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FAQs on Red Devil Cichlids 1

Related Articles: Red Devils, Texas Cichlids, Firemouths, Oscars, Neotropical Cichlids, African Cichlids, Dwarf South American Cichlids, Cichlid Fishes in GeneralCichlid Systems, Cichlid Identification, Cichlid Behavior, Cichlid Compatibility, Cichlid Selection, Cichlid Feeding, Cichlid DiseaseCichlid Reproduction,

Related FAQs: Red Devils 1Red Devils 2, & Red Devils Identification, Red Devils Behavior, Red Devils Compatibility, Red Devils Selection, Red Devils Systems, Red Devils Feeding, Red Devils Health, Red Devils Reproduction,  & Neotropical Cichlids 1, Cichlids of the World,

Red Devil Has Not Eaten in 1 Week! 07/07/08 Red Devil On Hunger Strike Hi! and Help! I recently acquired a Red Devil (? He has no nuchal hump) in a tank purported to be 75 gallons but only 48. Charlie is 10 inches long. I placed him by a sliding glass door by the dining table. He can see people in the kitchen. He can see people and critters at the dining table. He can see people and critters in both the front and back living rooms. He can see out the window when I draw the blinds and he can see out the back porch onto the back yard a bit also. He did very little typical behaviors his first 3 weeks here, seemed to smile a lot and was not shy with us. Then I finally got around to cleaning his tank. Prior to this I only had a small goldfish tank and still only have that antiquated siphon method. Charlie's' tank was quite dirty as I did receive it dirty as well. (Most of the water was removed for the move and I had to fill it with a hose while he was in another tank). My way of cleaning the tank means that I have to wait for the dirty water to settle down and then pour water from the top of the buckets back into the tank. (I only just learned that they need a 50% water change every week so I was doing the 25% goldfish rule.) So the cleaning occurred all day on Friday the 25th of June. As of Friday July 4th he has still eaten nothing. Since the cleaning he acts as if he has been violated. He no longer wants anything to do with us and he cleaned a spot to the mirrored floor of his tank and spends days just looking at his own image. He often ignores us when we talk to him and try to visit. We have tried to feed him and he has let the food rot. Last night I cooked chicken for the soft-shell turtles and gave Charlie a piece because I had read that they like it. This morning I fished it out untouched. Today I tested his water which was all fine except for slightly high nitrates - I put some chemical in and gave him a Rosie red minnow. He came a little alive and the poor tortured thing was eventually murdered but he did not eat it. The carcass is laying on the floor of the tank right where we can all see it and Charlie has eaten nothing. How long can this go on? This fish is starting to torture me because I feel so guilty for him and I am soon to purchase a more efficient cleaning machine to avoid this in the future. I have read that a fish cannot go more than 5 days without food. This has been 7. If Charlie refuses to eat something how soon should I remove it from the aquarium? What am I to do to make him happy again? I am not skilled with cichlid disease. Is there a disease that I should be looking for? < Start by checking the water temperature. It should be between 75 and 80 F. Get a thermometer and get a heater if needed. Next check the water chemistry. The ammonia and nitrites should be zero. The nitrates should be under 20 ppm. Big cichlids can be pretty messy so you should have a power filter that turns the water over at least 200 gph. An outside power filter would be best. Assuming everything else is fine then offer him a few high quality cichlids pellets once ech day at the same time. After five minutes remove any uneaten food. Repeat every day until he eats. If he doesn't eat after a week then try some washed earthworms. Feeder fish are notorious for contaminating big cichlid tanks with diseases.-Chuck> Re: Red Devil Has Not Eaten In A Week II -- 07/08/08 Yes there is a lot more but I went to a store called "Ocean Floor" in central Phoenix and got some better bacteria than these chain stores sell. < Many stores sell bacterial additives that claim to add the beneficial bacteria to a tank so you can put fish in right away. The one I recommended for years was Bio-Spira by Marineland. The item is no longer available. A new product by Dr Tim called "The One and Only" is working very well for a friend on mine who has a aquarium maintenance business and sets up tanks all the time. This product is available from DrsFosterSmith.com.> I also bought a new Fluval 450 and a bunch of other stuff. Placing him in the window was a mistake and the heat is spiking the ammonia and nitrates. < Heat by itself won't increase the ammonia and nitrates. Elevated water temperatures may have increased the breakdown of the fish waste.> Plus all the water changes were misadvised. We put a huge board outside the window for now because the store guy thinks he is too fragile to move the tank right now. So both my tanks are blooming right now with the good bacteria and the fish are starting to do a bit better. The company that makes these products is right here in Phoenix. It is called Tropical Science and the bacteria have to be kept in the fridge. These chain stores have inferior product and they think they have bacteria and the products even say so on the label but absolutely nothing happens. I was stuck in a position that I did not have time to cycle tanks properly. (What happens when you buy used tanks with fish in them.) I do need to learn how to do it properly since I need to get larger tanks for the cichlid and the spiny softshells. I had a product with live bacteria for many years. The bottle did not need refrigeration. Whenever my tank was in trouble I would throw a couple of drops in and get instant results. I have always kept my goldfish in windows and done great. When I finished the bottle I remember thinking to myself that I ought to save the empty bottle so I would know what to ask for. I threw it out. None of the stores have it anymore. It was fantastic stuff. I didn't even mention about Charlie being in the hot window when I first wrote because I did not know it was a problem. The city tap water is too high in nitrates and ammonia already. I had read to find another water source but had always learned that purified drinking water would kill the fish. The guy at the store said I could use purified drinking water but I am still leery. We get OPremium water and I don't know if I could use that or not. I need more feedback on alternate water sources. I would really appreciate if one of you could look at this OPremium water site and tell me if the water is safe for the fish. My first instinct is no - but maybe I am wrong. Please advise: http://www.owaters.com/10-step-purification.html Or do you have suggestions for other water sources? Thanks for asking Bob. <<Welcome. B>> And thanks for your initial response Chuck. < If your water is too high in nitrates you could always use R/O or distilled water. This water by itself is not good for fish because it is too clean and has no buffers in it. You have to add some buffers to keep the pH from going all over the place and stressing your fish. The R/o will reduce most of the nitrates. You could by an r/o unit for a couple hundred bucks and could filter water up to 50 gallons per day.-Chuck>

Red Devils Have Not Eaten IN One Week III 7/10/08 < First off. Stop injecting additional questions/comments within the text of formally answered questions. The crew usually injects their comments in response to multipart questions to try and not confuse the readers. When you add the additional comments it makes it very difficult to sort out if the questions have been answered or not. In the future please ask questions that you need help with.> OK. I do not know what R/O is so hopefully can Google. < Go to the WWM and Google R/O. This has been asked many times before.> This is getting insanely expensive and I don't think my husband will go for an R/O unit at this point. Also I don't know what "buffers" are. < Once again Google the WWM website for buffers.> I saw some pH stabilizing product somewhere - not sure if Dr Foster Smith or Austin's Turtle Page. < DrsFosterSmith definitely have buffers for R/PO units.> I am super frustrated right now because these Ocean Floor employees don't really know either and the guy we bought from is off work till Thursday and there is a lot of stuff he didn't tell us. < Unfortunately the retail tropical fish store employee typically doesn't have much more experience than the customers they are trying to help. The job usually doesn't pay that well so turn over is very high.> The Tropical Science product (Aqua Chargers) has no directions on the label - just lists of other product. So my idea is that they think they have designed the most fantastic surface for bacteria but it is the liquid in the container that has the bacteria? (The employees cannot even answer that - probably because they do not want to admit that I was stupid enough to pay $160 for a bottle of plastic doo-dads.) < In the past I have not been impressed with this brand of products.> Because I saw other plastic thingies on Dr Smith Foster for a hell of a lot less money. < Online retail stores are definitely very competitive with traditional retail stores.> My two tanks are acting very different with it and I told the employee about the water change and chemical soup added over the weekend with the AP products and this Tropical Science has been added on top of it. It does not seem to me to be very scientific when everything is so nebulous and proper written directions are not given. I called back the store and asked why one tank is super cloudy and the other one is clear. The employee told me to do a 25% water change. I said "WHAT!?!?! I just spent $160 (plus tax) on this stuff (never mind the hundreds of dollars of other product I purchased along with) and 24 hours later you are telling me to pour it down the drain?!?!?!?!" I called and asked to talk to the manager and she put a guy on who speaks hardly any English and he could not tell me anything concrete either or even speculate with knowledge - he told me not to feed any of my fish for 3 or 4 days till it clears up. I haven't even tested my water because I am getting too emotional about this now. All I can say is my 10 inch Red Devil is miserable in his cloudy tank and my 10 inch goldfish is miserable in his alternately cloudy and clear tank. I tried to ask about the life cycle of this bacteria I have added and of course no-one knows a thing. The rapid changes of cloudy and clear repeatedly over the course of the day means something and I would like to know what. But Charlie's tank is just deathly cloudy. Interesting to me is that the other fish in the goldfish tank are OK for the most part. I have small feeder goldfish, Rosie minnows and of course plecostomus. When the 2nd Fluval started up in their tank it emitted a huge white cloud - I assume from the aqua chargers that had been sitting in there while I was doing battle with the hoses. It was frightening to watch that cloud go into the tank and the little fish got all jerky for hours afterwards. They moved a lot but very jerky also. What does that mean? The Ocean Floor employees cannot tell me. Sorry for this long run-on line - I am very low-tech and do not know why this happens once in a blue moon. Thank you for the continued correspondence. I had been told years ago never to use distilled so I would need to know a lot more about what buffers are and how to use. Where can I learn? < Once again buffers and R/O water is well covered on the website. I would recommend trying to contact the manufacturers by either email or by trying to call them directly. Search for a web for a contact info.-Chuck>

