they can reach about 6 inches. they are fairly good breeders and will defend their batch vigorously. they eat anything from live worms to flakes. larger sized foods are better when they are larger cause they get "filled" (if that can be achieved) faster. they need a larger territory than small cichlids due to their aggression. they will beat on other fish if they feel like it. beware of tankmates, cause jewels will kill smaller fish.
they come from africa so perimeters are
pH: between 7 and 8
hardness- medium hard to hard
(dont know how valid the perimeters are cause I didnt look at anything from those. I was merely guessing cause of where they come from. they could come from the softer watered rivers of africa, which Im not sure if they do. if they do, pH should be between 6 and 7 and the hardness should be on the softer side)
tankmates should be of similar size that can hold their ground. recamended for tanks 50 gallons and up.
blood worms, black worms, or tubifex worms are the most common worms. live isnt recamended unless you culture your own worms cause of parasites. freeze dried and frozen worms are safer. live worms hold more nutrients, tho. if the jewels turn out to get really big, you could feed them earth worms and the like, if they arent too big.
you could also use cichlid pellets or cichlid sticks that are appropirate sizes. flakes arent efficent means of food. they are just too small for medium sized to larger cichlids.
I think tiger barbs are alright, as long as the jewels are small and both types of fish grow up together, so that the barbs continue to be a -safe size- "larger" than the jewels. as in the jewels wont reck on the fish cause they are too big to consider larger peieces of food.
I would get a group of 5 going so the aggression is spread and the jewels see them as a group in the environment rather than a few fish to be killed.
I have blue acaras which arent that agressive now in with some 2 inch black skirts and the skirts arent harrassed as much as they would be. there are nine black skirts rather tahn 2.
if you want, you could get rid of the barbs and get something else that could live with them. Im not sure what other fish could live with jewels.
Would the juveniles eat chopped up feeders? I am already planning on getting some more barbs. Im going to look at the LFS today since its a opening in a bigger store. Might go see if i can get a job there.
sure. never thought of doing that. the only problem with feeders is that you some could have parasites. people feed anyways and fish grow up healthy most of the time. try it and see if it works. good luck with the job.