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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone keep a red tailed shark with their yellow lab cichlids ? If it's possible, I think it's a great color combination.
 

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Thanks for the links kitten. I guess my idea isn't so good after all.I know there are always exceptions to the rule, but I don't want to chance it. I just bought two used 29 gallon tanks, so maybe the members here can give some ideas that will work with a red tailed shark in one of those tanks.
 

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it says one in a community tank is unlikely to be disruptive but avoid black colored tank mates as they maybe attacked.
 

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I have a RTBS in a 50L tank at the moment. It's about an inch and a half long.
I also have 5 Danio's in there too.. they all get along a treat.. Infact a leopard print danio has made really good friends with the RTBS.
A little off topic but just shows that Red tail's are really friendly.. they just get grumpier as they grow up!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for your help. I'll probably get one to put in one of the 29 gallon tanks later on. I need to do more research on tankmates for it, but keep the suggestions coming. Actual experience is better I think.
 

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I have a RTBS in with my African Cichlids but that is a 72 Gal tank. Before I moved her into that tank, she was quite happy with 6 tiger barbs in my 25 gal tank, however they were all purchased as juveniles and were introduced to the tank at the same time.
 

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If you read our profile of the Red Tailed Shark [click on the shaded fish name, or use the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top], you will note that this fish attains 6+ inches and should not be in anything less than a 4-foot tank. And on its own, and other bottom fish must be selected carefully as many will be seen as rivals. Particularly as the fish matures, which was a good point someone mentioned. Also, they have a nasty disposition toward striped fish many times, for some reason.

And while it is always possible that some specimens may not show their true colours, so to speak, the fact remains that nature has created this species a certain way with natural instincts and behaviour traits. As the fish grows things change; if it grows (or more accurately attempts to grow) in too small an environment, things can get much worse. The stress caused to the fish by being in too small an aquarium--and this does cause considerable stress to fish, as science is now proving--also wears down the immune system making it more susceptible to disease and health problems.

So, to kimpossible and your idea of getting a shark for a 29g tank--if you have plans for a 4-foot tank in the very near future, fine; the shark can manage in a 29g for the short-term, but not long.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Byron I do have a 55 gallon tank but I really don't want to disturb the 2 clown pleco's that live in it. I'll just have to find something other than the shark to put in the two 29 gallon tanks. The person I got the yellow labs and kenyi from suggested a species tank for these two kinds . The tanks are on a double stand with one above the other so that would be a pretty contrast of colors. Any suggestions for tankmates ? Thanks to all of you for your input.
 

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Byron I do have a 55 gallon tank but I really don't want to disturb the 2 clown pleco's that live in it. I'll just have to find something other than the shark to put in the two 29 gallon tanks. The person I got the yellow labs and kenyi from suggested a species tank for these two kinds . The tanks are on a double stand with one above the other so that would be a pretty contrast of colors. Any suggestions for tankmates ? Thanks to all of you for your input.
The cichlids are African rift lake fish. As far as I am concerned, that means a tank devoted only to fish from the rift lakes. The water parameters alone demand this, very hard and alkaline (the pH of Lake Tanganika is above 9, Lake Malawi 8-9, and the hardness is very high, only a notch down from what some call "liquid rock"). There is little else that will do well in this type of water. An African tank can be very interesting, sand substrate, lots of rocks to create caves, and then the right mix of fish. But a 29g is small for this group of fish, so exercise caution and select carefully. I am not up on this group of fish, but many other members are, and I'm sure they will have suggestions for compatible fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Byron
I decided to go with the cichlids because I have 7.8 ph and hardness in my water right from the faucet. I would only be putting 3 or 4 cichlids in each tank. I also plan on using texas holey rock, limestone, coral sand, or a combination of those to raise the hardness without adding a lot of chemicals. In the event of any babies, the mother will go to the 10 gallon quarantine tank just to be safe. What's your opinion on using the Seachem cichlid lake salt for them ? Some sites recommend it while others say not to use it or they never use it. It would make sense to me that if it's in their natural enviroment , they need it in the tank.... but on the other hand most of these fish are tank raised and you don't know what was added to the water.
 

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Back when I did have a tank of rift lake cichlids, it was in the days when special salts were not available. I used dolomite as the substrate. I certainly agree that your idea along similar lines will be good. Having calcareous rock/gravel in the tank will raise hardness and pH naturally and be fine.

Hard water is hard because of calcium and magnesium, two minerals found in limestone, dolomite, marble, lava rock, and coral (calcium in the latter). Whether or not you want to spend money additionally on these salts is up to you; perhaps others who have used them can comment on their usefulness.
 

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Your PH is fine for the two cichlid species you selected. I would not recommend using salts unless you have a fish with injuries. The Texas Holey rock and coral substrate will also help to buffer the ph levels. Make sure you have plenty of hiding spaces for your fish as mbuna cichlids are rock dwelling fish and will need places to escape when they are getting picked on. Expect aggression, that is normal with these species. Just keep an eye out to make sure there are no injuries to the eyes or mouths.

Something else to keep in mind is that they will eat and eat and eat and will still appear to be hungry. Make sure you feed them a vegetarian diet and skip at least one day a week to allow them to clean out their system. They are great fish to have and I am sure you will enjoy them very much. It's a blast watching them follow you along the front of the tank when you walk by.

If possible, I would look at putting them in something larger when that becomes a possibility.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
hey beachcire...... thanks a lot for your help. All my fish get Spectrum food and once a week they get either zucchini, peas , lettuce, brine shrimp, shrimp pellets, or spirulina flakes. I noticed a big color difference in the 3 serpae tetras I bought a couple of weeks ago in comparison with the one I've had for almost a year. The new ones color was a pinkish orange and the other is dark red orange. So I do believe the Spectrum food brings out the color in fish. My 2 cardinal tetras are beautiful and so are my 4 German blue Rams. My cherry barbs are really dark red.
My only other option is to divide the peaceful community fish between the 2 29 gallon tanks or in the 40 gallon tank then put all 8 cichlids in the 55 gallon tank and hope for the best. I really don't have room or money for a bigger tank. I love having my tank in the living room where I can see it. I do have lots of rocks to make caves with and two big tree stump decorations with holes in them.
 
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