pictures of the new cichlids

After several years of tame fish like tetras, we’ve restarted the tank with cichlids. I had both Africans and South Americans many years ago, but we decided to go with Africans this time because we liked the colors and I had the most fun with my Africans before.

It took us a while to settle on a theme for their names, but we’ve finally chosen to go with middle names of past United States Presidents. The red and blue fellow on the left side of this picture is Fitzgerald (Fitz for short). His friend is Delano, who is not only physically larger than most of the others but also provides something of a calming influence on the tank.

We have two of these speckled ones, Arnold and Forbes. I’m not sure which this is, and I can’t really tell them apart.

This blue one is S, the smallest of the bunch and a fairly aggressive character.

And last is Knox. He was the most aggressive of the first three we added, but since Delano came along Knox has calmed down a bit. He hid out for a few days under the spider root, but after I rearranged a bit he has started coming out more regularly.

We’ve had them for a few weeks now, and they are no longer scared of me when I approach the tank. They’ve learned that an open lid means feeding time (2-3 times a day). And they’re starting to splash a bit when they’re hungry. Someone (I think Delano) is able to reach the lid when with their tail. The last time I had cichlids they would woke me up in the mornings this way if I slept past feeding time, so it’s interesting to see similar behavior in the new batch.

The tank is a 55 gallon with 2 standard backpack filters and sand substrate. The plants are some sort of generic sword left over from the community setup we had before. The cichlids are slowly nibbling away at the stalks, but we have a nice thick undergrowth still. We’ll see if they are just thinning it to make moving around easier or if they’ll leave anything at all. They don’t seem to be consuming what they chop off, as it finds its way into the filter intake and stays there until I clean it up with a net.