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FAQs on Texas Cichlids

Related Articles: 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: Neotropical Cichlids 1, Cichlids of the World,

Texas Chiclid with white spots... no data of use or reading     2/22/16
<? 7 megs of uncropped pix? Why?>
My Texas Chiclid has recently developed some white spots on his skin and fins. It looks like a fungus but I don't know for sure. Can you please identify what it is and what course of treatment I should use.
<Looks like Lymphocystis
... are you able to use the search tool on WWM?
Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwlymphfaqs.htm
Thank you,
<Too much 'stress' from... who knows what... phys., chem. biol. inputs....
Review your water quality (hard, alkaline), nutrition for the species (archived on WWM)... Bob Fenner>

Texas Cichlid; dashing about, hurting itself   9/14/13
I have a Texas Cichlid who is deliberately ramming  itself into objects in the tank.  It has already dived so hard into the top of the tanks lid and cut the top of its head.  It's acting like it's crazy.  It's been laying on its side and floating around in circles especially through the air bubbles.
 When I look at the behavior it almost appears that it has vertigo or as if its trying to kill itself. 
<Mmm, cause?>
I have tested to water several times to ensure the Ph level is right and that there's no high ammonia levels.
<Nitrate? Other livestock? Oh, I see this below>
 It's becoming emotional because I've had it a long time and am at a loss of what to do next.  I was told by my fish store that if he's lying on it's side it could be bloat and have removed the carbon from the tank and gave it antibiotics for the past week.  I have 4 other fish who appear to be acting normal.
<... how large is this tank, what other fish species?>
Have you ever seen or heard of anything like this?  Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated.  It bangs objects in the tank so hard that it actually wakes me up at night.  I have attached a picture of the fish so you can see the damage it's doing to itself.  Please help!
<Need answers to the above questions... in the meanwhile, frequent partial water changes; possibly separating the one Cichlid, moving it elsewhere is what I'd do. Bob Fenner>
Re: Texas Cichlid   9/14/13

Hi Bob,
<Hello again>
Thanks for responding.  I have a 55 gal tank and it is shared with 3 green severins and 1 blue acarro

 and the Texas cichlid who is ill. 
<... and should be the dominant fish here. I had a concern that it was maybe being bullied>
They've shared this tank for the past 4  years and the tank is very established.  I will be doing a partial water change today and putting the carbon back in the tank.
 All of my levels are right on point and I just can't explain the change in behavior.
<Me neither; though I will tell you/relate that Cichlids do "just do this" for unexplained reason/s at times... that is, dash about, hurting themselves... Genetic trouble?, some sort of brain condition/tumor?>

I just read another article where a woman had this to say and my fish is acting the same way.
"A couple days later, today, I noticed my blue cichlid was shaking /vibrating like when he gets mad, and then he stopped and starting darting around the tank. It stopped, but then a few hours later, he went insane and swam full speed, very hard at the top hood of the tank and literally knocked the hood up into the air and half off the side of the tank; this scared me. Immediately after doing this, he swam hard face first into the glass of the tank and then into the divider screen. I notice now, he keeps going to the top of the water and sticking his head up out of the water, like as if he's trying to get out! I feel so bad, I love my fish and I have had him for 2 yrs now so there is no reason he should be acting like this..."
<Hard to imagine... what sort of "survival value" might such behavior represent?>
I was on this site:  http://www.cichlidfish.com/post116012.html when I found someone with similar concerns.  I don't know how sound the advice she was given was. My fish doesn't seem to be harming the other fish but my concern is can disease develop from the open wound he has.  I have added additional salt to the tank and will do so again once a do another partial water change.  I've never seen anything like this before. 
<I have...>
I have a 30 gal tank I can put him in for now, but I guess it still doesn't explain what's going on.
<I would move the fish... and hope>

thanks again
<Thank you for sharing. BobF>

My Texas cichlid has a Lump     3/15/13
I have a juvenile Texas cichlid who has been with me for around 6 months now ... Goes along with all the other fish.. Since yesterday I have noticed a small lump on both his sides where the fin starts.. The lump on one side is bigger than the other and looks like it's an open sore.. I am worried..could you pls let me know what this is..
I am attaching a pic for a clearer understanding..
Thank you
<Mmm, well; likely this is a viral (or virally mediated) growth. At any length, not generally deadly, and not treat-able. With your good care (nutrition, water quality...) this growth may well disappear on its own (ala warts in humans). Bob Fenner>

Re: My Texas cichlid has a Lump     3/18/13
Thank you !!!
<Ah, welcome. BobF>

Herichthys cyanoguttatus, stkg./sel.    12/1/11
Dear Crew.
<Hello Gemma,>
I purchased a male and female Herichthys cyanoguttatus yesterday.
<Good luck ensuring they don't kill each other! Are these youngsters?>
I had their tank ready with bogwood and a large piece of slate rock to form a cave. They have plain sand as a substrate. The Female is swimming around, exploring, looking very happy.
The Male however is just resting his under-belly on the sand and seems to have rapid gill movement.
<Could be stress. Was he okay in the shop? Turn off the lights, ensure water quality is excellent, and do a water chemistry test to ensure the general hardness is in the range 10-25 degrees dH and pH between 7 and 8.5.>
The filter is established, the water is fresh and treated with Prime before being added. He did swim a little but seemed quite slow and almost verging on a bit clumsy. I am so worried and would really appreciate any help.
Thanks so much.
Kind Regards.
<Are you quite sure he's a male? And/or that the female is a girl? In terms of size, personality, fin length and colour they're basically identical.
Yes, males *tend* to be bigger and *tend* to have extensions to their dorsal and anal fins and *tend* to be brighter colours and *tend* to be more aggressive. But none of these traits are 100% reliable, especially with juveniles, and two males in one tank could easily end up with one fish stressed and hiding away. Cheers, Neale.>

Mystery Texas Cichlid Death  11/11/11
I just had my Texas cichlid die. He was very healthy one day and I found him dead this morning. No noticeable illness in my tank. I have a few cat fish and convicts and they look a little depressed but no visible disease. What causes premature death in healthy looking fishes? Can you help me understand this? Thank you for your time. Kelly
< Look for trauma around the head. He may have jumped and hit his head. A second cause may be he choked on something like a plastic plant leaf.-Chuck>

