Originally Posted by russp
I recently started a 29 gallon tank for chiclids with the intention of going larger when needed (or possibly seperate tanks). I have six chiclids all identified by the store as african zebra; 2 yellow, 2 orange and two blue. Right now they are all between 1 and 2" in size and the store ID cards say they will eventually reach an adult size of 4 to 6" which matches what I find online. My question is how quickly do they hit their full size and what is the typical size for this fish in a home aquarium?
With these specific species of cichlids, you can expect the need for a larger tank as well as having to overstock it in order to keep aggression spread out. A 55g with these guy (adding a few more of them) would suite their needs well.
Size wise, usually around 5" is average, but there are reports of them getting larger than the 6" mark, depends of feeding, environment (this includes water parameters), and the fish itself. As far as how long it takes them to grow, not very long for those guys. My Cobalt Blue Zebra has more than doubled in size in the couple of months I have had him. Actually, I looked at him today and dropped my jaw, as he looked as if he had noticeably grown overnight!!! I got him back in like Oct/Nov, and he was a little guy, less than 2". It's now the beginning of January, and he is a good 4" already. So yeah, just a few months and they can hit full size, depends on breed specifics, water, and how old they are when you get them.
Oh, and at the store, when they have all kinds of different colored cichlids in one tank and label them "Assorted African Cichlids" or similar, they can be just about anything. From hybrid zebras, or a mix of random africans, who's personalities might not conform to the general guidelines we as fish keepers might expect.