Please help me! Flowerhorn With Possible Blindness 6/1/08 Hi Crew, I have some problems to discuss with you. Last week, I got a male Flowerhorn as a present from my friend including all his accessories. First 2-3days he didn't eat anything and he didn't go anywhere but I can accept that as water changes. Then he continuously keeps silent but sometime he tries to swim. He's timing is not more than 5sec. then falling freely underneath the water and hit with glass. Mostly, he hit all the objects on his ways likes he didn't harm and seems he can't see anything. Last night, I realized that, it may be his problem, both of his eyes have some black shape, I attach his photos. His left eye is full with dark and the other is half. I haven't seen like that before in my experience because I have others 5 Flower Horns at my home. What should I do? Is he blinded? Is anything wrong? ? ? ? ? Please reply me as I feel sorry for him. Best regards, KMMK < After looking at your photos I don't know if your Flowerhorn is blind or not. I have never seen that kind of coloration in a fish's eyes before. Generally it sounds like you Flowerhorn has an internal bacterial infection that has affected his swim bladder. I would recommend treating the tank with a combination of Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace. I would also add a teaspoon of salt to the water for every 10 gallons of tank water. Keep the water temp up at 80 F too.-Chuck>

sick red devil  4/26/08 my red devil after a water change started swimming on it's side <How much water changed? How treated? Best to store... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/taptrtmnt.htm and the linked files above> and lay on the bottom then the next day started swimming upside down now he's hiding in the cave in the tank still swimming upside down i don't see no fungus or parasites is there anything you can do he's a ?young fish only about 4 inches long i have been treating for two days now with tetracycline but have not seen a change in him thanks Ron <Poisoned... Please, fix your English before sending it (at least to us). Ignorance is not what we're about. Bob Fenner>

2 pictures for you Firemouth Not a Firemouth, Red devil beh.   4/16/08 I have a Firemouth cichlid that I have had for a couple of years now. A few months ago, he started losing his scale color-it almost looked like he was molting. Now, he is completely orange. He has been completely orange now for about three months. He eats well, I give him cichlid pellets, blood worms, etc. he started having the problem when I gave him a bunch of feeder minnows. Water pH is around 7.8, temp is 80 degrees, ammonia level is zero. I regularly do water changes once a month, and he is alone in a 25 gallon tank. He is very large, probably 9 inches long. My question is - what is the matter with him? How can I get his stripes/coloring back? Why does he now look like a giant goldfish with teeth? There are no visible parasites on him. His fins are in perfect shape. Any ideas? I am attaching a couple of pictures showing him when it first started happening, and what he looks like now. Can you help? Thanks----------Wayne <Your Firemouth is really a red devil. Once they change from their grey color to orange they don't go back.-Chuck>

Sick Red Devil - Please Help FAST!!! 12/31/07 I have a Red Devil (roughly 11 inches in size) I have had this fish for about 5 years - I have grown VERY attached and am very worried about losing my fish. I have not kept good records/updates on the water quality - as my fish has tolerated the water without problems. Now "Syd" is losing color (turning very pale) - has stopped eating - and both eyes have grown VERY cloudy VERY quickly - <QUICK! Change some of the water out here, or even better, move this fish to another system that is established> *There have been many times that Syd has ignored food and gone a few days or more where the food has been played with but not eaten. ( I usually feed a veg. pellet mix in the mornings and an earthworm in the evening...again, has worked until now). Syd is now lying on the bottom horizontal and not breathing very good...this began in the corner in somewhat of a vertical position. I have changed the filters as well as a water change (approx. 40%) <Good> We have recently had power surges (due to weather) and I noticed that the tank is very cold (not what Syd thrives in) I am trying to warm the tank but not too quickly... <Also good> I am afraid that there is something internal (besides the tank temp. and the "not eating" etc.) <Not eating is not a big worry. A fish of this size, age, conditioning can go w/o food for many days> My question - is where to start? <Monitor water quality, raise temp.> The fins seem to look fine...Although Syd has had some holes it doesn't seem to be HITH - but I could be wrong. <Could you send a picture?> If I should medicate the tank - please suggest a general beginning point/medication that I should start with to help my fish... Again, I know I seem to sound like a "slacker" on the daily maintenance of the fish tank - I do care for my fish and DO NOT wish to see Syd suffer...or die. Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance, EN <Need more data, an image... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlvstkind2.htm re the sorts of input we're looking for... the third tray down, on Cichlids; their Health, Systems. Bob Fenner>

Red Devil Fry Eat The Scales off the Female Parent... 12/20/07 Hello Guys... <Howdy> My Red Devils recently had a successful batch of fry. The fry are now about 1 month old, and are growing at a good pace. I just recently separated the 2 parents, by putting the crate divider back in (he was getting overly aggressive). <Good technique> The fry swim freely to either side. She had so many, I took alot <No such word> of the fry out and moved them to a separate tank (they are doing great). There are still quite a few fry in the tank wit the parents.. <Good> My question is: Is it normal for the fry to eat the scales off of the female down to the "white meat" it appears to be getting infected. <No... not normal, or healthy> I know the parents produce a mucus for the fry to eat.. "should they still be eating the mucus at the one month mark". Do I need to remove all the fry? <I would, yes> I feed the fry good also.. But they still are constantly peeking at the female heavily. I don't want the Female to become sick. I would appreciate any advice thanks KD <Move the young... start looking for customers... stores that will buy, give you good credit for them. Bob Fenner>

Red Devil Going Crazy......... 9/5/07 Hello, I have a Female Red Devil that is about three years old and is about 8" inches long. I recently moved her from a 55 gallon tank with one other fish into a 100 gallon tank with about ten smaller less aggressive fish. She seems to be doing fine with the other fish, they stay out of her way and occasionally she will dart at one but nothing to serious. <Red devils are hardly community fish, so on the scale of things, you're doing well.> However, lately she has been acting really strange. She has been doing this really weird shaking with her body around her "cave" , sometimes she will dig her nose into the ground and shake I cant tell if she is trying to rub her body on anything, it doesn't seem like she is cause sometimes she does it when nothing is around her. <Probably trying to dig.> She also has been extremely active very excited when I come up to the tank and she will try and bite at herself which she used to do prior but this is a little more extreme than usual. <She's trying to attack you. She views you as a threat.> I thought that maybe she was going to lay eggs or something, but I don't think that is possible without a male is it? <Not usually, though sometimes it happens.> Now the tank I got had previously had other fish in it, is it possible that it may have had some diseases in it or parasites and so now she has it? <Unlikely.> I am pretty new to all of this so I really don't know what to think. Can you help me figure out what is wrong? <Do all the usual things: check pH (should be ~7.5), hardness (should be reasonably high), nitrite (should be zero). Review diet (these are omnivorous cichlids and need a mix of meaty and green foods). But otherwise, assuming there aren't obvious signs of infection or skin damage, I'd tend to leave things be for now.> Thanks, Melissa & Fido (my fish) <Cheers, Neale>

Re: Red Devil Going Crazy......... -- 09/05/07 Thank you for your reply! However, I wanted to add that I noticed that her color as well has gotten very bright (brighter than usual), and she also has something sticking out of her belly on the bottom. Also when I was fixing the plants she was trying to attack my hand and she has never ever done this in the past. I know there has to be something going on with her, could it possibly be that she may be a he? She doesn't have a bump on her head like I have read with most male Red Devils so I just assumed that she was female. <Hmm... well, red devils destroy plants, so that checks. Not sure what the "something" from her belly is, but let's assume it's the genital pore, in which case you likely have a mature male if its long and pointed, a female if its round and stubby. Only old males develop a really big nuchal hump, and some males never develop one. There's also the problem of which species we're talking about here: Amphilophus citrinellus or Amphilophus labiatus; both get called red devils (as ever, Latin names are best!). Colours can vary with age and mood, so not real informative. If you're really concerned, send along a picture. But if she's eating and merely engaging in random acts of violence and destruction, well, that's par for the genus. Cheers, Neale>

Re: Red Devil Going Crazy.........  9/7/07 Here is a pic. The thing sticking out from her/his belly is actually very tiny. And she hasn't been eating at all since I have put her into the new tank. <Hmm... can't really see anything on that photo. Can you do a close-up of her vent? Sexing this species is extremely difficult, and a good look at the vent will help, too. Cheers, Neale.>

Help/red devil cichlids. Female Cichlids Spawning Without Males   8/26/07 Sorry to bother you but I have a young I think female red devil and a 4 year old. I thought it was a male red devil midas mix. I have seen our (male) making a nest a day ago but has nothing to do with the female. Now I have eggs and the female is in the corner. Is it possible that I have 2 females? Who makes the nest, mom or dad? Is it possible that he might be a male and she laid eggs but he chased her away? He is protecting the eggs. Great, how do I tell if they are good or not?? Should I remove the algae eaters from the tank? Jamie < You have two females and one has laid eggs. Usually the eggs are not fertile and die within a day. Very rarely the female may have both sex organs and is able to fertilize the eggs. Only heard of it twice.-Chuck>

FH, big red bump, no useful data  6/4/07 Here is a picture of my Flowerhorn it is aprox 6 years old what is this red bump? Jim <Maybe a tumorous growth, but looks more like a trauma injury... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/flowerhorns.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Red Devils natural diet? And fat lips? Chuck's Take - 02/11/2007 I have a 7' Red Devil cichlid, his name is Marmalade. He currently is the only fish in his 55 gallon aquarium. <And likely to be the only fish tolerated...> The tank is filtered by two <Good> AquaClear 500s, with weekly 25 to 50 percent water changes. <Also> Water parameters: pH-8.2, ammonia-0, nitrite-0, nitrate-always under 10ppm, and temperature 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Marmalade's tank will be upgrading to a 150 gallon in May. He deserves more tank space to destroy. <Heeeee!>   I am wondering if anyone can tell me what would make up the majority of their natural diet. <Mmm, you can take a look on fishbase.org: http://fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=4786 here for the most commonly named Red Devil Cichlid (there are a few other species so-named). See the notes under "Biology"...> I can find gut analyses for many Amphilophus cichlids citrinellus, xiloaensis, Amarillo, '¦ but not labiatus. < http://fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=28238&genusname=Amphilophus&speciesname=labiatus> I want to raise live foods for treats. I currently raise cherry red shrimp (Neocaridina denticulata sinensis), snails, and swordtails (Xiphophorus Sp). In the summer I also raise red worm. <All accepted greedily> I also need to know if anyone has suggestions on fattening up Marmalade's lips. The only info I can find about their fat lips says it is callus buildup from their feeding practices in the wild. I want to replicate Marmalade's natural environment as well as possible. My plan is decorating the 150 with 100+ pounds of honeycomb limestone. My hope is that he will excavate the rock for his live treats and fatten up his lips. Any other suggestions? <Mmm, really just time going by... May "fatten up" or no...> I guess I need to mention that I don't know Marmalade is 100% red devil. I purchased him from a pet store, not an importer. I think he shows mostly labiatus characteristics. His nuchal hump is relatively small. When viewed from overhead his jaws come to a point, not rounded like Amphilophus citrinellus. <Am going to place this note in our resident Cichlid expert's in box as well... Chuck Rambo will likely have much more input here. Bob Fenner> <(Chuck's Take). In the wild these guys feed on all kinds of invertebrates like snails, crustaceans, insects as well as small fishes. These prey items are found in between the cracks of the rocks in their natural environment. The large lips on these cichlids are used like a gasket over the openings so they can suck out the prey out between the cracks. When these fish are brought into the aquarium they stop doing this technique and the lips soon go back to a normal size.  There are many Lake Malawi cichlids that have the same large lips in the wild. So far there has been no documentation of any captive cichlids developing these massive lip structures.-Chuck>

