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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay here's what the setup is...
I have kept fish for 6 years, but am just getting into cichlids... well kind of...
I got into them about two years back when I got two angelfish (then the size of a quarter, now 8" from top to bottom fin...simply incredible!). I now have converted my 125gallon tank into a cichlid tank.

I have 3 severums (2 green, 1 gold), 1 firemouth, 1 blue acara, 1 jack dempsey, 1 giraffe nosed catfish, 1 angelicus catfish, 1 green terror and 3 convicts.

I don't think I'm overstocked... the tank is cleaned biweekly and is on two Eheim 2217 filters.
all water parameters are within range...

here are the questions/ concerns...

the green terror, firemouth and jack dempsey all got this film over their eyes...been treating (as directed, but slightly less) with MelaFix. *doing less because of the catfish. Everyone's eyes have gotten clearer and back to normal except for the green terror (2"). The other fish in the tank range from 2"-5"...freaking severum grew like no other.
I was thinking it was velvet or fin rot due to the ragged fins... am I right? is there something I need to do, stop doing?
(was planning on treating them until the cloudyness went away).

Two of my severums, the largest two have been LIP LOCKING!! I'm worried because they are actually hurting the other one, there are small wounds developing so I put in some stress coat to help... they won't stop doing it and have never done it before... the big one (green) really has darkened up and is displaying lots of colors especially in his face and is mainly locking with the yellow one...smaller and not as bright... so I'm wondering if this is normal, mating, fighting, cause of concern...

also the green terror is worrying me because he's hardly eating...

i know this isn't the most informative but I don't know what to type.... I'm new to these guys and haven't had problems with my angels, curviceps or blood parrot (adopted it...not really sure of my position on a man-made fish...) anyway... any tips or questions I need to answer would be helpful... thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Tank: 125 gallons
Inhabitants: 3 severums, 1 blue arcara, 1 jack, 1 firemouth, 1 green terror, 1 gibby, 3 female convicts, 1 giraffe nosed-cat and 1 angelicus cat.

Tank set up: almost 2 years....

Params: Temp: 79. pH: 6.0 Ammonia: 0ppm Nitrate: less than 5ppm and Nitrite: 0ppm

I've had these fish for about two months... Mainly they have a cloudy film or spot on their eye... had one green terror die and am thinking he gave this to them, even though he was quarantined for a week or so. Some ragged fins, but nothing severe. Severums have been locking lips and making the other one bleed (i'm assuming they have teeth). Don't know if this is a symptom of illness or breeding...

Being fed: Hikari cichlid floating pellets and wardley flakes for the small convicts. Shrimp pellets and an algae wafer also go in...this is twice a day. Sounds like a lot of food, but the giraffe catfish is roughly 8".

Biweekly water changes and the filters are cleaned once a month (2 eheim 2217s are on the tank). It is also aerated. Stress Coat is applied to the water to get rid of the chlorine etc. I also add some aquarium salt, but it's freshwater salt and I add 1 tsp per 5 gallons.

Tank is currently being treated with MelaFix, but I need to know if what I'm doing is right... the catfish are weak because of it, other fish seem unaffected and the eyes are beginning to clear up, but I just want to know what you all think is causing it, what it is and what I'm doing wrong. Thanks!
 

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Cloudy eyes and other eye issues are usually an indicator of one of 3 things...Either poor water quality, injury, or a bacterial infection.

What are the water parameters on the tank?

It sounds like your fish are all maturing, and you may need to make some changes in your stock list to alleviate the stress of aggression

If the problems are stemming from water quality, daily water changes and Melafix will help.

It does sound like you're putting alot of food into the tank, which turns into alot of waste. I would also cut back considerably on my feeding until I got things under control.

Any signs of cottony or fuzzy growths externally?
 

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Your fish are probably beating on each other because your tank is a bit overstocked. Cichlids will thin each other out until there is a good balance and few enough cichlids have their own territories. If I were you, I would get rid of a few of the fish. Personally I would keep 2 of the severums, the firemouth, the Jack dempsey, and the 2 catfish, although I think that the giraffe syno gets 20something inches, if I remember right. You might be able to fit another mid sized cichlid, but I wouldn't use the convicts because if you don't have all female or all male there is a good chance they will breed and cause you a whole new set of problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
water perams are listed...

what's wrong with the stocking? (not trying to be rude, just was told they're all fine together)... only agression lately is severum on severum, but it's only the two larger ones they leave the little one alone.

no cottony growths...what does that mean if they exist? I've had that before in a tropical tank, thought it was fungus. I'll continue to change the water daily...just a 25% change?

thanks for the speedy reply!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
the giraffe nosed cat is going up for sale once he gets larger...have a home for him already he's pushing 8" now.

i honestly didn't think it was overstocked... seems like there are no fish in there... the convicts are all female...they can move to one of my smaller tanks since they don't get big.
 

