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can anyone give me any advise?
i have gotten my first two ciclids about 2 yrs ago from a friend. they have been doing very well. then 6 months ago she gave me another ciclid who was to aggressive to keep because it killed off all the remaining fish in her tank. so far so good haven't had any real problems between the fish because they all are highly aggressive. i also have 3 smaller fish as well so altogether 5 aggressive & territorial cichlids in my tank.
i recently have been doing alot of research & upgraded to a bigger size tank. i am still unclear as to exactly what the readings are supposed to be for the water. & how do i go about purchasing females for them being they are already big.
i was directed here from the health and illness forum on the site. was told it wasn't a wise choice to house all of them together.
i have a 55 gal. tank, with a fluval 305 & 2 HOB's, & soon UGJs.
i have 5 fish whom i am still trying to identify:
Metriaclima estherae (Red) or Red Zebra who is a bright orange with 3 eggspots looks strong & healthy is maybe 2 yrs old & about 3 1/2" this is the one i got 6 months ago, an Electric Blue Hongi or Metriaclima estherae (Blue) who is 5" has four eggspots is very territorial & aggressive he is about 4 yrs. old very active he is the one that runs the whole tank. extremely territorial :x . i have a beutiful Labeotropheus fuelleborni (Katale OB) or (Zebra Chizumulu) who is 4 yrs. old 5" is a good healthy size shows a wonderful dress of colors(purplish, brownish, yellowish flourescent color, she swims good very active & she/he has 6 eggspots :) . theres also a male & female M. Auratus, very active seem fine no color changes, & lastly i have a cute little Pseudotropheus elongatus or Pseudotrophus likoma who's still the same beautiful color that he's always been. if you would like to see their pics here's the link:http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=170641
 

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i can't help you out a whole lot, but lets hope you don't start getting any major problems with the aggrssion issues... not sure how into fish you are, but the set-up sounds like what i had a few years ago, when i was just starting out with cichlids... going to the petstore, and asking what fish work with each other, and they just say, oh that one, that one, and that one... i ended up with like 1 of everything, because i wanted the color.... i had a red zebra, crabo, yellow lab, blue lab, johanni, kenyi, and a couple others... well, my red zebra(female) and crabo(male) killed most everything once they got bigger, and then they got together, and i had hyrids... i was ok with this at first, cause not knowing, i lost my others do to that they weren't compatible, i needed more fish... after my fry got bigger, the 2 dominate fry killed everything in my tank, even mom and dad... so, i would stay away from red zebras, and crabo, unless you have big enough tank, or you research all your fish you want and make sure they are all compatible... now i have a nice calm setup that i love, because i did my research here, and found all the info i needed...

about your water, it all depends on what you decide to keep.

i think you are going to have problems with your fishes, and i think your 55 is going to be to small for what you are housing now... you probably need multiples of each fish you ahve to siperse aggression... i may be way off base, and i am sure others will chime in with there thoughts, i just figured i would get things started by saying zebras are bad news unless you house them correctly... we'll see what others say though, because i am by no means a pro at this stuff yet... only going on maybe a year since starting to research....

good luck.
 

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Water parameters should be:
0=ammonia
0=nitrite
pH=7.8 or higher
nitrate=40ppm or lower

In a 55G tank your best odds for success are to keep 3 species with one male and three or four females for each. Auratus and Fuelleborni should probably be eliminated, due to aggression their ideal tank is 75G or larger. Fuelleborni/Zebra and Hongi/Zebra are really very different fish so you may want to post pictures in "Unidentified Cichlid" forum to verify. Eggspots are not helpful to determine gender in fish.

You can try an ad in the trading post to obtain adult females once you have identified your fish, it is NOT easy to find adults of a certain gender IME.

Best of luck!
 
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