Advice for tank mates
A buddy of mine has a small 10 gallon tank. The tank looks disgusting, with algae all over the place, its a furry landscape. However, the water quality is outstanding and an african cichlid has been very content there for 2 years now. The problem in my mind, is that there is only that one fish, a four inch african cichlid.
Last month I added some ghost shrimp, some mystery snails, and two chinese algae eaters to help clean the tank up.
Up to this point in time that cichlid was very still and spent most of its time hiding inside a decoration. I had never seen that thing move so fast. I still have the bag tilted at the top of the tank when that fish shot out like lightning and bit one of the shrimp in half.
Within 24 hours, 4 out of 5 shrimp were dead or eaten. Both snails were dead. Within the week, the last shrimp dissapeared, and one algea eater dissapeared. That one last algae eater survived three weeks, but kept getting its head stuck in a little hole ontop of the filter and died there.
So now we are back to square one, what do we put in a tank with a cichlid to help with clean up.
The fact that the african cichlid murdered everything you added should have been a pretty clear indication that you shouldn't add anything else. A 10 gallon tank is far too small for most african cichlids, and most of them range from aggressive to crazy aggressive.
Do not add anything to the tank, it's just going to get killed, unless it's big enough and mean enough to kill the cichlid first. It's the fishkeeper's job to keep the tank clean and maintained... fish or invertebrates won't do that for you.
300 gallon mega tank
: build in progress
75 gallon community tank
: tetras, danios, corys, platies, otos, pearl gouramis, bristlenose pleco, assassin snails, red cherry shrimp, bamboo shrimp
70 gallon growout tank: clown loaches, sailfin pleco
60 gallon goldfish tank: fancy goldfish
29 gallon frog tank / 10 gallon tadpole tank
: 1 leopard frog, 1 tadpole
10 gallon and 5.5 gallon betta tanks: 1 male betta each, sometimes snails
And on top of what Brhino stated, which I fully agree with, Cichlids in general, especially Africans, are very, very territorial, so when you added the snails, shrimp and CAE's, the Cichlid lost his small territory to begin with- completely. The other fish/ inverts also need their own space and a 10 gallon is way too small for that to occur. Your friend should just focus on tank maintenance.
Last edited by jeffs99dime; 10-26-2012 at 03:48 PM.
Yeah, its an odd situation. As I stated its not my tank. Its a tank that sits in my branch office and it was inherited by one of the secretaries who doesnt keep it clean. I cleaned it up some last week, but some folks wanted something more to look at, but she likes and wants to keep the cichlid.
The CAE was doing very well with the exception of getting stuck in the crevice.
I guess at this point I have to recommend leaving things as is.
That's right - adding nothing else and making sure to scrub the tank walls of algae, vacuum the substrate and keep the water changed. Some fish should just be left alone.
46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted cory catfish, cherry barbs, guppies, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
5 gal QT with green corys & 2 guppies