Skittish parachromis

Hybridfish7

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Got a little 3.5" male p. multifasciatus from COTA. Been in the tank for about 2 weeks now. He has a huge piece of driftwood that I occasionally see him weaving through, but for the most part he just sits in this little slot in the driftwood where I can't see him. He comes out to eat, and pokes his head out of the driftwood to look at the siphon during water changes. Other than that he is afraid of any movement outside the tank and hugs the driftwood/bottom. Tank has no substrate ATM, just 2 big sponges, driftwood, and a tidal HOB.
Is it normal for him to be this skittish? He seems to be coming out more readily to eat, but that's about it. I've been giving him worms, and I have gambusia that I can throw in if that'll help.
 

duanes

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At that size, Parachromis are prime prey for most fishing birds, even small king fishers, so they hang out under thick swaths of terrestrial , semi terrestria, and floating, logs and vegetation, so unless your tank is shrouded in plants, its security is less than instinctually assured.
Where I have spent time with cichlids in nature (including Parachromis) individuals of that size are often found at depths below 4 ft, or if in shallow, sheltered areas, among thick roots, logs and other protective debris.
5F17A1FA-83A6-43C1-BF1E-1A53B19430C7_1_201_a.jpeg
Above and below is habitat where P multifacsiatus is found.
A3EC4AC5-3950-4C2B-B370-382D8A1A5FA4_1_201_a.jpeg
368EAC16-62A0-4D62-8DFB-817E113035DE_1_201_a.jpeg
 

maxstillen

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It needs take mate's to keep it comfortable at that size. Maybe get it a few tank mates around it's size until it gets comfortable then it'll start coming out.
 
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Hybridfish7

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It needs take mate's to keep it comfortable at that size. Maybe get it a few tank mates around it's size until it gets comfortable then it'll start coming out.
I tried green sunfish with him, but he killed them within the first two days of them being together. I put a molly and a gambusia with him today (I fed him a molly and a gambusia basically), and he's been out and about a bit more now. I guess the understanding that there are little fish out and about, and that he can hunt those little fish, is bringing him out more.

I've had fish where I put in dithers, the dithers brought them out, they ate the dithers, and then went back into hiding because now there were no small fish out and about. So far his intelligence is holding up pretty well.
 

Wharf

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Male Cons maybe? He just has antisocial Personality Disorder 😜
 
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Hybridfish7

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Male Cons maybe? He just has antisocial Personality Disorder 😜
I don't think convicts would do any better than the sunfish, seeing as convicts would also probably be on the menu for him in the wild... I was thinking buenos aires since I use those as substitutes for astyanax, but allegedly multifasciatus itself has been seen death feigning like n. livingstonii to catch astyanax. I have a thing against spending money on fish for the sole purpose of feeding them off. It's either stuff I've bred, or stuff I catch. Maybe I'll start breeding tetras or something for him.
 
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stiker

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I don't think convicts would do any better than the sunfish, seeing as convicts would also probably be on the menu for him in the wild... I was thinking buenos aires since I use those as substitutes for astyanax, but allegedly multifasciatus itself has been seen death feigning like n. livingstonii to catch astyanax. I have a thing against spending money on fish for the sole purpose of feeding them off. It's either stuff I've bred, or stuff I catch. Maybe I'll start breeding tetras or something for him.
Parachromis multifasciatus and Amatitlania nigrofasciata native ranges do NOT overlap.
There are feral populations of nigrofasciata in the Rio Amacuzac in Mexico, but P. Multifasciatus is not found here.

You do not mention tank size/ ultimate tank size the fish will be in once older, which would help with suggestions for dithers/ other fish.

I personally have kept P. multifasciatus with Cryptoheros spilurus and Petenia splendida (as well as a few other species) The multifasciatus never even attempted to eat the smaller spilurus and only cared about each other (provided the other fish weren’t small enough to eat).

I’d suggest either getting more specimens, or waiting for the fish to settle in more. 2 weeks is not a long time for a fish of that size to settle in and feel comfortable.

B0B1792E-30FB-4752-90F4-C98DCDE4A8BF.jpeg8BA05597-C1DF-4853-9F47-C46D3448DECD.jpegBF99C8BE-F79F-433C-8AEE-FD96432ED8DF.jpegC1684CE0-3F41-421D-922F-9EEABE8148BC.jpeg
 

tlindsey

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Parachromis multifasciatus and Amatitlania nigrofasciata native ranges do NOT overlap.
There are feral populations of nigrofasciata in the Rio Amacuzac in Mexico, but P. Multifasciatus is not found here.

You do not mention tank size/ ultimate tank size the fish will be in once older, which would help with suggestions for dithers/ other fish.

I personally have kept P. multifasciatus with Cryptoheros spilurus and Petenia splendida (as well as a few other species) The multifasciatus never even attempted to eat the smaller spilurus and only cared about each other (provided the other fish weren’t small enough to eat).

I’d suggest either getting more specimens, or waiting for the fish to settle in more. 2 weeks is not a long time for a fish of that size to settle in and feel comfortable.

View attachment 1500613View attachment 1500614View attachment 1500616View attachment 1500617
Beautiful!
 

Hybridfish7

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Parachromis multifasciatus and Amatitlania nigrofasciata native ranges do NOT overlap.
Allegedly their populations do overlap in Honduras around La Ceiba. I'm not sure if they actually occur together per se, but their ranges do in fact overlap there. The la ceiba area is allegedly the northern/westernmost point where nigrofasciata naturally occurs along the Atlantic. Nigrofasciata's range goes all the way up into Guatemala, but only along the Pacific slope, so I don't believe they'd run into eachother there. While they may or may not be eating actual nigrofasciata naturally especially mine since he's from the Tabasco locale, I'm sure they're accustomed to things like cutteri or spilurus, and at least recognizing "small black and white stripey thing" as food.

Yours are gorgeous by the way. Do they just grow up that yellow idly (non breeding dress), or do you have them on specific diet in certain tank conditions?
 

stiker

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Allegedly their populations do overlap in Honduras around La Ceiba. I'm not sure if they actually occur together per se, but their ranges do in fact overlap there. The la ceiba area is allegedly the northern/westernmost point where nigrofasciata naturally occurs along the Atlantic. Nigrofasciata's range goes all the way up into Guatemala, but only along the Pacific slope, so I don't believe they'd run into eachother there. While they may or may not be eating actual nigrofasciata naturally especially mine since he's from the Tabasco locale, I'm sure they're accustomed to things like cutteri or spilurus, and at least recognizing "small black and white stripey thing" as food.

Yours are gorgeous by the way. Do they just grow up that yellow idly (non breeding dress), or do you have them on specific diet in certain tank conditions?
All the images taken were non breeding dress. Having multiple females really brought out their yellow colouration as they were constantly competing for the male. Diet was a veggie based pellet as all the fish in my fishroom receive.

Pic 1 was taken in a 240G with group of spilurus as tank mates.
Pic 2+3 were taken in a 220G with V. melanura and H. nicaraguensis as tank mates.
 
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