11-26-2008, 02:19 AM
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New Jewel Cichlid
So after a bit of a tank emergency last week (random bacterial bloom resulted in oxygen depletion that killed my last little dwarf puffer and one of my tiger barbs) I decided to restock the tank. This is a 20g tank with a Penguin and an air-driven UGF that formerly housed six tiger barbs, one dwarf puffer and a clown pleco, along with a moss ball, various rock caves, some driftwood, tons of java fern and some water lettuce. I went to the store with the intent to purchase one or two green tiger barbs to get the school size back up but their barbs were too tiny to risk. I was also throwing around the idea of the puffers, and decided that it'd be pretty risky (I think my last puffers may have been just super docile) plus I just wanted to try something new.
So, I figured since I'm miles from a biotope anyway (the pleco being from South America and the barbs from Asia) I might as well go with the theme and get something from a completely different continent, so I picked up a jewel cichlid. From the pictures I've seen I believe I have a male. He's between 2.5" and 3". He's been cruising around the tank eating the pond snails the puffer couldn't manage before dying. One of the barbs took a nip at his tail and he chased the whole pack off, so now they generally ignore each other. He's eating well and isn't shy about eating when the barbs are in their feeding frenzy. I realize that he may become aggressive enough that I have to return him.
So the usual question: anyone have one of these, and have any suggestions for keeping them? The water has a pH of about 7.2 and that tank is kept at around 80 degrees. The tank's been up and running for just shy of a year now. Also, sometime down the road I may be interested in breeding them. Is it completely out of question to introduce a mature female to this male, or would it end up in a blood bath?