Jewels & Bumblebee's
I'm new to this site, I have a few questions regarding my tank. Here are the specs -
40G hexagon tank, gravel, fake plants, sponge/carbon filter, 78-82 degree F, PH 7.5. NH3 & NH4 within acceptable limits, brackish water.
Tank is about 3 months old
7 Jewel Cichlid ranging 2inch - 4inch
2 Bumblebee Cichlid 2inch
1 Plecostomus 2inch
These fish are beautiful to watch but only from across the room, they scatter and hide with any motion close to the tank and won't even come out for feeding.
When I first introduced them to the tank they would rush for feeding and I would simply have to wiggle my fingers in the top of the tank to have them come greet me.
Now they hide, what can I do to encourage them to be more active.
Can I introduce a more active species?
Should I reduce their numbers?
Should I change the light conditions of the tank for a different type ie black light perhaps?
Any help would be appreciated.
I'm afraid you have some serious issues happening.
Jewel cichlids are riverine fish from Africa, and bumblebee cichlids (which I assume are P. Crabro) are rift lake mbuna. Both species require very different water parameters, and neither of them are from brackish water. Apart from water, they have very different temperaments. Bumblebees are highly aggressive mbuna (rock dwellers) and jewels are much more sedate in comparison. The two should never be mixed.
What sort of plec do you have? Some get far too big for most tanks.
Do you have a test kit, like the API master test kit, so you can get an accurate reading on your parameters? Ammonia and nitrite must be 0, nitrate preferably under 10.
Hex tanks aren't always the easiest to stock, either. With most fish, the footprint is most important - length and width over height. So basically what you could put in a 40gal rectangular tank is more open than what you can put in a 40gal hex.
I'm not trying to be nasty, I'm just trying to help you and save you some heartache. I would return the fish you have and research for more suitable species for your tank. You'll all be much happier.
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Second we need actual number for NH4 and NH3 rating as well as ammonia ratings.
Third, hex tanks or tanks of similar shape are the worst for cichlids especially the aggressive ones you have. They provide little length and width which cichlids need to maintain a territory or escape from dominant fish. Please also tell us what type of filters are you running and what the tank dimensions are.
Fourth, these are not mild fish you are keeping. I will say right now those bumblbee cichlids will not work. They need to be kept in a tank of atleast 75 gallons and are VERY nasty to each other and other tank mates. I would get rid of them. The pleco is most likely a common. They get every bit of 2ft and grow way too big for this tank. They also emit a HEAVY bioload. As for the jewels they most likely will not work in this tank either. Why do you have 7 are your trying to get a pair?
Fix the above problems and you might find more active fish. If you do not, come back and we will help figure out the problem but the above issues should be addressed first.
I guess I really do have issues.
Here is some more information.
Tank dimensions 22" wide (side to side), 20" deep (back to front), 22" long (top to bottom)
Filter model is unknown, it is older and looks like a marineland model.
The water is not brackish as I had originally stated incorrectly, it does however contain conditioning salt by Topfin, and treated with aqueon water conditioner.
I have a combination ammonia,nitrite,nitrate test kit and today it read 0ppm. The ph test kit read 7.6.
The tank has a full stone/coral decoration/structure in the back the height of the tank with lots of 'caves'.
I feed them Hikari Cichlid stable.
The pleco is rather small and at any indication of outgrowing the tank would be replaced.
This tank was bought and had held a number of cichlids and so I bought jewels to put in it. I introduced the bumblebees a week later.
I have noticed the bumblebees being very aggressive towards each other and I will remove them from the tank as soon as possible.
I have 7 jewels because I bought them as young from a friend and watched them grow, they are now large and I am not really interested in breeding, but rather having some larger colorful fish to watch.
Can I reduce the cichlid numbers and introduce a different colorful fish with them?
What would be your suggestions other than removing the bumblebees.
I appreciate all the help and not afraid to take constructive criticism, I have not had a tank with cichlids before.
Ok, you really need a liquid test kit like the API master test kit. It's highly accurate, which is SO important.
With jewels, you could probably keep one pair - once these guys pair up and start to breed, it's war! So tankmates are out, really - there just isn't enough room.
I would also take out the coral - your ph (if it's an accurate reading) is a little high. Jewels like 6.0 - 7.0. Also, make sure you have driftwood for the plec.
To be honest, larger colorful cichlids are going to be difficult to pull off in your tank. Apart from one pair, which may mean no other fish.
Have a look into Rainbows - there are some species that get to a decent size, and they can be the most gorgeous colors! And they are shoaling, so you need to have a decent group of them. Not aggressive like cichlids, either!
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Thanks guys, since I've moved the tank from my office to my home,I have been able to watch the fish more closely. The bumblebees definitely have to go, I hadn't realized how aggressive they were until I watched them terrorize each other around the tank.
The PH was never this high until recently, I suspect my recent water change has something to do with it and I have added a small amount of PH decreaser for the moment to help until I can find the cause and rectify it.
The coral is only a manufactured decoration why would I need to remove that?
I will look into getting some driftwood for the plec.
How can I tell if any of my Jewels have paired up?
Looking more closely at the fish this evening I have noticed some black patches on my Jewels,and some of them are much darker in color than the others, is this a sign of illness/stress/disease or normal color changing. I can't seem to find anything online describing it and all the pictures I see of them don't show this coloration.
In regards to stocking.. I would consider that tank a 20g. I wouldn't put a cichlid in there at all. As mentioned already about the Pleco, I would try and find out for sure what kind it is. If it is a common(or any other of the larger size plecos) it may not appear to outgrow the tank. It will just die from internal deformities.
As to larger fish.. well in that tank large is going to mean 4". Maybe some tetras or livebearers.
PS. Bumble bees Aggresive? really? Interesting.. Even my little (female?) electric yellow thats half the size of them chases mine around lol. Although I did have to keep the 2 of them and a goldfish in a 29g for a couple days.. it was interesting watching them go all black and flare out at the goldfish until they realized it wasn't a threat.
I doubt your coral is raising your pH. Honestly I would leave the pH alone. A stable pH is better than the "right" pH. Jewels are very durable and can handle multiple water parameters unless they are extreme.
Changes in color can defiantly be a sign of stress. There probably isn't enough room for the less dominant fish to escape. Pairs will show typical cichlid pairing behavior which includes... following each other around the tank, flaring at each other, head shaking, tail slapping, and gill flaring.
You can probably get away with a pair of jewels in that size tank but really it is a bit too small. There are smaller options that are less aggressive and will work fine. Some include, Bolivian ram cichlids, any of the Tanganyika shell dweller cichlids, dwarf pike cichlids, nanoluteus, or maybe even buffalo head cichlids. There are many cichlid options out there.
I've been watching the jewels closely the last two days and I do believe I have a bonded pair.. I'm going to take everyone's advice and begin to start over in the tank, reducing the fish numbers and changing the set up to be more cichlid friendly. I have also been on the lookout for a more suitable tank, it will be a slow changeover as this whole set up ate my budget. I think i'll just put gold fish in it and put it back in the office and get a better tank for home.
Thanks for all your advice.
my only concern now is recognizing the fish enough to take out the others without accidentally breaking up the pair lol.
ack no dont put gold fish in it. Those need an even bigger tank.
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