Cichlid hiding UNDER gravel??? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-14-2011, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Cichlid hiding UNDER gravel???

Well I don't know everything about my cichlids, but is it normal for my largest cichlid to wiggle himself completely underneath the substrate every time I clean the tank? Will he eventually come out if I leave him alone? Is he mentally ill? He does it every time I clean the tank and go in and start pushing the gravel around. Finally got in on video. I usually give him about 30 seconds before I go in and dig him out fearing that he can't breathe.

Also, what exact type is he/she please? Thanks.

55G, 6 cichlids, 1 gourami, 1 pleco.

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post #2 of 6 Old 05-15-2011, 03:37 AM
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that is SO CUTE! the reason for him doing so is you have nothing in there for him to hide in those chilids NEED caves if you could go buy some stone, rocks, hiding spots he all those fish would be really happy and shouldn't hide in the gravel anymore :) As for the type of chilid I am not positive of the name he is.

75 GallonCommunityTank

Clown Loach
Columbian Tetra
Blood Parrot Chilid
Large Pleco
German Blue Ram Male | Female
Ballon Red eye tetra
Weather Loach
Red tail shark
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-15-2011, 03:59 AM
willow's Avatar
the more rocks you have in there the more natural behaviour of your cichlids
you will see.,as your tank is empty.
you can also use live plants if you care to,as they do look nice,i found in the past
java fern lasted a nice long time,other plants will be eaten,but hay,they'll love you
for it.

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-15-2011, 04:09 AM
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you have so much gravel... you should really read up on how much gravel to use and lower your ammount and replace with many rocks and crevasses.... you shouldnt move your gravel that much, mixing and moving the bacteria around could suppress some areas into non-oxygenated areas and cause a bio decline. as for the cichlid, hes just afraid needs a place to hide and nothing better than digging your own place. seems as if they are not used to your cleaning techniques yet. i prefer to not put your hand in the tank. but if you like adding human oils/debris, cells and bacteria then its fine.
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-24-2011, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all. Yes I have a bunch of rocks and caves and hiding spots - this only happens when I clean - when I have everything removed to vacuum. So no one has said if this is common for certain cichlids. I assume he will eventually find his way out? The only way he's ever come out is when I dig him out like in the video. Also, I have so much gravel in there because that is how they have it at the LFS. ? Thanks again.

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post #6 of 6 Old 05-24-2011, 12:39 AM
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No, this is not common for cichlids to do this. It is reaction to fear, and is also in my view stressful for the fishes.
Were it me,I would move caves, rocks, carefully to one side of the tank during cleaning and use gravel vaccum rather than my hand to clean one half the gravel.The following week. I would reverse this procedure and vaccum the other half the tank.
In this way the fishes could have a place to hide while you clean the gravel.
What fishes are expieriencing is similar to what you or I would expierience during a tornado when house is suddenly no longer there.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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