Freshwater Plants 12/18/10
Hi Jim again. Been getting many new ideas from your site and have new been thinking of a remodel project on my 125 gal freshwater. Here are my questions:
My lighting is a 4 bulb, 4 foot system the bulbs in it are actinic and I think 54 watt. Is this enough light to do a project similar to what's on http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i6/planted_aquascaping/planted_aquascaping.htm
<Mmm, yes... through you really need more light... about twice this minimum. I would def. switch out the actinic for more "white">
My existing tank has Texas Cichlids I know they are not compatible with plants. I saw on your site about letting your fish have a summer vacation.
Living in southern CA, would the Tex's survive in a pond year round. I have a friend who has a small one.
<Neat! Bob Fenner, also in not so sunny S. Cal. where such Cichlids would require expensive heating>

Texas and Convict Cichlid  10/8/10
Sent from my HTC on the Now Network from Sprint!
<Uh, okay. But why are you sending us this image? And to whom? Without a salutation or a message of some sort, there's not much we can do to help.
If this was for Chuck, then a simple "Dear Chuck, thanks for your last message, and here's the photo I promised" would help. Good manners serve a purpose! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Texas and Convict Cichlid  10/8/10
Sorry I sent an email right before I sent the picture. I was supposed to attach the picture to the email but I made a mistake and sent without. You should have my email message. It has the subject Convict and Texas. I would very much appreciate your advice. Thanks!
<Nope, nothing came through. No message of any kind. Obviously this one came through, but nothing else. Do please send a NEW message with the text AND the photo attached. Sending separate messages is a bit hit and miss.
There are half a dozen people volunteering here at any one time, and if one person gets one message, and another the other message, things get messy real fast. Chuck R. is the cichlid guru, so if you need his help for a cichlid-related issue, feel free to add a salutation that helps us forward your messages to his inbox. Cheers, Neale.>

Re Texas and Convict
Texas and Convict Cichlid Cross
Hi Chuck I have a dilemma that maybe you can help solve. For starters I have 55 gallon tank with 3 convicts 2 female and 1 male. In this tank is also a Texas. The older one of the female convict has laid eggs in a tank ornament. Before she laid the eggs her and the Texas stayed by each other.
The Texas helps the Convict fight off the other 2 Convicts from coming on their side of the tank. The other Convicts never get past this tag team duo. Now the Convict goes inside the ornament (barely) because she almost to big to fit I guess to keep an eye on the eggs. The Texas can't fit inside the ornament, but it has an opening at the top that he swims over.
Could the Texas possibly fertilize the eggs even though they are 2 different fish?
< Yes, it happens often.>
I researched this but came up with nothing. I did see where the eggs should be tan in color if they have been fertilized, and they are tan. I am attaching a picture of the 2 and their nesting ground (the ornament) please tell me what you think.
< They have paired up. The fry will probably survive. The babies look like spotted convicts. Not very attractive.-Chuck>

Re: Sexing Texas Cichlids   5/5/10
Okay great! Thanks for the help, do you know any good websites about the Texas that I can figure male and female difference?
< Males tend to be larger and have longer fins. When they get larger they can be turned over and the genitalia may be old from the openings. The male vent should be small than the anus. The female's vent should be around the same size. Do a Google search for images for Texas cichlid and you will probably see pairs.-Chuck>

Texas has tumors  10/29/09
My Texas cichlid has not been well for about a month. At a guess he is about 8 years old. He started getting sores on his side which I treated with Melafix and they cleared up.
<Likely unconnected... Melafix isn't much of a medication, and at best helps the natural immune system repair damage and fight infection.>
Then a few weeks later he started to getting sores again. I removed him from the tank (950 litre tank) and treated him again with Melafix. It didn't clear up the sores and he started to develop pink lumps (tumors???)
<These look somewhat like Lymphocystis, a not uncommon viral complaint seen among "advanced" (Perciform) fish including cichlids. The precise causes of this disease are not completely understood, but it seems to be triggered by stress, likely environmental stress if occurrences in the wild are anything to go by. So do check the aquarium, paying attention in particular to water chemistry and water quality. Herichthys spp. need hard (10+ degrees dH) water with a basic pH (7.5) and the water should be medium temperature (around 25 C) and clean (0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and nitrate less than 20 mg/l). Because cichlids are messy feeders, and because this species is so big, keeping water quality where it should be can be difficult.>
I changed his medication to aquari-cycline and he developed more lumps between his bottom fins. I then tried treating him with para-cide and after 2 weeks he still has sores and tumors which are appearing at the base of his fins, his body is bloated. He is still eating, his energy levels are a little lacking and is gasping.
<Again, I'd tend to be looking at water quality/chemistry issues. Make sure the tank isn't overstocked, and that the filter is adequate to the needs of the fish. For cichlids this size, I'd be going with filter turnover rates 8 times the volume of the tank per hour. Make sure the carbonate hardness is sufficiently high that pH isn't fluctuating between water changes. With a few exceptions, cichlids are hypersensitive to low oxygen levels, and low water turnover and excessively high temperatures can cause an "oxygen crisis" for these fish that tend to stay near the bottom of the tank, where oxygen levels are invariably lowest.>
I am about to start treating him for fluke and tapeworms.
<Obviously, make sure you haven't fed anything like live feeder fish. This isn't a thing in the UK since feeder fish aren't sold here, but in some parts of the world they are still available, and that causes major problems. To produce a fish you can sell for pennies, healthcare will not be a priority. A feeder fish is really just a way of getting parasites into healthy fish. So if you have used feeder fish, then yes, there's quite a good chance your Herichthys has picked up something nasty. Certain fish species used as feeders, notably goldfish and minnows, have high levels of thiaminase and fat, and over the long term, both can cause serious problems. Thiaminase breaks down Vitamin B1, leading to deficiencies, and among other things, this causes the immune system to work less well. Fat causes problems by building up around the internal organs, and again, over time, that's going to lead to all sorts of metabolic abnormalities.>
I really need some advice as I would hate to loose him. In the pics you will see that his lumps are around the base of his fins and the sore on his side
<Indeed. Lymphocystis is essentially untreatable, and comes and goes depending on the health of the fish. Given optimal conditions and a balanced (i.e., varied, vitamin-rich, including plants) diet most fish do recover. Provided the tumours aren't obstructing an orifice, they are not substantially more dangerous than warts. But it does take months for fish to recover. While Lymphocystis won't be causing laboured breathing or sluggishness, the environmental problems that cause Lymphocystis could well be causing other problems as well.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

