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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just started a 29 gallon cichlid tank. I have 4 cichlids, which will probably be the limit because the tank seems the right size for them. I have one Green Terror which is about 4 or 5 inches, one Buttikoferi (I think), and two others which I am not sure what kind. I'll post some pics of the two, can someone help me identify?

1) Light blue body, green head. Body has a little pink coloring and dark blue spot


2.) Gold and black markings kinda looks like a snakes markings, long skinny body. This picture is bad, as the fish likes to hide...
 

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One of the first rules of responsible fish-keeping is to never buy fish without knowing:

1. exactly what they are
2. what size aquarium they need
3. who they can live with

According to the profile, a green terror gets to be 11". It needs a substantially larger tank. I don't keep them, so I can't be sure what works best for them, but I'd be willing to bet it's not a 29 gallon.

I hope your LFS will take back fish, especially if they were the ones who recommended them. A 29 is a pretty small tank for cichlids. It would be good for a dwarf south american community of say Bolivian rams or Apistos. You might try looking in the "cookie cutter" section in the library for reocmmendations.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your concerns, I wondered if 29 gallons would be too small myself. The place I go to get all my fish and supplies is very reputable and I know they wouldn't just 'sell me some fish'. I told them the size of the tank I had, and that I was looking for compatibility. I was asking if someone can help me identify these cichlids not because I had no idea what I was doing when I bought them, but because I forgot the name of their species by the time I got home. Also, I was told that fish will only get as big as their tank allows. Hope this doesn't come off as sounding like I am neglectful, the reply to my first post kind of made me feel like some people think so...
 

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I don't know about the rest, but I do know about a Green Terror as I was looking to get one myself.

They need a Minimum 55 Gallon to themselves...and that needs to be a basically bare tank. A 75 Gallon tank is needed to add plants/rocks/etc.
 

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I'd have to suggest taking them all back, as none of them are suitable individually for a 29gal. To keep them all together, you'd need about a 200gal tank. Goldsaums (GTs) do get about 11" and should have about a 75gal tank as an adult. The butti will get about the same size, but a heck of a lot meaner, and again would need a 75gal tank by itself. The second picture you posted is of a baby Jaguar, which can reach about 16", is incredibly nasty, and would need a 6ft. tank as an adult.

Fish do NOT grow to the size of their tank. I don't know who made that up way back when, but it's a load of bull. Sharks are fish - if you stick a baby Great White in a 55gal tank, is it gonna grow to the size of it's tank? Extreme example, I know, but that's how much sense it makes.

Take them all back to the store, who clearly don't know what they're doing or don't care about their fish, and do some research as to what you can have in a 29gal tank. As already mentioned, you don't have a lot of cichlid options, but there are some dwarves that would work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hmmm, you guys have me questioning the intelligence of the people that work at the LFS. The guy (who has worked there for years) said that as long as the fish are taken care of and the water is kept at the right ph and all that stuff, my 29 gallon would be big enough for the fish as they would adapt to the environment and grow to a size proportionate to the size of the tank...Should I wait a while to see how well they do? I am pretty sure the store has a sign that says no returns...I've had them for about 5 days now, and they seem to be getting along fine, with eachother and the environment. Anyway, here are a couple more pics...


So this is a parachromis managuense or 'jaguar' cichlid?


Pic shows my Green Terror, Buttikoferi, and the one you guys say is
a septemfasciatus?
 

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Hmm just because they are getting along now doesnt mean they will in the future. A fish can turn nasty overnight...

Good luck anyway...might just have to get yourself a bigger tank :p
 

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Sorry to say Jetstar, there isn't a chance that these fish will work in your tank, not a chance. 100% they will all end up dead as they mature as one fish will kill the rest off (which will probably be the jag) and will out grow the size of the tank very easily.
 

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I would not be patronizing that LFS if they told you that BS. I'd say their only concern is to make a buck and they could care less about the fish. A 29g is way too small for the fish they sold you. Fish don't grow to the size of their tank. It's like saying I have a 3-inch 14-year-old Oscar in a 10g tank. I find a lot of LFS employees don't know much about fish.
 

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I personally understand where you are coming from. It seems like these people are attacking you and your LFS. Trust me, they really aren't. Just check out this site a little more, and look up fish. For one it's fun, and you learn alot of interesting stuff on here. I had a 29gallon tank with 13 Malawi mnuba fish and they did just fine in there for a while. I got them when they were about 1" to 2". I just upgraded their tank with a used one I found on craigslist.com and it's a 60 gallon in great shape for about 50.00 ! I didn't hurt my fish, they held (babies) 3 times in that tank (the 29 gallon) and they did just fine. You just gotta check out the fish that are right for you. And if in the meantime you decide to upgrade your tank, that makes it even better. Hang tight and most of all have fun. Enjoy!
 

