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Hi! from a DC Newbie
Old 06-13-2010, 6:59 PM   #1
WendyFish
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Hi! from a DC Newbie

Hi all.

My husband and I started keeping cichlids about 2 months ago, have learned a lot so far, and I'm really pleased with the huge variety of resources and groups that are out there, including this local group! I haven't gotten the opportunity to make it to a meeting yet but am looking forward to doing so and seeing what it's all about.

I'll be honest that the fish tank was my husband's idea, but I am now totally crazy about our little cichlid crew. They have so much personality; they can be funny, neurotic, they are always "starving" and they are some busy, busy fish.

To be honest, the more I read, we made a few missteps which I hope/think are probably little and will work out in the end, but we're also trying to plan which of them we want to work on and how.

The first of those is that our tank probably isn't big enough! We got a 36 bow and currently we have all juvie: 4 yellow labs, a red zebra, an electric blue ahli, and a c. borleyi in it. I know the borleyi will get pretty big for that tank, so our longer term plan is to get a larger one (90gal tall is what the hubby has been researching, he's in charge of hardware!) that we can move him into as he grows to full size. So we'll probably be in the market for some stocking tips on that one when the time comes! (Want some longer track record of success with our current group first though.)

Speaking of that, I can see we have just gotten into some very addictive territory. We had our first tank for not very long when suddenly there was talk of a second!

The tank is very full of rock and (fake) plants and all the territories are well staked out in terms of who hides where when the big obtrusive humans are changing the water.

And the second mistake, as far as I can tell, was not knowing when we were buying that the ahli and the borleyi are haps! Bad me, I got caught up in the chicken and egg of not knowing what the store would have to know what to research, and I did it in the wrong order. So far, we have not had any problems with them at all. The haps are big enough that they don't get bothered or chased at all.


So that is a long introduction. I'm happy to meet more hobbyists and always happy to hear hints/suggestions if it will make my cichlids happier fishes!
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Old 06-14-2010, 8:09 AM   #2
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Old 06-14-2010, 8:39 AM   #3
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Yeah, Welcome aboard!

I think the Ahli and Borleyi will be fine for now. They too are some what aggressive and very fast so it'll be kinda hard for the Mbuna to beat up on them now, but for now I believe they will be okay.


The
Labidochromis caeruleus are one of my favorite Mbuna and they're quite easy to take care of. Nevertheless, you don't have to worry about the labs being the aggressor, actually it's the Red Zebra you have to keep your eye on. The Haps should reach about 3-4 inches in that tank within 6-8 months, depending on how many times a day you're feeding them. I would just feed them once a day so that you cut back on water changes and control the speed of their growth.

By the way, September will be our next meeting because right now we're on summer break, but make sure you bring your whole family next time okay.


Richard



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Old 06-14-2010, 9:20 AM   #4
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Old 06-14-2010, 9:28 AM   #5
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Welcome to CCA!
As Richard said, once the ahli and borleyi get some bigger size, they will be hard to chase around.
The Copa. borleyi will get much bigger than the ahli (more girth than actual length). My borleyi is about 6-7" now, and only about a year and half old.

Bigger is always better! Soon you will want a 220gal!

Become a member of this awesome club and I hope to see you (and your family) at September's meeting!

-Phil



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Old 06-14-2010, 12:49 PM   #6
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Welcome to the Forum. Stick around and you'll learn lots from the awesome members in the club. You'll even find that the fish they keep are not always available in stores which is cool.
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Old 06-14-2010, 5:52 PM   #7
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Thank you for the friendly welcome!

The Red Zebra is definitely the Boss, there's no question about that. He gets the biggest cave and he'll chase the labs around if he runs across them. He 100% ignores the haps. The labs are pretty smart at dodging into a little crevice though, and there are a couple of them he is too big to follow through those little gaps. He'll always size it up for a minute before he swims away disappointed.

One possibility we were thinking would be to move him to the bigger tank and get him some red zebra friends, leave the labs where they are. That way he doesn't cross breed with them either (though we would not pass along the fry).

To Leffler's point, I saw the thread on the Dave's group buy and scoped out the varieties and pics on his site. Looks fantastic! Will definitely be keeping that in mind for the big tank. In addition to the borleyi so he isn't miserable, were thinking of having 2-3 tribes of fish we haven't picked yet. Looking forward to the research and discussion to understand what's compatible, what looks nice, and so forth! I will say that I probably would have fallen in love with the labs inside or outside a store though. Their yellow makes such a nice contrast to a lot of other varieties.

I'll be looking forward to the September meeting -- hopefully it is one of the weekends I can make, that's vacation month (to run around in Portugal and Spain using whatever vacation days I have left after World Cup watching)!
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Old 06-14-2010, 7:49 PM   #8
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Yes, welcome to the forum Wendy!




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Old 06-14-2010, 9:07 PM   #9
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Wendy is now a CCA club member.

Cool



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Old 06-14-2010, 9:23 PM   #10
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That's awesome, welcome to the club!!! As for the "missteps", I bought my first cichlids without researching them at all... aside from asking the "petshmo" employee what the ate and that was a waste of time because I came home with a pack of frozen bloodworms for my new mbuna's. If it weren't for those fish in that petstore catching my eye, I don't believe I would have fallen in love with the hobby to the extent that I did tho. You hang out here and you'll be fine... some of the most successful keepers and breeders in the hobby are members of the CCA



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Old 06-18-2010, 11:36 AM   #11
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Thumbs up

Hi Wendy,
Welcome to the club. Sounds like you have had a 'fun time' already getting started in the cichlid hobby. I can really relate to:
" Speaking of that, I can see we have just gotten into some very addictive territory. We had our first tank for not very long when suddenly there was talk of a second! "

Hope to meet you this summer at the picnic or the road trip.



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Old 06-18-2010, 1:14 PM   #12
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Welcome Wendy!

I'm assuming you're in the DC area? I suggest you and your husband take a trip to Tropical Fish World in Gaithersburg some Sunday and talk to Andrew. He's the Sunday manager and a CCA member, and he's very knowledgeable about Africans. He was very helpful to me when I decided to go with an all male peacock tank a few years ago.

Now for some unsolicited advice: Get rid of the zebra! :-) You're good with your labs. They are a great mbuna and are very flexible, so they're likely to work with any future set-up you do. The haps are big and pretty and I've always liked them. but peacocks might be a good choice for you in that regard as you get the pretty without the big. Again, Andrew can more properly steer you.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 08-29-2010, 5:54 PM   #13
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Just checking in as the support service (aka husband) of wendyfish
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Old 08-30-2010, 9:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezrk View Post
Just checking in as the support service (aka husband) of wendyfish
Don't listen! It was all his idea! (what extent I took it to is not my fault, our fish are fun!)
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:07 PM   #15
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Welcome to the forum ezrk!!!



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