sick Texas cichlid
Old Texas Cichlid With Eye Problems  7/22/09

Hi I'm from Australia an I have a very large 35cm Texas cichlid who has an eye disease. I have been treating with Flagyl a very strong human antibiotic [penicillin] for the past 5 days.
< This is actually treats Protozoans and not bacteria.> <<Mmmm; no... RMF>>
The eye is healing but there is a lot of fungus forming around the eye. Its a very thick fury fungus. He is still very active an swimming around but not eating. He is over 10 years old he is healing except for this thick
white fungus. His other eye is fine. I have sent some pics. Can you suggest anything that I could do as I don't want to put him to sleep... Thanks
regards Jess
<I think that your old Texas cichlid may be in trouble. The lack of appetite makes me think that he may have an internal infection as well. The Metronidazole will help. I would recommend a treatment of a combination of Metronidazole( Flagyl) and Nitrofuranace in a hospital tank. Do a 50% water change, clean the filters and vacuum the gravel. Use both medications on days 1,3 and 5. Do a 50% water change on days 2 ,4 and 6. Offer food on the 6th day and see if he will eat. The Nitro is an antibiotic that works well against fungus too.-Chuck>

Re: Astronotus (tank size), now Texas Cichlid sys. Question 1/16/08 Sorry to bother you, but are there any large cichlids that live in neutral hardness and can fit in a 40 gallon tank. I was reading the forums on Texas cichlid and it said: <Texas cichlids can get up to 9 inches so a big tank of at least 40 to 50 gallons is needed. Big fish get messy so I would recommend a good size outside power filter that pumps at least 300 gallons per hour. Other fish like other central American cichlids would work well if they are all about the same size. If you get a pair of Texas cichlids and they decided to breed then all the other fish will be killed or pushed to one side of the tank. If you can get the pair to spawn when they are small then it is not nearly as stressful as when they are larger.-Chuck> So are Texas cichlids okay in a 40 or only when they are small.? Thanks< One adult male Texas cichlid can be maintained in a minimum of a forty gallon tank all by himself. A female would be smaller and be Allright by herself in a forty for sure. Keep up on the water changes and don't forget to get a powerful outside filter that is easy to maintain.-Chuck>

Texas Cichlid Breeding Aggression  9/21/08
Breeding Adult Texas Cichlids

Hello! I recently introduced an adult female Texas (about 6" ) into my 120 gallon established tank with many Honduran Redpoints and an adult male Texas (about 8-9"). I set up a divider to keep them separated while he got used to her being in the tank and she got used to him as well. I had holes in the divider that were big enough for all the HRP's to fit through and even big enough for the female Texas to fit through but not big enough for the male to fit through. So after about 2 weeks the female Texas was returning fin slapping/lip locking with the male through the divider and finally decided to go over to the same side he was on. They paired up! (I didn't think they would even get along, let alone pair up). The whole tank is quite peaceful, a little "gill flare" here and there from the HRPs to each other, but no big aggression issues.
Shortly after the two Texas cichlids paired up she lays her 1st set of eggs with him. That night she ate all the eggs and the next day they were out swimming around together with out very much aggression. I figured this is normal. It usually takes new pairs a few times to get it right. Well about 2 weeks later they try again, she laid the eggs at night, the next day everything seemed fine, she was tending to the eggs while he stayed around the area making sure none of the HRP's got any crazy ideas! But the second night something happens. In the morning she is hiding behind a plant holding as still as can be while the male is pacing around the tank. All the other fish were having a feast on the eggs. It appears that he turned his aggression towards her and chased her around and forgot all about the eggs. So I put a divider back in, same thing about a week later. They make up and get back together and about a week after that they lay eggs for the
third time, same thing. Second night something happens and the next morning she is hiding and he is pacing the tank. Now I know that sometimes the male Texas can become overly protective of the eggs and see the female as a threat, but I figured he would chase her away and protect the eggs, but it's as if he forgets all about the eggs and just focuses 100% on chasing her around.
This is only the third time they have laid eggs and I know it takes some time to get things right, but Im not sure they will ever get it right. Should I intervene and after she has laid the eggs separate the male to the other side of the tank while she watches the eggs, or should I separate her to the other side and let him watch the eggs, I don't think he will watch them. Or should I just let them keep going through this cycle hoping that eventually they will figure things out together?
Oh ya, The adult male Texas used to be kept with a female Flowerhorn by a previous owner. He said they tried to breed multiple times but it seemed as though he was sterile. This is what he told me, I don't know if this is because the eggs turned white, or she ate them, or what his "proof" was. As much as I can tell with the amount of time before the eggs from the two Texas cichlids are eaten by the other fish, only very few (maybe 5-10 per probably 500+ she lays) turn white, and that's probably about 24 hours later. The others look the normal translucent yellow/brown. Could it be though that the male is sterile and the second night the female noticed they are dead and tries to eat them and that is what turns the males aggression towards her? Thanks in advance for your help! -Candice
< It is true that when Central American cichlids spawn it takes a few times to get it right. It is very difficult to pair up adult cichlids.
If you are after eggs then remove the eggs right after spawning and hatch them artificially. Just remove the item that they spawned on and place in a container with the same aquarium water. Keep the water at 82 F, add some Methylene blue and keep a current over the eggs to keep them oxygenated. The eggs should hatch in three days. In three more days the fry will need to be fed baby brine shrimp and finely ground flake food. You will then have enough Texas cichlids for you and all of your friends. If you are trying to get the pair to just get along then drop the water temp to the mid 70's. This may be out of their range to spawn. A few unfertilized eggs are normal for every spawn. Usually the female eats the eggs right after laying them. She is interested in spawning because she is well conditioned and her hormones want her to spawn. The male probably noticed the female eating the eggs. She does this to build up her fat reserves so she can lay eggs again. He viewed her as a threat and chased her away from the eggs. Unfortunately when he does this he is not smart enough to realize that he has left them unattended and the other fish quickly make short work out of them. -Chuck>

