View Full Version : boring cichlids?

04-24-2008, 04:55 AM
i have had my tank for about a year now, and at first my cichlids use to follow me around wanting food but for past couple months the cichlid always hide when anyone walks by, even during feeding when i dont walk away they dont eat. can anyone help me with this problem?

04-24-2008, 10:56 AM
Slowly walk upto the tank to feed them. Don't make any fast movement towards them, Remember how much bigger you are than them. They view you as a larger predator if they are not fimiliar with you. Do you have any small children? If so try to keep them away from the tank so they do not smack the glass. Also loud noises send vibrations through the water that can scare the fish and cause them to be skittish.

04-24-2008, 12:07 PM
Yea I don't have that problem or I would help ya. It is probably someone decided to smack the glass to make them come out and it didn't work.

04-24-2008, 12:52 PM
Geeze everytime i walk past my tank in the kitchen they swim to the top thinking they're getting food....haha.

04-24-2008, 05:26 PM
Geeze everytime i walk past my tank in the kitchen they swim to the top thinking they're getting food....haha.

same here, when they see the food container come out, they look they are trying to leap out of the tank to get to it.

They literally splash and fight for the front of the tank as soon as I am within 2 metres of it.

How are your water parameters and especially pH and nitrates?

Some of my mbunas came form the neighbours where they changed some water once every six months, and they spent most of that time hiding, now that they are with me and get weekly water changes they are very feisty and lively, thats why I ask about your water parameters....

04-24-2008, 05:27 PM
we dont have and kids or pets at home, i miss the time when they use to follow me for food, they even ate off my hands before. but now even with a slow approach they run away.

04-24-2008, 05:29 PM
my ph is around 8, and not sure about the nitrate level, i will try to do more water changes, and see if that helps

04-24-2008, 07:20 PM
My ph is at 7.6 or so, ammonia is about .5 right now (still cycling). They get water changes every other night...sometimes everynight depending on the ammonia level..after it last night the zebras were going nuts chased each other in a circle for like a good 15-20 mins...i thought they were going to kill each other..but i think they were just playing.

04-24-2008, 08:40 PM
It really sounds like something spooked them. One of our grandsons spooked our fish one time. It took a while and alot of patience and messing with them to get them over it. This is what I did...starting approaching the tank real slowly and often. I increased the amount of times I fed them per day but only gave them very small amounts. I put my hands in the tank alot moving things around. I increased their water changes from once a week to twice a week. It was all to try to get them use to me again and to show them they had nothing to be afraid of. It really worked. They still get spooked occasionally now though and scamper to hide but I think it's only one or two fish that do this and the others follow. As soon as they see the food they come out of hiding and everything is fine. I hope with extra contact and increased water changes yours will come around too. I know how aggrivating it is having them that way. Good luck.

04-24-2008, 08:52 PM
Well i sort of have the same problem. I attribute this to stress.

Which could be caused by:

- someone spooked them without you knowing
- overcrowding, cichlids like plenty of room, they are territorial. This is my problem, i am about to move them from a 15g into a 45g, they will be much happier
- bad water, too much nitrite or ammonia can stress a fish out, check your parameters and do water changes and correct if neccessary.

this is what i have found in my experiences, let me know if you figure out what the issue is. My fish were very happy about a month ago, they even spawned a fry, but now they kinda chill in the corner and get spooked, i am hoping that the new tank will revive them.

04-25-2008, 02:14 AM
i did some water change and tried staying with them for about 5min before they came out to eat. im going to try to do that more see if that helps

04-25-2008, 03:33 PM
How many cichlids do you have and what kind? What size tank? I didn't think to ask that before lol.
I hope frequent water changes and more contact with them will help. Try putting your hands in the tank often too. Rearrange things or just let your hand sit on the bottom of the tank to show them that your not going to hurt them.

04-25-2008, 04:48 PM
How many cichlids do you have and what kind? What size tank? I didn't think to ask that before lol.
I hope frequent water changes and more contact with them will help. Try putting your hands in the tank often too. Rearrange things or just let your hand sit on the bottom of the tank to show them that your not going to hurt them.

Those were gonna be some of my questions too.
-How many?
-what kind?
-what size tank?
-how often do you feed and how much?
-what do you fed them?
-how often do you do water changes?
-did you recently rearrange rocks?
-Are they gasping and not moving (mouth opening alot)?
-Any other changes in color or general appearance?

Usually spooking can cause shyness in cichlids... but, it only takes a few days (week tops) to get over it.

04-26-2008, 05:52 AM
i have 9 cichlids in total
5 electric yellow
2 albino
and 2 blue ones i dont know the name of
tank size is 55g
i feed them twice a day, a bit less then a teaspoon full
i do water changes once every 2 months
i didnt rearrange the rocks
i dont know what the nitrate level is
they arnt gasping for air
no changes in appearance they are bright

04-26-2008, 12:46 PM
You could add more mbuna to that tank... do you notice any one of them bullying the others?

