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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. I've recently been handed a 29g tank with filter(fluval204) and heater in exchange of taking care of her fish. Fish included to babysit.(is the term fishsit?) The previous owner was unable to have it/take care of it,w/e. she gave me 2 angel fish and 2 gouramis in a bucket<poor> so i moved very quick. I did the water stain cleaning with backing soda, I ran to the nearest petshop and got inserts for the filter along with a Ph test kit.Used some of that bucklet water(with the fish in) to fill the filter. Started the water cycling Immedietly. While that was going on, I got my hands on some Pool filter sand and thoroughly washed it. Did well on it because when I added the sand into the tank the cloudy water cleared up in less than 10 minutes.(this whole time these 4 fish still in a bucket with nothing but the grime from her old tank and an air rock). I had no choice but to leave them out the new setup. atleast for another few hours. I got the PH to about 7.2-7.3 and the temp of the water was constant 74-76.
So, I hit the bed early hoping to get up earlier and give those fish a new home for the time being, and myself a piece of mind. Not being able to sleep, i just went ahead and and put the fish in ,(after a ph test and temp check). bitting my nails hopping they wouldn't die on me. and after a few scares(one gourami and an angelfish, started to swim upside down a bit)...10 hours later...These fish look very comfy and swimming well.(sigh) OK.

All this thanks to the 5+ hours of google, fish,tanks,cleaning,set up, Cichlids ETC,etc(in one sit) just for the setup...now 20+ hours of just reading up I've come to my conclusions and "What I want" question is, is it ok?

Why Convicts, well i'm sure you guys would recommend it. easy to handle, breeds like a rabbit. am I right? I've read up a bit, even here and the one thing i learned was tank now, fish later.

I'm wondering if It would be ok to start up with 1 maybe 2 small female convicts. Would they be aggressivel to the angelfish? a Pl*co when the tank grimes up a bit. Perhaps a Catfish to clean up the sand. I mean, am i on the right track? When the Angels/gouramis leave, i'd like to get a Male into the mix and then let it sit that way for a bit until I get myself more into this facinating world. Would it be possible to throw in 3 Tiger barbs in there? how about 5? I don't want to just buy all the fish and dump them in at the same time, any order that i should do it?

Again, this is my first Tank setup and something simple like this is what i want. i really don't have allot of money(never do) and this free tank was a big break for me.The ballast on the hood lamp is crapped, no decors.Things that will get done over time, first is the water.

is there anything else I should be testing prior to getting Cichlids? The tanks been running for like 4 days now and I'm in the mood to go pet shop browsing this weekend. Any help would be greatly apreciated! Thanks =)
 

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Buy a proper test kit and test for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates and post your results. We can help you determine a good water change schedule (the general rule is 25% to 50% per week) and advise you better on stocking. Of all your stocking plans, the one I would definately not add is the pleco. They'll get way too big for the tank and they are a poop machine more than anything else. I like the Synodontis eupterus for cleaning (it's a catfish, use google images to see what they look like). They make great janitors. The eupterus won't get over 6", while plecos can easily get close to a foot in the matter of a year or so and continue growing up to two feet or more. They probably wouldn't get that large in a 29 (2 feet), but they'll still quickly outgrow that tank.

Oh yeah, add some more water to your tank. Filling it up to the top will give you two advantages. First, it's more water to dillute the pollutants (fish waste and uneaten food). And second, your filters won't have to work as hard to move water, extending their life expectancy. :thumb:

I've never kept angels, but I know Convicts like their water a little warmer to breed. I keep mine around 82 degrees. And, yes, they do breed like rabbits. You may want to think about what you would do with hundreds of fry. Fish stores usually have more than enough Convicts and won't want to trade. I use terra cotta pots to provide the Cons with a place to lay their eggs. Without the angels, I don't think 5 or 6 convicts would be too much if you give each pair a seperate place to breed (the terra cotta pots). I'm not sure the angels would stand up well against a few cons protecting their fry. Cons can be the most aggressive, pound for pound, of the smaller cichlids.

And welcome to this forum. You can learn an awful lot here, there is plenty of experience on this board. Don't be afraid to ask questions, there's lots of folks willing to help. :thumb:
 

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You don't need to purchase 5-6 convicts way too much for a 29 gallon -the convicts with red on their belly are female the ones that lack it are male plus I think a syn. would be too much personally in a tank that size I would just have the pair.
 