Identification? TX cichlid   7/29/08 Hi Neale, Do you know by chance the identity of this fish? <Hmm... looks like Herichthys cyanoguttatus, one of the two "Texas Cichlids" of the hobby. Fairly sure it's a Herichthys species anyway, but there are quite a few in the genus that look alike (to me at least).> Is it a South or Central American cichlid? <Oh, definitely Central American.> I will continue to research it... Thank you. Lisa. <Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Identification? (Chuck, second opinion?) You're expertise amazes me. Thank you!!! <Don't know that I'm right yet! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Identification? (Chuck, second opinion?) I checked out the pics and I think you hit the nail on the head. <Cool. Nice looking fish by the way. All the Herichthys are lovely pets, but fairly aggressive though intelligent and very adaptable (some species are said to be able to breed in seawater!). Cheers, Neale.>

Cichlid ID Sorry guys, I didn't get a photo to check out the fish. If the fish has large greenish spots then it is a H. carpinte. If the fish has smaller whitish spots then it is a H. cyanoguttatus. Unfortunately recent water projects in northern Mexico have disrupted the natural waterways and certain geographic populations of both species are now able in cross in the wild. A species with only a few dots is H. tamasopoensis. Do a google search on all three and see which one matches the closes to the fish you are trying to identify. When all else fails I would go with Neale's ID since he has seen the photo and he is one of the best in the business.-Chuck

Re: Identification? (Chuck, second opinion?)  7/29/08 Cichlid ID Sorry guys, I didn't get a photo to check out the fish. If the fish has large greenish spots then it is a H. carpinte. If the fish has smaller whitish spots then it is a H. cyanoguttatus. Unfortunately recent water projects in northern Mexico have disrupted the natural waterways and certain geographic populations of both species are now able in cross in the wild. A species with only a few dots is H. tamasopoensis. Do a google search on all three and see which one matches the closes to the fish you are trying to identify. When all else fails I would go with Neale's ID since he has seen the photo and he is one of the best in the business.-Chuck <Chuck, sorry, I didn't mention that the image is in the 'Emails with Images' mailbox, subject line "Identification". From your comments though, the spots are green rather than white, so maybe Herichthys carpintis is the way to go? But the spots are small rather than large! Cheers, Neale.>


Cichlid ID II 7/29/08 Neale, Couldn't find it in the email with images file but did find it on the WWM website. It is definitely H. cyanoguttatum.-Chuck>

Bloated Texas Cichlid 11/5/07 Hello! I have been searching/researching info on my sick TX cichlid for over a week now on your excellent site, and treating the problem to the best of my abilities with advice from y'all and my local aquarium stores. However, I am not seeing much change and would like to know when/if I may need to euthanize her (i.e., what signs should I be looking for to feel certain that the end is near). OK, so here's the situation in a nutshell: 10 days ago, I noticed my 4-year old, female TX cichlid (20-gallon long tank, she's 6", feeding is primarily Hikari Gold staple with 1 frozen bloodworm block every few days; I have since STOPPED all bloodworm feeding and have given her Spirulina flakes and the Hikari staple every few days; she's still eating, but barely due to bloat discomfort, I assume) was looking very bloated and her anus was slightly prolapsed. I am pretty sure I caught it within 24 hours, so I began the treatments (see next paragraph). But, despite the efforts, 10 days later and the bloating has slightly increased, the anus has gone inside more, but a horrible fungus has grown all over the prolapsed region. All I see now is bloat and a dangly fuzzy/dark nastiness on her anus area, with slight prolapse. Here's the medical treatment as of Day 2: 30% water change, filter/gravel cleaning. Removed the carbon filter and treated her with Epsom salt and Metronidazole powder (which I really don't think she ate much at all as I soaked her pellets/flakes). I did this every other day for a few days. No change, and then the fungus appeared, so started using Maracyn Plus, Epsom salt and a 50% water change + gravel cleaning. 2 days later, switched to Epsom and Maroxy for the obvious fungus problem. The bloat has not changed, but the prolapse has decreased, and the fungus is still around it, not as poofy white, but sickly darker, and her anus region does look rather red). Should I be more patient? I am trying to be sensitive to not over-medicate, and let the carbon filter cycle in between medicine days. I am due for another water change soon, but am curious if I am being too aggressive? not aggressive enough with the meds? Also, she is still "acting" like herself, but I am sure the bloating must feel horrible, not to mention the fungal growth (I wonder if it's gone internal now and is slowly killing her?). She eats a little still and is fairly active in her swimming around. I definitely don't want her to suffer, but also heard that these infections can take a while to go away. I am wondering about the 'point of no return' when I need to recognize that the fungus is not clearing up and her bloat is not decreasing. Thank you for your help!! Attached are some photos (the best I could get), Amy < The Metronidazole is effective if the problem is a protozoan infection. I usually recommend adding an antibiotic like Nitrofurazone for bacterial infections too. You are starting to see signs of recovery with the shrinking of the prolapsed tissues. I would recommend using the Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace together and doing a 50% water change in between the days you don't medicate. Don't overfeed. The antibiotics have probably affected the biological filtration and excess uneaten food would lead to a serious ammonia spike. In your fish's stressed condition this could be deadly.-Chuck>

TX Cichlid missing most of tail now. Beat Up Texas Cichlid Is Getting Sick -- 07/25/07 Hello, We have a TX cichlid that is very sick. He did have a tank mate which we removed when he started to get more sick and the tank mate was attacking him. He started off with what I thought looked like fin/tail rot and some sort of fungus that was moving up his sides from the back area but was not on the tail. I think it may have been a fungus since it was white "tuft" looking. I gave him a round of Mardel - Maracyn and Maracyn Two. He seemed to be a bit better, then that is when the attacks from the tank mate started, thus removing him with fear he was going to kill the sick one. After a week or two with the 1st medicine I am now trying API T.C Tetracycline. One the 3rd day (of 4) of this medicine. He has been constantly in his cave for the past few days and is in a vertical position with his mouth on the tank bottom. I did a 50% water change about 7-10 days ago and now a 25% change today based on meds instructions. I lifted the cave up so I could see him since a few days ago when I lifted it his tail was almost gone. Well, it is completely gone now and looks like it has "rotted" away past the dorsal fin area which it now looks concave. Prior to being sick he was about 2 1/2 inches long, had him since November. I am amazed at the condition that he appears that he has not died. He has not been eating for probably a week or so. A few times prior to that I would see him poke his head out and grab a few flakes. If you can please help me and tell me what we should do for him I would greatly appreciate it. I don't know if he could survive this with so much of his tail being gone now. Thanks, Julie The tetracycline actually works better in soft water. I would recommend that you do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter Keep the water at 82 F. Treat with Nitrofurazone as per the directions on the package. This medication is useful to treat both bacterial and fungal infections. If the infection has gone past the fin and into the body then the fin most likely will not grow back from that area. The fish may still survive but will not be very pretty to look at.-Chuck>

