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03-29-2013, 01:07 AM #1
Uneducated morons at my local pet mart
Okay, it's been a while since I had cichlids. I was in my local mini pet mart and saw a beautiful looking group of young cichlids in a beautifully clean tank. I bought two cute little guys that I think are lake Tanganyika (not sure however, like I said it's been a while). One is yellow and the other is orange (I'm thinking yellow lab and red zebra?) Of course the employee at the store told me the colored ones (like the two I got) are from Hawaii. So, hearing that I knew better than to ask him any more fish questions. The best part, out of this group of fish, he managed to bag me the only orange one with a tore up tail. Anywho...questions for water condition. I know they like hard alkaline water. These are my readings for the tank they are in:
Total Hardness: 75ppm
Total Chlorine: 0
Total Alkalinity: 120ppm
The Temp is working its way to 80 degrees. I didn't have the heater plugged in until today, so the temp is adjusting. My questions are should there be any changes to the water parameters and should the cichlids have more salt than 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons?
03-29-2013, 01:47 AM #2
Smaller to trace amounts of salt should suffice. If they really are from Africa I would be prepared for aggression.
03-29-2013, 02:58 AM #3
Many people use crushed coral as a ph buffer. When keeping these fish it is advised to stock heavily to disperse aggression. Having just two will almost guarantee that one of them will be picked on constantly. The heavy stocking also means heavy filtration. Keep this in mind if you decide to get more. What size tank are they in?
03-29-2013, 03:06 AM #4
Currently in a 20 gallon.
03-29-2013, 03:14 AM #5
03-29-2013, 03:25 AM #6
Yup, definitely too small a tank considering most african cichlids grow to 4-6" and need to be kept in large numbers as Aeon said. Kind of ironic considering what you called the Petsmart employees. Might not want to be so harsh in your judgement. If you have the room/money, you should try to upgrade to at least a 55g tank.
04-09-2013, 04:41 PM #7Member Goldfish
- Join Date
- Jul 2012
- Flagstaff, Az
If they are red zebras and yellow lab those are for sure Malawi and not Tanganyika. They are harem breeders and need 4-5 in each group of each kind to spread aggression. That ratio being 1n-4-5 female depending on the species.
Minimum tank size is 55g.
Need plenty of filtration.
Most importantly don't impulse buy. Cichlids of all kind come with a unseen warning label. All have aggression one way or another, its just a matter of how you handle it.