Red devil breeding   2/6/07 I have a male and female red devil.  Their eggs hatched about 1 1/2 weeks ago but she laid more about 3 days ago and now I can't find any of their babies from the first batch, I think they killed them.   <Happens> Why would they have so many babies, and why would they kill them? <Mmm, survival value... many young lost in the wild... and an abundance of young (as with our species) in propitious circumstances... And "stress", adaptive behavior from being in small confines in captivity. Bob Fenner>

Red Devil Cichlid With Internal Infection  1/2/07 Hello I have a Red devil cichlid that I got that has swim bladder for the purpose of trying to save him. The pet store gave him to me free because someone brought him in. He is a nice looking fish and is about 6inches and I have put him in a hospital tank and then added Epson salt raised the temp to 84F and treating the water with poly guard as well as trying to feed the fish with Metronidazole and garlic guard mixed in with some food as well as some green peas and doing daily 20% water changes and carefully replacing  the salt and poly guard. But the problem is that the fish stays on the bottom of the tank and cannot swim but only scoot's around on the bottom of the tank on his belly. He sometimes will go over to the food that I place in the tank but can't get the food in his mouth because he can't seem to raise up to pick the food up from the bottom of the tank. He often lays on his side until he see's me in the room then he sits back up on his belly. I noticed as well that yesterday and today that there was some blood in his stool. I have been treating him for about three day's now. Do you know anything else that I can do to get this fish better and how long do you think it will take before he gets better? Thank you for any help. <Remove any sand or gravel that can be abrasive to the skin of the fish. The infection has affected the swim bladder. Even if you cure the disease the swim bladder may not recover and become functional again. I would add Nitrofuranace to the mix and continue to treat for another week. These medications are not cheap. You probably could have purchased a healthy red devil for the money you will spend trying to save this one.-Chuck>

Loui, the Red Devil... not feeding   11/14/06 Hi: <<Hi, Daniella. Tom here.>> I'm wondering if you can help me.   <<I'll give it my best effort.>> Loui Lucifer is our red deviled cichlid. <<Red Devil Cichlid. Just a little help. :) >>>> He is a 10' male in 47 gallon tank. <<10' (inch), not 10' (feet). My apologies, again.>> He used to have a lot of energy and was very temperamental. (I couldn't keep anything in my tank or else he would kill and eat it).   <<Definitely a Red Devil Cichlid! Not unusual for this fish at all.>> Within the last week he has changed.  He does not eat and he stays in one corner in the side of his tank.  He hasn't touched his feeder fish.   <<Too many feeder fish isn't recommended. They're not a good part of a Cichlid's diet. They're not nutritious and can introduce disease(s) into the tank. Yes, Cichlids do feed on fish in their natural habitat but these aren't the same fish we buy at the store.>> I can't notice anything unusual about his appearance except he has turned a much brighter range in comparison to before. He's much paler.  We have tried feeding him blood worms thinking that he might need a change in diet. <<A variation in diet is excellent  but I don't think this is the problem.>> He hardly swims and appears extremely depressed.  We have done a 25% water change.  The pH level is about 8 and I'm not sure what the nitrites are but am taking a sample in.   <<Very good! Ask them to check ALL of the parameters including ammonia, nitrite and, particularly, nitrate levels. Cichlids are not very tolerant of nitrate levels over 20 ppm (parts per million). We, in the hobby, think of levels up to 40 ppm as being 'safe' but this isn't necessarily true for Cichlids. The lower the levels are, the better.>> The feeder fish we bought 2 weeks ago are still alive and had appeared to have ich on them. Would this have an effect on Lou and why he is not eating?   <<Hopefully, Lou will not eat a fish infested with Ich. (I wouldn't!) Unfortunately, the fact that the 'feeders' have Ich means that Lou is liable to get it, especially in the state that he's in. Please, research our site regarding the use of aquarium salt for treating Ich. Much as it bothers me to say this, your Cichlid comes first. Treat your tank with Lou in mind and forget the feeders.>> Could he have an internal infection from these fish?   <<Again, Daniella, this is entirely possible. Without more information, it's very hard to say what might be wrong with him. There are many good foods available for your fish. Stay away from 'feeder fish' for the time being. There are just too many problems associated with them.>> Help. We are really worried and don't feel he's going to make it. <<Keep doing regular water changes to reduce possible high nitrate levels. Use aquarium salt and heat to get rid of the Ich problem. Make sure that you vacuum the bottom of the tank, or substrate, during water changes. This will help in ridding the tank of Ich and nitrates. It sounds like Lou is big and, otherwise, healthy. Hopefully, what I've suggested will bring him back to his 'usual' self. Good luck, Tom>>

Red Devil Cichlid the Devil? Hello, <<Hi. Tom>> Got 2 questions about my Oscars. <<Shoot...>> First and most important, my female Oscar...I have just noticed a large white spot on her eye and a small one on the opposite side. I have been a vet tech for 11 yrs and in pets it is usually an ulcer and we treated it with eye drops. What do you do for a fish? <<Depends on the cause...>> After looking at my female I started looking around at all of the fish and it seems they all have a small white spot on one or both eyes. I don't know if it is a contagious disease, coincidental that they scratched themselves on a rock, or if it is my red devil (the only resident with NO eye problems) going after everyone's eyes? <<Bingo!!!>> My male Oscar has a small spot, and my Pacu has a decent size one, and I have noticed the red devil chasing the Pacu the last few days. They are all eating normally, but the female who has the largest spot is looking depressed and hanging out in 1 corner of the tank. Any suggestions? <<Get rid of the Red Devil or, put it in its own tank. This is a murderous fish that should be kept alone.>> The other question is, usually they are all healthy and happy, but I have 1 lg female and lg male - proven breeders who have produced babies. She lays eggs every other week! I have 2 different males in the tank and she has even gone as far as laying eggs on 1 rock for the 1 male to fertilize and take care of and 2 feet away on another rock she will lay more for the other Oscar to fertilize and take care of and she swims between the 2 rocks and watches both! Is this normal? <<Not out of the ordinary though it's a little different to see this in an aquarium.>> I know if she were a human she would have a few choice names, but is this normal for fish? <<Oh, stop! Two guys and one girl. And she'd have a few choice names?!? :) >> This has been going on for a long time, and in the past we got as far as swimming fry, and have raised a few, but lately they are eating the eggs after 24-36 hrs and starting all over a week later! I this unhealthy for her to be laying eggs so often? <<Silly as this will sound, would you like me to tell her to stop? Yes, I'm teasing you, but Nature will take its course. If she can't make up her mind, it's not our fault. Basically, it boils down to survival of the species. Tom>> Red Devils As Tankmates - 10/18/06 I was wondering if you could answer 2 questions for me. I originally had 2 Red Devils in a 55 Gal together. One was much more aggressive than the other so much so that I had to separate the 2. I moved the less aggressive one into a 120 gall with 4 Oscars. All of them relatively the same size. The Oscars may be about an inch longer compared to the Red Devil. (6" to his 5"). This Red Devil has regained much of his aggressiveness and has taken over the tank. He forces the Oscars to 1 side of the tank but doesn't seem to hurt them too bad. Do you think this situation will be alright because I did see a similar tank at a auto repair shop where a Red Devil lived peacefully with several Oscars, all near full size, or would it be better for the Oscars just to keep the tank strictly for Oscars. (Ironically, I was out of town for a couple of days before I put the Red Devil in with the Oscars, and came home to find my biggest Tiger Oscar had somehow jumped out of the tank and must have flipped around for a while and until he made it inside the back of the wooden cabinet/stand and died. I was heartbroken and couldn't figure out how he squeezed out through the little area between the glass and filter. <Mixing adult large cichlids is really not a good idea. They will compete for territories and things could get ugly.> 2nd question is I then tried to put my Texas Cichlid (about 5-6') with the similar sized, more aggressive Red Devil in the 55 gall. Suddenly the Texas, which is female, became very aggressive and chased the Red Devil in circles night and day. After a few weeks of this I finally decided to move the Texas back by herself in a 30 gall. Neither of them seem too happy now but also neither of them are getting nicks all over anymore. Do you think both of these fish generally are better off by themselves in the long run? (The only other fish I have with each of them is A Pleco to keep the glass clean) < Keep them by themselves and play it save.-Chuck>

