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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just recently set up my tank and got everything running nice and then went out and got my first Cichlids (6 Yellow Labs and 18 Demasoni) and when I saw how dull they looked I was greatly shocked and disappointed. Everyone assures me they will eventually get their colors back but I just figured they would adjust and move in/settle down in a few hours not a few months like it seems everyone is telling me.
I was just wondering if different species take different amounts of time to adjust.

Also after they adjust will they be pretty much fine or can I expect them to freak out every time I do a water change and vacuum out the bottom of the tank?

Right now out of the 18 Demasoni only 2 or 3 have the nice Black looking lines going through them and they seem to be the ones hiding in the rock formations/caves. The other ones look horrible.

Thanks for the help,
Shawn
 

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SpeedFreak said:
I was just wondering if different species take different amounts of time to adjust.

Also after they adjust will they be pretty much fine or can I expect them to freak out every time I do a water change and vacuum out the bottom of the tank?

Right now out of the 18 Demasoni only 2 or 3 have the nice Black looking lines going through them and they seem to be the ones hiding in the rock formations/caves. The other ones look horrible.
Every fish adjusts at their own speed, just as any other animal with a personality.

The fish will probably "freak out" the first couple times you do something around them that they don't know whether or not they are in danger. Once they learn it is not a dangerous situation, they should stay calm.

When you say "look horrible", do you mean not colored? Or abused? It is not uncommon for (usually) a dominant male or two to start showing color before the rest - at least that is my experience.
 

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Every fish adjusts at their own speed, just as any other animal with a personality.

The fish will probably "freak out" the first couple times you do something around them that they don't know whether or not they are in danger. Once they learn it is not a dangerous situation, they should stay calm.

When you say "look horrible", do you mean not colored? Or abused? It is not uncommon for (usually) a dominant male or two to start showing color before the rest - at least that is my experience.
What he said :D

My cobalts were quite dull when i first got them but after a few weeks they are starting to live up to there name! They still retreat into the rocks when i approach the tank sometimes but are quick to come back out once i lift the hood cos they know food's coming... Also some fish don't get vibrant colouring until they mature and start breeding.

Just give them some time, plenty of places to hide and some good quality food...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
why_spyder said:
SpeedFreak said:
I was just wondering if different species take different amounts of time to adjust.

Also after they adjust will they be pretty much fine or can I expect them to freak out every time I do a water change and vacuum out the bottom of the tank?

Right now out of the 18 Demasoni only 2 or 3 have the nice Black looking lines going through them and they seem to be the ones hiding in the rock formations/caves. The other ones look horrible.
Every fish adjusts at their own speed, just as any other animal with a personality.

The fish will probably "freak out" the first couple times you do something around them that they don't know whether or not they are in danger. Once they learn it is not a dangerous situation, they should stay calm.

When you say "look horrible", do you mean not colored? Or abused? It is not uncommon for (usually) a dominant male or two to start showing color before the rest - at least that is my experience.
Horrible as in not colored. Some of the Demasoni look purple/pale and you can't even see the black in them. I'm assured now that it will be fine. The waiting game just sucks.... :popcorn: Hopefully before long they will feel at home and a couple will start holding. They're big enough. I'm giving them the right food and tomorrow I'm going to try a lettuce treat or something like that. I was told to boil it and they'll love it.
 

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I find that keeping lights off on a tank really speed up the transitioning of a new environment. And to this day, I don't hardly use a lot of light over my tank - just a lamp next to the tank with a 60W bulb in it. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
why_spyder said:
I find that keeping lights off on a tank really speed up the transitioning of a new environment. And to this day, I don't hardly use a lot of light over my tank - just a lamp next to the tank with a 60W bulb in it. :lol:
Thats good to know. I was wondering if that had any effect. I love the light and its good for the plants but it wont hurt to leave it off while I'm not around for a week or so. Its on a timer now and stays on for 10 hrs out of the day. I'll start turning it off when I'm going out for a couple hours.
 