Re: TX Cichlid missing most of tail now. Texas Cichlid With Missing Tail -- 07/26/07 Chuck, With treating in soft water, is it sufficient that our tap water has a water softener or do I need to add some sort of salt to the tank water? <Ions like calcium and magnesium found in hard water tend to interfere with some antibiotics like Tetracycline. Simply replacing the calcium and magnesium with sodium like found in a water softener really doesn't do any good.> Also, can I start using Nitrofurazone now or do I need to wait until the treatment of the tetracycline is done? <If the fish is getting better then complete the Tetracycline treatment. If there is no progress then do a %50 water change and start to treat with the Nitrofurazone.> If the fish survives and the tail doesn't grow back will he pretty much remain in that vertical position? < Fins help stabilize the fish in the water. I think he may stay in this position without his fins.-Chuck> Thank you so much for your time.

Texas Cichlid With Internal Infection  - 3/7/07 My 6"-long Texas cichlid has stopped eating and has been very inactive for several days now.  He will swim a little only if disturbed, prefers to lie still with his head elevated.  He also appears to be opening and closing his mouth a lot--'gasping'?  There are no other symptoms.  I've contacted local aquarium shops and followed their meager advice with no success: 1.  Gradually changed tank water and cleaned filter.  (Water was slightly elevated in nitrate level, but he's been OK in much water conditions previously...) 2.  Tempted him to eat with frozen bloodworms.  (He never ate cichlid food, ate only tropical fish flakes!) He is at least 10, perhaps 12 years old, and I am also being told he is 'probably just reaching the end of his life span'.  Do old cichlids typically linger like this for several days before they expire?   If he is ill and I can try to do something about it, I would like to.   With this scant info provided, is there a medicine I might add to the water that might help?? (He is the sole occupant of his 25-gallon tank, will not accept any other fish...) <Your fish probably has an internal infection. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat with Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace. Due to your fish's advanced age, a complete recovery may not be possible but it is till worth a try.-Chuck>

Texas Cichlid, introducing a mate...  - 02/21/07 Hi There, <Howdy>        I saw your web site and I'm enjoying it very much. I have 2 questions for you first I will tell you about my tank. I have a 45 gallon tank with a 6 inch Texas Cichlid two 3-4 inch gouramis and a 6 inch pleco. <Yikes... must be lively times for the Gouramis> Everyone gets along great my first question is this my Texas is fine over all she eats good she looks normal and is very active but now I notice from time to time she Isn't swimming straight she seems fine but sometimes is at probably 10 percent away from being straight up and down second question is this. I am thinking about adding a male Texas to breed them is this a good thing to do at this point. I don't really mind moving the gouramis If there is to much aggressing since I have 2 other tanks that won't be a problem thanks for your time and expertise , Darren <Mmm, I would move the gouramis, or at least be present, ready to move them with the introduction of another cichlid... I would put a separator between the new fish and all the "old ones" for a good week or two before allowing them to get to each other... And do this when you're going to be around/home for a few hours to monitor... Bob Fenner> Re: Texas Cichlid, introducing a mate...   2/22/07 Hi Bob <Darren>              Thanks for your reply I have just lucked into a 72 G bow front so ill <I'll> be putting the texas <Texas> in my 55 and turn the 72 into my african <African> tank <.> thanks for the advise <advice> a divider will be good but can you divide a bow front . <A stretch across a corner...> I can't see how anyway <.> thanks again I am really enjoying your website. Have a great day ,Darren      P.S.  YEAH i dont understand it either but miss texas lets the gouramis live. she has killed 3 or almost killed 3 others ive tried one was a talapia , then a green terror then a jack dempsey all were dead meat except for the jack who i got out in time he is now thriving in my african tank <Next time... spell check... Bob Fenner>

Something is wrong with my 6yr old Texas Cichlid...   8/21/06 I am hoping that you can help me.  I have a 40 gallon aquarium with a 6 year old Texas Cichlid (which I've had since she was a baby, she is now ~7" long), she shares the tank with only a Plecostomus (she was too aggressive as a toddler and killed the convict cichlid we bought with her so decided she would have to live alone). <A common situation> She is normally a very happy active Cichlid. She normally swims near us if my husband or I are near the tank; she comes up to the top of the tank and takes food from my fingers.  She has a lot of color, which normally changes with her mood. <Very nice> She enjoys moving her rocks around so that the tank is the way she wants it to be. <Heeee! Oh, yes> She has laid eggs like clock work almost monthly for the past several years.  She has been acting very strangely for the past 2-3 weeks and I am starting to get nervous.  This may be a coincidence however the strange behavior started just after the last time she laid eggs; she typically hovers over them for several days until they turn whitish and then she and the Plecostomus eat them up, live then goes on like normal until the process starts again in another month or so.  (the laying eggs part may have nothing to do with her behavior changes however I did not want to omit it in case it mattered - since the changes did start just after the last time). <Understood> Our George (that's her name - we didn't know she was a female when we named her) is not acting normal at all.  The only thing normal is that her coloring looks good.  Otherwise, she acts as though she doesn't have much energy, swimming slowing around, staying on the bottom of the tank in the back corners most of the time.  She isn't very interested in eating, nor does she come up to the front of the aquarium when we are near her.  She also has not been moving any of the rocks around which is typically a real hobby of hers.   When she first started acting like this I did a 30% water changed. <Good>   Her behavior may have improved very briefly but not really.  I've cleaned and replaced the filter, and did another water change last weekend however her behavior is still the same.  I am really worried about her.  The pictures I've attached are the best I could get today.  I sent the one showing her eyes because the only thing I could possibly say which may have changed physically on her is that maybe her eyes are sticking out farther then they did in the past, but then maybe not...   I am really worried about her...  Can you help? <Mmm... do you have water quality test kits? Something anomalous does seem to be going on here... perhaps a transient "mini-poisoning" from an aerosol in the house... Maybe a toxic insect that made its way into this tank/system and Georgina swallowed... At any length, I would have done as you have stated... and continue to do so... the thirty or so percent water changes weekly, testing for ammonia, nitrite... perhaps employing a chemical filtrant like activated carbon or Polyfilter... and offering some novel food items... my choice, earthworms. I wish you and your Texas Cichlid well. Bob Fenner>

