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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We were recently gifted this cichlid at a party and have thus been unwittingly introduced to the aquarium hobby. He is our first fish and we have taken to him quite a bit but are unsure of what kind of cichlid he is. We have asked at several local fish stores and have got a variety of answers. He is about an inch and a half right now, and very inquisitive and friendly. We are a bit worried that his pink gills might be a sign of some irritation (ammonia & nitrite are 0) but don't know if that is normal for whatever kind of fish he is. I have linked a video to him as well.



https://photos.app.goo.gl/Ahdj3WGDhjR7oHz28
 

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Looks like a jack dempsey/texas hybrid, honestly. Doesn't look like a pure anything, anyway, so what's in the mix will likely always be a guess. Have to wait and see how it matures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your reply! I've heard those 2 from LFS employees so that seems to line up. I've also heard convict. Do you have any idea of how fast that kind of hybrid might grow? We have him in a 20 gallon right now, but we know that we will most probably have to get a larger tank at some point. Also are they ok to live alone or will they get depressed?
 

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Yes, convict in the mix is always a possibility as well. It's really impossible to say how quickly it will grow - depends on the species and with hybrids anything goes. I would say probably relatively quick growth, maybe a few months in a 20 before you need to upgrade. Likely a 55gal by itself will suffice. And yes, alone is perfectly fine and often the better option with aggressive American cichlids.
 

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+1 on that ID to the Sinister One.

That one might get up past 10 inches in pretty heavy-bodied length. At near mature size, it will need to be kept in at least a 40 gallon 'breeder' style tank. But, a 4 foot long 55 gallon tank would work pretty nice.
And no.... I suspect placing ANYTHING in an aquarium with the little beast would just amount to sort of a cruel joke. That Cichlid is gonna claim the entire aquarium as his 'personal territory'! And will probably defend it to the death, from literally - ALL COMERS! (mind your hand, yo').
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And yes, do keep a close eye on that reddish pink area on the gill plate. It might just be a sign of some stress. But, if it spreads and deepens further on the gill plate area and that pink coloration starts showing up around the base of his fins?
Trouble.
For now, check your water chemistry and keep those measured Nitrates lower than 10 PPM with regularly scheduled water changes up past 50 percent per week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you, this information is super helpful! I have been so surprised at how welcoming and helpful people in the fish keeping hobby have been. At what length would you recommend that we upgrade our tank? And are there any other things we should watch out or think about when keeping him? Are there things to add to the tank to keep him entertained like bubblers?
 

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Hmmmm.....
Okay then, we're talking about the ultimate/final aquarium for your Pugnacious One, correct?
Here is what I can offer that may help.
- Lighting -
Dim. If you go with high-octane, high intensity LED stuff? Your Cichlid's sensitive eyes won't appreciate it, but the Algae definitely will. One of my coolest aquariums was a 55 gallon 'grow out' tank (Baby Vieja Cichlids... yeah), with wall-mounted, Halogen track lights mounted above it. I placed silk floating 'lily pads' in this one, and the moving shadows across the Cichlids and bottom of the aquarium were kind of spooky and extremely cool to look at.
- Substrate -
Pool Filtration Sand. Purchase the GOOD STUFF at a Spa/Pool Supplies retail store. The larger, more uniform sand grains will make rinsing it out a LOT easier. Plus, the sand looks nicer. Your little Cichlid friend will enjoy digging around in that stuff!
- Air Stones -
I like them! (not everyone does.... PHILISTINES, I tell ya'). BONUS Points if you build up a big rock pile (or resin cast medieval castle) with the air stone underneath it. I have personally found that the little bubbles rolling up and through that stuff are endlessly cool....
- Plastic or Silk Plants -
Go tall! Plants that reach all the way to the surface will give your Cichlid a sense of security with those 'walls' of plants he can swim in and around.
- Caves and Hiding Spots -
More than one. EVERYONE wants choices - your Cichlid will be no different. Provide dark and secure caves.
- Back Wall -
Cover the back of it with black paint, or at least a cool scene of some tropical paradise or something! Your Cichlid will appreciate an actual opaque 'wall' to hug now and then, and the tank will look better without a view of the wires and other assorted aquarium paraphernalia out on display.
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And now, important stuff:
Rectangle Packaging and labeling Liquid Electric blue Font

Get one. Use it!
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The most important thing I can recommend is this.....
Set Up And Build This Aquarium Out, So You'll Be Happy Looking At It.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you Auballagh, the master kit was one of the first things we got and we use it every day. I've ordered a hardness kit as well since I've read that that can matter a lot.

We have a good amount of sand and Seiryu stones that he has buried under to create a cave. We are getting some plants that he will hopefully not tear up.
 
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