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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I'm so happy I found this site!!! I have been posting on monster fish keepers and have hoped there was a strictly cichlid site. :D I accidentally happened upon cichlids and am so glad I did because they are cool little fish! I was told I was buying zebra danios and it happened they are Melanochromis auratus. The tank I have them in is too small at the moment due to me thinking I was getting a simple fish for my children. (boy was I wrong! The only survivors are the catfish and one algea eater) I have been given mixed information and I've already started straightening out through this site. I had been told previously that my little ladies (which I just read could also be non dominant males just keeping female coloring?) would only reach 2", but I read on a post here that they could actually get larger? Is this correct? And the whole coloring thing....I could have a male and not know it? And I also read that I should not keep cichlids of the same species or similar in color and shape? Is this true? Sorry....I will end the strings of questions....lol.....just wanted to sa hi!!!
Mandy
 

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Hey there and welcome to CF!!

Sucks that you thought you were getting one thing and eneded up something on the total opposite end of the aggression spectrum!! But hey at least now your exposed to Cichlids, and hope that you continue to keep them.

As for the Auratus, it can and will be a beast as you seem to have found out already. Yes it is true that a sub dom male can keep female colors.

Now for a few questions of my own: :D
Is this the only auratus that you have?
How big is your tank and what are you using for a filter?
What other fish are in there if any besides the Pleco, and the Catfish? What kind of Catfish?

Yes when selecting cichlids as general rule you dont want to keep two of the same genus together, ie. two of the Labidochromis and such. Although there may be some exceptions to this rule such as the Pseudotropheus since this is more of a "Place holder" of a genus.
Your best bet would be too just find some cichlids you like and post here to get some ideas if it will be a good idea or not or use the search feature as there is a ton of valuable info in here.

Also you are correct about keeping two fish that look similar. Some fish get very angry when there are "look alikes" in with them. Again just ask first to save yourself the headache.

Now back to your Auratus. You may seriously want to consider seeing if you can return him/her if you plan on adding ANY other fish as these are some of the most Vicious and aggresive of the Mbunas if not most cichlids. They seem to like to kill and usually target one individual until the job is done.

Once you post back with the size of tank and equipment we will be able to help point you in a better direction.

One last thing is your tank cycled? If unsure or its not definately take some time to check out the articles and threads in the forums and the library about "Fishless Cycling" and the Nitrogen Cycle.

Once again welcome and trust me you will be overwhelmed with all that you can learn here!! :thumb: :thumb:
 

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One other thing I forgot to mention is to check out the "Cookie Cutter Setups" in the library as well for a general idea of some good first stocking lists for getting into cichlids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you. Yes...this is the only auratus I have...4 of them with a Lace catfish and algea eater. The tank is a 10 gallon which I know is too small and I'm searching for a larger tank right now. The filter is an Aqueon...? Nothing special just something from my local store. I am very happy that we stumbled upon these fish as we've just fallen in love with them and I can't learn enough about them. The rest of my family loves them just as much as I do. My husband just came back from a trip with a friend and actually brought back two more cichlids (which I'm going to put on here next for identification) and a hand-me-down tank. So, most likely, I will be looking for TWO new tanks as I'm sure neither of them pressed the clerk for information or did research of their own. And thank you for the "Cookie Cutter" idea as I'm sure I would not have gone into it on my own. As far as the filter...is there something better I should be looking into?
Thanks again so much!
 

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cascade canister filters work wonders. very reliable and durable. for filter media i just bought a reuseable silk bag at petco. some carbon (large milk jug thing) and a bunch of biological media. that paired with pillow fluff and you got crystal clean water and changing out media is not only a breeze but cheap!!! (those hang on backs get you in the end with all the cartridges u go through) personally i hooked up an in line heater as well (ETH heater) overall im happy. its clean simple and works wonders. GL in your choices. just remember to ask lots of questions and sooner or later youll figure out exactly what u need/want and what will save you the most buck.
 

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also consider long term what your budget is. you may have to settle with finding supplies locally and 2nd hand to make due. this works in a pinch but just make sure to clean it all really well and cycle tanks fully.
 

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My big male auratus - 3-1/2" - is currently in a breeding container awaiting a new home, the one female I have left is taunting him right now, and I have a 2nd small subdominant male who isn't any trouble. yet. The big male killed all my other females.
 
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