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>

Texas Cichlid Shedding His Skin 07/04/06 Hi. I am totally new to the whole experience of owning a fish and I started out with a Texas cichlid. Now he is around the size of a hand span from wrist to the second joint. I have him on a strict diet with a filter system and air bubbles and the whole show. He was doing fine and recently (today) he began to shed skin. Well that's what it looks like he is doing. He is not completely covered but almost halfway covered in  a white skin looking layer and is steadily loosing the layer.  The only problem is I can't tell if he is loosing it or gaining more decaying skin. He still eats good and swims around when am not looking right in front of the tank. He is even socialable with my other 3 convict cichlids. I guess am asking if you could tell me if he is really shedding scales do to stress or some other issue or if he will be ok   Thank you very much Amanda < Cichlids do not shed their skin like reptiles. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat the bacterial infection with Nitrofuranace after the treatment the good bacteria will probably be affected and you will need to add Bio Spira to get the biological filtration going again.-Chuck>

Texas Cichlid/Swim Bladder Problem? Env.   6/2/06 I've had a male Texas Cichlid for about 11 years now, same tank, same setup, nothing much has changed other than when he wants to re-arrange things himself. He is a loner and won't let anything else in the tank. Go figure. <Not atypical for a specimen of this species raised solitarily> I recently took a vacation and had a friend feed him and upon returning the tank had definitely been overfed as a lot of excess was laying around on the bottom. Cleaned it up, partial change etc. A couple of days later I wake up from bed and the fish is laying on the bottom, sideways in a Upside down U shape with a bloated belly. Called some local shops brought in water, nothing un-usual. Im wondering if this is a swim bladder problem, old age or something I'm not seeing? <Most likely just poor environment> They all had no idea what to tell me, they thought it was Ich, <... no> which I treated for that and various other things they mentioned. Also used some sea salts and raised the temp slightly. What can I do, this is my buddy for a long time and I hate to see him like this especially since he cant eat. Were 4 days into this with no sign of disease. He will try to swim and can for a few moments, I can see in his eyes he wants to be back to normal. But alas, after a few moments he looks winded and back to the bottom in the upside down u shape. Anything you all can tell me to try would be much appreciated. Sincerely Jeremy Robertson <Monitor water quality, try Epsom salt (detailed on WWM), keep changing water... Bob Fenner> Not eating cichlid 7/30/05 We got a Texas blue cichlid given to us he is approx 9inchs we are feeding him the same food but he will not eat we have tried feeder fish has only eaten 1 in 10 days there is still 3 in there is this normal for him not to want to eat the fish food <Not normal... not good food... please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/texascichlid.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Breeding Texas cichlids  07/02/05 I recently bought a Texas cichlid that is a darker color with many blue spots. <Some of these sports are really gorgeous> I then bought another Texas cichlid with the same blue spots, but much lighter (almost a cream color). When they met they began rubbing each other and swimming in circles with one another. My darker one became aggressive with my Oscars and my Dempsey (it never was before). I was wondering if this is some sort of mating ritual or a territorial thing. <Likely a bit of both> Also how can I sex them, they are about 5-6" but seem to almost have the same type of fins. Your help is appreciated. Jason, Denver CO <Mmm, like most neotropical cichlids the males unpaired fins are a bit longer and more pointed... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/cichlidreprofaqs.htm ... and on WWM re Cichlid Systems, Behavior...  linked above. I do hope your system is large enough... and do keep your eyes open for trouble, too much aggression amongst all these fishes. Bob Fenner> Texas/Convict Cross Interracial dating??? Hi, I have a 30 gal aquarium with one Texas (about 4"), two convicts (about 2"), and one Koi (about 5").  I recently noticed one of them has spawned inside a tipped over pot I put in there as 'territory'.  I watched for a while, and to my amazement realized it was the Texas cichlid who laid the eggs and the convict (who is about half the Texas' size) who was in there with her, fertilizing.  They both take turns guarding the nest and do so aggressively.  Has anyone run into this before??? < Yes, it happens all the time.> Now I know they prooooobably are NOT going to successfully breed (LOL), but what's the deal??? < Fish have a need to reproduce. When the proper mate is not available they choose the next best thing.> Do they often form weird, cross-species pair bonds like that... or do I just have some seriously crazy fish? < This normally does not happen when both sexes of the same species are present.> And with Texas Cichlids forming pair bonds, will I be able to intro a male Texas (later, in a larger tank, of course) and will they realize and form their own pair bond? < If a male Texas is introduced it will probably pair up with the correct female. The sooner the better.> Will she dump her little felon man for a hearty Texan???? < Hopefully and probably.> Will her ex con try to murder her by slipping rat poison in her drink???? lol, OK, just going a little Soap Opera here... ; )  But seriously....  Can someone help me out with my weird fish?  Kim < Get the proper sexes to pair your fish up and hopefully nature will take care of itself.-Chuck>

Texas Cichlid Set Up To Bob. I have been looking for ways to set up a Texas cichlid tank and I was wondering if you could tell me what I need to set up my Texas cichlid tank. I have two small Texas and I am about to upgrade to a bigger tank so if you could tell me what sort of filters I need and how big my tank needs to be that would be greatly appreciated. I would also like to no what fish go good with Texas cichlid. cheers <Texas cichlids can get up to 9 inches so a big tank of at least 40 to 50 gallons is needed. Big fish get messy so I would recommend a good size outside power filter that pumps at least 300 gallons per hour. Other fish like other central American cichlids would work well if they are all about the same size. If you get a pair of Texas cichlids and they decided to breed then all the other fish will be killed or pushed to one side of the tank. If you can get the pair to spawn when they are small then it is not nearly as stressful as when they are larger.-Chuck> Female Texas Cichlid Not Acting Normal I have a female Texas cichlid in a 55 gallon tank with about 12 other cichlids. Everything has been the same for about a year as far as the fish selection and quantity.  I had an African cichlid die about a week ago for reasons unknown to me, but none of the other fish seem to be affected with any kind of illness, besides the Texas cichlid. For about 3 days she has been hiding in a plant and keeping close to the top of the water.  She doesn't seem to be eating like she usually does. I can not tell of any markings on her body.  Can you tell me what could be wrong and what I can do? thank you. < With no external symptoms I can only assume that your fish may have an internal bacterial infection brought on by stress. I would isolate the fish and treat with Metronidazole as per the directions on the package until the fish is eating normally.-Chuck>