Sick Red Devil   8/19/06 Hi. <<Hello, Alex. Tom here.>> I'm in a bit of a panic right now, I think my Red Devil is dying. The Problem: red devil's got some fungus thing (it's semi translucent and white and is mainly around his gills now) he's having trouble breathing and his swim bladder is all outta whack, he really struggles to swim and stay balanced, right now he's at bottom of tank not moving much. <<Not fungus, Alex. It's Columnaris, which is a bacterial disease. The fact that it doesn't appear to be contained as an external infection at this time (re: the swim bladder issue) leads me to believe the disease is advanced in your Cichlid.>> The Tank: Its a freshwater tank, 90L I think. Inhabitants are one red devil (about 1yr old), eel-tail catfish, 2 clown loaches and a bristle-nosed catfish. <<A 90-liter tank is too small for these fish, Alex. Please, do consider upgrading soon. Could/probably is leading to poor water conditions.>> Don't know pH, nitrates etc, temp. is about 26 degrees Celsius. <<Secondary point here, Alex, but you've got to get yourself a test kit for water parameters. Columnaris, for one, will never stop being a problem until you get the tank's conditions squared away, i.e. pH stable, ammonia/nitrites 0 and nitrates below 20.>> I've turned light off to keep him out of shock but I think he's fading away. I'm trying to keep tank warm with heaters and I did a 25% water change yesterday and cleaned my filters (one's submerged, the other isn't) and I've treated tank with anti-fungal stuff and also swabbed the red devil's afflicted areas with a cotton wool bud dipped in the anti-fungal stuff (to little avail so far). <<First, warmer temperatures will accelerate the spread of Columnaris. (One of those situations where it's a "good idea" in the wrong application.) Better to keep the tank at around 23-24 degrees C (75-76 F). Second, you need to treat with a broad-spectrum antibiotic like Kanacyn, Spectrogram, Tetracycline or Furan 2. Ideally, you'd be able to treat with food containing Nitrofurazone or Oxytetracycline but I'm suspicious that your pet is eating little, if anything, at this point making this a doubtful way to go. Finally, while always best to treat an animal in a separate hospital tank, Columnaris is highly contagious - as you've seen - and I would recommend treating the entire display tank in this case. (Catfish are highly susceptible, by the way.)>> I should also mention that I've had two catfish die after coming down with this fungus so I'm really worried. <<Sorry to hear this, Alex, but, again, not a total surprise given what you're dealing with.>> Help?! What should I do? <<Immediate action? Another 25%-30% water change and gravel cleaning. Start treating with one of the medications recommended. Also, remove any carbon you might be using in your filters. Keep the water temperature in the range mentioned above and, by all means, get your hands on a water test kit so that you can monitor your parameters. You're "flying blind" without knowing what's going on in your tank. If the Red Devil succumbs to this, remove it immediately. Less immediate but no less important, try to upgrade the size of your tank once everything is settled down. Your Red Devil may not have displayed aggressive behavior in the past but this fish has been known to wipe out entire tanks single-handedly. Very best of luck, Alex. Tom>>

Identifying an albino ... actually a Xanthic variety...   7/28/06 <<Hello, David. Tom>> A fellow co-worker got married and this killed all her fish. <<Had to re-read this sentence a couple of times, David. I thought you were suggesting that the marriage killed her fish. :)>> He brought it to work to flush. (Wife wouldn't let him flush it in house.) <<I won't even go into the abominable practice of putting fish down by flushing them.>> I adopted the fish and put it in a 39 gallon tank that had three guppies. (Not anymore). <<My hat's off to you for saving the fish, David, though your Guppies wouldn't concur.>> I was very heavy into Africans in the past but have not seen this fish. Please help to identify.... <<Based on your photo (very nice) and this animal's aggressive/murderous behavior, I'd say you've got a Red Devil Cichlid (Cichlasoma labiatus) on your hands. I'll let Bob take a look at the photo for confirmation, though.>> <I concur Tom. RMF> Thank you very much <<You're welcome, David. Tom>>

Texas cichlid worries, incomp. with Red Devil    7/13/06 My 5 inch Texas Cichlid has a small growth behind its eye. At first, it was only a raised bump, but now it has turned into a light-brown nodule. I thought that it was an injury from a fight with my Red Devil. <Could likely be. These two will definitely tussle> They have been acting weird lately. They swim around each other with their mouths wide open. Then they each try to bite the other's mouth. They rarely bite anything else other than each other's mouth. I also have a foot-long red-bellied Pacu, and two very small Firemouths. <Hope this tank is hundreds of gallons...> My other fish don't get involved in their squabbles. He still eats fine and swims normally. I just want to cure the issue if it is possible. I don't want to infect my other fish with a fatal disease.                                                 Thank You,                                                                   Al <I would separate these two cichlids... likely move the Red Devil to its own permanent set-up... they may be trying to breed... happens... Or just sorting things out territorially. At any length, this won't improve w/o their separation. Bob Fenner>

Red Devil, Injury?  Disease? - 06/06/2006 Good afternoon, <Hello!> I have a Red Devil that is approx. 2 ½ years old and approx. 8' long.  We recently went on vacation and had another fish friendly person take care of our tanks.  Upon our return Pete (the fish) had developed a sort of blister on the top of his hump and on the lower section.  He is in a 55 gallon tank with only a plecostomus with him. I am leaning towards the possibility of HITH but am not 100% sure. I have attached three pictures for your reference.   <The images are a little small to tell, but I actually wonder if this might be an injury of some sort, if perhaps he got spooked and ran into something.  For now, I would keep a VERY close eye on it.  Maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate at less than 20ppm.  If the wound appears to increase in size or shows any other sign of getting worse, I would suggest treating with a broad-spectrum antibiotic like Kanamycin or Nitrofurazone.  I would lean more toward this actually being a wound than HLLE or Hole-In-The-Head, given the speed at which it developed.> Thank you in advance for your assistance.  Regards,  -Rebecca J. DeWitt <All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

Breeding Red Devil Cichlids   6/3/06 Hi Bob, I have a large female red devil who lays eggs often.  None of the eggs have hatched yet.  She had paired up with a Pacu at first.  We replaced the Pacu with a male red devil.  She stopped laying and tried to kill the male.  We moved him out and it took about three months and she has started laying again.  This time she has paired up with a Jack Dempsey.  They killed a smaller Jack that was in the tank with them.  We moved the male devil back in and are wondering how to tell if the eggs are going to be viable or not.  They started out almost clear and some have turned opaque white???? How can we increase the chance of actually having babies? Aurelia <Ideally you would want to pick six small red devils and let them grow up together. This almost always will give you a compatible pair. It is much more difficult to pair up adult fish. The problem here is the female already has a territory established and the male is an intruder. he has not been recognized yet as a potential mate. Clear eggs are good and white eggs are dead or unfertilized. Try placing both fish in the same tank with a divider in between.  As long as they can still see each other they can spawn and fertilize a good portion of the eggs. You will probably have to make your own divider out of plastic egg crate type of lighting panels.-Chuck>

Red Devil Tank Size   5/27/06 I love the site and know you could answer this. <Hi there - this is Jorie! Glad to hear you like the site, and I sure will try to help out.> I've got a Red Devil and everything's going great...water, food, etc. I have him in a 55 gallon tank. <This is too small.  What else do you have in the tank?> They say a minimum tank size for a Red Devil is 55 gallons? <Not quite sure who the ubiquitous "they" is, but I dare say "they" are wrong.  This type of cichlid is classified as a "large" fish, and depending upon what other livestock you are housing, I would say an absolute minimum tank size is 125 gal.> Will he still grow to his full potential size in this tank if he is healthy? <No - keeping a large fish in a tank that is too small can result in stunting at minimum, and can cause greater health problems as well.  Not to mention it is just plain cruel. Ever see the movie "Boxing Helena?"> Great if you could get back to me. Thank you. <You're welcome.  If you want to let us know what all fish you have, we could better help you pick an appropriate size tank for everybody!  Good luck, and thanks for caring enough to ask...Jorie>

FW/BW Mis-mixes  - 03/26/2006 First off, I just wanted to say that I love your site and you all do a great job.  I was just wondering what you thought about the mixture of fish I have in my 90 gal tank.  I currently have 2 red devils, 1 Florida gar, <Neat fish... illegal in many States... get way big> 1 green terror, 1 tiger Oscar, a small Pleco, 1 figure eight puffer, and 1 dragon goby. <These last two... are increasingly brackish with age, size... should they live...>   The biggest so far is the red devil at about 7 in. <I'll bet! Some of these are really devils!> So far I have had the tank for about 4 months with no casualties. Everyone seems to be getting along swimmingly.  I am worried though that with this size tank there will not be enough room for all species when they reach their full potential. <To put this mildly> I have gotten so attached to them all I can't bare to let one go. (Unless it's for their own good.)   <You need at least two more tanks... and a lake if you're going to try raising the lepisosteid> I do weekly water changes, vary their diet, etc.... and treat them all with the care they deserve.  What do ya think? Thanks - Steve, MI <A brackish tank, an easier going cichlid tank.... See WWM re these species systems, compatibility... Bob Fenner>

Red Devil Tankmates   03/9/06 I have had my red devil for years in a tank by herself with just a nice size Botia. Originally I bought 2 but this 1 killed the other unfortunately, and I just left the tank alone. Its a 20 gallon tank but to get to the point do you think I would be able to put a nice size Texas cichlid in there ''both fish around 8 in''? Im afraid to add fish to the tank. Also, any color enhancing tricks I can try?  She's bright yellow and used to be orange. I saw all the other questions so I figured  I would give it a shot. Thank you for your time. Garrett Deleandro < Unfortunately, large Central American cichlids like yours get to be very territorial when they get older and are usually intolerant of other fish. I would recommend that you not add any other fish to the tank. There is a reason it is called a red devil.-Chuck> Red Devil Swimming On His Side   1/30/06 Have my son's red devil still here and has been doing well. The last few days he has been swimming on his side and has lost a bit of condition. Seems to flop on his side when he is not moving rapidly. There are no marks on him and he is still eating well (both live and cichlid pellets). He is now about 10 inches long and son has had he since really small. Please help as I really don't want to lose him. Thanks Sue < When I hear of problems like these I think of internal bacterial infections. Sometimes food gets stuck in the intestines and the bacteria continue to reproduce causing gas and bloating. This sets off the equilibrium and causes fish to swim on their side, upside down etc... Do a 30 % water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat with Metronidazole as per the directions on the package. It may stop the infection but the fish may not completely recover and be back to his old self.-Chuck> Sick Old Red Devil   1/21/06 Hi-My 12 yr old red devil lives in a 120 gallon tank with some gravel, a few rocks and his baked ceramic plant pot. He gets fed jumbo min and some brine shrimp. For the past 2 weeks he has been very sick -laying down in his plant pot like a dog to rest and then getting up to patrol his tank when I come near. He won't eat. He swims sideways sometimes. I have siphoned the gravel and changed 25% of the tank water on 4 separate occasions (giving him a few days between each time). The ammonia level and the nitrite level test normal. The nitrate level tests high. I keep the pH at 7 although it keeps tending bluer - higher, which is the opposite of what it usually does. I keep the temp at 80 degrees.  I have put kosher salt in the water. He is typically somewhat orange, but when he got sick he got quite pale. Now his color is more orange again. I read in your column about using Furanace or Metronidazole... is either one appropriate? Do you have any advice or suggestions? Thank you for your help-Julie < At 12 years old your red devil  may be getting near the end and no longer can fight off infections. I would do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. If he is not eating then don't feed him. Sounds like an internal bacterial infection. Treating him in a big tank will be very expensive, especially if multiple treatments are needed. If you can, move him to a smaller hospital tank. Treat him with Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace. High nitrate levels over a long period may have stressed him to the point of becoming ill.-Chuck>

