View Full Version : New Texas Cichlid owner

08-22-2007, 08:46 PM
Hey everyone, I had a few questions regarding my new texas cichlid. First off, is this fish aggressive? 2nd. I plan on getting a larger tank in the next few months he's about 2 1/2'' -3'' long including his tail. Could i put him in a 29 gallon alone? or would 55 be more reasonable? And my final question is, how can you bring out their colors more? he has a lot of spots (not on his forehead for some reason). Oh and what are some addition information i should keep in mind? Such as decorating, color of rocks, anything extra that i might not know. I did do some research and ive read they get to be 12'' long.

08-22-2007, 11:38 PM
55 gallon would be much better. As with most cichlids they are pretty aggressive, but it is a relative thing. High water quality and a diet of only New Life Spectrum will be the best thing for his colors. That other tank is coming very soon right?

08-23-2007, 02:53 AM
ok cool, and also how big do these guys really get? and i plan on getting the tank in a month,, christmas the latest but when i land a job im going to pick one up soon as possible. is there any good lights/rocks or gravel or anything i should think about putting in the 55? and btw, his colors arent bad, at the petstore he was beautiful like a bluish color.. i think its the lights i have they look (they say for aquarium) like regular light bulbs, that type of color. i want that light bluish tint know what i mean? like it looks like a black light bulb.

oh yeah he's in a 10 gallon right now. but i can assure you he wont be in that small tank for awhile. and this may sound dumb but what exactly is the ph level stuff and water hardness and stuff? and how do i make sure its at a good level?

08-23-2007, 03:22 AM
What is the pH naturally in your tanks?

I use 50/50 bulbs in all my fixtures. They are a mix of 10,000K or 6,500K and actinic in the same bulb. Very good color. These are just fluorescent bulbs, just specifically for aquariums (usually used for saltwater).

Cichlids LOVE PVC pipe connectors/corners. They usually move and destroy plants, so I would either skip them or keep them to a minimum. Natural rocks seem to create dead spots where debris builds up.

I have seen green texas at about 8-10".

What filtration will you use on the 55?

Can you go bigger than a 55? (bigger is always better)

08-23-2007, 03:26 AM
ok heres the scoop. i have never done the ph test before so i dont know, any reccomendations? and filtratrion i have no idea right now in the 10 gallon i have the whisper 10-30 gallon internal filter which is keeping the water crystal clear. and sadly i cant go any bigger than 55, i dont have the room for it. also, i didn't cycle the tank i got the fish and aquarium as a gift so i as soon as i set it up i put the fish in and hes been in there since saturday. and he looks to be ok, soon as he got in the tank he moved a bunch of rocks in the corner like a pit lol.

08-23-2007, 03:58 AM
for a 10g all cichlids sadly are ruled out. you can only keep smaller community tropical fish

08-23-2007, 04:07 AM
i know, thats why i said im getting a 55 gallon soon.

08-23-2007, 04:24 AM
i know, thats why i said im getting a 55 gallon soon.

lol, my sleep deprivation caught up with me. sorry about that. the best for a 55g would be a canister filter with no carbon (carbon may promote HITH in some cases, carbon is not a must). if you cant get a canister, 2 large HOB's will work.

08-23-2007, 02:42 PM
There are tanks that are larger than 55 but still only 4' long, if that helps.

Most liquid test kits are good (not the test strips). API test kits are good. They also make a master test kit that has pH, high range pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. You can also just take in a sample to the LFS, most will test for free. You should test the tank's pH, the tap's pH, and the pH of the tapwater after it has sat out for a few days in an open container.

08-24-2007, 01:07 AM
thanks guys for the information, but i have a question. i just got my texas cichlid on saturday but heres the thing i didn't know anything about cycling the tank. So i had to set the tank up then put the fish in. Is that bad? and if so what can i do to make it not so bad? im getting another tank this weekend so im trying to figure out how i can cycle this new tank. problem is i dont want to buy anymore rocks so i cant empty the tank out know what i mean? what should i do when i get the new tank. this tank comes with an Aqua Tech filter i believe 20-40 gallons. also comes with a 100 watt heater thermostat net, lights hood and tank allfor 94 bucks. so i need to know (please in order 1-10 or how ever many steps) i should do before putting the fish in the new tank. Also if i do need to put new rocks in the tank any preference in color? the new tank will be a 29. Until i can get a 55 maybe next spring hes going in the 29. 29 is better than 10 and he's the only one going in it. Thank you.

also, i have well water don't know if that helps any.

08-24-2007, 02:52 PM
Any news on pH yet?

Setup the tank, once all looks well (temp mainly) go ahead and move him in. To keep the wastes from building up too fast you can do water changes, same goes for his current home. Move the filter that is on the 10 over to the 29 with him, in addition to the new filter.

Do you need to get that package deal? They are usually very low quality and most people have to replace most of the supplies anyways.

08-24-2007, 06:09 PM
PH level im going to check this weekend. In addition im going to bring a sample of my regular drinking water from the sink, and a sample of the aquariums water since last saturday being set up to the petstore where they can test it for free. Well heres what i figured.the package deal comes with an Aquatech 20-40 gallon filter is that any good? Also the filter on the 10 gallon aquarium now is an internal filter, which means i have to have some water taken out which looks tacky. Now heres my problem. the fish LOOKS to be fine hes swimming digging the gravel and eating. he isnt as shy anymore which is cool. But i didnt really want to buy any more rocks and i only have the rocks in the 10 gallon. How can i switch everything from one tank to another and what would i do with the fish while i set up the tank? should i buy likea 5 gallon bucket with the same water in the 10 gallon in the bucket?? Now you said when the temperature gets to where it needs to be (around 72-75) degrees put him in. What about cycling the tank for weeks and weeks i keep reading about? so as soon as i put the water in, (cold water or warm?) in the tank and let the heater get up to where it needs to be i just put him in? Im kind of lost on how to do this set up, and reason why i ask so many questions is because i want only the best for the fish. thank you for all the information guys this site is great.

