Originally Posted by paul83
I have already changed the substrate from white silica to blue pebbles. Where the fish was purchased had no substrate. I think the most likely possibility would be he has a bigger texas/JD tankmate who doesn't bully him but he does avoid.
Dimmer lighting and dark earth colored substrate, such as natural pea gravel found much cheaper at local landscape stores would be what I would try.
We often decorate tanks that are pleasing to us and this is important,but we must not lose sight of what the fishes natural enviornment would look like.
For reasons already noted, the fishes colors will be affected to some degree but bright lighting reflecting off pink,blue,or white substrates will result in less natural colors of fish.
You can try leaving the lights off for a couple of days and see if there is not a difference in the fishes colors
If so,,then you have your answer.
Cichlids I have kept from Discus to Jaguars, ALWAYS preferred dark brown /black substrates and dim lighting over bright lights and colored gravel ,but the fish and tank are yours.