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Yeah but most mbuna don't grow near a foot in length where as he has a couple fish that will.

I started out with a 38 Gallon with Mbuna before upgrading...not ideal but keeping a 3 inch fish is different then keeping a fish four times that size.
 

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Heck, I think most of us started out with a tank that was too small, and some bad LFS advice. We like to promote the hobby, and keep people involved in it, so typically the advice you'll receive is aimed with that in mind. Obviously a 29 gallon isn't big enough to keep several fish that will grow to over 12", no matter what their temperments are. In this case, several of the fish also have bad temperments, which compounds the issue.

There are MANY cichlids that are appropriate for a 29 gallon, depending on what you are looking for, and the members here can certainly help build you an interesting tank. Of course, the issue is now getting the LFS to take back what they've sold you. Good Luck, and we'll be more than happy to help you with your restocking.
 

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I agree with pretty much everything posted. Your baby jaguar will grow very rapidly out of the size tank you have and is an extremely aggressive fish. my brother had one and it killed off everything except for his oscars and they were all in a 50 gal. which is still too small for them.

I've noticed over the years that LFS's tend to give out wrong advice for freshwater all the time. In fact, out of around 15 that I've been to in the last 5 years only 3 of them could give advice that I wouldn't question.

I'd suggest either taking the fish back (especially the jaguar, that fish will only cause all kinds of headaches.. a cool fish.. but lots of trouble) or buying a larger tank (I'd say at least 75-100 gallons LONG not high, these fish need the linear space). You can find a tank used for way less than buying new on most forums, craigslist, and ebay.

Good Luck!
 

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You can't really be faulted, jetstar III, in beleiving the LFS really knows about cichlids, as it is a common assumption amongst those that are new to the hobby. Unfortunately, in general, the LFS ONLY knows about selling. That's all. Most LFS workers know very little about cichlids ---- half the time they don't even have a clue what species of cichlid they are selling. All they really care about is making a sale.

I doubt you will find any one on this forum that thinks keeping a butti and a jag in a 29 gal., much beyond juvie size, is anything but rediculous. A jag and a butti are about as ill-suited for a 29 gal. as a cichlid could be. Not only because of their large size but because they are amongst the most aggressive cichlids. Any LFS worker that thinks a jag and a butti are suitable for a 29 gal is either VERY ignorant or a total idiot.

A buttikoferii is a candidate for MOST aggressive cichlid. It's a very tough fish and can be a real bully. It has the superior growth rate and with any kind of weight advantage is likely to kill it's tankmates in a matter of months in only 29 gal. It grows very fast and can easily grow to 12", sometimes 16"- 18". Very big fish as it gets very thick and deep bodied. By the way, it is your only African, as the jag and septemfasciatus are Central American and the GT is South American.

Jags easily get 12"+. I had a female get 16"; males can sometimes get longer then that and males do eventually get big and heavy. Can be a very aggressive fish and when they are, they are powerfull; deadly fish that can kill lesser fish with little effort.

GT can get 12", though more commonly 8" - 10". Gets a little too large for a 29 gal.; a 55 gal. or larger would be much better. Could be a suitable tankmate for a jag or butti in very large tanks. An aggressive chaser, is usually lower in the pecking order in aggressive cichlid tanks. IMO, it is likely to get killed in a 29 gal, with a butti or jag; though one never knows for certain. I doubt it would make it more then 8 months in your tank; probably get killed sooner.

If you really want to keep any of these fishes, the septemfasciatus is your only suitable fish. It probably could survive for some time in your current set up, if there are any caves for it to use. With the septemfaciatus, there would be many options for tankmates.

Toatal BS that fish do not out grow a tank. Yes, they will grow slower in a smaller tank, and yes they may not reach their full potential, but that doesn't mean they wont out grow a small tank. You have 2 fish ( butti and jag) that could easily grow a foot long even in a 29 gal. and one fish ( the GT) that might eventually. Of course aggression is likely to result in only one fish; If I had to bet on it, I'd say your likely to end up with just the butti as it is usually the faster grower, and a jag is usually a little slower to develope into what it can eventually become.
 

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i started the same way u did jetstar i made a mistake.. we are human but the past is the past now you gotta make a choice you can find a good home for those or buy a really big tank. the best thing for the fish is giving them away and start from scratch... just post up here and im sure others can hep you find what i best for you.
victor
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you everyone for the help and suggestions. I've contacted the LFS, and I will be able to return the fish. I've decided to keep the septemfasciatus, as most people say my 29 gallon should be ok. Can anyone suggest what other cichlids I can have in my tank if I just keep the septemfasciatus? Temp is 77-79', ph is about 6.9, enough hiding spots/caves thanks again!
 