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How large are they, Shawn? Demasoni don't develop the full time, true dark colours until they start to mature, so if these are young ones, you may just have to wait it out.

Any chance of posting a pic?

Can you really not see any barring at all on some of them? (You should be able to see visible barring from day one...)

My little ones used to love blanched spinach. I would boil it for just a minute, cool it, and anchor it to a rock for them. They would swarm it and graze on it all day.
 

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Sorry, that's typical. That's what I had.. about 3-4 nice colored ones, 5-6 medium colored, and the rest were drab and ugly. I don't know what they did with their tanks, but I had a 75g with lots of rockwork. the only way I've been able to keep Demasoni colored up and looking good is to mix 1 or 2 in a large tank with a bunch of other fish.

See, every experience is different. My Labs also looked better when I removed them from the tank of Demasoni. Apparently, you and I had the same issue.. glad to know I'm not alone.

Hope you find a solution, I never did...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
quicksilver the tank is new. Its just starting to get algea growing on the rock background. I thougt i had a nice maze of rocks but i'm starting to wonder. it seems that 2 or 3 of the demasoni got their colors and claims the rocks and the others just swim in circles around a water jet. at first i thought it was because of the water coming out of the filter and they liked it there or because thats where i feed them but now i almost think its like there just trying to leave the area to find another spot... i got my digital camera working and have taken pics but i'm having trouble getting them on teh forum. I read up on it and last night i tried photo bucket but then the computer and internet died. i'll try after i send this so you can see them and the tank. I think i'm going to go and get more rocks tomorrow and build up a lot more caves and see if the swimming pale demasoni take up caves or if maybe more of them get more color. the dark ones stay hidden for the most part but when they get scared they all go hide in the caves if that helps anyone help me. the tank is a 75g.
cichlidaholic- they are about 1.5-2''. the smallest is a little over an inch. i'm working on the pics. i can see barring that was a little bit of an exaggeration. however on some of the palest ones if there moving by quick their bodies just look purple and there dorsal and tail look dark. along with the rocks the spinach will be a treat tomorrow and i'll do it ever other day as long as theres no harm from to much. i've been making sure i'm feeding them plenty about 3 or 4 times a day.

fish_dude--- hope your wrong...lol i'm going to keep at it until i get them happy. i have a DIY background with plenty of caves and places to hide and lots of rock already. plus a really nice piece of driftwood with all sorts of holes in it that they hide in and can swim through. they seem happy just poor color. as far as the labs thursday will be a week for them. i have seen improvement in them. not to much but there going in the right direction. plus they are very small. i'm sure theyw ill be fine but i'm really worried about the demasoni.
ok well sorry this was so long hopefully i have answered all of your questions. i'll try to add pics on after this
 

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The larger ones should be coloured up by now. You're always going to have some of the less dominant ones that won't look quite as nice as the dominant ones, but it sounds like you've got more than your share.

Be careful not to overfeed them! It's easy to do. I would feed twice daily maximum.
 

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this happened to me too. i was worried because i had a lot of pale purple/lavender colored demasoni with pale grey stripes. most of them colored nicely but i still have a few that are pale colored and one small one who totally lost his/her stripes. it seems healthy, just badly colored.

i lost a few from what i thought was bloat but the more i think about it it may be aggression. a few have grown up fast and colorful and chase any demasoni in its path and they don't give up. i started with 24 and have 15 left. the demasoni were the only ones kicking the bucket while i didn't lose any of my other species.
 

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Mine got better every week for the first month I had them. For the last two years, all in my tank have had the dark black and brilliant blue except for 3-5 sub doms trying to be inconspicuous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
yeah i'll make sure i dont over feed. they all eat it right away. i wanted to make sure there was plenty because i figured if there will fed they will feel better and it will ease aggression and help with the transition. I'm glad i head that they should start looking better. I already added more rock and boiled some spinach and put it in and then turned the light off and let them be. I'll add more rock tomorrow.

