12-11-2007, 12:58 AM
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There are a few ways to get their color back...
1. Fix the water quality asap.
2. Add alot of decorations, so they have lots of places to hide from each other.
3. Make sure they're eating a healthy variety of foods.
Jewel cichlids can handle pH of 8.0, and if that is what they are bred and raised in, that is what I would suggest keeping them in. Jewels are aggressive, as are most all of the cichlids. They also need a lot of territory, and at full grown will be about 6 inches each. I would suggest more rock work decorations than plant decorations in their tank to create the needed territories at all levels (top, middle, bottom) of the tank.
Once you post test results we'll be able to help you a lot more, and knowing the dimensions of the tank will also tell us alot. If the tank is less than 2 ft in length, I can assure you that as these fish grow you will need a larger tank. I wouldn't attempt to keep 3 adult jewels in a tank of less than 75 gallons with good filtration and lots of decorations.
Because your tank is cycling, and it sounds like its having a rough cycle, I would suggest going real easy on food, lots of small water changes (10 - 20%) each day, and get more decorations in there asap. Be careful not to replace filter media until your tank has completed cycling, and don't do it at the same time as a water change. If you change too much at once you risk a mini cycle, which can go toxic overnight.