08-24-2007, 07:04 PM
The ten isn't cycled, and neither is the 29. Between the two you will much less problems in an uncycled 29 than in an uncycled 10. That is why I say do it immediately.

By rocks, do you mean gravel? Unless you have way too much for a 10, you don't have enough to do a 29. So you probably do need to get more.

I would fill the 29, get the filter going, get the heater on. Set the temp at about 78, later it should be up at about 80-82, but I would keep it down for now to keep his metabolism lower since the tank isn't cycled. But if he is showing no signs of stress or illness in the 10 at 72-75, that will keep his metabolism even lower and should be okay short term. When I fill tanks I usually use the Python and do full hot and full cold (both fully open). Since you need some new gravel, add that first. Once he is moved over, vacuum the gravel in the 10 very well, then move it over to the 29. Move the decor over at the same time as him.

What filter do you have on the 10?

08-24-2007, 07:14 PM
ok so i shouldn't cycle the 29 gallon tank is what you're saying? Sorry i did mean gravel not rocks i put 2 full bags in the 10 and personally i think it is too much for it. Ok, now once i get the 29 gallon going how long would you sit and wait for the filter and and heater to be set up? IF needed be, i might just buy new gravel all together. Now im a little loss on the metabolism thing and how he will be ok short term. How would this Idea work out. Set the 29 gallon up with the filter and everything for a whole night. then sunday put the fish in? Whole problem is, gravel can be expensive, so what should i look for (brand name, maybe color) that wont be so expensive? If i can get new gravel, will that be ok? instead of using the gravel i have in the 10 gallon? filter im using now on the 10 gallon is the 10-30 gallong Whisper internal filter. the entire filter is in the water and how its set up i have to leave about 2 inches-2 1/2'' of water gone at the top so the filter can discharge the water back into the tank.

08-24-2007, 11:16 PM
Gravel here is about $3-4 for five pounds or you can get a 25 pound bag for $15. You don't have to move over the gravel from the ten.

Tanks should be cycled but in thsi case it is the lesser of two evils to move him over sooner.

The higher the temp the higher his metabolism, so the more waste he produces. By keeping the temp cooler for short term (until the tank cycles) you will reduce his waste output, decreasing the chances of having problems with water quality.

08-24-2007, 11:43 PM
ok got some news, it's a definite im getting new gravel. (any preference in color?) I can cycle the tank now because im setting the tank up in a different spot(accross the room). So with that said what would you reccomend doing knowing i can let the tank cylce?

also, how aggressive is the texas cichlid really?? what would you compare them to.

08-25-2007, 12:03 AM
I would still move him into the bigger tank sooner because of the reasons previously explained.

Natural colored gravel is the most natural. But it is really just personal preferance, but I would avoid any very bright colors like any neons.

I do not think they are as bad as jack dempseys or red devils, but they aren't sweethearts, they are all different.

08-25-2007, 12:26 AM
ok, so set the tank up, maybe let it sit for the night then put him in? or should i immediately put him in when the tank is at the proper heat? And yeah i would of liked a dempsey but they are illegal where i live. thanks for the info fishguy2727, you've really helped me out.

08-25-2007, 12:47 AM
Give it at least overnight. If all looks well then it should be good.

08-25-2007, 03:37 PM
hello the first thing you do is rinse out your substrate really well it usually has alot of crud in it that will cloud your tank rinse all ornaments really well its easier to put this stuff in before adding the water second declorinate the water before adding it to your tank there are alot of chemicals in tap water that can seriously harm your fishthird there are a few ways to cycle your tank one way is by using prawns (but this can get stinky ) or you could pick up a couple of feeder fish to put in . cycling a tank can take several weeks you should do frequent water changes 15-25 % once a week some people will tell you it should be more test your water peramiters every couple of days you need to be checking your ph ( this shows your water hardness ) you should also be checking your nitrite ,nitrate , and ammonia levels if your ammonia starts spiking you may have to do a little bigger water change just to keep your levels at a non toxic level most people keep there ph at 7 but some fish do require it to be higher you will have to do some recearch to see what ph is good for the fish you have.while cycling your water will get cloudy this is normal this is a bacteria bloom it is what gets rid of some of the waste that is harmful to the fish and it usually clears up on its own in a few days and it may happen more than once.

08-26-2007, 06:12 PM
Do not use dead seafood or fish food to cycle a tank. It is very unreliable, will take longer, and is very variable in how much ammonia it gives off. You need ammonia in the tank everyday to keep a good colony of good bacteria started and going. Something like raw shrimp tossed in will not provide a steady source of ammonia until the fish are in. Using bottled ammonia is very cheap and MUCH more reliable, all around the best way to cycle.

08-26-2007, 09:25 PM
Do not use dead seafood or fish food to cycle a tank. It is very unreliable, will take longer, and is very variable in how much ammonia it gives off. You need ammonia in the tank everyday to keep a good colony of good bacteria started and going. Something like raw shrimp tossed in will not provide a steady source of ammonia until the fish are in. Using bottled ammonia is very cheap and MUCH more reliable, all around the best way to cycle.

ditto, the shrimp method is poor. the bottled pure ammonia is best