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Hobbyist Gallery - Johnny Reclos

 
 

John Reclos (Central American Cichlid tank – Parachromis managuensis species tank) Athens, Greece, e-mail: jreklos@hotmail.com

Water parameters : pH=7.8, GH 8, KH 8, no detectable NH3, NO2 or NO3 (measurements taken before feeding). Lighting : Two fluorescent tubes 38 W each. One of them is a warm daylight tube and the other is a cold daylight one. Filtration : One Hydor external canister filter (900 liters/hour) and one internal Juwel filter (1200 liters/hour) – the latter comes with the tank. Tank dimensions : 120 x 50 x 60 = 360 liters (300+ liters net water volume). Inhabitants : Two Parahromis Managuensis which are presumably a pair (not yet a mating pair). This is concluded by the fact that the smaller one (presumed to be a male; sized 13 cm) is neither killed not attacked by the larger one which is presumed to be the female (sized 26 cm; 30 cm with tail included).

The tank is aquascaped with normal sand as a substrate, a big flat rock which may serve as a spawning site and some big bogwood pieces. The bogwood pieces, due to the sheer final size of the fish is kept together with special aquarium epoxy glue (made by Aquarium Systems). Furthermore, the bogwood formation is also glued to the internal filter compartment for extra stability. This wooden formation is constructed in such a way that allows the smaller fish to retreat in “caves” too small for the large one to enter. The two fish will spend a great deal of the day under the bogwood and will come out every now and then to see if I am around to offer food or shift the sand. I know that the tank is rather small for these fish but the initial plan was to house three – four Nandopsis salvini and not the Jaguar cichlids. However, I found the large specimen kept in a very small tank (100 liters) and was definitely not wanted by the petshop owner who was really happy to donate the fish to get back his tank. Keeping it alone was – in my opinion – too cruel so I decided to search for a second one (hopefully of the opposite sex). It didn’t take too long to find a second unwanted specimen (returned by a hobbyist after killing all the mbuna (!!) present in his tank) which was also happily donated to me by the petshop owner. Because of the rather small size of the tank, large water changes are required. I currently perform an 80% water change in the weekend plus another 40% mid-week. Large water changes are necessary to remove as much of the waste as possible and allow the fish to (possibly) reach a larger final size by creating a “virtually” larger tank. Fish are fed twice daily with extra large sticks (Tetra Arowana sticks) and live food (earthworms) three times per week. They are not fed at all on Saturdays. Photos show the tank (the fish are behind the bogwood), the large “female” and the small “male” - in this order.

 
MCH Verdict

The only striking point is the *relatively small* tank for cichlids that can grow up to 40cm (I can tell they do, as I once saw 10 of them in different sizes in one tank at a show. The oldest one there was 15 years old !!!) A quite remarkable story this is! Who are we to blame a young guy for his enthusiasm to keep one of the most aggressive and lethal (to other tankmates) Central America cichlids? Most of the adult hobbyists have only 1/10th of the *fishy* knowledge of the Reclos' family, so Johnny should be able to keep the managuense in optimal conditions. Who has the right to say that this tank is way too small? Let me tell you: I keep a large group of Copadichromis azureus in a 3000L tank, and to my surprise the dominant males of this relatively small Malawi cichlid species (15cm) already managed to kill 2 subdominant ones!!! Only time will tell if these Parachromis managuense can live together. As I've read on the internet, breeding couples are very rarely found. About the tank: It's nicely decorated as sand, stones and wood blend in seamlessly. Larger irregular pieces of bogwood could add a more *wild* touch though. The fish seem to like the hiding places very much, as they extensively use them. Switching off the rear light bulb could also let them feel more at ease in the darker back, but of course this wouldn't encourage them to swim in the open. Last but not least, water parameters are indeed impressive!

In my opinion this is a NICE tank. It is correctly aquascaped and well maintained as shown by the remarkable water parameters for such a “small” tank. My remarks are two: 1) The flat stone (at left, when looking at the tank) could result in being too much in "the open" in order to become an actual spawning site. But this is NOT a problem (at least not a crucial one) since, in this case, the fish will simply spawn elsewhere! 2) Caves: at the moment the situation is excellent (only the small fish can enter some caves) but once things follow the natural way and the male outgrows (something that will most probably happen) you'll have to arrange a hiding spot for the female to hide (when not ready to spawn) ... otherwise she will have an "unpleasant" time ... But these are minor "faults" while I am definitely taking into account that this is the first setup of Johnny.

Should be noted that G.J.Reclos didn't rate this tank - for obvious reasons.

 
Overall rating by MCH :  79/100

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