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Mattsmommaashley 04-17-2010 04:16 PM

Problems with stocking advice. Need help.
Background info: I have a 55 gal tank that has been cycled with filter media from the lfs I purchased my fish from.
I have a few questions about my cichlids because I think I may have been given some bad advice. In my 55 gallon tank I started out with 3 yellow labs (abt 1in), 3 ngara flametail (abt 1 in), 3 blue regal (abt 1.5-1.75in), and 1 common pleco. I wanted to do just 5 of each of the labs and ngara but the guy said this was better. Since then one of my labs has died with a red mark on his side. I'm almost certain he was male due to his coloring (most black on his dorsal and black stripe through his eyes). Also, when I got the blue regals they were larger and prevented the ngara from eating and they began to waste away. I have since moved the ngara to a temporary 10 gal setup until they are bigger or i get another tank (they are living peacefully with 3 white clouds lol).(money's kinda tight)
My question for you is this: As far as stocking goes, what should I do? Should I get more labs or more of the others (I hope to put the ngara back in asap)? and How far can I fill out the 55gal?
Also, when I feed algae wafers for my pleco, he gets none and the cichlids eat it. Afterward, they swell up like balloons and return to regular size by morning. Is this normal?
Thanks in advance for all your help.

findingjohn 04-18-2010 11:47 AM

Some lfs will tell you anything to sell you something. Was it one of those super pet stores who sell everything? I do know that all fish do not work well with each other. From what I have learned in the past is that the cichlids need to come from the same lake. The more fish you have in your aquarium the less chances they will fight. I would get your fish all the same size that way they can stand up to each other. For stocking your aquarium. They say one fish per gallon of water. This does not work for me. Some fish will get real big while others will stay small. It also depends on what you have inside your aquarium and how it is set up. If your fish seem to be fat then goes back to normal. That means they love to eat. You should feed your pleco at night when the lights are turned off. This way the other fish will not go after his food. I hope this helps you out.

aunt kymmie 04-18-2010 12:37 PM

I'm not up to speed on those particular cichlids so someone else will have to advise but wanted to share with you what works for me as far as feeding plecos. If you wait until the tank lights are off and then drop in an algae tab near where your pleco hangs out he'll have a better change of getting a meal before the cichlids make off with his algae tab. Fish swelling up like balloons is never a good thing. Good luck getting your tank squared away!

Mattsmommaashley 04-24-2010 11:06 AM

Sorry I haven't been on in a while. Since I was last on I have bought another 55gallon from craigs list. I have set it up and moved my labs and increased their number to 5. I want to put more in it but I don't know what. I like dems but I don't want just dems and labs so I may have to find something different. I have rehomed my pleco because I knew he would eventually get too big and it is easier to get rid of a 2 inch pleco than a 12 inch pleco :lol:. I really enjoy my peacocks but I am afraid I will have to get rid of my blue regals. I don't want crossbreeding and I like the flame tails better. What could I keep with the flame tails?

Thanks again for all of the advice!

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