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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently went to the California science center near Los Angeles which had a tanganyikan tank with trets, brichardis, and leleupis. While these three species were on my bucket list, I was surprised by how dull the fish looked. All three species looked rather grayish but that could've been because of the dark lighting. Even so, the fish were all pretty big so they could be dull because of age. The smallest were around 4" and there was a big grey patternless tret approaching 7".
I was wondering how hobbyists got their fish to display vibrant coloration and how to avoid having grey fish. Picture for tax.
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Yes, it is natural and expected in some (many?) Cichlid species that their coloration will fade a bit over time. A lot of this may be attributable to the aging process itself, as hormones will physically diminish in spawning readiness, display characteristics and behaviors, etc.
But.... with that being said, some Cichlid species just get kind of ridiculous in coloration as they age. Cichlids of the Central American Vieja genus are a bit like that. A very vibrant, colorful species!
And another thing to note is this,
MUNICIPAL MAY LOOK PRETTY - BUT MAY NOT BE RIGHT.
This is one I know from personal experience. As the aquarium technician primarily responsible for maintaining an individually kept 'Wet Pet', female Opsanus tau, (Oyster Toadfish) in a 150 gallon saltwater tank at the Virginia Aquarium, I inherited a dull-colored, listless fish. The following problems were addressed
  • Water changes and cleaning maintenance were falling short of requirement.
  • Feeding was not varied in type. That poor Oyster Toadfish had been fed chunked menhaden and squid pieces only - for YEARS!
No wonder that poor girl was a dull, tan/grey color. After implementing changes (some food choices offered at my own expense), she first false-spawned with eggs everywhere (Thanks for the stitches, girlfriend), and then ultimately colored up to a deep brown and black coloration with an actual lavender hue on her back and through her fins. A makeover! She was gorgeous!
So, keep your water quality high. Stress low. And your food choices varied and high in quality.
THAT will keep your little charges colored up their best for you. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Yes, it is natural and expected in some (many?) Cichlid species that their coloration will fade a bit over time. A lot of this may be attributable to the aging process itself, as hormones will physically diminish in spawning readiness, display characteristics and behaviors, etc.
But.... with that being said, some Cichlid species just get kind of ridiculous in coloration as they age. Cichlids of the Central American Vieja genus are a bit like that. A very vibrant, colorful species!
And another thing to note is this,
MUNICIPAL MAY LOOK PRETTY - BUT MAY NOT BE RIGHT.
This is one I know from personal experience. As the aquarium technician primarily responsible for maintaining an individually kept 'Wet Pet', female Opsanus tau, (Oyster Toadfish) in a 150 gallon saltwater tank at the Virginia Aquarium, I inherited a dull-colored, listless fish. The following problems were addressed
  • Water changes and cleaning maintenance were falling short of requirement.
  • Feeding was not varied in type. That poor Oyster Toadfish had been fed chunked menhaden and squid pieces only - for YEARS!
No wonder that poor girl was a dull, tan/grey color. After implementing changes (some food choices offered at my own expense), she first false-spawned with eggs everywhere (Thanks for the stitches, girlfriend), and then ultimately colored up to a deep brown and black coloration with an actual lavender hue on her back and through her fins. A makeover! She was gorgeous!
So, keep your water quality high. Stress low. And your food choices varied and high in quality.
THAT will keep your little charges colored up their best for you. :)
Ye stress could've been a factor. That aquarium had 5 trets, 4 brichardis, and 6 leleupis in a tank with relatively small footprint 4x1. With so many aggressive fish next to each other I wouldn't be surprised. It looked like the trets and brichardis were breeding as well
 

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Stress?!!! Geeeeze.... those poor Cichlids were living in a state of UNDECLARED WAR in that tank! :oops:
Yikes!
That municipal aquarium didn't even look 'pretty'! (Time for re-stocking and a do-over?)
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Stress?!!! Geeeeze.... those poor Cichlids were living in a state of UNDECLARED WAR in that tank! :oops:
Yikes!
That municipal aquarium didn't even look 'pretty'! (Time for re-stocking and a do-over?)
They def need a bigger tank first of all. With more than twice the footprint.
I'm honestly surprised they all survived in there. Since they all looked pretty old and big. Also the brichardis seemed to be on the bottom of the ladder which might be why the other fish are even alive at the point
 
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