2 month waterchanges is not good enough... you need to do that weekly. At least ever other week. At least 25% if every other week.

My guess is... your nitrate levels are getting too high. Especially, not changing the water so often. Go get a nitrate test. It's one of the most important tests you can have and the best ways to determine how soiled your water is.

My other guess is.. one of your cichlids has become overly aggressive.... and has pinned your fish into hiding. That is really common. Do the unknown blue cichlids swim around? Got a pick... more than likely one of us could identify it.

You albina is probably a albino socolofi.

One last question... a teaspoon of what food are you feeding?

04-26-2008, 12:49 PM
Oh... lost my train of though... You need to get your nitrate levels down. if I were you I would keep doing water changes every other day.... 25% for a week... and then once a week. You need to get a nitrate test to see where you are at. You need to keep the nitrate under 40ppm. My guess, is you are over 100ppm right now.

04-28-2008, 02:06 AM
thanks for the great information, i am planning to add a bit more cichlids in there any suggestions? one of the blue ones do bully other fishes around but its nothing aggressive. im feeding them cichlid gold. where can i buy a nitrate tester for a good price?

04-28-2008, 02:13 PM
Yeah... what cichlids to mix.... that is always the question. LOL Your blue one is the aggressor... I wonder what it is. Does Kenyi or demasoni ring a bell? Does it have vertical or horizontal bars?

Why don't you post up this question in a new thread. You might get some more answers. Post your current stocking list and ask what to add. I'll do some research too.

That hikari bio gold is okay food.... New Life Spectrum (NLS) is better. People here swear by it. Not just for cichlids either. It's the end all to all fish foods for some. Anyway, just make sure they are eating it all within 5-10min of feeding. You do not want food sitting around in the water... that's where your water can get really fowled up.

04-28-2008, 10:25 PM
Rainman is giving you real good advice. I'm sure your nitrate levels are high. It sounds to me like to much food for that many fish too. If I remember right they are pretty big pellets though aren't they, so maybe it's not to much in a tsp..I think you could have several more fish in a tank that size too. I'd stick with mbuna african cichlids but stay away from auratus, kenyi, and demasoni unless you have a lone demasoni (I've heard that only one isn't so bad). Maybe get some more albinos too. These fish get along better if there is 3-4 females per male. The best way to do this is buy several and as they mature and start breeding you can kinda tell which is male then trade back to the LFS extra males so you only have one.

04-28-2008, 10:33 PM
thanks again rainman and dixie for the help! i will repost after i make some changes and add couple more fishes in there.

04-30-2008, 08:12 PM
well i did small water changes daily and i think this helped a lot, they are coming out more.
i purchased 5 more fishes 3 kenyi and 2 fishes from assorted tank, they look really cool, dark blue with black stripes and orange fin.

04-30-2008, 08:44 PM
Glad to hear that... your water should look much clearer too. Keep in mind, now that you have more fish... you'll need to keep up wither waterchanges too. Once a week is best. Did you get a nitrate test?

04-30-2008, 09:04 PM
i havent gotten the nitrate kit, when i do the water changes i take out a bucket of water and pour in tap water, is this harmful to the fishes?

04-30-2008, 09:21 PM
You need to condition the water.... expecially if you have tap water with chlorine/chloramine. This is extremely toxic to fish.

You don't have to do much else... but, I would becareful to make sure your ph and water hardness is good too. Do you have any water tests?

04-30-2008, 09:22 PM
I hope you are using a conditioner for your tap water that removes chlorine, chloramine etc.

05-01-2008, 03:05 AM
oops i forgot to mention i do condition the water, but other than that i dont do much to it.
my tap water is good for cichlids ph is at 8, and the water is hard

05-01-2008, 12:10 PM
You're a lucky bugga!!! That should work... you could add some seachems lake salt. That will add essential elements to the water and provide a more natural home for your fish. Other than that... you're good.

05-02-2008, 03:06 AM
alright, im set! algaes seem to be going away a bit, although its still green and brown everywhere lol. the fishes are coming out following my hand

05-02-2008, 03:39 PM
Good job man! Way to turn it around for you and your fish! You can probably feed less if you have a lot of algae. Mbuna will actually graze on it when they are hungry.... it's good for them too. Try cutting your light time down an hour and see if that helps too. I think with more frequent water changes.. you'll see less and less algae. I can hardly keep algae in my tank... sometimes I wish I had more. ;)

05-03-2008, 04:36 PM
WC's are good, but make sure you change the filter media. Depending on your filtration one media level at a time. You may have OTS. Big and regular H20 changes are great since you haven't done that in while.

Water supliments? I use Prime. Good stuff.