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My cichlids (mainly South American) scatter when I or my wife approach the aquarium. This only started happening recently. I haven't done anything differently to make them scared so I'm not sure what is going on with them. Can anybody suggest why my cichlids are acting strangely. Thanks!
 

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mine used to do the exact same thing. i just left the lights off for couple days but continued to do my regular routine and mine eventually stopped hiding. i also removed some of the decor to almost force them to see me. they still continue to back away from the glass when i come in but not as much. i think its in their nature to be some what scared of something bigger lol
hope this helps tampa
 

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depends on the cichlids u are keeping. i know flag cichlids for instance r naturally skittish. other species can be as well. plz post what ur keeping and maybe we can identify the issue better. also pics of the tank r nice.
 

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It would help to know what is in the tank. As mentioned, some fish are naturally shy. Dithers help make cichlid feel more comfortable. Schooling fish like tetra act as alarms for cichlids. When they are swimming about in the open, there must not be any predators present. When they are absent, the cichlids assume there must be danger.
 

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I have some adinocara latifrons that are skittish as well as a breeding pair of cutteri. Dithers def help but I would not take away their hiding places because when you do that you take away their sense of safety and escape. I might even give them more places to hide. My acaras are finally starting to stay out of hiding when I am out; but they still have days when they see me and scatter...but food always draws them out. I would leave them be, put some dithers in the tank and sit quietly in front of the tank from time to time and let them just get used to seeing you and eventually they will probably no longer see you as something big that is going to eat them, but don't take away their hiding places.
 

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Also check nitrates, high nitrates can cause fish to just seem off. A lot of times this will translate into a sudden skiddishness.
 

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maybe its just your wife :lol:

seriously, its not an insult but when I had my jack dempsey he would hide from new people.
I had this friend who he hated.
to test this I asked my friend to hide behind some furniture and sure enough the fish came out. then I asked my friend to come out of hiding and the JD hid again.

he also didnt like it when I wore red that would piss him off.

what colors does your wife normally wear?

I guess the theory behind that is that cichlids use colors to "communicate" for lack of a better term. and he would turn red when I was mad so seeing a big red figure infront of him would make him think a big fish was coming after him.
hope that helps lol it was mostly just ranting.
 

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I have the same problem with my Geo. Altifrons. And i tried to solve it with some dithers. I have put 20 emperor tetras in tank and they ate all of them. So the dithers aren't a solution for my tank. They get really scared if i mess with lights. They all swim in panic and crash in obstacles :-?

But now i'm trying to get them used to me by showing myself in front of the tank for at least 10 minutes a day. I still can't see any progress.

Would any non skitish cichlid help them ease? Or some pleco probably?
 

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I used to have this problem with a couple betta splendins. I found that bribing them with small amounts of food at irregular intervals they became less fearful of me to which at times they would go up to the surface of the water just because I aproached. Admitedly I've not tried this on cichlids yet.
 

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Fevz said:
I have the same problem with my Geo. Altifrons. And i tried to solve it with some dithers. I have put 20 emperor tetras in tank and they ate all of them. So the dithers aren't a solution for my tank. They get really scared if i mess with lights. They all swim in panic and crash in obstacles :-?

But now i'm trying to get them used to me by showing myself in front of the tank for at least 10 minutes a day. I still can't see any progress.

Would any non skitish cichlid help them ease? Or some pleco probably?
hard to believe they would eat the tetra. my alibaos (I think) wont touch anything that moves. **** I have baby guppies in the tank to add some movement.

I know it might sound stupid, but add more cover. I after adding some random pieces of drift wood to the center of the tank and another cave on the other side I see my geo more. I think she feels more secure this way

whats the logic with adding a pleco?
 
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