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Thread: Where is the best place to buy cichlids?

  1. #1

    Default Where is the best place to buy cichlids?

    Ok.. I have bought most of my lill cichlids at the local petsmart..( and my giant Nimbochromis venustus at the private store...( and thanks for the identity of him) but as you all know.. the labeling on the "cichlid tank is
    ( "African Cichlids") as general a statement as they can make it. My question is this.

    I dont have the eye to distinguish between the different types of Cichlids.. and have learned ( from here of course!!!!) that some cichlids are milder mannered than other ones.

    So where does the "untrained fish lover like me, buy fish that I can walk out of the store ( or purchase online) with the knowledge that they arent gonna be partially incompatible?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    251

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    Hi fairykittycat

    I would try a smaller local aquarium shop in your area rather than a large pet shop.

    A good strategy is to go to google maps and type in your suburb then "aquarium" as a search string, even better "cichlid" if there are any of those specialty stores in your area.

    You just need to track down a good shop and then have a chat to the people in the shop about it. I would go there during mid week if possible as you'll get better service as the weekends get very busy as everyone goes there then.

    Regards, Rob

  3. #3

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    AHHHHH then Im in trouble! The only fish store close to me .. ( besides the petco/petsmart) LOVES their fish.. unfortunately the fish they really love are salt water specimens.:'( the only cichlids they carry.. are the Nimbochromis venustus like the one I purchased...

    ~running off to my room to cry....~

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    251

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    Well at least the Venustus are cool fish. You need a big tank for them though, they grow to 10 inches.

    The first cichlids I started with are electric yellows. You will find them at your Petsmart and should get on with most of your other fish. They are great to watch and are one of the more milder mannered cichlids if they are given some good rocks to live in.

    Regards, Rob

  5. #5

    Default

    And to be honest it doesn't take much of an eye to tell the difference between the common ones that Petsmart carries. Avoid the pretty blue vertically striped ones (juvie M. lomabardoi aka kenyi), the horizontally yellow and white striped one (M. auratus) and the vertically striped yellow and black one (Ps. crabro aka bumblebee). You can get the red one (red zebra), the all yellow with black in the fins (L. caerulus aka yellow lab), the all blue one with black in the fins (Ps. socofoli) and MAYBE the blue horizontally striped one (possibly M. cyaneorhabdos aka maingano, electric blue johanni), but these can be hybrids (between closely related fish).

    Those are pretty much all the common cichlids you'll see in an "assorted" mix. If you aren't breeding for sale and just keeping them for your pleasure, these are fine. You can't be positive they aren't hybrids (not from PetSmart). If you see anything that doesn't fit this description, take a picture and post it in the African ID section before you buy it.

    I do recommend though that you have at least a 55 gallon tank (though your big guy would appreciate at least a 75 gallon since a 55 is only 12 inches wide and the 75 gallon is 18 inches wide, more turning room at full growth). Oh you'll also sometimes find you Nimbochromis in the "assort" tank though I have NO idea why they mix a hap that can get to 10 inches in with mbuna where most max out at 6 inches. People often buy them not realizing what they really are.
    SabrinaD
    75 gallon
    C. Afra "cobue", Labidochromis chisumulae, M. joanjohnsonae,
    65 gallon
    Ps. acei, Ps.cyaneorhabdos, I. spengerae
    46 Bow front
    Ps. saulosi, Labidochromis chisumulae

  6. #6

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    Well.. after sitting here for HOURS.. and checking out all the pictures and such.. I KNOW what I HAVE!!! WOOOT!

    LOL.. ( I m pretty excited...and proud of myself as well.)
    I have one all white pseudotopheus socolofi . Which I PERSONALLY believe is a boy.

    and one cynotilapia afra....which I BELIEVE is a female.. from her coloring and they way these two behave together.
    I hope they are ok to be in the same tank. As of now they get along great!
    They are relatively young fish as they are only about 2 inches long.

