U would be amazed at how well africans color up if u put them in a higher ph such as 8.0 and in a species only tank containing just a male and a few females. Petshops usually keep their fish around neutral cause its easier fir them to maintain all different tanks.
When i brought home my deepwater haps they looked good in store but once home and adjusted they the male atleast doubled in intensity. Also there is always a dominant male in a tank so if u have a community of africans in a tank all the other males will probably never show their full potential.
bgallodoro24, first of all i want to say i love your fishroom... the setup looks outatanding! inly thing is i wish i saw your thread sooner as i could've offered some thiughts on the envelope of your building and help keep those utility bills down ... but for the most part it everything looks sound, but feel free to PM me if h want to pick my brain about stuff
in terms of cichlid keeping i'm totally new to them, i have a 75g mixed that has been up only since June. I'd like to think of them as water puppies because they are soo smart, they are completely aware of whts outside their tank and they recognize who's feeding them lol so onviously i fell in love.
its a shame some LFS keep then in low pH but i guess they are meant to be sold so they don't bother.
i hear horror stories about the "assorted" tanks as some could be hybrid or whacky fish. i'm glad i found a gem... what you said about males is totally true. in fact i had to net three subdominents already, two i donated and one is living in my sump for the moment lol