55 gallon African Cichlid Tank

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Notes:

January 21, 2001

This tank is in a living room area. We have carefully placed rocks in the bottom half of the tank to form caves and hiding spots of different sizes. The tank is woefully overcrowded, which keeps aggression and water quality down. 🙂 Some of the fish actually succeed in breeding under these circumstances, though I rarely see a baby live to a safe (non-bite size) age. We can tell that some females are brooding because they refuse to eat for a while.

In 1999, we relocated the tank from one side of the room to the other. To do this, we removed all of the rocks and all but a few inches of the water. The fish were not pleased. We apparently stressed out a brooding mother to the point where she let all of her babies go free – the whole tank seemed full of small 1/4″ fry. I wish we had removed them to another tank, but we were mostly thinking of the adults’ welfare, so we set the tank back up as soon as possible.. the babies were gone within a few days. Live and learn. Not that I need more african cichlids, of course.. 🙂

The fish mostly eat Tetra bits. I know they are more vegeterian in the “wild”, but they love tetra bits. We also give them some flakes, and they occasionally get frozen or freeze dried blood worms. We change 50% of the water whenever we get around to it – not more than once a month. We add a small bit of Malawi buffer from SeaChem, to help bring the pH up. Our water comes out of our well at pH=7.5, but it’s not all that hard, believe it or not, so we like to add a bit of buffering capacity to it. The fish are very hardy, and they seem to stay healthy in spite of our occasional neglect.

Most of these fish are “hand-me-downs” from other people in the TFCB. I have no idea what the genus species names are of the “meanies” and the yellowish-brownish fish. If you have any ideas, please write to me.

Here are some photos of the fish. Click on any photo for a larger
view. These pictures were taken in the fall of 2000:

Meanie: the skin around the lips is raw from fighting

One of the bullies

Male Pseudotropheus livingstoni – cute face!

Mysterious yellowish fish

Another mysterious yellowish fish

Male Labeotropheus fuelleborni

Male Labeotropheus fuelleborni – note the shape of the mouth – good for grazing rocks

Group shot – Pseudotropheus livingstoni in the middle

Dominant male Labeotropheus fuelleborni

Labidochromis caerulus – electric yellow

Another meanie

Female Labeotropheus fuelleborni – OB morph

These photos were all taken with our Nikon Cookpix 990 digital camera (scaled down and compressed for the web). Feel free to write to me for more information or with any comments. Please do not copy or use these photos without contacting me for permission first. Thanks!

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