Red Devil Cichlid Without A Mate  12/26/05 Hello, Great Site! < Thanks, We like it too.> I have a solitary female Red Devil in a 80 gallon tank. She laid a LOT of eggs on her black pipe (her cave). I am curious if laying eggs without a mate present is normal behavior?   Will the eggs just sit there forever? Will they eventually come off and get filtered out? She's incredibly aggressive right now, and I'm concerned about how she will be when her eggs don't hatch. < In 24 hrs or less the eggs will fungus or die. They will decompose and be picked up in the filter. Females in good shape will do this even without a male present. After the eggs are gone she will calm down until she does it again. maybe in two weeks.-Chuck>

Treating An Old (and He Means OLD!) red Devil With Hole-In-The-Head  11/16/05 Hello, I have a 17 year old Red Devil Cichlid (Fred) who was in the peak of health until I stupidly (over) adjusted the pH a month ago, and he took quite a roller coaster ride before I was able to stabilize things. Unfortunately, even after I got the water back to acceptable levels, he would still not eat (he had stopped eating when all the water troubles began). It was suggested that I put feeder fish in with him to stimulate his appetite, but the feeder goldfish was in there 5 days and nothing happened. I was thinking that Fred (the Cichlid) might just be going crazy in the confines of his 40 gallon tank, so I got a 100 gallon tank for him and started it cycling. The other day I noticed that Fred had a couple lesions on his head. I'm afraid he has Hole in The Head disease, especially because he exhibits some of the symptoms associated with HITH disease: *A tendency to 'hang' in corners. *A tendency to stare at food but without eating it, or if it does take a sample it immediately spits it out again. *The decline in food acceptance, is often accompanied or followed by lethargy, and a reduction in muscle tissue which gives the fish a 'pinched' appearance behind the head and the skin 'texture' may take on a roughened appearance *White, jelly like excreta can often be seen trailing from the anal vent, on the floor of bare bottom aquaria, or sometimes white, stingy 'rotted plant-like material' is 'adrift' in the aquarium. *The wasted fish may develop a bloated stomach region. *Skin lesions may start to appear, especially on the body and the head, in the region of the lateralis system - these holes may eventually expand and connect to from considerable size 'craters' The only symptom here that Fred didn't exhibit was the 'jelly like excreta'. Thing is, this could also be Head and Lateral Line Erosion - HLLE, or both together, couldn't it? < They are often associated with one another.> I took the carbon out of his canister filter, gradually raised his water temp to 84 degrees F, did a 30% water change, and added 250mg of Metronidazole for each 10 gallons in his 40 gallon tank. About 12 hours later I did another 25% water change and gave him another dose of Metronidazole.  I intend to do this for 3 days, based on articles I have read on the subject. Most of the fish store "Experts" that I have spoken to have rather heartlessly told me to give up all hope since he's so old. That is a little defeatist for me, thank you. If it's Fred's time to go, then so be it. Until then, I intend to give him a fighting chance. Period. As it is, he seems to be less 'sulky' than before, but on day 2 of the Metronidazole treatment, he is still not eating.  Of most concern to me other than the not eating is that his stomach is distended only on the left hand side, and his tail tends to curve around to his left. I know that the Protozoan Parasites responsible for Hexamita (HITH disease) naturally occur in the fish's stomach, and just get out of hand when the fish gets stressed, as Fred was recently. It's just got me worried that it's only on one side, which he seems to be favoring, almost like it's a tumor. I know one of the symptoms of HITH is swelling of the stomach, but just on one side? <It depends where the infection has manifested itself.> And does it sound like I'm taking a reasonable course of action here? < Metronidazole breaks down very easily in dirty water. I would vacuum the gravel and clean the filter and medicate with Nitrofurazone as well.> I would hate to make any more big mistakes that might end up doing Fred in at this point! Speaking of mistakes, I made a big one when I removed the activated carbon from the canister filter. I squeezed out the sponge and washed out all the good goop that was in the canister, thereby destroying the biological filter. The gravel bed in the aquarium is still undisturbed, so I haven't killed the biological filter completely, but I know I screwed up. I have been adding AmQuel with the water changes, so that helps. Would it get in the way of the Metronidazole treatments to add Bio Spira, in order to get the biological filter back on track? < The Nitrofuranace will definitely affect the biological filter. Your fish is not eating anyway so discontinue to feed until a cure is achieved. When a cure is achieved then add carbon to remove any medication and then add the Bio-Spira to the water to get the tank cycled again.> And can I add NovAqua to ease Fred's stress a little? < Follow the directions on the bottle.> Oh, and I've read that feeder fish can infect a Cichlid with HITH. They get it through the feces of the feeder fish. Is this plausible? < Feeder fish can introduce many parasites but this is not one of them.> It occurred to me that he may have gotten it from the feeder fish I put in with him. There are 5 feeder fish in the 100 gallon tank that is now cycled and ready for Freddy when he gets out of hospital. I was planning on putting the feeder fish into the 40 gallon tank when I put Fred into the 100 gallon tank, but I would hate for Fred to get infected all over again when I put him into the 100 gallon tank that the feeder fish just left (infected from the feeder fish waste still in the tank). Would you share your thoughts on these things? < The feeder fish are not the immediate problem right now. Go to Cichlid-Forum.com and search the data base for a rather lengthy article on hole in the head. This will give you some insight on how hard this is to cure.-Chuck> Thank you for your help on this! Chris Haller pH: 7.8; Nitrite: 0; Ammonia: (I don't know because the AmQuel messes up the Nessler's reagent); Nitrate: negligible; General Hardness: 140 ppm; Carbonate Hardness: 5 German degrees 

Old Red Devil Cichlid Losing His Eyesight  9/27/05 I am hoping you can help me.  About a year ago I started noticing a white film on the right eye of my 7.5 year old Red Devil Cichlid.  I treated it with various medications and remedies.  These included Melafix and antibiotics that covered gram positive and gram negative bacteria. I put in appropriate amounts of aquarium salt.  Water changes were done regularly and tests showed good range for Ph and nitrates. Unfortunately, none of this worked and my fish eventually lost site in the eye and the cloud remains to this day. Tonight I noticed what appears to be the beginning of the same process in his left eye.  This time he also appears to have a bit of a bloody looking discharge in the eye.  I am at a loss as to how to proceed to treat this.  Water tests are fine and I do regular changes.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Eric < Usually these eye problems come from rough handling in a  coarse net.  Do a 30% water change , vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat with erythromycin. If the water is clean the medication has worked well for me in the past. You devil is getting up there in age so it may take a couple doses to work.-Chuck>

The Devils in the Details  9/19.5/05 Hi there! Have found your site to be most informative. Thanks for being there for us. We've had a small starter tank (10 galls) for about a year now. We bought several fish as we learned, and only our Red Devil has survived all of our stupid mistakes. <Guppies and Neons go missing?> He's about 6-8 inches now and has become rather cramped in the tank. We really enjoy his obvious intelligence and fun personality. He eats right out of our hands...and is always waiting eagerly for his next meal. After much discussion, we've decided to expand our tropical fish hobby, and went out this morning and purchased a nice 80 gallon tank. This fish was purchased from a pet store and has lived with other cichlids in the past, so we know he can get along with others (although he's been living alone for awhile now). Our question is this. We want to introduce new fish into the new aquarium....maybe 5 or 6 others that would be comparable sized fish at full term. We are basing this whole new environment around our beloved Red Devil. Knowing that he is one of the "milder tempered" Devils <There is a reason they are called Devils> what sorts of fish would you recommend as being most compatible? (we want them all to survive and "just get along"). We know we have to introduce the Devil as the last fish to the tank...but want to get started on putting together his new neighborhood as soon as we can! Thanks...we look  forward to your advice! <First and foremost...Do a fishless cycle on this new system before you stock. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm This will take about six weeks to complete. The cycling that is, not the reading. Please forget about him being "mild tempered". He's now maturing and chances are he will be anything but mild. But each fish does have his own personality. The way he interacts with you may be quite different than the way he treats an intruder in this space. So he's going to need large, sturdy tankmates. And as big as that 80 looks, it will not handle him and another five or six like him. Two or three max. Four fish would give each one 20 gallons. Not really enough for a large, messy, aggressive cichlid. As to species, well what can I say. There is always a danger when housing large cichlids. Again, it may come down to the personality more than the species. But two of my favorites would be a Green Terror or a Jack Dempsey. And a great big Pleco, of course. Don>