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it always seems that way when the fish are small, but you have to realize that a few of your fish get 1 foot or larger. Most people who first start out in cichlids overstock, including myself. My first cichlid tank was a 55 gallon with 2 jewel cichlids, a jack dempsey, a green terror, a jaguar, 2 salvinis, and a belley crawler pike. Its a common mistake. This is a good site to learn from, all the people here helped me sort things out, there are people on here who know ALOT about cichlids. A good thing to do is do research before you buy any fish, or even just post a question on this site and make sure that what you want to do has a a good chance of working. I think that with a few modifications you could have a tank with just a few large, beautiful, happy fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i just don't know what to keep...

don't know which ones would work together...

how many could be kept in the 125... i was told up to 10 cichlids...so i thought i was fine since not all of them are the MASSIVE ones..

would getting rid of a few of them make them grow any quicker?
 

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G'day poeticpyro,

how many could be kept in the 125... i was told up to 10 cichlids...so i thought i was fine since not all of them are the MASSIVE ones...
Would like to know who told you this? It's subjective as to how many cichlids can be kept in any size tank. A lot depends on the adult size each cichlid will reach, the size of territory each cichlid or pair might claim when spawning, the general temperament of the species. Also some cichlids do better with multiples of thier species in the tank.

Yes you could easily keep ten cichlids in your tank. It's all about achieving the right mix with the right species.

As for your starting list, well you've got a mixture of South American and Central American cichlids. In general CA cichlids have a more aggressive temperament than most SA cichlids, of course fish like Green & Red Terrors are an exception to this generalisation.

I can't tell you which ones to keep, as each of us has different tastes. As MetalHead06351 suggested, some research should help you to decide. I'd start by reading the profiles of each of your cichlids here at C-F. If you don't know thier scientific name, google thier common name to find out, and you'll also find more profiles as well.
 

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What are the dimensions of the tank?

Those are some highly territorial fish you have - especially the JD and GT...Once they are all fully mature, they might not be overly happy to share the space you have to offer. I'd be very surprised if you're able to keep all these fish together long term.

Cottony growths usually indicate fungus or bacterial infections.

Sorry, I missed the water parameters. What type test kits are you using? Strips, or liquid reagent? How old are they?

You might go with a 30-40% daily water change and Melafix and see if you get any improvement.
 

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I've combined these two threads that you had posted in two different folders, since they are basically the same thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
okay here's the update:

first off though thanks for combining the threads, I am new to the site and couldn't figure out how to delete the old post.

This is what's happened... eyes on everyone cleared up...so the melafix and water changes did the trick. (did it for roughly 5 days, just wanted to post a thread on here in case it got worse or I was doing the wrong thing). I'm using strips, just bought them...but am going test-kit hunting soon...these are pretty ****ty...made by Jungle and yeah...not a big fan... so if you have any suggestions on test kits, do share. No clue what caused the cloudyness unless it was from one fish that was quarantined who did eventually die once he was introduced...didn't show any symptoms of sickness after 2 weeks in the other tank.

Tank if "re-stocked" will look like this...

2 green severums, 1 gold (if the one green and gold are a pair the other severum's going)
1 "blue acara" looks like my jack... but has a different temperment
1 massive green terror... he's about 4" but shy as can be... think it's because he's new and was only $5...couldn't resist...
1 gibby
1 giraffe cat...which as i've said...he gets much bigger and he's gone... they're notorious for breaking tanks when they get large simply because they throw things..
3 convicts...if they die, they die, but they're so cute!

is this better?

tank dimensions...
6 feet long X 18" deep X 24" tall... I was told it was a 125...
it has two Eheim 2217s off of it and gets a biweekly water change at the moment, but am willing to step it up to weekly...it is also aerated.

Really don't want to get rid of the jack and the other fish... was told they'd be fine... there are lots of hiding places now and a good amount of plants, driftwood and rocks.

was told that my tank should be fine with them by numerous people in pet stores, fish specialty stores...so I am a bit shocked... I even asked about when they were full grown and got the "go ahead." They do not chase each other or fight, unless it's the jack that's doing it and he's not even that large...3" or so.

do Jack dempsey's and blue acaras look similar? mine look almost identical, just personalities are opposites...the jack's mean... blue acara hides now...because of the jack i'm thinking.

please don't think i'm ignoring all of you, i truly am trying to hear you all out...it just hurts to have spent so much on these guys only to hear i might need to give some up.

thank you all for your help and advice...
 

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jack dempseys and blue acaras do not look alike, but blue acaras look alot like green terrors when they are smaller. And you will probably be better off without the third severum, between them and the green terror you have whats going to be 8 feet of fish in a 6 foot tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
how?

Severums are 12" each max...probably takes them forever to get that big and a green terror is about 8" fully grown according to sites and books...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
cichlids aren't worth keeping if you can only have three in 125 gallons of water... that just doesn't seem right.
 

