Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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LeopardCent 09-19-2008 05:07 PM

Cichlid Decor
What do African Cichlids prefer for their surroundings? Rock's, Driftwood, or plants or does it not matter. I am a noob with them and they seem very active and exploratory. Do I need to give them something to explore? I am sure this will not be the last question I have. Thanks ahead of time.

willow 09-19-2008 05:20 PM

i think it depends from which lake they are from ?
which ones have you got ?

LeopardCent 09-19-2008 06:44 PM

Not sure, they are really small. Less than an inch. I know the colors if that helps. Bright Yellow with what appears to be a white anal fin and some white speckles on the rear of the dorsal and tail, Albino, pinkish with pink eyes, Blue with darker blue stripes, and a pale blue one who seems semi-transparent. All are of the same body type but too small (according to the internet) to identify accurately. Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

iamntbatman 09-19-2008 08:52 PM

They prefer hard water with a high pH. They will eat or destroy any plants you try to keep with them. Driftwood usually isn't used since it softens the water and lowers pH. Usually large piles of rock with numerous caves are used for these fish.

I can't ID those species for you, and I'm not sure if others will be able to based on description alone, but it's likely that most of what you've got are Lake Malawi mbuna. Most of these types of fish need a fairly high vegetable content in their diets, such as a spirulina flake or pellet food. They also get to be very aggressive, so stocking has to be done carefully.

How big is the tank you've got them in? Do you have other fish with them?

LeopardCent 09-19-2008 09:59 PM

They are in a 29 Gal for now. I understand they will get to about 6 inches in length. The only other fish in the tank are to Cory cats and they seem to be getting along for now. Well see.....The water where I am is pretty hard and has a high pH so that wont be hard. That is actually why I chose cichlids for this tank. It is much easier to maintain the pH than to try and force it. If the Cory's dont work out what are my options for bottom feeders for the tank or is there.

iamntbatman 09-19-2008 10:42 PM

In that size tank, you really don't have any options. In a larger tank, most of the synodontus catfish would work. I wouldn't keep the cories in the tank as they don't really appreciate the same water conditions and will likely get terrorized by the cichlids as they get bigger and more aggressive.

willow 09-20-2008 02:18 PM

yeah i'd go with the advise you have had. :)

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