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Reunited Jewel Cichlids


Fish Fanatic
Jan 12, 2023
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The pet store I visit a lot had a pair of jewel cichlids for a few months, a male and female. I remember checking in on them every visit and watching them swim together happily. My tank is only 20 gallon, so I knew I couldn’t take them home, especially with my neons and guppies 😂. One day, I noticed tiny little fry around them! Unfortunately, convict cichlids were in the tank trying to eat them, to which the parents responded by ripping their tails off 😬 (I told the employees and they separated the others from the couple and their kids before they killed more)

I eagerly visited to watch the babies grow up, they got to about the size of a dime. They stuck around the parents, who were just the most beautiful fish in the cichlid section imo. I visited one day to find one cichlid missing (I think the male) and the babies gone too. I asked what happened to them, and they said that someone had bought them but left the female behind. I thought that was quite cruel, I don’t know if fish actually feel emotions or not, but the remaining jewel stayed in the corner instead of swimming around with her partner and babies like she used to. She looked quite thin and dull over the next few weeks, as if she refused to eat anything. I was really worried for her.

Maybe about a month after her partner’s disappearance, I noticed someone buying her. I struck up a conversation with him, mentioning her previous partner and babies. As it turns out, this customer was the same one that bought the male! (I’m not sure if he or someone else bought the babies tho) He said something about not having enough space for two, but finally upgraded his tank, now he was taking her home! I really hope she recognizes her partner after a month, she seemed so depressed alone.

I’ve read that Jewel cichlids are monogamous, and there have been studies showing that some fish species appear depressed when separated. They really are more complex than people realize.

I never though I’d be so emotionally invested in a fish when I started this hobby 😂😭
That was a good read.

if you ever find yourself with space and more tanks, you sound like you'd enjoy fish breeding. Jewels are easy to pair and get fry from, but their violent ways make them difficult, and you can never seem to find homes for all those babies.

There are other Cichlids that practice equally wonderful broodcare without the violence levels, and you should try some some day. Kribs (P pulcher), taenies (P kribensis), Keyholes (C maronii), Bolivian rams (M altispinosus) and a few others are a delight to watch. It was kribs that really caught me as far as the hobby goes.

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