Cichlids are so unpredictable! My cute little Amarillo was always a little feisty but seems to have turned mean overnight! Luckily he is in with bigger fish that can hold their own.
Here are a couple shots of the little terror!
10 month update
Vieja group shot, black belt cichlid and heterospilia facing off, they are all not too aggressive though, mostly posturing unlike the Amphilophus
Other unlikely couple, Amphilophus Sagittae and the little but rowdy Amarillo
The two bosses, male Trimac, my favorite fish for color, size and personality and the male 14″ Argentea
2 that have colored nicely, Paratheraps Hartwegi and Carpintis Vontehillo
Couple of group shots, if you compare this from when I first put the fish in Nov 2011, they have grown a bit, tank is getting a little crowded and I might have to rehome a few.
Will try to take a video soon. Till next time
sagittae 10″ has gotten taller, hump has grown a little
Here is an old cichlid feeding video I made the end of last year, fish have grown a bit since then, I will take a more recent video sometime soon.
About once a month, I do a 75% water change. It’s actually pretty easy, I take the mag7 pump I use for the auto water drip system and put in the tank to drain about 500 gallons of water. Then I take my python water changing hose to fill from my garage sink at around 78 degrees. Lastly, I add seachem safe to the tank to remove chloramine.
Here is a picture of the water filling up….note my daughter in the background giving our parrots a bath
I’ll post a video next week of the tank.
aka the Trimac. This is a base fish breeders use to create the cool flowerhorns out there. In fact, it’s hard to find a pure trimac with all the cross hybridization of trimacs and Vieja’s in their attemps to produce better hybrids like flowerhorns. Luckily, I got mine from a reliable source, Jeff Rapps from Tangled Up in Cichlids, his fish are always top notch.
Mine has grown from 3.5″ to a very stocky 5.5″ and is very interactive. He recognizes me and reacts to me differently than other people who approach the tank. He’s also a favorite of my wifes, especially the red eyes. I’m hoping in a few months he will even let me pet him
Everyone else has grown a bit too to the point that the tank seems really full. This is a bad picture during my weekly cleaning of the glass but you can see for yourself:
Cheers until next time.
Hi all, sorry for the lack of updates. It’s been about three months since I added the fish (11/15/2011) and everyone is doing great for the most part. I’ve had several people ask me about how much time/effort I have to spend keeping up with the tank. Due to the auto water changer, it’s pretty easy to maintain.
Automatic: The auto water changer cycles about 5.5 gallons an hour to maintain nitrates at roughly 10 ppm. With the heavy stocking and feeding, I think that’s pretty acceptable. Water bill rose about $15 a month which is also reasonable in my opinion. I would highly recommend an auto water changer!
- 1 hour to vacuum the bottom which gets really dirty. That’s one thing I would have done differently during setup is to go with pond filter sand (PFS) and taken my chances with the acrylic scratching. Several people advised me to do this but I guess I was just stubborn. Maybe someday I will convert it over.
- 15 minutes a week: Clean algae off acrylic. Being 8 feet long and 30 inches high and two sides viewable, it’s a ‘chore’ I don’t like to do, even if it only takes a few minutes a week. I think I’m going to bribe my 11 yeard old daughter to do this lol.
- 5 minutes to cut out filter pads to prefilter detritus before water flows into bio media of the wet/dry system.
- 10 minutes a day to feed fish twice. I could use my automatic eheim feeder but I like to interact with the fish when I feed it and they seem to recognize me over other people.
Growth in 3 weeks has been great, probably due to the auto water changer and large tank size. The fastest growers are easily the Pearseii and Zonatus who are both almost 6 inches, they started at a little over 3 inches. The others all have grown about 1.5 to 2 inches.
Here are a few updated pictures, note I adjusted the intensity to 50% white and 100% blue and it brought out the color a bit. I’m going to add a little more white later.
My favorite Vieja to date, Vieja Bifasciata or commonly known as the Bifa. Great combination of attitude, size and color.
Half tank shot, removed a bit of rocks to give the fish more room. I experimented with alot of rocks, very little rocks and determined a good balance between swimming room and hiding places. However, I seem to make changes weekly as my wife can attest to
These two ‘guys’ are characters, Red Devil (labiatus) and Amphilophus Xilo. I was told they were two males but the lovebirds seem to have paired up and are always moving the gravel and pretty aggressive to anyone who comes near their nest. Note the second picture, I was rearranging some rocks and the xilo took a bite out of my hand drawing blood and leaving a scar lol.
I will try to update the blog more often and take a video and some more equipment pictures this coming weekend. So far, I’m really enjoying this aquarium and its inhabitants.
The 24/7 auto water change system works great! However the temp was going down to 74 degrees at night with the cooler weather in Dallas, so I bought 2 1000 watt jehmco titanium heaters with a temperature controller that will handle 2400 watts. These things are solid!
A few pictures I took, fish seem to be coloring up: