Okay so, I have been doing some research about cichlids and everything, but let me explain my situation.
My roomate moved out 2 weeks ago and left a 30g tank containing 3 cichlids, 2 huge (about 3 1/2 inches each) idiot goldfish, a pleco (also big, around 4 inches) and a ropefish. Now, after doing some basic research I have figured out that this is way overcrowded for a 30g tank. The tank has a Penguin 200 filter, a top (hood? i don't know what they are called), a light and a heater. The heater was set pretty high (thermometer was showing around 80) so i turned it down and now the tank is around 75-78.
The chichlids (to the best that I can decipher anyway) are as follows:
1 green terror (he's the oldest i think, and is about 4 inches long @ 2 years old - the roomate had him when he moved in)
1 jack dempsey (hes pretty small, i think the roomate got him a few months ago)
1 "apparent" midas. after looking in to midas' i don't think that he (or she, no idea on sex of any of them) really is a true midas. he (or she) is really bright yellow and approx <3 inches (the roomate got him @ the same time as the jack dempsey).
none of the cichlids seem very aggressive. they all just seem to swim around and there aren't any signs on any of them of battle scars or wounds. all fins are fine as well. they don't do any chasing or anything (that i've noticed... i find myself watching the tank for a few hours every night...). the only one who seems to bother with the other fish at all is the yellow guy (potential midas?) who chases around the goldfish. the jack dempsey seems to swim around with the green terror. the green terror is larger than little jack dempsey but doesn't seem to mind. i think that the j.d. sort of likes the g.t. because they look the same (although that can be some lame disney idea that i made up on my own hah).
the tank is pretty well decorated, although it was extremely filthy when i moved it from the roomates old room to the living room (so much poo!!!!). i did a massive poop syphoning (i have enough sense not to remove that much water though, i only took out like maybe 10% and have been periodically cleaning the filter intake as needed (almost daily at this point, it gets so clogged with poo and filth). there is a large rock/cave structure (not real rock, pure decoration) a few other little decorations and some grass like plants in the corner. the plans are in pretty rough shape, but i think this is normal with cichlids (again i am totally new at this). oh and the bottom is coarse pebbly rocks (the kind you buy in a big bag from a pet store, bright blue in colour) - should i switch to sand???
Anyway does anyone have any suggestions? is there anywhere that i can take unwanted fish if i end up having to get rid of some of these guys?? i really wouldn't mind getting a few more rope fish (they are so cool!) and maybe just keeping the green terror (hes been in the tank the longest so i feel bad getting rid of him). or, does anyone think that the tank might be okay with all of these guys cramped in there. i can only assume that the jack dempsey and the "midas" are juvies becasue they really arent that big (under 3"). as for the goldfish, i think my roomate had convicts before and decided to put them in to destract them from fighting, but they lived (the goldfish, no idea what happened to the convicts, he had them in there with the green terror and hes still around so maybe they died or he gave them away, again no clue).
okay well i would really appreciate any help/advice people have. i think in the last week i have done more research that my roomie ever did, but i still feel really lost in terms of what to feed everyone (right now i've just stuck with the cichlid pellets that were left and some dried out bloodworm cubes from big al's fish barn) and how to care for this tank (salt?, do i need to get some ph tests going? i have no clue!).
this is a perfect example of why they shouldn't sell actual pets at a pet store, and why responsible pet owners are such a rare thing!!!!
Thanks very much,
Jess (new and clueless, adopted fish mom)