The Devils in the Details-part 2  9/21/05 Thank you, Don for your lightning fast response (Do you EVER sleep?!?!) <Just started a new job. Second shift. So the answers is NO> and excellent, much appreciated advise. We agree with you that the Jack Dempsey and especially the Pleco are great choices. We've had both of those in our tank before. The Pleco's get quite large, don't they?  I'm not even sure what a Green Terror is but it sounds like a great match for a Red Devil! *heheh* (Kinda sounds like Christmas gone terribly wrong! *L*). I'll do some research on them. We never had Neons or guppies in the tank as you suggested, thank goodness. Lucky for us we knew our fish was somewhat aggressive from the get-go so we tried to match him with similarly aggressive cichlids. For whatever reasons, the Devil survived (he seems VERY hardy!) while the others met their demise. (I'm sure this was because of our inexperience). We really appreciate your expert advice, We didn't know we'd have to wait 6 weeks to acclimate the tank. But we want to do it right and have great success without suffering any discouraging loses, especially with fish the size we'll need to be working with here. That's exactly why we're doing our homework in advance. Just one more question, and I know the answer will be a ballpark one. When we purchased our fish as fledglings, they were small and so was the price. (Between $8 and $12 dollars each.) What can we expect to pay for larger, more seasoned fish that will be able to survive the onslaught this 8" Devil may just attempt to dish out? I expect the pricing for the more mature fish will be "steep"?? Thanks again for your help! You are awesome, and have some new fans here. All the best. Kirk and Misty <First thing is to read here on bio filtration, or "cycling". http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm I understand why you may think it's better to add the Devil last, but I wouldn't. After the tank is cycled get him in there and use the 10 to QT a new fish for a few weeks. You really do not want to take a chance on getting Ich (or worse!) into a new big tank. It's almost expected that new fish will have Ich. Easy to cure in a 10, a real hassle in the 80 as many 50% water changes will be needed. Notice I said "a new fish". Stock these big guys one at a time to allow your bio filtration to adjust. One a month, max. I'd also pick up a tank divider, just in case a fight breaks out. As to stocking suggestions, yes the Common (15 inches or so) and Sailfin (20 inch monsters!) Plecos will get big. But so is an 80 gallon tank. You can handle one as long as you do not overstock the cichlids. There are many species that get to a foot or so. Planetcatfish.com is the site for all things concerning catfish. Aquabid.com a great place to find them for sale. (If you join us in the forums, click on my username, Fish Soup, for my Plec pics.) I call a Green Terror a "Jack on Acid." Close in size, shape but even more colorful. A mature male GT is stunning. As to price, it may not be as bad as you think. Of course if you use Aquabid there will be shipping charges to add to your total cost. But many LFS take in large fish that have outgrown their owner's tanks. You can sometimes get them for a song. I have seen 12" Common Plecos for as little as $10. But most mature cichlids will be a bit pricey. But rarely over $30 or $40. Small market as it is. Increase the price too much and they wouldn't sell at all. Good luck. Don, the Exhausted One> Red Devil Changing Color  9/16/05 Hi WWMC! <Hello there.> I have a 55 gallon tank, as you may have heard before, and  one of its occupants is a 3" red devil named Skeeters. Originally s/he was a  pale orange, but now s/he is changing around her/his lips and tail which are  turning black. Do you know what this might be? Is my red devil ok or is this  something to be worried about? <Completely normal for Red Devils to gain and/or lose patches of black, and sometimes white.  Nothing to be concerned about.--Glenn> Red Devil, Viral Infection - 08/17/2005 Hello, <Hi.> I just bought a Red Devil, and he seems to have this white cyst (Like a pimple) on one of his scales.  He is bright orange in colour, and this white cyst stands out.  It's not ich, since it's only one, and bigger than ich.  How do I treat it? Does it go away? The previous owner said that its been there for approximately 1 month now. <Sounds like Lymphocystis....  A viral infection.  Though this is not treatable, it usually does go away if the fish is kept in optimal water conditions (ammonia, nitrite = ZERO, nitrate = LESS than 20ppm).  So be testing, and keep that water clean!> Thank you,  Toufic <Wishing you and your new red devil well,  -Sabrina>   Red Devil, Viral Infection - II - 08/17/2005 Optimal eh? :-( <Should be no more difficult than maintaining the tank properly....  That's the least we can do for our captive fishes.> How about surgery on the actual cyst? <This will cause more harm than good, most likely.  I would leave it as is, and let the fish heal on its own time.  Proper care, proper water quality alone will help this to go away.> Extra salts in the tank? <Nope.  Patience, much patience, and proper care.  That's all.  This will take time....  but can/should heal up on its own.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina> Red Devils Dying We recently set up a 55 gallon fresh water fish tank (this past Christmas) and after getting all the appropriate bacteria and everything set up we bought two red devils and a third longer sword fish type thing. It turns out one red devil was a male and the other was a female. A month ago they had 400 babies but a day or two after they were born the mom died (the dad had been 'abusing' her for a few days). The babies continued to grow and the dad then began the same abusive behavior towards the sword looking fish, and he died a few days later. Now the babies are about a cm big each and the dad himself is beginning to show signs similar to the other fish before they died. He has not eaten in these past three days and is sitting on the bottom occasionally slightly tilted. We have had the water tested after each fish has died and a few times in between and nothing has been the problem. The babies seem to be nibbling at something on the dads fins. It looks like he has small whitish dots near and on the fin joints and he also has some blackish/greyish spots on his forehead. Is there anything we can do? Is there a reason why in these past three weeks all three fish have been dying?  Any help would be great!  I'd hate to lose another fish.  Thank you. <I would have liked to know the actual results of the water tests. With the sudden increase in waste caused by 400 fry I would think ammonia or nitrite would spike. You also mention some white spots. That could be Ick. Either could be the cause. I would start with large water changes and watch for an increase in those white spots. Many treatments for Ick. I use salt and heat. Read here: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showquestion.php?faq=2&fldAuto=32 Don>

Devil Getting His Horns My cichlid (red devil) has a large bump over his left eye, it is about the size of a nickel, and is bulging out. It also is turning colors as if it might be bruised, what is this and how can I treat it? Thanks, Gail <This could be natural growth. An adult male Red Devil will grow such a hump as a sign of maturity. If this is a bruise then just keep his water clean and it will heal. Don>  

Breeding Red Devils That's great to know.  I had 3 Rosey barbs in with them and one came up with his head missing. So I remove the other two.  Right now I have Yellow labs, red zebras, ob peacocks, and moorii fry's.  That's about 150 fry's. I'm also hoping that my Frontosas will be spawning soon. Their just about the right size now. I have had a red devil for about two years and thought I would get a male and see if I could get them to breed.  So I got a juv red devil thinking that he would never be dominate to her since he grew up with her.  But I was wrong.  I just recently had to put a divider into the tank because he was always chasing her into her castle. And every time she laid eggs she does it inside her castle, that he is never aloud in.  I was thinking that the next time she got ready to laid eggs again. That I would remove her castle so that would only leave the palm tree to lay on. And after she laid them I would move the palm to the males side and see if he would fertilize them and then move them back.  Got any thoughts on this?   < If the tank divider is porous and water can move to either side then leave the castle in there and the male should be able to fertilize the eggs from the other side of the divider. Many cichlid breeders use this technique so that the males will not kill the females. They lay so many eggs that even if only half get fertilized that this still leaves you with over a 1,000 fry.-Chuck> Nomenclature question Hello - For many decades, I have always kept Red Devil's and was familiar with the scientific names. In fact, back in the mid to early 80's, I had several questions answered by Aquarium Fish Magazine regarding the possibility of breeding my large male. In each of these correspondences, the scientific name was always printed with the response, in fact one of the questions I posed dealt with a particular name change which occurred back then. When I first started rearing Red Devils, the scientific name was Heros labius or Heros labiatus. Several years later, they started changing the name from Heros to Cichlidae labius and/or Cichlasoma labiatus. Today, I have noted that they are also using the name Amphilophus labiatus.  I remember that the original name change from Heros to Cichlidae was an effort to properly show the familial relations as well as reduce the number of animals that had multiple names as a result of different scientist describing the same species. Thus, what is the current/proper name of the Red Devil? Furthermore, what have all of the different versions been and why are they constantly revising the name? Thanks. Art <<Hello Art, The name Amphilophus is current and should be final. The genus Cichlasoma was an umbrella for all cichlids from Central America until things got sorted out. Today it has been split into a whole bunch of new genera according to morphological characteristics, so the fish eaters for example are Parapetenia (i.e. friedrichstahli), the rheophile cichlids are Tomocichla (i.e. tuba), the group around the red devil are now Amphilophus. There are still some fish that have not been placed in any of the groups including the salvini and the Jack Dempsey (C. octofasciatum). The genus Heros is now reserved for the fish we know as the Severum (now Heros severus), and includes around a half dozen species. To check on current names you can go to http://www.fishbase.org - this site is pretty current with what is happening in nomenclature. Hope this helps, Oliver >>

Red Devil Doesn't Move Thanks but now I have another problem! My red devil is not eating! He just sits in a pit he made and never really comes out! And I got a new Flowerhorn. It used to stay under my filter because the red devil was chasing it but then I read some of the stuff about other people cichlids chasing other fish from their territory and adding a fast fish to get off each other and so I put a Danio fish and the Flowerhorn chases it but after that the red devil just chases the Flowerhorn a little now but then that's when he just stays in that pit he made so please help. Sean Thanks < If it is a disease then it needs to be treated, but I don't think that is you problem. If your red devil is intimidated by the new fish then try this. Take all the rocks and ornaments out. Do a 30% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Rearrange all the rocks and ornaments in different areas. This will force the fish to establish all new territories and should stimulate their appetite as well. Add a few more Danios too. These are referred to as dither fish in this case.-Chuck>  Re: My fish **red devil*** needs a hug** Hi there again, I don't know that I could thank you enough. Do you take donations or how can I support your company?? You are very prompt and obviously care about the well being of fish. <We try to save organisms and keep people in the hobby one question at a time.> This military family salutes you. < On behalf of Bob and the crew we thank you for your kind words.> I feel like I am making progress here, but I am still concerned as I narrow down my clues. I have been in a mad dash for education on my red devil. :o) I am praying and crossing my fingers that I am learning quick enough. My red devil is now sitting on the bottom of the tank turning on his side. *sigh** I can tell he doesn't feel well, and it is all he can do to come "kiss" at me and the children then he is right back in his safe spot. I had my water tested at the local pet shop. They had no testers available for me to purchase. I have to order one or maybe E-bay, I see you recommend Liquid Reagent test kits. In the meantime, I have to fix it. The pet store, although I did not get a number, says the PH is out of site, everything else is fine. Dropper turned my PH dark blue when it should be light blue. I sure hope I caught this in time.  I changed 50% of the water and added bottled water. I see you recommend chemicals only as a last resort. I have not added any chemicals outside of what I have always done in the past. There is Stress Coat and Ick away in the tank. Should I add something else? Should I remove him? I know it takes time for the water change to take affect, but heck it only takes time for him to die too. In general how long does it take to see improvement on PH?? < The pH may change quickly or not depending on the minerals in the water. red devils are pretty tough customers and I don't think that pH is your problem.>  We are on ten days now. He has quit eating, and lethargic. How are we looking?? Have I learned quick enough?  Here is a photo of our Red Devil. yes he is very similar to the photos on the site you recommended, only he doesn't feel good. :o) Again thank you for your help. I think you are providing a prompt and a wonderful service. Jessica <Do a 30% water change while vacuuming the gravel. This gets rid of the crud and opens up your undergravel filter. It will reduce the nitrates too. Keep the water temp up around 80 degrees F. I would treat with Metronidazole and rid-ich as per the directions on the packages. Do not feed until he starts moving around. Don't worry about the pH for now. Look online at DrsFosterSmith.com for medications that you can't find locally.-Chuck> 