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5-6 cons would be crazy that would mean atleast two pairs in a 29 gallon tank-that is insane you would have constant aggression and even death just stick with one pair-cons can be very aggressive when breeding!
 

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trimac said:
5-6 cons would be crazy that would mean atleast two pairs in a 29 gallon tank-that is insane you would have constant aggression and even death just stick with one pair-cons can be very aggressive when breeding!
Not to argue, but I've got 15 cons in a 10 gallon breeding regularly now with no murders. This is my food supply for the big guys. But, you are correct, they can be aggressive. Pound for pound, they are some of the most aggressive cichlids.

I really don't think 2 males and 3 females would be too much with no other tankmates. This would only lead to 2 pairs (maybe, they don't always pair up) and you could remove the extra female once the pairs are formed. You're only talking about total fish length of about 14" for two fully grown males and two fully grown females.

All your answers to Convict breeding questions can be found here, thanks to TheFishGuy...

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=135089
 

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LaZboyD said:
I'm wondering if It would be ok to start up with 1 maybe 2 small female convicts. Would they be aggressivel to the angelfish? a Pl*co when the tank grimes up a bit. Perhaps a Catfish to clean up the sand. I mean, am i on the right track? When the Angels/gouramis leave, i'd like to get a Male into the mix and then let it sit that way for a bit until I get myself more into this facinating world. Would it be possible to throw in 3 Tiger barbs in there? how about 5? I don't want to just buy all the fish and dump them in at the same time, any order that i should do it?
I think that is a good plan. But you need a lot of rocks and caves for the cons. And like you said, remove the angels when you intoduce the young male con. Tiger Barbs , IME, don't last too long with breeding cons -- there nippy fish that end up paying for it with their lives. For clean up, CAE or BN pleco; common pleco gets too big for a 29 gal.

Long term, all you will be able to house is ONE pair of cons in a 29 gal. Sure it is possible to house numerous cons when they are small, for a little while in a small tank, but sooner rather then later, some will either get picked on excessively or get killed. Not a good idea. I've been keeping cons for over 3 decades in tanks of various sizes so I have seen a lot, in terms of the changes that can occur in cichlid tanks. 5-6 cons in a 29 gal., IMO, is a bad idea. Even 2 females, never mind males or breeding pairs, don't always get along in that kind of space.

By the way, what are the dimensions of your 29 gal?
 

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For convicts in a 29 gal. tank you'll want to go with either a single specimen (with dithers...which may eventually get killed/eaten) OR a pair.

If you go with a single specimen:
-add dithers first, and give them some time to get established
-add single convict

If you go with pair:
-add 5-6 juveniles (preferrably 2 males and 3-4 females)
-once a pair has formed naturally, remove all others; leaving only the pair in the tank

Keeping more than a single specimen or a breeding pair of convicts in a 29 gal. tank for any significant length of time will almost certainly result in fish getting injured and/or killed. I would either stick with one of the two options I suggested or opt for something else instead of convicts.

BV
 

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terd ferguson said:
trimac said:
5-6 cons would be crazy that would mean atleast two pairs in a 29 gallon tank-that is insane you would have constant aggression and even death just stick with one pair-cons can be very aggressive when breeding!
Not to argue, but I've got 15 cons in a 10 gallon breeding regularly now with no murders. This is my food supply for the big guys. But, you are correct, they can be aggressive. Pound for pound, they are some of the most aggressive cichlids.

I really don't think 2 males and 3 females would be too much with no other tankmates. This would only lead to 2 pairs (maybe, they don't always pair up) and you could remove the extra female once the pairs are formed. You're only talking about total fish length of about 14" for two fully grown males and two fully grown females.

All your answers to Convict breeding questions can be found here, thanks to TheFishGuy...

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=135089
You have got all of 9 months experience with CA/SA ---- so no, you haven't seen how things can turn out over the long run!

And since you claim this is your very first tank set up for a year in this thread, it means you got less the 2 years experience with keeping fish, so no you haven't seen how things turn out in a convict tank over the long run! http://cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=149197&highlight=

IMO, 5-6 cons in a 29 gal. is poor advice!
 

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Looks like Bernie and I were posting about the same time, so a lot of what I said was repetition.
I'll second his recommendation of getting everything else outta there when you go to add the convicts. I also agree about not using tiger barbs as dithers---for the exact same reasons Bernie mentioned. Black-skirt (a.k.a. 'black-widow') tetras are far better suited for this purpose.