    I have never seen my cichlids do the swimming around each other.. looks almost like flirting.....no biting. The white one is always around her and she seems ok with it. Neither of these fish show any signs of aggression.. at least not like the Kenyi I just took out for beating up on the white one.. ANyhow.. my camera took a poo and so i cant post a picture of them yet.. but hopefully I can soon show you guys these two.
    Any words of advice on this "coupling" ? Is my excitement premature.. am I in trouble for when they growup?

  7. #7

    Default

    It could just be small fish hanging out together for protection. The afra might indeed be female since they only get to about 3 inches anyway. And yes they can breed when they are older and you'll end up with hybrid cichlids.

    What size tank are they in? Generally mbuna do better in larger groups (spreads aggression around). You can however get several more of each species (ideally you want 1 male to 3 females) for more natural behaviors and to reduce the risk of hybridization. They'd be a good place to start to build a cichlid tank.
    SabrinaD
    75 gallon
    C. Afra "cobue", Labidochromis chisumulae, M. joanjohnsonae,
    65 gallon
    Ps. acei, Ps.cyaneorhabdos, I. spengerae
    46 Bow front
    Ps. saulosi, Labidochromis chisumulae

  8. #8

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    its only a 30 gallon.. and they are the only two in the tank.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Frostproof, FL
    Posts
    690

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    A good way to get decent fish and be pretty sure they are not hybrids (if you are looking to breed) Is the livestock section of this forum. You may find people here who are close to you who might have cichlids, or aquabid.com is a decent place. When I was looking for Ps. Saulosis I posted on the livestock and found a few people who live near me, and they even introduced me to a pet store I had no idea exsist about 10mi from where I live. I definitely trust the people here more then the pet stores, becuase they will help you with match making. In fact that was how I discovered the Ps. Saulosi and I love them.


    Oh and If you want a decent stocking for a 30 (which is what I have and ran into this problem) then I'd say start looking at dwarfs. They have some pretty cool ones and most only grow to about 3-4 inches
    ~Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning how to dance in the rain~

  10. #10

    Default

    With a 30, I'd consider a species only tank of a dwarf species. You could do quad of afra, or saulosi or yellow labs or rusties. I've never dealt with socofoli personally so I can't say about them. Unless you are planning to upgrade sometime.

    Your Nimbochromis would love a 75 ;) and the mbuna could get the 55. Okay enough tempting.
    SabrinaD
    75 gallon
    C. Afra "cobue", Labidochromis chisumulae, M. joanjohnsonae,
    65 gallon
    Ps. acei, Ps.cyaneorhabdos, I. spengerae
    46 Bow front
    Ps. saulosi, Labidochromis chisumulae

  11. #11

    Default

    I def. will up grade

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Frostproof, FL
    Posts
    690

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    I upgraded within two weeks and now looking for a 55...But I have to wait till after college :p my dad's house is too small for one :p
    ~Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning how to dance in the rain~

  13. #13

    Talking

    ~sigh~ welll I got some fishies..
    they only had teeny tiny labs so NO go there.
    no rustys
    no saulousi
    no afra..(((
    ( I know an upgrade is in the making now..LOL)
    I now have
    1 cyno afra..
    2 Socolifi
    2 zebra Obliquidens
    1 syn. eupterus


    woot!!!!! I promise to take pics.. I need a new cam. first...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Frostproof, FL
    Posts
    690

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    Well if you ever get into the market for saulosi, me, PhishNFilly, onebettarepublic on here have some and might get some fry later down the line (there is a shop really close to me that sell saulosi and if you really want some I can get them for you and ship them out, but they are 6$ a fish) Also on aquabid.com there is a guy named Clifton who usually sells them with no shipping and he has good quality.

    Sorry just supporting me addiction ^.^
    ~Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning how to dance in the rain~

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    5,173

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    Jim Clifton has beautiful fish Amaya your right, I purchased mine from him. Actually he is also a member of this forum. Big Jim Julia
    ♥♥Only trust someone who can see these three things in you:
    The sorrow behind your smile,
    The love behind your anger, and
    The reason behind your silence.♥♥



    WATER CHANGE/WATER CHANGE/WATER CHANGE <~~~ My Mantra!

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