GRR!! Stupid cichlids!!! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2008, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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GRR!! Stupid cichlids!!!

Right, so I've had these 2 African cichlids forever and they've been great, never killed each other or anything. But lately my Cobalt has taken a fancy to piling all of my gravel up against the front of the tank!! Every time I move it back, he (yes, it's a male, I checked) just spits it all over the place.
I tried planting Java Fern in the hopes that they would break up the gravel spitting, but the cichlid just goes around them. I don't know what else to do, but it's really annoying and since I sleep next to the tank I can hear it all night long. Is it breeding behavior? I didn't think so, because he's a male, but that might be it . . .
I'd like to stop this if I can - I made the 'scape a certain way and I want to keep it like that!!
Any suggestions?

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2008, 05:42 AM
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There is no way to stop him from burrowing. Many mbuna cichlids do this. I'm not sure if it has something to do with mating or what, but all males seem to do it in my experience.

I used to have a yellow lab that would constantly be doing this to the gravel, so it got to a point where I would just let him do it and I never moved the gravel back. Basically, if you don't want him to do it, the only way you can stop him is if you change your substrate to sand.

It's natural behavior though and part of owning a cichlid. They will dig and they will unplant plants and ornaments. It's just what they do
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2008, 05:53 AM
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My stupid cat keeps trying to catch lizards.

Its just part of owning that particular animal.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2008, 06:54 AM
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It's breading behavior 4 sure. I used to own a 125 gal cichlids tank and my convicts tore a whole side up right down to the glass. After a few days I gave up trying to fix it and a week or so later (I can't remember for sure how long) I had around 20-30 baby convicts that the parents were aggressively protecting. They even chased off my 16" pleco. Stupid things, I'm just glad I don't have them any more- no more cichlids for me I tell ya.

A nice peaceful plant tank, thats where it's at.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2008, 09:31 AM
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Heres what worked for me.

Caves and natural recesses.

I was having problem with my male plecos and my male cichlids digging. I even tried removing the females to see if that calmed it down, but no it didn't.

When I moved from my 180L to my 360L tank I made sure the aquascape had a number of natural "caves" and places to put in some room for artificial caves that could be well hidden so they didn't upset the way i wanted the tank to look.

When the new big tank was ready the first guests were my cichlids my male plecos. They all claimed their own hidey holes and settled down.

In my case this solve the problem. No more digging.

Hope this helps

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