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Hi All,

I made a huge mistake.. :( ..bought a 25 gallon tank, cycled it and went to the local fish store (actually a local guy's garage where he sells fish from several of his tanks - I live on Kodiak Island, Alaska and we do not have a real fish store.) I have always wanted a cichlid tank but only have past experience with various small tropicals in a 10 or 20 gallon.

I bought 4 fish out of a 10 gallon he had that was labeled "Lake Malawi" - he had 10-15 fish in the 10 gallon so I thought "Hey, four in a 25 gallon should be very roomy."

My 4 fish have since been identified by someone on a fish forum as

(1) Metriaclima lombardoi
(1) Pseudotropheus socolofi
(2) Thorichthys meeki

They were ok for a week, just occasionally chasing each other, but now the 2 firemouths stay hidden and the smaller of the 2 is showing signs of fin nipping.

OK, so I know I made a mistake. :oops: I know I can't keep it this way. What I need is your advice.

Can any of these fish live happily in this tank? Atleast for a while. If so, which should I choose?
What do I do with the others? Take them back to the 10 gallon they came from?

I want this to work out. Keep in mind that I can not get a bigger tank here. At least not immediately. There is no store that sells over 10 gallon (walmart) and shipping to Kodiak, AK is unreal! I will have to wait until someone sells one in the paper or at a yardsale which is where I got the 20 gallon.

Any advice would be really appreciated.

Thanks,
Kevin
 

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In that tank, it is very unlikely that any success would last long. My best advice would be to take them back because the longer you postpone that choice, the less likely you are to take them back, then the longer they live in unhappy conditions and die, and the more frustrated you will get at your fish keeping experience.

Have you consider building a plywood tank? Another option would be a large clear (for viewing but not necessary) rubbermaid container or other very large watertight container until you can get a real tank. With fish like that, you are really looking at needing a 4' tank- something like a 40L, 55, or 75 gallon.

If you do none of the above, your best bet would be to choose either the two Africans or the two fire mouths and take back the other two. The fire mouths sound less aggressive in your set up which is what you want: the two most peaceful fish. Good luck in your decision!
 
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