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my mistake my math was a little off on that one, what was I thinking? I have a 125g too, and I have 4 cichlids, about to get a fifth. To be able to keep more cichlids in a tank, you have to pick the right ones to keep together. Severums get big, therefore you can keep less fish in your tank, so do green terrors. if you had smaller growing fish you could add a few more. The other thing about cihlid tanks is you CAN add other fish. In with my 4 cichlids I have 2 polypterus senegalus, 2 red tailed sharks, synodontis ocellifer, s. eupterus, 12 giant danios, yoyo loach, a bunch of tiger barbs, and a bristlenose pleco. It is very full looking. If you are unhappy with how empty your tank looks, I would add a school of fish, higher bodied tetras or barbs, I can tell you that giant danios work great. Also I would add a cleanup crew, you could do plecos, larger catfish, loaches, anything that gets big enough.
And in my opinion, even if you could only keep 3 in a 125g, it would still be worth it. Cichlids are smarter and much more interactive with their tankmates, environment, and you. I am certain that if you had the right mix you would be happier than you would be with all the fish you currently have, they would bigger, healthier and alot more colorful. And your severums will grow quicker than you would imagine, especially in a big tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
ah ok...

i just don't know what's compatible...

i have catfish and a gibby at the moment...

want to keep the severums and the green terror and the blue acara...the jack can go, but that's just because i think he's too..."mean" he's soooo cute though...jet black at the moment and stunning fins and colors, best looking fish in the tank by far. the convicts are awesome too and i heard they're good for being distraction fish...so i really don't know... the profiles on this site aren't as helpful as i thought they'd be.

i refuse to do tiger barbs...giant danios maybe... just because they're a good flash of silver/gold kind of... *sigh* i feel like just getting out of the hobby...wanted to just do purely cichlid and was told by SO many people I wasn't overstocked...come here and it's like...get rid of the fish you've been growing for months... :(
 

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poeticpyro said:
the profiles on this site aren't as helpful as i thought they'd be.

...wanted to just do purely cichlid and was told by SO many people I wasn't overstocked...come here and it's like...get rid of the fish you've been growing for months... :(
I'm not sure what you find lacking in the profiles? Is it because they don't say what you can house with what?

We can get away with some pretty strange things when cichlids are small, and we've all been in your position at one time or another, except for those who really did some serious homework before ever setting up a tank! (I didn't.)

If you want alot of different species, why not start all over with an all male Malawi tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
i was told that was impossible...so i'm very pissed off... i wanted africans...got stuck with what i have and have fallen in love...only to hear that they need to be given away.

really not that pleased...
and yes that's mainly what's lacking... i know multiple combinations are possible, but they're just very... brief and don't help much when you're getting into the hobby...i hoped to see more about their behaviour, not just agressive, mildly agressive... that doesn't say much honestly... i have a 6" green terror...he doesn't touch anyone in the tank...no nipping no chasing...nothing. he's almost full grown (10" max..ish)... and he's this peaceful... yeah... not helpful at all... and he's a SA, but the JD is a CA and I've seen so many people with mixed "american" tanks... so... it's frustrating and confusing. I'm not saying tell me what to put together, but at the same time... given what I have I want to know why it doesn't work... when I've been told at the places I bought them all that it does... come here to have others tell me not, but just say... when they get big...
smallest fish at the moment is a 3" firemouth... not that attatched to him, had a pair he killed the other one, replaced it and he killed it again, since there's no more FM in the tank he's peaceful.

just really am hurt, not trying to be rude, just upset that this isn't working... i've had enough headaches with fish and only to find out i have more...it sucks.
 

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I think what you have to look at with some of the fish you're trying to keep is the space and territory that the single fish can claim. That's your biggest obstacle. As far as dietary needs and water requirements, temperament and potential size, that's really all I need from a profile. I think we're fortunate to have forums like this to get the rest of the information we need. I can't imagine how to even begin to set up a profile system that would list all possible tank mates! That would be a huge undertaking, because it's always going to depend on the needs of the individual fish and the size of the tank.

The problem with most LFS is that they are only out to make a sale. I've been keeping fish for almost 38 years, so I'm not totally unarmed when I walk into a shop and see that they have 30G requirements listed for a fish that can reach a foot in length. Everyone doesn't have that advantage! Many of the big chain stores have some of the most ludicrous tank sizes listed for these highly territorial cichlids, and you want to trust them, but you just can't.

Just know that most of us have made the same mistakes, and spent a fair amount of time (and money) straightening them out once we learned otherwise.

At 6 inches, your GT isn't what I would consider "almost full grown".

It isn't that you can't keep some of the fish that you have. If you want to keep alot of different species in this tank, I would suggest starting over with Malawi cichlids. If you choose carefully, they do well overstocked, and there are many here who will be more than happy to help you out.
 
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