BV
 

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bernie comeau said:
terd ferguson said:
trimac said:
5-6 cons would be crazy that would mean atleast two pairs in a 29 gallon tank-that is insane you would have constant aggression and even death just stick with one pair-cons can be very aggressive when breeding!
Not to argue, but I've got 15 cons in a 10 gallon breeding regularly now with no murders. This is my food supply for the big guys. But, you are correct, they can be aggressive. Pound for pound, they are some of the most aggressive cichlids.

I really don't think 2 males and 3 females would be too much with no other tankmates. This would only lead to 2 pairs (maybe, they don't always pair up) and you could remove the extra female once the pairs are formed. You're only talking about total fish length of about 14" for two fully grown males and two fully grown females.

All your answers to Convict breeding questions can be found here, thanks to TheFishGuy...

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=135089
You have got all of 9 months experience with CA/SA ---- so no, you haven't seen how things can turn out over the long run!

And since you claim this is your very first tank set up for a year in this thread, it means you got less the 2 years experience with keeping fish, so no you haven't seen how things turn out in a convict tank over the long run! http://cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=149197&highlight=

IMO, 5-6 cons in a 29 gal. is poor advice!
I defer to your superior knowledge of Convicts. I must've misread TFG's advice in the thread I linked where he said to buy 6 juvies to start a Convict breeding program.

But you don't have to try and make me look dumb because I haven't been doing this as long as you. Everybody has to start somewhere. I was only parroting what TFG said in the stickied thread. I mean, let's keep it friendly. I may not have known what I was doing a year ago, but I do now. Have you seen the pics of my fishes? :thumb:

From now on, I'll just stick with my thread and leave all the other advice to you guys. :thumb:
 

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I think Big Vine and Bernie gave you great options! Wow, convicts in a 10 gallon tank-just visualizing it makes me clostrophobic :?
 

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I got 2 breeding pairs in my 55 and its almost too small. Had 3 juvie cons and they got killed in one week once the pairs started to spawn again.

But....every fish is different and every tank is different. What works for your tank, might not work for mine and vice versa.

And to re-iterate what TF said, what are you gonna do with all of the fry? I didn't think bout it until they spawned, but it was a good excuse to get another tank (20 long)!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow, first of all, this forum is awesome with the quick and diverse responses. Thank you.

But did I say I wanted to house 5+ cons? lol My long run plan is just to house 2 very young female cons, preferb a white and a black/grey. add 1 male eventually to dominate the tank and trade any young cons to this local pet store owner for some food/products.(hes not too bright on fishes) maybe have a male grow and potentially mate with the lone female..
I've read the barbs can get along with Cons, but you guys say otherwise. Fine for experience over hearsay. Btw, what are Dithers? google it? What little fast critters can i have swimming up top the tank?

I didn't top the water because I think the decors I'm going to put in might top it, plus the floor is a bit uneven, I'll have to look into that as well. As for decors, cheap and hard. I went to home depot today and got a few diff sizes of terra cotta pots I want to cut and customize my little plan.(Boy I've been drawing it out all morning on my way to work.lol) Like I said, I don't have much cash. saving my last 20 for the cons. I'll keep you guys informed. LxWxH=30x12x18

again, i'm not trying to breed, just have some cool looking friends that will bully **** around and nip @ my fingers when its time to eat. Hopefully its not a sadistic way of looking at it. lol

Hey guys, thanks for all the help, and chill with the bickering in my threads =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just so you guys know that i'm serious =) nothing spectacular but just trying to make it homely for the future cons.



I had bought a 12" pot that was just too big I thought of breaking holes in it for other points of entrance but I went too happy with the hammer.a 5 dollar mistake.
The pot on the left I want standing with a plant(fake) in it possibly bubble flowing from it as well like the little guy in the back which will get an air stone. Are air stones necessary? I like em.



The pot on the right seems to be a good cavelike spot imo. The Gourami tried it and got scared of the dark.lol
I mean its just a start, The flat piece was just added to fill space, eventually get a nice log in there and some tall plants. I dunno, help a newb out.

Next, full test kits and results. thanks.
 

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^Looks good LaZboyD!!!

I think you could try adding a female convict to the tank... She may chase the Angels a bit and give them a hard time - but chances are she'll co=exist swimmingly with the Guorami...

Barbs do make good tank mates for Cons - but the reason they are not getting endorsed in this thread is because that little tank will be fairly heavily stocked once you get a con in there... That being said I think Zebra Danios would be a better fit with this tank anyhow - they won't nip the Angels or Guorami (which barbs are notorious for) and they will stay at ot near the top of the tank out of harms way for the most part!!!.

