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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will keep this short, I recently build a large vivarium/paludarium for my lizard (Caiman Lizard); the water component is ~130 gallons, and fish are safe for the lizard and vice versa (lizard eats snails);
Now, the lizard leaves the fish alone and the fish dont mess with the lizard; on advice (I know little about fish) I populated the tank with some convicts and 2 other s. american ciclids (I forgot their name, but was TOLD that they would be ok with the convicts. Now, all the convicts started around the same size, but two grew massive and had offspring (now I have ~24 additional 1/4" convicts running around);

The two larger convicts are terrorizing my other convicts and the other two fish (and have recently done some real damage, including eating off the caudal fin of one)
I am going to make another tank, but wont be ready for a while and dont have a place to move the larger fish right now.

Questions:
Should I euthanize the fish with the caudal fin damage (picture below)
WIll the other two cichlids eventually get big enough to fend for themselves, or should I look at rehoming them?

I feel bad for getting into this without knowing more, and THOUGHT I did my research, but apparently i did not.
I hate the idea of a bunch of fish being stressed/miserable, and am trying to find the best way to address this (perhaps rehoming the larger convicts)?

Thank you for any advice!




 

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Whew.....
Okay, you are dealing with Central American cichlids. The legendary fecundity in spawning is critical to their success in the riverine environments they come from originally. In their native environment, the predation is non-stop and incredibly intense. Hyper-aggression in teritory defense, large spawning broods and a willingness to spawn almost continually are a strategy those cichlids use (pretty successfully) to overcome that challenging environment.
So, in answer to your questions below.
- Yes, I would personally euthanize that fish showing the extreme caudal damage. That is not something that will heal normally, and it may ultimately cost that wounded fish his life anyway...
- Yes, the other fish will get big enough to fend for themselves. And then yes, they too will start pairing off. And then, even more spawning broods will occur. :oops:
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You state the aquarium is (around) 130 gallons in capacity. The more important question is the dimensions, and more specifically the bottom dimensions of the tank. That 'real estate' down there will provode the prime factor in determining what you can successfully stock in this tank.
Oh, and this aggression, spawning (fish beat down) thing you are dealing with will NOT end, until you remove the pair of spawning Convicts from the tank. If you like the look of those Convicts and want to keep one ( I suggest the big male), the tank will immediately calm down once you have pulled the rest of the Convicts out.
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And lastly - that is a very cool lizard. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Auballagh for the prompt reply,
- Going to euthanize the tail damaged fish (fridge then freezer aceptable, or find a way to do CO2?),
- my dimensions (for the tank ;-) are 60x17x45" (wxhxd) - So I feel like there is enough real estate - but probably not for all the fry.

But... If I understand you correctly, I am going to be dealing with this for as long as I keep convicts/C. American Cichlids (I assume eventually the fry will pair up and cause similar issues) - so not sure of the point of splitting up the paired group (unless to by myself some time);

So, is this just part of having C. American cichlids (the aggression, pairing off...)? and should I just accept that this is their behavior (as opposed to trying to prevent it)?

One thing I think I can do, is add more driftwood/hiding spots

P.S. Love the 20 dollar word (fecundity), had to look it up
P.P.S. most of this is me thinking out loud (no need to answer everything); this has sparked my interest in fish! Right now, I like the fish more than the lizard! Planning on building a bigger tank (likely 200 gallon, as I have the sump and stuff for it already) but want to learn more first. Going to spend some time reading threads.

Thanks again!
 

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Glad to help!
(One $20 dollar word at a time?!!)
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The euthanasia thing for freshwater fish is probably best done in one of a couple ways,
- Bagging and freezing.
- Separation of the fish into a small bucket or bag, and then add drops of clove oil to the water (never tried it, but people swear by this method....).
I suppose CO (carbon monoxide) would be an alternate method (same method used to process frozen feeder mice or rats). But, this would not be very practical for the fish-keeper.
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As for your Convicts... if you have a pair of them in there they WILL spawn. Those babies will grow out soon enough, pairs will form and then they WILL spawn. Meanwhile, you will continue to deal with hyper-aggression in territory defense - and more beaten, torn up Convicts. It's kind of a vicious cycle.... I used to feed the grown out Convict fry (I couldn't give away) to adult, predatory CA Cichlids I kept in other aquariums.
Your tank size looks pretty promising for keeping an interesting community tank. So yes, a single male Convict could make a wonderful tank mate for a variety of other Cichlids and fish kept in there with him, including some pretty mean - fast! - and large-growing Tetras that live naturally in the wild with those Convicts from Central America.
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You could go with the 2 Convict pair thing in your tank, and a pretty sizable school of those fast, mean Tetras. Each pair of Convicts will basically defend their side of the aquarium, will spawn almost continuously... and the Tetras will (hopefully) just hoover up all of the Convict fry.
That would actually be, a fairly accurate biotope aquarium. :)
 

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Heh.... mind your Convicts, yo'.
The lizard looks a little hungry. :eek:
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fishboy75 said:
Check out Rhoadsia altipinna for a not so dither, dither fish.



Not sure what their availability is in the UK. Dont think its an easy fish to come by in the States either but one I will be looking for when I eventually set up a Central/ South American community. Never heard of them until a recent article of Amazonas listed them as a great, robust characin for cichlid tanks. Males get to about 6 inches, females about 4. Apparently, they have no problem handling themselves with larger cichlids and come from the same waters as the Green and Red Terrors.
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Auballagh said:
Oh my ' fishboy75'.... that is quite a brute. :eek:
Looks like a good one!
Here's ol' 'Nasty, the Astyanax fasciatus 'mexicanus' (AFM) tetra:



And that is the just the 'regular' size of those mean little gits. NOT a little species - they ALL wind up growing out at least that big! :oops:
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Those Tetras are both a bit tough to source in the hobby - but either of those beasts will definitely git r' dun. I suspect the scarcity is mostly because of the 'beauty in the eye of the beholder' kind of thing. The Astyanx fasciatus 'mexicanus' Tetra is found in these huge shoals across most of the mid to upper Central Americas. Those are a decent looking enough sort, but no.... they are NOT Pretty. :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just wanted to say thank you for the advice (and the information about the tetras)
Right now I am in contact with a fish store to take my 'fry', however they are growing fast (not fry anymore, they are little ****s, LoL)
I am about 2 months away from building a large (2-300 gallon) tank (I love the DIY aspect of this hobby, from the plywood tank, to the plumbing, to the sump), so this is an excuse to build another tank ;-);
Going to keep my pair and stock it with some of those (or different kind, depending on what I can get) tetras.
 

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Alrighty then!
That actually sounds kind of amazing. 8)
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And from what I can see, you've got some awesome ideas. So, g'wan now.... Share that journey and feed the masses, man.
Send us pics! :D
 

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Yeah, you definitely have to start a thread when you start your construction [GRINNING FACE WITH SMILING EYES]

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