04-29-2007, 07:24 PM
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I have a few secrets when keeping cichlids that I will let you in on. I have been keeping these fish for over 30 years and have tried about everything that has come down the road.
(1) When buying fish in an effort to setup a breeding scenario, I buy multiple females. This helps to alleviate the male from harassing a single female, perhaps killing her with his advances. Sexing many species of cichlids at young ages can be somewhat difficult. Other times, it is next to impossible. Just do your best. Buying the fish at a sexable size can be a little more expensive, but may be worth it.
(2) Provide an abundance of hiding places in which the female and and less dominant fish can hide. Those can be in the form of caves, plants, crannies in stacks of bogwood, anywhere that the victim can hide from the more aggressive fish.
(3) Increase filtration and jam the tank full of fish. This plan is the one I use for my mbuna. My large African cichlid tank breaks every rule one has heard about fishkeeping. It is decorated with rockwork and bogwood. There are many retreats for the fish, but there are also alot of fish. I would venture to guess that I keep close to 100-125 fish in that tank. It is has very heavy filtration. I do mean VERY HEAVY filtration. There are (4) powerheads(rated @ 185gph), (2) Emperor 400 power filters, (2) Fluval 4 internal power filters, and (2) Magnum 350 canister filters. When keeping a tank heavily stocked, maximum filtration is mandatory.
As far as my South American tanks, all are very heavily planted, and have much rockwork and bogwood to serve as hideouts. Any of these methods are proven to work, as I have and am practicing them myself.