SICK TEXAS CICHLID I asked a previous message about my bloated cichlid listed below. I also wanted to add that he has some scales missing or maybe his skin is just stretching. It looks like white spots on his belly. Could this be more than just a bacterial infection? < As the internal bacterial infection gets worse the exterior part of the fish gets distended to the point where there may be gaps between the scales. I would still treat with Metronidazole, after doing a 30% water change and servicing the filter. As a precaution you may want to treat with rid-ich by Kordon just it case it has come down with ich as well.-Chuck> 

BLOATED TEXAS CICHLID My Texas cichlid's belly is swollen and he looks like he's going to burst. He still has an appetite but is starting to have trouble swimming upright. What is wrong with him and how can he be cured? < Your Texas cichlid has an internal bacterial infection brought on by stress. If he is still eating then you may have a chance to save him. Do a 30% water change and vacuum the gravel. Service the filter too. Treat with Metronidazole and feed medicated food with Metronidazole in it if you can find it. -Chuck>

Schooling Texas cichlids? Hello, I'm trying to learn if my stocking idea is feasible... I have 125 gal (6 foot long) tank currently inhabited by an 18" gibbiceps, 7" Raphael catfish, 3" green terror juvie, 2" female convict, about 20 green Corys and 4 Barbus filamentosus. Somewhere I've heard the Texas cichlid is a schooling fish, and I'm wondering if adding 3-4 would possibly work in my tank? < All cichlid fry are somewhat of a schooling fish until they mature and get ready to breed. At about two or three inches they will start to pair off and no longer school.> While I wouldn't like to, I could possibly remove the convict to another tank, and again, if I had to I suppose I could give the green terror to the LFS as it's still quite small I'm sure they'd happily take him/her back. I'd rather keep everyone, though.  What do you think? If Texas cichlid isn't a good option, could you recommend another CA/SA cichlid of good size, 8-10" and colorful that could cohabitate somewhat peacefully with conspecifics? I don't mind a little natural aggression, I just don't want my fish living in a constant war zone!  Thanks, Jennifer  < When dealing with central and South American cichlids it is possible to get some fairly non-aggressive cichlids to get along in a big tank. Look at the chocolate cichlid, Heros severum, festivum and all of the Geophagus types.-Chuck>

My Texas has red spots..... Does Yours? Hello, I have a 75 gallon tank I received free. It is 4 feet long 18" deep and 22" high. When I got the tank it was in such bad shape I had to completely clean everything and start it over, unfortunately there was a rather large Texas, a rather large Dempsey, medium firemouth, and a medium convict, along with a few goldfish, kissing gouramis, and 2 large Plecostomus. I didn't want to waste these beautiful fish and being new ay the aquarium game I wasn't sure what to do.  They seemed fine at first, then the Texas had gotten small red bumps all over the fins behind it's gills and became very sluggish and eating very little. He seemed to be the only one affected. I asked the best fish store in town and they said probably fin rot, because of high ammonia possibly when starting over the tank. they also said do not vacuum or change the filter bags in either of my Whisper- 3 filters due to these are going to generate the necessary bacteria for the tank. Recently the firemouth has died of no apparent reason out of nowhere.  This all occurred in about a 3 week period. Again I talked to the fish store and they recommended a heater which the tank didn't come with to bring up the temp from about 68deg. F. to 80deg F to build bacteria faster and a healthier temp(erature) for the fish, the also recommended a packet of Bio-Spira live bacteria culture to help the process along faster. while at the store I purchased a good water testing kit as I live in a small Wisconsin town that pumps up well water and treats it for the town. the levels are becoming more stable everyday and my Texas in just over night after adding the bacteria culture has become very active again chasing the Dempsey all the time, (they don't attack just chase, this is very exciting to watch.) although the Texas is very active the spots are still there, they look as if he had rubbed his fins raw and the spots swelled some, the spots are close to his body and not near the ends of his fins. Would you have any idea what this would be and how to get rid of it?  Although he is a beautiful fish I want to trade him in along with the Dempsey and the convict and start over with a larger amount of smaller cichlids. I would like to get this fish healthy so that maybe someone else can enjoy his beauty, he has bright vivid blue shades through his small spots from head to tail and I want to keep him that way, any info you could give would be very appreciated. Thank You for your time and Knowledge, John < Your Texas Cichlid has developed a bacterial infection from the stress of being moved around. The fish store has given you some very good advice and I recommend that you continue to patronize them. If the red spots stopped growing and are beginning to heal then I would just keep the water clean and let him heal on his own. If the spots continue to grow then you might consider treating him in a quarantine tank with Nitrofuranace.-Chuck>

Texas cichlids question, how do you tell the sex, I've got one that's really dark in color and one that is really light in color,  thanks < Texas cichlids are somewhat sexable by a couple characteristics. Males tend to be larger and the fins are longer and more pointed than the females. When getting ready to spawn they both take on a 3/4 black coloration leaving the forehead area a light grey color.-Chuck>

Re: blue Texas fry I have 8 cichlids...., 6 mixed African and 2 blue Texas in a 55 gallon tank. the blue Texas bred and I scooped up about 30 fry to separate them in a floating breeding tank (very small in size).  there are still about 15 in the tank with the other fish and are doing fine. both parents are very protective of them.  my question is what to do with the separated fry?  how long do I have to keep them separated and is it ok to put them in the tank with the other cichlids after being separated? < Your Texas cichlids will eat there own fry in a couple of weeks as they prepare to spawn again. I recommend that you keep the fry separated and feed them baby brine shrimp and crushed flake food. In a couple of months you could try and trade them in to the local fish store for some credit.-Chuck