Do just the non-dominant males stay not as colorful or do females do the same thing. I figure I only wanted 15 and got 18 so if theres a couple that dont color up I'll just give them to a friend where they can hopefully do better in another tank. If i do that will they all most likely be fine or will another one lose its color and kind of take its place??????
 

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Any fish who feels threatened will try to dim it's colors, male or female. IME there will always be a couple of less colorful ones at the bottom of the pecking order...if you remove one another will take it's place.
 

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DJRansome said:
Any fish who feels threatened will try to dim it's colors, male or female. IME there will always be a couple of less colorful ones at the bottom of the pecking order...if you remove one another will take it's place.
Agreed...

I found with the demasoni I had that if I gave them more space to "spread out", I had nicer looking fish most of the time. I was most pleased with them in a 4 foot tank, but I had them in a 3 ft tank for quite some time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah my tanks 48''. I'm starting to think my caves are too open and there more like tunnels where they can swim through them and around them instead of like a cave with a back so I'm adding backs and putting a lot more rock in. I was trying to set it up so I could see a lot of them a lot of the time but I'm going to stop being selfish and give them a ton of places to hide where I can't see them and hopefully if I close it off a little more they will do better. I added more rocks last night and they loved the spinach I gave them so with even more rocks hopefully they will start doing really well.

As far as the pecking order goes? I thought the point of having so many of them was so they would get lost in the crowd??? Well if they have dull colors isn't it hard to get lost? Then the weakest three will always be noticeable. I guess that makes sense to me but not to them :roll:

cichlidaholic said:
DJRansome said:
Any fish who feels threatened will try to dim it's colors, male or female. IME there will always be a couple of less colorful ones at the bottom of the pecking order...if you remove one another will take it's place.
Agreed...

I found with the demasoni I had that if I gave them more space to "spread out", I had nicer looking fish most of the time. I was most pleased with them in a 4 foot tank, but I had them in a 3 ft tank for quite some time.
 

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I wish I had taken pics of my tank when I had the demasoni in it. I took pics of the fish but not the tanks. :(

I had 3 small rock piles, that's it. One on either end and one in the center...And I do mean small!

I was very fortunate and wound up with 5 males and 15 females - I know, because at one time all 15 were holding. I had 3 males that fully appeared to share "dominant" status, one for each small rock pile. I have to say that the only time I saw one of them not fully coloured was when they were all trying to spawn at once.

I initially had them in a 40G breeder, with rocks all along the back and around both sides. I never saw them.

I've gotten away with having minimal rocks in all of my tanks. I just like to see the fish I'm keeping, so I understand your dilemna.
 

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The caves don't need backs. I started that way, and later realized that they want small cracks and swim-throughs...think like a maze of alleys on land and a car trying to "lose" a tail. Even ledges they can lurk under. More of a natural-looking pile than anything constructed or arranged. With rounded or uneven rocks, enough cracks and spaces will be there naturally.

I thought a fish in a cave with a back would defend it and the attacker would be held off. No way! The attacker comes right into the cave with the occupant...no matter how small. And the occupant gives way and "hides" in the open at the surface.

When they dim their colors, they are trying to blend into the background...not blend into the crowd.

Hey look at it this way. Owners of dimorphic species only have 1 colored fish...the male.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ok that adds a lot of insight for me. I moved some plants around and added a lot of rocks. In the middle theres large river rock where they can swim through and then on the left some nice driftwood and smaller caves and then on the right i started with small rocks and i'm going to put more larger rocks on top. I noticed with what I've done so far they weren't aimlessly swimming anymore. The added rock still doesnt make it look bad and you only can't see them during the night when they are all burried. They love digging. Hopefully they will look better in the next days/weeks. I think they are look better already and I've been feeding them extra treats(spinach and carrots) so hopefully they will look better then ever. I'm hoping I have a lot of females too and not a whole bunch of males. I figure after ahile I'll be able to figure it out. Now I probably couldn't even tell if one were holding....lol
 
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