My Kribensis keep dieing
Ive recently started my tropical fish tank about 4 weeks ago, I ve had community fish before, but thought Id try something more challenging so cichlids were my decision. I cycled my tank (80 litres) for a week before I added two kribensis and a convict. The convict has grown beautifully and is now about 7 centimetres long. The kribensis were about 5. Then the other day one died. I checked the ph and it was all fine. The temp was about 25-26 degrees so all good there too. I thought maybe hed had health problems when I got him so I bought another one. Not long after the other one died. I now have one left and he looks nice and active etc but ive notised that when he eats he spits food out through his gills? Is this normal? They are fed Daphnia, blood worms, flakes and sometimes pellets. I added a gold severum, firemouth, hillstream loach and bristlenose. These guys all get along fine. Then the bristlenose died too. When I had community fish I could never keep bristlenoses alive either. Im feeding algae wafers and have heard that driftwood helps but from experience that stains the water yellow? The firemouth, severum, convict and loach are growing at a good rate and the colours get better every day.
Any advice anyone?
Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping.
Convict cichlids can be aggressive with other fish, and the kribs may be too close a relative (also a cichlid). Certainly keeping more than one species of cichlid in a 20g (80 litre) aquarium is not recommended. So, adding a Firemouth and Gold Severum (more cichlids) in so small a space is bound to cause problems. Severums grow to 8 inches which is way too large for a 20g even when they are juveniles; they need water space/quality to grow healthily. They may appear to get along fine now, but this is sure to change as the fish settle in and their instincts and behaviours develop.
I believe BN plecos need wood to rasp. Once cured (soaked, boiled) wood will not discolour water. If you want to keep plecos I recommend a couple pieces of wood.
I am not a cichlid expert, so until one of our members who is comes along, my suggestion is to decide on which small cichlid you want, and acquire a pair (male/female). A pair of convicts would be fine in a 20g, with a pleco. Or a pair of Firemouths, but this may be pushing it [I'll let the experts comment]. Or just a pair of kribs.
Last comment on cycling, I don't know how you managed this in only a week, but there is good info on cycling in this article that is a sticky at the head of the Freshwater Aquariums section:
And a companion article on fish stocking may be helpful:
I would get a pair of kribs. Look on line for the type of fish you would like to keep. This forum just came out with new things. Check it out. I also started keeping cichilds. The fish should all come from the same lake. They say the more in the aquarium the better it eill be for all the fish.
Even a pleco is a risky fish to keep with convicts as they can be pretty nasty. Have you witnessed any aggression between the convict and the other fish? I suspect he's the culprit.
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