Be advised that cons and Angels are known to eat fish occassionaly and if they can catch a Danio (or a Barb) they will eat them!

As for what a 'dither' is... A 'dither fish' is term given to any fish that is used to make a shy fish feel more secure... The thought being that if a shy cichlid for example sees small tetras or danios swimming around they will feel more secure and venture forth a lot more... Tetras, danios and barbs often make good 'dither' fish...

Another term you will hear used is 'target' fish... The purpose of a target fish to deflect aggression and hopefully prevent one fish from receiving the unwanted attention from another fish... I used Tiger Barbs as 'target' fish in my 20g long tank when I was introducing my male & female convicts for the first time (they were both adults and it was very possible that in his eagerness to breed he could have killed the female - the barbs were put there as fodder - and it worked... The cons ended up breeding and the barbs ended up as lunch).

And finally I know your looking at that tank thinking "How can this be overstocked with just 4 fish in it?" (this is presuming you add a female Convict). The only advice I can give you is that feeling is natural - we all experience it... But trust me when I say that those Angel fish alone will each grow to over 6" tall and probably get close to 5" long - and if they happen to be a male & female and pair off they will want that entire tank for themselves!

And before I sign off I just wanted to say that I think your doing a great job thus far - the tank looks excellent and your here asking questions! Bravo!

Cheers,

Daryl

PS: An airstone is not necessary - but they are useful when treating illness such as ICK or whitespot disease.
 

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I would like to add that, based on your description, I'm not sure your tank has been 'cycled' yet. So it would be best to wait some time before adding any fish to your current set up. Usually, it often takes 2-4 weeks after a tank is set up, to properly cycle a tank, unless you use, uncleaned filtration media from an established tank and/or decor such as rocks with algae on it, from an established tank. Buying a test kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate is a very good first step :thumb:

As you might already know a tank should stay at 0 ppm ammonia, 0 ppm nitrite, as these are potentially lethal toxins. An amount of about 20 ppm or less of nitrate should determine the minimum amount of water you should change. If your tank has not been properly cycled, I would strongly suggest finding another aquarist or LFS who has some 'dirty' filtration media that they can give or lend to you; probably best to do so with in a week as if your tank is not cycled already, as it will not pocess enough bacteria to break down toxic ammonia and nitrite yet, and your current stock may suffer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I guess I'm seeing this whole plan without taking into conseideration the Confood I currently am taking care of.lol. I like the Angel fish and gourami, but I just don't want them But i have no choice , I have to care for them. Hmm. I'll be patient in adding Cons.

as for cycling, This is where I saved myself a bit. When I moved the tank set up from her house to mine, she gave me a bucket full of her tank water with her fish in it. I took half of that water into a brand new bucket, I used half of that split water(1/4 of the original bucket) to rinse the sponges and the new charcoal/deammonia inserts) i read somewhere about this) and then took the last (1/4 of the original bucket water) and topped the filter with that. Thats where I think i did OK. the petshop owner told me to make sure everything is super clean and add all new water to everything yaddayadda, and cycling would only take me a day. i guess he wants me to keep comming back to day old dead fish.lol.

yeah , most definately my next move is too do these final checks on water , and just hope for the best water. Like I said, I'll be patient in adding any Cons, and even when i do get 1, it will just be a young Female.

Thanks for all he help and compliments guys, I'm trying my best here with the resources i have. TTYL. take care.
 

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Yes, I think from the way you describe how you have set up your tank, that it will go a long way in cycling your tank very quickly and with out really excessive levels of ammonia or nitrite :thumb: Certainly bound to work better then a brand new set up that gets no innitial culture of bacteria to colonize the tank. I guess you will see over the next few weeks, with a test kit, how well or how quickly the tank cycles.

I agree with illy-D's post above. A further reason to wait, to add the female cons, is that this will allow the angels and gouramis to establish themselves. I think you are likely to find that if your current fish are larger and well established, young small female cons are unlikely to bother them much. These fishes tend to occupy different areas of the tank; the cons the bottom and the angels and gourami more the upper areas. Further more, if there is more then one female con, the cons will likely concern themselves with each other far more then they would with an angel or gourami. Of course single young female cons are far less diificult to house with tankmates then breeding pairs of cons. So once you add your male con, and they pair up, you'll have to remove some fish, including any extra female cons, like you have planned to do.
 
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