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Change the water so nitrates are around 10ppm before putting them in the tank. What are the results of the nitrate test?
 

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Sounds like 80ppm. Change 75% of the water and retest.
 

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Why not do another 50% before putting in the fish so you don't have to do it right away again. I change 50% when it gets to 20ppm so the fish get to enjoy the 10ppm water.

50% weekly could be considered a minimum.
 

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If they are in the tank, I would test in a couple of days and see how much over 20ppm it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I followed your advice (thanks for all the help, I mean it kindly) but after the water change two of my fish are breathing rapidly, is this stress?
 

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What are all the test results of the water they are in now?

They are stressed from shipping. Were they breathing fine when you first put them in the tank and breathing hard now after 24 hours?

What species is breathing hard?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
They were breathing fine when I let them out of their bags. It wasn't until that water change that the rapid breathing began. A few from each species were rapidly breathing i.e. polit, demasoni, and perlmutt. They are fine today, everyone is swimming around and even eating.
 

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4X daily for fry. 2X daily is fine for small juveniles. Are they 1.25" including tail?

When you change water, know your temperature, pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate before the change. And then make sure when you change the water make sure all the parameters are the same with the water you will use except 10ppm less in nitrates. Don't forget the dechlorinator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Some are actually 1.5-1.75" but a have a couple tiny ones that are 1.25" total length. Have you had to do two consecutive water changes because nitrates were too high? Water changes are time cosuming even with a python.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I bought juveniles because I couldn't afford adults at $11-$19ea...the <vendor name removed> seemed to have picked me out some males and females from what I can tell and acccording to their policy on unsexed juveniles they try to choose a ratio depending on how many you purchase. For instance, buy 5 you get two males andn three females.
 

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Since the fish were in the tank after the first water change and before the second...they only had to experience the change you did to get from 20ppm to 10ppm. That should not cause a problem. Do you think the parameters were identical except for nitrates between the tank and the new water when the fish were in the tank? I would not do two in a row, I would do one change with a larger volume.

2m:3f is not an ideal ratio...but hard to tell how they can sex at 1.25", so nothing to worry about for a month or two. Although some can spawn at 1.5" so keep watch for fish lurking under the surface or behind intakes and heaters.

It takes me around 40 minutes to do the 72" tank and 20 minutes to do each 75G tank with the Python.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I agree, I don't know how they can tell them a part so young but a couple do have egg spots already which means male I believe. Some are much larger than 1.25", I think I have two that small, some seem to have more vivid colors already while the polit cichlids are still in their juvenile colors. Cross my fingers the ratios are better than 2m:3f. For instance, one demasoni has egg spots and vivid colors while the rest are dull or washed out in color and all are at least 2" (eyeing it).
 

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Egg spots mean little. Females absolutely have egg spots.

A washed out fish can be a harassed or subdominant fish...male or female. Demasoni are monomorphic (males and females same color) so intensity is likely a factor of dominance rather than gender...females can be dominant.

Polit may have a hard time coloring in a tank with demasoni...but it would be a beautiful sight if you are able to accomplish it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
This is so much more complicated than keeping monitor lizards, lol. I have so much to learn so I guess this being my first time around I should be easy on myself. The biggest polit seems to chase away the most dominant demasoni, most colorful specimen. You know I did my research, I have books on the evolution of cichlidae but I still feel lost, lol. Books have helped me very little as most books I have are old or only cover very basic things. I tried to match cichlids by aggression using the resources on this forum (fish profiles). I tried to keep them small as adults 4" or less since I only have a 55 gallon. I bought 15, five of each of the three species as I tried to keep the bioload down on newly cycled tank. So I can only hope to get a sex ratio that works out or maybe I'll have an all male tank or female (hope not).
 
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