Texas cichlids my query for u guys is i have a Texas cichlid and his colors half black and half white my friends keys telling me that its not a Texas cichlid  do they change colors like that  is it a Texas cichlid or is it some thing else    hope to hear from u guys soon  u can e mail me back at   elmo01830 @aol .com <There are really two different species of cichlids commonly referred to as Texas Cichlids.. "Cichlasoma" carpinte is a fish with large greenish spots on a dark grey body. The other Texas Cichlid is "Cichlasoma" cyanoguttatum. This one has smaller white spots on a lite grey body. When either one becomes dominant or decides it wants to breed the lower half becomes black while the upper half can become a very light grey almost white.-Chuck>

Oscar/Texas cichlid I have a 3" albino tiger Oscar and a Texas cichlid in a tank together. I was wondering if these are suitable tank mates. I have heard that the Texas cichlid is very mean and might kill the Oscar, but so far it seems to be the opposite. The Texan just kinda hangs around the bottom and sometimes when the Oscar sees him he will chase him for a bit, but quickly loses interest. They don't seem to mind each other for the most part. They are currently in a 29G but I'm planning to upgrade to a 60G before too long. I've heard some people say they are good together, and some say they don't mix. So I guess I'm a tad confused. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Also I was wondering if you had any info on the Texan because there are barely any on any sites I can find. All I know is that he is the coolest looking freshwater fish I have seen thus far. Thanks for your time. <As far as water parameters go these fish should be fine together. The chasing you are seeing is most likely because of territorial disputes, especially if the Oscar is larger or was in the tank before you added the Texas. They need to be moved into the larger tank ASAP and once they get large you may find yourself needing an even larger tank to prevent the fighting. To find more webpages on the Texas, do a search for the species name Herichthys cyanoguttatus or the more common name Rio Grande cichlid. Ronni>

Texas Cichlid Disease Could not find answer on your site.  My Texas Cichlid died this morning.  Raised him from baby (1 1/4 inches to 5 inches at death, one year old).   I kept a log.  Day one:1st symptoms were  3 pink spots appearing near dorsal fin and 2 on lower jaw. Ran tests on water everything was normal.  Introduced 2 tablespoons of aquarium salt to water (he was in 10 gal. tank no other fish) spots cleared up in 3 days. At end of 3 days did 10% water change, he was not eating normally so stopped food for 2 days.  My regular maintenance of tank was 30% water change every 3 weeks, I use a Hagen Aqua 200 filter and a sponge filter and use Kordon water treatment, I'm on well water.  Day ten:  half dozen pink spots reappeared plus he passed a very long string of semi-clear whitish substance.  I again introduced salt, the pink spots cleared up to some degree, some remained grey in color. His appetite did not improve, it was time for regular water change and did a 30% change.  Ran water tests everything was normal.  (If it's important at this point my Ph runs a constant 7.4 and this is what he was raised in.  I have 2 other tanks with angels and silver dollars in one and black convicts in the other who are under same water and maintenance conditions and they are doing well.)  Day 15: He is staying near top of tank near airstone bubbles most of the time but does not appear to be gasping for breath staying level in the water and has not eaten for about 3 days.  His pink spots have increased, his normal color is only apparent around the head and gills the back part of his body is blackish in color turning to grey as it nears the head and he was passing another very long string of whitish substance.  I removed the sponge filter and the carbon filter and introduced Melafix and aquarium salt.  That was last night and this morning he was very weak and then died a short while later.  I know this has been a long letter but wanted to give you all info that I had as I would like to know if possible what killed him.   <It sounds as if it may have been a parasitic infection. Take a look at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm for descriptions of many of them. Also, I have to wonder, was the 10g tank his normal home or just a QT tank? If it was his normal home, there were probably some problems caused by it. A 10g is *way* too small for anything but a dwarf Cichlid and especially one like the Texas who can reach an adult size of nearly a foot.> Thank you for your time. Wilma Hill <You're welcome! Ronni>

Texas Cichlid Thank you for the reply, <You are welcome.> Question number two, I have a 50 gal/900L tank with two angels, two black tip sharks, two catfish, and planning to add more. I also had the Texas Cichlid in the same tank until I transferred him to the 39 gallon and the water in that tank is crystal clear. Now my 50 gallon tank is Plexiglas as my 39 gallon is glass. My 50 gallon has a slight "tannish" haze to the water. I did a 50 % water change and the pH is fine. <Before or after the water change? Yellow water usually means you need to increase the frequency or amounts of your water changes. Use of activated carbon also helps.> The only thing that I could think of is the filtration, it is a KOBUOTA dual filter. <I have no experience nor have I ever seen this model.> My 39 Gallon has a Penguin 125 Biowheel carbon filter which I think does a better job. Would you suggest that I switch the 50 gallon to two penguin 330's. <If you think they would work better, go for it. You would know better than I how your tanks operate.> I also have I think aquafin-pure-cure sorry about spelling, water filters the kind that pulls air in from the outside and has a control knob to increase or decrease the airflow in the water. <Again, unfortunately, I have no idea what this is.> Also what is a biological skimmer and do I need one for my tanks. <I am not sure what you are referring to. There are protein skimmers and biological filtration, but they are two different and distinct things. You can search www.WetWebMedia.com for more information on either.> And last why does it seem that my Texas Cichlid doesn't like light and it seems like he has no schedule for eating. He does not eat right away, is this normal. <Somewhat strange behavior for a cichlid. They are usually pigs and quite personable. It may be from stress from the move.> Waiting for your reply, Scott in Okinawa Japan <Good luck to you. -Steven Pro>

Texas Cichlid Good Evening sir , <Good afternoon to you. Steven Pro here, part of the WWM question crew.> I have a Texas Cichlid and recently put him in a 39 gallon tank by himself. He was in a 50 gallon Community tank which he done well with the community fish. <I am guessing he killed or tormented the fish.> My questions are what would you suggest that I put in the tank with him as far as fish? <That is going to be hard. Perhaps some larger dither fish. Fish that are non-territorial, like Silver Dollars and Giant Danios, but a bit risky either way.> Secondly does the Texas Cichlid eat live plants. <Not sure if it will actually eat them, possibly, but will surely dig them up and otherwise destroy them.> These are cool fish they have an attitude all of their own and they seem like they know everything that is going on around them. <Agreed, many Cichlids are very personable.> Thank you very much and will be waiting for your reply. Scott in Okinawa Japan <You are welcome. -Steven Pro in Pittsburgh>

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