Animal Stories - Red Devil Cichlid


Animal-World Information about: Red Devil Cichlid

A beautiful but violent fish, the iconic Red Devil makes for one of the most striking show cichlids in the hobby!
Latest Animal Stories
Wendy - 2014-07-08
Hi All, I have had my red devil for about 8yrs, his name is Bully Bob. He has a big aquarium and for the last couple of months has been staying in the corner and not moving much. He still eats and I have checked my water several times (ph balance) and keep it clean, but he now has been lying on his side on the rocks. I thought that perhaps this was his time, but it has been over a week and he is still eating, but has lost a lot of weight. I live in Calgary, so I know the water is hard. Any thoughts on why he is doing this or anything that I could be doing to improve his situation? We love him very much. Wendy

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-07-22
    It does sound like your cichlid is not well. Here's some things you can try right away: do about a 40% water change, lower the pH to 6.7 or less, and reduce feedings. What you describe could possibly indicate it is suffering from an ammonia poisoning. If it is ammonia poisoning, you could try to neutralize any ammonia, even if it is at very low levels. But keep in mind that if you put in a chemical to neutralize the ammonia it will affect your biological filter, rendering it useless, so perhaps a quarantine tank would be better for this.
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Huy - 2014-04-13
My Red Devil is about 5 to 6 months old and is about 6 inches. Ever since I moved him into a 10 gallon tank by himself he's been very inactive. The reason why I moved him is because when he was kept with my other fish (Albino Tiger Oscar) he was constantly picking on the Oscar even though they are about the same size. He was very active back then. Now, sometimes he eats and sometimes he doesn't. He usually just hides under the filter. What can I do to help him be active again?

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  • John - 2014-04-24
    He needs to be in a bigger tank, but the first thing I would make sure that the water is ok. Ammonia, nitrates, make sure these are in balance but he really needs to be in a 55 gallon aquarium.
  • Derrick Wozniak - 2014-07-01
    I agree with the previous post about a bigger tank and checking the water. Have you tried cat fish in the tank with him as a companion? Or feeder fish? They will like to hunt. He may have lost his will like a caged lion.
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brent - 2014-06-22
Love these fish

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Glenn - 2014-05-24
So I set up a tank in my sons room, because we have a large community tank in our living room and a Mbuna Setup in mine and my wife's bedroom. Recently our large parrot fish which my son adored passed away and he didn't take it well. He always adored Red Devils, especially this one at our LFS that someone dropped off when she got too large. Of all fish he could of picked he went for a 9' female Red Devil. I was a bit skeptical @ first due to their reputation of being killing machines but she is a sweetheart and has a great personality towards my son, he even named her 'Red'. He understands Red can only live in solitary but he gives her a lot of attention and I can see them bonding.. I was kinda astonished that My son wanted the fish that someone basically threw out because she got too big and left her to waste away instead of picking out a kiddie fish @ 7 years old.

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greg - 2013-12-27
Hi I have a mystic shark and I just found a lump in the lower part of the stomach, can anybody tell me what it could be please?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-01-04
    It's hard to say what this is on your Iridescent shark (a.k.a. Mystic shark). It could be some kind of parasite, a tumour, or it could have injured itself. These sharks are very skittish and will often swim into things, hurting themselves.
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Sheila - 2013-02-24
My red devil is about 8 years old & has begun to just lay on the bottom of the tank on his side. My husband thinks it's time to remove him but I just can't. He's been such a great pet & after having to put my lab down a few months ago, I just hate to lose him too. He's breathing, he looks around & when pushed will swim away. But mostly he's just laying on his side. He's been doing this for a few weeks now. I hate to think he's in pain. . .do you think he is dying & I should take steps to go ahead & send him on?

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-02-24
    Check water levels.  Try adding some air stones.  Is he eating?
  • MAMAS5 - 2013-03-14
    Sheila my comment above is actually for you I meant to hit Reply on your post and hit add a comment instead! How is your red devil doing now? I do hope u figured out what his issue was!
  • hayley - 2013-03-15
    HI there my red devil was doing the same.. I had him in with my plec and a zebra loach and another loach. they were fine though.. I have since put him in a bigger tank.. Added some other faster moving fish..with plenty of hiding places.. I was very on edge at first But it seems to have brought him round.. He rests in his castle but is more active.. Its mad really I've had him 3/4 years dont know how old he was when I got him.. But know when this fish arrived he wouldn't accept other fish apart from the loaches.. And was advised to leave him alone.. He now has his space and they all seem quite happy using the full tank.. He isn't sleeping on his side... the tank does seem well balanced.. occasionally he gives a chase.. But thats it.. x I feed him tropical frozen food blood worms etc cucumber, peas, pellets and flake..
  • April - 2013-03-12
    I just had the same thing happen to my red devil. He was acting like this for a couple months though. First I thought he was just old, but then I read they can live up to 15 years. Then I treated him for some disease with Maracyn 2 but he didn't get better. Then I had someone come and look at him and they said that he injested too many rocks and sand (he liked to move them) and couldn't pass them. So he was bloated, backed up and just the toxins were building up inside. She gave him some tablet, it was a 50/50 chance. I've read you can put epsom salt in your tank too, to help constipation. Unfortunately it was too late for my fish we buried him last week. But I hope you can save yours, they are beautiful fish!
  • melanie - 2013-09-06
    April, what kind of tablet was it? Our fish is doing the exact same thing and he likes to move pebbles and is not laying on the ground and doesn't want to move.
  • nigel - 2013-11-27
    Sounds like what they call sleeping disease even though awake they just sit there doing nothing and get listless. I lost a large oscar to this a month ago and it was horrible.
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Mark - 2013-08-26
Hi all I have a red devil that has been sitting on the bottom of my tank for the last few months. He comes up for food and comes over to have a look when I go up to the tank. Otherwise he just sits upside down on the bottom of the tank! Can anyone tell me what to do to fix this or is it to late for him?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-08-27
    That is really strange! Because it's been going on for so long, and he is eating and active when he wants to be, makes me think there may be nothing physically wrong. But it's still really strange:)
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Riedwaan - 2013-08-22
Hi everyone, My Red Devil is about 25cm in size, very playful and a pleasure to have. He is white in color with orange fins. As I am residing in Cape Town South Africa do I find it very difficult to get a partner for him. Could anyone help and assist? I am willing to buy. Please respond to you soonest. Thanks. Riedwaan. email address (emkitchrt@gmail.com)

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Head Nurse Pattye - 2009-05-20
I have a great community 100 gallon tank of cichlids. A Leporinus (my leopard fish)
a Red Devil, a young Flower Horn, a Green Terror, a Jack Dempsey, a Manguenese and 2
Plecostamus bottom dwellers.

I've learned a great deal about tanks over the years since I was a kid.

Recently I learned how to keep the Red Devil and aggressive acting fish in check.

They can individually be put on "time out" in a plastic bag with air for a couple of minutes and allowed to float on top while you rearrange the rocks and scenery.

There will still be a more dominant fish (Red), but when his attitude gets out of hand and BEFORE Red has moved all the rocks in his favor, I do this.

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MAMAS5 - 2013-03-14
Just curious how your red devil is doing ? If you don't mind providing an update!? I never knew that they actually ingested the rocks?? The same thing happened to our Albino Oscar a year or so ago and he never made it either =( he was such a great fish so entertaining and such a great fish for a long time! Hope that your little red devil rebounded by now?! It's just never easy loosing one of our pets they are absolutely members of the family!

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