More Red Devil Problems Chuck, Hello there, We still have no sign of difference in attitude.  However, in observing him I have noticed a couple of other things.  He does this darting business about 3-4 times a day. He seems to scrape himself on the rocks.  He is taking short deep breaths and seems to flutter his front fins like shooing a fly or maybe shaking?? I think I am seeing a spot behind his right fin that is outlined with a red blotch.  I feel inclined to add some Epsom salt.  What is your recommendation??  I am still not feeding and plan to vacuum the tank today. Looking forward to hearing from you. Jessica < A red blotch is the sign of an external bacterial infection. This may have been caused by the dashing against the rocks and opening a wound or by bacteria eating away at a spot on the skin. Based on your tank readings your tank is pretty clean so I would treat with Nitrofurazone to get rid of the external bacteria and Metronidazole for any internal bacterial problems. I would not feed until the fish is cured.-Chuck>

Red Devil Doing Better Huuuggsss Chuck, Looks like he is going to make it!  He is up and swimming again.  :o) He has also eaten three times a day for the last two days. < Keep in mind to only feed him once a day and only enough food so that all of it is gone in two minutes. Too much food can have him back on his side in no time at all.> Thank you very much. I did not know of any of the tips you gave me, and I thank you for making it possible for me to help my fishy. < That is what we are hear for.> Those spots seem to be getting bigger.  There are two of them now both about an inch behind the front fins.  I don't know if they are bruising or what.  Do you have any suggestions? Should I treat for external problems?  I question further medication since he is doing so well now. Jess < Those red spots may just be a normal coloration change. Red Devils come in multiple colors and red is just one of them. Look at the spots closely. If there is a change in texture between the red spots and the rest of the body then I would treat with Nitrofuranace. If the texture of the skin appears similar then it just may be a normal color change. Glad to hear he is doing better.-Chuck>  

Red Devil Tankmates Hello Robert, I'm Ingrid, my son George has just purchased a 500 litre tank and a pair of Red Devils. Here are two questions for you to answer. 1. What temp. should the tank be [ we are in Port Elizabeth - South Africa] <They prefer fairly warm water temps of about 80 degrees F (About 27 Degrees C) 2. Can one put Mozambique Mouth brooders with Red Devils [ equal sizes] or Convicts or Oscars - which could co-habit with the Red Devils?? <The red devils get big and will be the most dominant fish in the tank. The Oscars would be next and then the mouthbrooders. Keep in mind that if the red devils are indeed a pair and are spawning then you will have a difficult time trying to find any fish that will be able to hold up against a pair of breeding red devils.-Chuck> 

Red Devil Acting Strange I have a 6" red devil who, aside from killing any other fish I tried to put with him, has acted quite calm for the year I've had him. Recently he has been darting unexpectedly, chasing his tail, and biting at his reflection in the glass. He eats normally ( a balanced diet). He does not rub his body on anything, has no signs of parasites ( I treated him twice for them anyway, just to be sure) and I have done a 100% change of water twice. He is acting as if he has just gone crazy. Is there a certain time of year when they exhibit strange behavior (like a mammal) or could there be another explanation? Thanks for your help! - Mike < Cichlids from Central America are intelligent creatures and often interact with their exterior surroundings. What you are describing is normal for a fish that has been kept alone for awhile. This turns out is part of their charm and why so many people really like their cichlids for many years. To slow him down you can turn down the water temp to the mid 70's. If you really want to see him go ballistic set a mirror next to him. Don't leave it there too long or he might hurt himself. This is not a disease, just a result of being raised alone.-Chuck> 

Red Devil Sex(ual Dimorphism) I have purchased a Red Devil. How do I know if it is Male Of Female? Angie < Males generally are larger with longer fins. Big males sometimes get humps on their foreheads.-Chuck>

10" Red Devil + 55 Gallon Tank = More Fish? Maybe not... Is there any type of cichlid I can put in with my Red Devil? <Depends on the nature and size of the Devil.> He is about 10 inches long. <Well that narrows down the possibilities.> He is in a 55 gallon tank. <...And that pretty much kills them.> Do you think I can put another Red Devil in with him? <I don't think you could put much of anything else in with him. a 10 inch cichlid in a 55 gallon tank is already pushing it in regards to bioload. I'd leave it be until you get a larger tank.> Thanks for answering my question. <No problem, glad I could be of assistance. Mike G>

INSECURE RED DEVIL Hi Bob I have recently been given a red devil and I think he is terrific - recently however he seems to be staying for most of the day in his rock cave that he put together himself ! he used to come out and play and landscape a lot. I can't see anything wrong with him but he takes off and hides when ever I approach so I'm finding it hard to check him out. I feed him appropriate food regularly. I am wondering if he is a bit lethargic or sick for some reason or just being an eccentric red devil. Do you have any advice?  Thanks in advance - John, Melbourne Australia  < He may feel more comfortable in his little retreat. If he is eating and looks normal then it is probably a case where he feels more secure in the cave and does not feel a need to come out. I would dismantle his cave and force him to face the light because eventually he will probably become imprinted to his cave and stay in there permanently. This makes for a poor aquarium fish. Get him out and keep him active. Move things around in the tank as well as add a few rocks or take some out.-Chuck> 

CONVICTS WITH RED DEVILS Hi, I am a big fan now. You guys answered a question in record time for me about a year ago, and, are the only people who were able to answer it at all! But, anyway, I recently lost a female parrot who I have had for years and who had been paired up with my red devil . They were inseparable, and spawned many, many times. He has been depressed and hides now. (about 2 mos.) I bought a pair if convicts today in hopes of arousing his interest. He seems interested but not aggressive...yet. I hope to add to the convicts soon, But only if there is still peace., What is your advice? Are these two kinds of cichlids going to be able to co-exist? They are in a 200 gal. thanks, Lori C. < If your pair of convicts decide to breed then they will not let any other fish close to their eggs and fry . The tank seems big enough so they should get along. Sometimes when the fry become free swimming the wander all over the tank regardless what the size. At this point the fry are very hard to catch and the parents will not tolerate any other fish in the tank.-Chuck> 

Red Devil Cichlid Hello once again Bob, My name is Courtney and I have a RED DEVIL CICHLID and, well, it doesn't seem to eat anything that we put in the tank. What would you recommend as we have two other little cichlids about 2" in length and out RED DEVIL is 7-8". What should I do, I mean, maybe he eats when we are not around but it always seems to be the little ones that eat and not him. What could be wrong and what could I possibly do?  Thank you once again.  I hope that you are able to answer my questions. Courtney <Mmm, what had this fish been eating? Is it new to your tank? What were the people feeding it before...? It may be conditioned to eating a particular food/format... like pellets, or specialized food sticks... I would not worry much re... as these cichlids will eventually come around, eat most any/everything... I am concerned re your other fishes... as the Red Devil... can be a devil! Please read here re Cichlids: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: Red Devil Hello again Bob, <Courtney> Well the Red Devil is new to our tank. Same with our other little cichlids. Now the Red Devil used to eat pellets, and sticks when the pet store had him. Our other cichlids eat fine, but the Red Devil seems to not eat, now, whether he eats when we are not looking is the other question. The rest of the fish in the tank never and I mean never get picked on by the Red Devil. They are getting along fine. The ones that do the picking are the little ones and they pick on each other. But they have not hurt one another. It's like they are both saying to each other, NA NA Boo Boo. It's rather funny. But the Red Devil watches them, but never goes after them. Now, we had a ship in there for him to go behind and well my boyfriend took it out of the tank and now he swims around more and we are maybe thinking that's the problem. Now that he is out in the open we think he well start eating, but we still left rocks in the tank for the little ones to him under. Thank you for your time. Courtney <This fish will eat eventually, no worries... and it is VERY likely to be trouble with these smaller fishes. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/reddevils.htm  and the linked files above.  Bob Fenner>

Dangerous Devil Behavior? Hi- I have a 6" Red Devil who until recently has acted quite calmly. I've had him for a year and have always been careful to feed him a balanced diet. Recently, he has begun to act strangely. Darting, chasing his tail, and biting at his reflection in the glass, sometimes ramming it full speed. Everybody said to treat him for parasites, which I have done twice. Also I have done a 100% water change twice. This has been going on for about 2 weeks. He does not rub his body on anything and eats normally. It seems like he's just gone crazy! Any help you could lend would be appreciated-- Mike <What you describe so well is not atypical developmental behavior for the few species of neotropical cichlids called Red Devils... they can become incredibly "aggressive", so much so that other livestock cannot be kept with them... Not a disease here, no need to treat, but do take care if you intend to move, mix this specimen with other fishes... it should be the last fish added... and kept separated by a transparent partition for a few weeks... Bob Fenner>