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For an african, instead of the buttikoferi, I would suggest 1 kribensis ( Pelvichromis kribensis). An alternative to the krib, but is somewhat more aggressive would be 1 jewel cichlid (Hemichromis guttatus, often incorrectly called Hemichromis bimaculatus). IME, single specimens of either, have gotten a long very well with Archocentrus species, even in small tanks.

For a SA cichlid, instead of the GT, I would suggest 1 flag cichlid ( Laetacara curviceps). Alternatives to this could be a festivum (Mesonauta species) or even possibly a ram cichlid (Mikrogephagus ramirizi).

Instead of the jag, you could house another CA cichlid. This is, however, IMO somewhat riskier then the other suggestions as CA aggression is often greater towards other CA. I would consider a rainbow cichlid (Herotilapia multispinosa). A firemouth (FM), Thorichthys meeki, is another possibility, though some individuals can be very aggressive, and because of this, it is quite possible that you will encounter aggression problems between an FM and your septemfasciatus in a 29 gal., at least eventually. An FM, IMO, could work but is riskier.

For a non-cichlid, I would suggest a blue gourami( or gold gourami) or a paradise fish. Other gouramis might also be an option, but are IME and IMO not as hardy and sometimes too easily pushed around by cichlids. For a bottom feeder, chinese algae eater ( CAE) and/or BN pleco. A few zebra danios or giant danios may also do O.K. in this tank.

Of course there are never any guarantees with cichlids; every individual fish is different, every situation a fish is put into is different and fish change with age. None of these fishes will out grow your 29 gal. and IMO mixes of these types of fish work well in this size of tank.
 

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bernie comeau said:
For an african, instead of the buttikoferi, I would suggest 1 kribensis ( Pelvichromis kribensis)
Sorry, I'm giving you a wrong, non-existent latin name here :lol: . I meant to say 1 kribensis (Pelvicachromis pulcher). Of course there are some other options for smaller cichlids in a 29 gal. with septemfasciatus, as well, such as 1 yellow lab ( Labidochromis caeruleus), though your pH is a little low for a rift lake cichlid. Another possible African would be 1 blockhead cichlid (Steatocranus casaurius). For an SA cichlid, another possibility that could work well, is a blue acara (Aequidens pulcher) though it does get a little large for a 29 gal. ( 6" - 8"). Some kind of dwarf pike might be an option as well. Others might have some other ideas.

Another option would be to get a mate for your septemfasciatus. They are easily sexed, as the female pocesses a large black blotch in the middle of the dorsal fin. I can't really tell for sure from your pictures but your fish does apear to be female, though I can't really make out the dorsal blotch. Some zebra danios as dithers would probably work with a pair.
 

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Here are some profiles of some of the fish that I have suggested:

African 'Riverine'

Kribensis ( Pelvicachromis pulcher)http://cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=1350

Blockhead cichlid (Steatocranus casaurius)http://cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=1353

Jewel cichlid (Hemichromis guttatus)http://cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=1348

South American (SA)

Blue Acara (Aequidens pulcher)http://cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=171

Flag cichlid (Laetacara curviceps)http://cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=140

Festivum (Mesonauta species)http://cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=200

Bolivian Ramhttp://cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=420

Central american (CA)

Rainbow cichlid (Herotilapia multispinosa)http://cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=91

You would probably be best to have no more then 3-5 small cichlids in a 29 gal., including your septemfasciatus. 1-2 bottom feeders, maybe 1 gourami and 1-2 small active fish such as danios. That is my idea for a 29 gal.; others may have different suggestions; also the cookie cutter suggestions for a 20 http://cichlid-forum.com/articles/cookie_cutter_20g.php
And 29http://cichlid-forum.com/articles/cookie_cutter_29g.php
 

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hey man for sure they wont grow to their enviornment, they will stop growing a point yes... but then the mutations set in. *** seen it a lot around here as many ppl do what your doing and its just terrible on the fish. for instance *** seen oscars with completly crunched vertebraes, jack dempseys with lips that fall off his face because his skull is to small for his skin, an auratus that has fully matured without growing a full tail and has some serious hunchback going on. sorry to say but they will stop growing at a point and just start to look ugly as all ****. anyways try a dwarf cichlid tank or smaller mbuna maybe and just keep population low with maybe some barbs in there for color / filler. dont worry tho just make sure u spend some time talking to someone at a pet store other then ur average chain store ( petco, petsmart etc ) often times these places will just hire anyone off the street regardless of formal training. just try checking like dexonline or something and calling all these places. if they dont sound smart about it on the phone... then dont go there :) well good luck man take it easy and smoke that good stuff always
 
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