will add some small stuff to create smaller hiding places as well. I'll post some pics tonight, as I'd like some opinions on whether I have enough in there or not.

As for the fin damage, I don't think it occurred post mortem - I was for better or worse, my timing was such that I think I saw him/her take his/her last breath (there is a lot of swirling current in that tank though - it could have fooled me I suppose). He/she could easily have been picked on all night though.

They seem quite happy with the melafix and 1/2 the salt added, although I noticed one of the smaller dems acting a bit anti-social and not eating (it seems to try, but spits food back out, or just pokes at it). I actually thought it might be holding at first (hiding by one rock, not eating), but it's got to be way too small for that. I'm a bit worried about bloat, but other than the strange behavior it looks perfectly normal at this point.

Thanks again for all the help!

-Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here's how the main tank is currently setup:




I've got to add some smaller rocks so the little guys have more places where the labs and socolofi can't reach them, but besides that does this look like enough rock work for ~15 dems, 4 socolofies, and 2 labs? I'll be adding another 2-3 labs as well. The small rocks in front hide the UGJ's. The jets are part of the reason I've tried to keep the sand open in the middle (I also like the sand).

It looks like a ton of rock in person, but looking at the pics now I'm not so sure...

-Bill
 

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Some say fill the tank to the waterline with rock, but try for at least halfway up the tank...all the way across. Or if you want separate piles, go to the waterline.
 
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