Red devil playing dead? Hello, I have a Red Devil that is about 6-8 inches long, it lives in a 135gallon tank with a Dempsey, blue African and a pike. They all get along just fine since they grew up together from young fry. My question is why does my fish seem to play dead, I keep thinking that when I wake up in the morning he will be dead (or she). Next morning he/she is just swimming happily around, but it will just lay on the floor on its side or even upside down and it will swim upside down to get behind his rock in the corner. Is this something that you have heard of before or could he be sick? <Not likely sick... but a cichlid! That is, these are intelligent, playful fish...> All the other fish in the take act normal. I gave you the info on the size and other fish because maybe they are not meant to be together. I hope you can answer my question, I just need to know if I should go get new filters or anything else that may help him if he is sick. Thanks  - Ammy <Likely you already change out water, vacuum the gravel often... and offer a variety of foods... Your fish are doing fine, and they are a compatible, though rough and tumble grouping. Bob Fenner> 

How Old Can Red Devil Cichlids Get? Hello, I have had a Male Red Devil Cichlid for almost 17 years. If I'd have known he would live this long I would've saved for his college tuition! I got him when he was about the size of a dime, and now he's almost a foot long and still growing. He's in a 40 gallon tank by himself, though he makes friends with just about anyone (human, dog, cat etc.) who takes the time to meet him. Loads of personality! His name is Fred. My question is how old can Red Devil Cichlids live to be? The only sign I can see that he might be slowing down is this: We've always had a game where I try to drop his food pellets directly into his waiting mouth (if I wait too long, he'll leap out of the water like Shamu and grab it for himself!). Whenever I miss and the pellet lands in the water, he'll scramble after it. He always used to get it on the first lunge, but over the last year or so it seems to take him more tries before he gets the pellet. It seems that maybe his eyesight is going. I've heard that Cichlids are known for their keen eyesight, so that might account for his missing the pellets on the first few tries. Besides that, Fred has never had any health problems and is a truly beautiful fish in perfect shape. Nobody has been able to tell me how old Red Devil Cichlids can get. What is the oldest you've heard of? < The problem with longevity records with tropical fish is that nobody wants to keep their fish that long. Many cichlid keepers breed their fish and then move on to the next one. Your track record with your red devil is truly remarkable and you are to be highly commended for keeping you pet alive and well for so long. As a general rule of thumb I personally use a " year per inch" standard. But many fish such as your have far exceeded that. I don't know of anyone who has kept track of their red devil for any length of time. I am sure your fish is getting up there.-Chuck> Thank you! Chris Haller Breeding Red Devils hi I was wondering if you would be kind enough to help me. < will try, Don here.> I have one 80 gallon tank with 5 red devils in there. one male 8 inches and the rest are 4 inches I'm not sure there sex but I would like to breed them can you tell me how I should do this. also even more important I have purchased a male and female blue hap Ahli which I was told have and would breed. can you give me any tips or advice on how I can get them to breed. any tips at all would really help especially for the haps. (ex, feeding, food, water, tank set up,) etc. thanks again love your site First let me say that these two fish require very different water conditions. The Devils need soft water with a pH around 7. The Haps are African and live in very hard water with a pH of 8 to 8.5. I would not suggest you mix them in a single tank. The Devils are best sexed by fin shape. Males will tend to have more pointed fins, the females more rounded. With 5 in one tank you may see them pair off. If two start to take over one area of the tank, that's your pair. You should remove the others as they will become very aggressive while breeding. Feed rich, meaty foods to condition the female. Frozen Blood worms, small garden worms and such are good conditioning foods for most Cichlids. Stay away from feeder fish unless you can QT them to unsure health. The Haps are mouth breeders. Conditioning for the female is even more important as she will not eat while holding the eggs. Good luck with them. Don

Red Devil Query I have a red devil in a 55 gallon tank, and he is about 25 cm long... I just noticed recently he likes going to the top of the tank and it seems like he's grabbing air, although I know that's no true cause that's just the way fish work, breath thru the water.. I was wondering why would it seem that he is always going up there and doing that?? is he healthy? he also doesn't eat anything some times. he's really picky... I was thinking of giving him to the pet store because I don't know if I can handle him not eating and such. >>>Hello Mike, First thing, please use proper grammar and spelling when you post a query here. Taking time to correct these things just means I have less energy to devote to your question. All of these questions are posted on the site FAQ, so bad spelling and grammar must be corrected. Now... These fish are large, messy eaters and will place a tremendous strain on the filtration system. Nitrogen cycle management is paramount with large cichlids such as these. Failure to do so can cause a myriad of health issues. I need more info. What is your setup? How is the water circulation? How often do you perform water changes? Lack of oxygen in the water can cause the behavior you describe. The fish is literally gasping for air. Regards Jim<<<

Quick red devil question Hi - I hope it's Ok for me to drop an email with a quick question. I'd really appreciate any insight or advice.  I am temporarily moving to house-sit and am concerned about moving my red devil.  The new place is about a 20 minute drive from my current location. Do you have any thoughts as to how to make this as smooth as possible for her? Also, do you think that it would be more traumatic for her to move rather than to let her stay where she is with a friend who will be living in my apartment? I'd rather not leave her as the move will be for about 9 months, but I want to do what's best for her.  Many thanks for any info. < Move and take the red devil with you. Put this fish in a 5 gallon bucket and cover it so she can't jump out. Move the tank to the new place and set it up. Make sure the new water is treated for chloramines. Your fish will appreciate the new water. These fish are pretty indestructible. Thirty years ago I was moving a red devil in a 5 gallon bucket on the passenger side of my car. I was forced to hit the brakes and the bucket with the fish spilled onto the floorboard of my car. The water drained out and I needed some water fast. I pulled over to a gas station that was closed and filled the bucket up with radiator water! Cold untreated radiator water. I flopped the fish back in the bucket and resumed taking it over to my friends house twenty minutes away. I told him what has happened and we flipped the fish into a waiting 40 gallon tank. The next day you couldn't tell anything happened at all. It never got sick. -Chuck>

 Re: quick red devil question Thanks very much! I feel better about the whole thing and will get a bucket.  They must be pretty indestructible. I didn't know that the fish was a red devil when i acquired her -- thought that she was a small, orange goldfish and had her living in a container with cold water. Eventually figured out that she was manipulating objects in the container and that she was much more than a goldfish. Three tanks (she destroyed one of them) four filters and a couple heaters later, she's bigger than my hand and behaves more like a pet dog than a fish.  But, especially since I've been picking up info about her as I go along, there are a few things I'm concerned about...Can I ask you just a few more questions -- Should I be concerned that she seems to only want to eat pellets and tropical fish flakes?  I put a couple of guppies in the tank once and she ate them, but she is no longer interested in meat of any kind, it seems. < The pellets and flake food are much better for her as well as less expensive too.> Also, How do I get her in the bucket? Should I use a net? <  Place a black plastic trash bag in an empty five gallon bucket. Fill the five gallon plastic bucket about two/thirds full of water from the aquarium. Pull the excess bag to the top. Catch the fish in a large suitable net and place her in the bucket. Then tie the top of the trash bag close to the top of the bucket to prevent her from jumping out as well as spilling any water. When the new tank is set up then take the net and place her in the new tank.> And, finally, she used to lay eggs and hasn't for a while. Does this have to do with natural aging or is it because of some kind of ph imbalance in the tank? Or general unhappiness?   < It means that she is in very good shape and is in condition to breed. Good food and clean water has her primed to spawn but she unfortunately has no male to spawn with so she still has to lay her eggs to get rid of them. As she has matured she will not waste anymore energy on egg production until she has paired up.-Chuck> Thanks again. Kate

Frelling Red Devil! Hi!  I was wondering if you could help me with an issue that I am having with my Red Devil. He is an adult male, and approximately 10 inches in length. About a week ago I put him in a new 60 gallon aquarium and now he has not eaten in a week. The pH is set proper and so is the temp. I have tried all the foods he normally eats and then some. He still won't eat. I thought that it may be because he is still getting acquainted with his new surroundings but I don't feel like it should take this long. What do you think and do you have any answers that may help me save my fish? He is active and still moves his gravel around. How long can he go without eating?  < Cichlids in general are territorial and seem to be more shaken up by a change in surroundings then most other fish. A couple of things come to mind. If the tank is in a new location then additional foot traffic may make him more reluctant to come out. Brighter colored gravel may make him more obvious and once again more reluctant to come out. Try some washed earthworms to get him going. If the temperature is around 80 then he can probably go a couple of weeks without too much suffering.-Chuck>  Ron Sankary

Typo ("What's in a (common Cichlid) name?") First let me tell you that I thoroughly enjoy your website, but today while I was browsing I found one piece of misinformation: Amphilophus citrinellus (Gunther 1864), the Midas Cichlid, aka one of the Mesoamerican Cichlids called a/the Red Devil. The Midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus) is located in the great lakes of Nicaragua and Atlantic slope rivers in Nicaragua and Costa Rica from the Rio san Juan to the Rio chiripo del Atlántico. The Red Devil (Amphilophus labiatus) is restricted to the great lakes of Nicaragua. Loiselle, Paul V... 2000. Cichlid Forum. Aquarium Fish. 12/00. <Hmm, thank you for this input. Will post in the appropriate FAQs area on the site. Lots to say here... there are at least four species of meso-American cichlids sold as "Red Devils" in the hobby interest... If you insert the common name: "Red Devil" in www.fishbase.org you will find only A. citrinellus comes up... I accept that both species mentioned are "this" fish. If you query further, deeper you will find this to be the general consensus. Bob Fenner>

Mixing cichlids Is it ok to put Parrot Cichlid and Red Devil Cichlid together? <Hello, sooner or later the red devil will kill the parrot. -gage>

Dark Lips on a Red Devil Cichlid Just received a wild caught 9" red devil (Amphilophus labiatus). He seems to have settled in reasonably well, but I noticed today his lips look sooty in color, like he was foraging in black dirt. Just the front of his lips are colored. I don't think it is a pigment change. He appears to be about three years old, and would have probably achieved his final coloration by now. Any ideas? <May be "bruised". Have seen these mouth color changes in "just moved" neotropical cichlids before. Generally will recolorize in time. If the fish is eating (which is almost a given with this species) I wouldn't be concerned. Bob Fenner>

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