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Thread: just started my first african cichlid tank

  1. #1
    DIYFK member memfish's Avatar


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    just started my first african cichlid tank

    hey everybody, i just started my first african cichlid tank! right now i have a Auratus, Acei, Peacock, Demasoni, Yellow lab, albino red top, Blue johani, Blue ahli, Red zebra x 2, and then i have a mystery dark orange cichlid, and mystery blue cichlid. they are in a 55 at the moment and all around 1.5 to 2 inches. i'm hoping that everybody will grow up and be happy together but i was wondering if any of you guys had any suggestions to my stocking. right now there is nor real blatant aggression. the blue ahli is the most aggresive, but he has found his own cave and sticks by it leaving everyone else alone. and i'll be sure to get picks up in a jiffy.

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    Divine Moderator Divinehammer's Avatar


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    Congrats on getting into Africans, I started my first African tank in December, Just moved them all about a week ago to a 55 gallon as well, I have Super Red Empresses, Strawberry Peacock, Yellow labs, Malawi, Giraffe, Zombie, Jewel, and Bumblebees and 2 others that I can't remember their names.
    Canadian Pleco lover! Soon to be built DIY 2000 Gallon RTC tank, Go Big Or Go Home!

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    DIYFK member memfish's Avatar


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    how many fish do you have total, im not sure if 12 is to many or not enough

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    DIYFK member wermbang's Avatar


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    I have 10 in a 50g. I figure about 5 gallons each fish when they are fully grown. But you can overstock with over filtering.

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    DIYFK member peaceypea's Avatar


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    i believe i have 14-15 in my 75g with about 4 little corycats and a pleco. 2 75g filters and an aquaclear 70. seems to be all good :] i find mine like more fish really so now im working on buying a mate for each "single" fish in my tank.

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    Divine Moderator Divinehammer's Avatar


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    I have 14 Africans and 1 Highfin Pleco in my 55 tank that i set up for them with 12 rock caves, one of them is for my Highfin to hang out in.
    Canadian Pleco lover! Soon to be built DIY 2000 Gallon RTC tank, Go Big Or Go Home!

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    DIYFK member peaceypea's Avatar


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    yea i have tons of caves, we basically moved 80% of our slate and rock supply and put it in there, they love having their own little place to hide..

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    DIYFK member memfish's Avatar


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    thanks for the info everybody, im not putting a pleco in there so i think im going to shoot for 18 total cichlids in the tank, i just got 2 more peacocks and a jewel ad im going to go get three more. ALso all of the ones im getting are around an inch so hopefully they'll grow up happy with each other. also, there are tons of caves to keep them busy.

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    DIYFK member memfish's Avatar


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    well i just got another yellow lab, johanni, two more peacocks, a giraffe and two apple snails. for now i have one of joeys watterbottle filters along with three hang on the back filters. eventually i'll put two 225gph cannister fillters on there. im holding of on those now because i think the current would be to much for the little guys. hopefully i can get some pictures up soon these guys look awesome!

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    DIYFK member peaceypea's Avatar


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    Awesome!! I just turned my 29g into a baby African tank, 6 assorted babies, 2 demasoni, 2 moorii, 2 baby yellow lab, 4 corydoras and a small.Chinese algae eater. I LOVE MOORIIS

  11. #11
    DIYFK member JonK's Avatar


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    I've had close on 25...and at some times, 30 mbuna in a 55g. Water changes almost every other day though, gravel siphoning, the works. I don't have any issues with overstocking mbuna's.
    Your idea of 18 should be perfectly acceptable as long as you keep the water good Click here to enlarge

    As I say in pretty much every post about africans, they all have their own personalities, and sometimes the "peaceful" ones turn out to be terrors, and the ones they say are "aggressive" turn out to be big softies.

    However, they do say that demasoni should be kept in bigger groups. I've seen them terrorize the hell out of the other tank residents when their numbers were low. Solved it by removing one or two other fish, and increasing the numbers in the demasoni group. Just be aware that this might happen, and be prepared to make changes if it does. I'll go ahead and hope that it doesnt Click here to enlarge

    Also bear in mind whether or not you are hoping for them to breed. You might get to a stage where I was when I first started, where I wanted them to breed, but the ratio's were all off. I had to remove fish and increase numbers in the species I was hoping would breed. Careful stock planning at the start will make you happier in the long run.

    Another thing to note, by giraffe, do you mean N.Venustus ? or N.Livingstonii? While I suspect they would get along to a degree with your other tank residents, you should know now that both of those species will outgrow your 55g very quickly, not to mention, N.Livingstonii eat mbuna in the wild.

    Glad to see you're so enthusiastic about africans, they truly are awesome little critters !

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    Divine Moderator Divinehammer's Avatar


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    yup so far so good, and yes I mean N.Venustus, turns out it's a big wuss LOL! I had to pull the decor for a few days because of some fighting, and put one of my Bumblebees in the time out box for a night, but everything seems to have calmed down, and the fighting has stopped, so this weekend will start to put some of the rocks back in, had to take my spotted Highfin Pleco out of there though was getting picked on by someone, so moved him to my 90 with my other 2 big Common Plecos he's doing much better. the breeders box was a good idea anyone starts anything I tap it on the glass and they all settle down right fast, got them trained real fast who's the big dog is LOL!Click here to enlarge
    Canadian Pleco lover! Soon to be built DIY 2000 Gallon RTC tank, Go Big Or Go Home!

  13. #13
    Searching 4 CichlidYoda CichlidPadawan's Avatar


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    lol great idea devine with the time out box!



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    Divine Moderator Divinehammer's Avatar


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    I learned it from someone else on here, can't remember who it was though LOL! seems to work good.
    Canadian Pleco lover! Soon to be built DIY 2000 Gallon RTC tank, Go Big Or Go Home!

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    DIYFK member memfish's Avatar


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    hey everybody thanks for the advice and discussion. i think i've got my stocking down for now and hopefully everybody will grow up happy together with no problems. as of now i have
    1 demansi
    2 yellow labs
    3 peacocks
    2 red zebras
    2 johanni
    1 i believe rusty cichlid, or he's a rusty hybrid
    1 blue ahli
    1 bumblebee
    1 giraffe (venutus)
    1 jewel
    2 acei
    1 aurutus
    1 albino socoli
    1 upside down cat
    1 senegal birchir
    1 apple snail
    5 nerite snails
    and some mts

    so far the aggression with the cichlids has been great the ahli is still the boss but nobody has nipped fins and there is very little chasing. JonK thank you very much for the work you put in on the boards you have been very insightful. i am keeping an eye on the giraffe but for right now everybody is around 2 inches so he's not big enough to eat anyone yet and if he does get big enough i'll rehome him. as for non fish i have 3 anubias that are thriving so far in the tank and 7 smaller java fern plants along with a marimo ball. for filtration at the moment i have 4 15 gallon hob filters along with a water bottle filter. also i am doing 50% water changes weekly. these guys will all be moving into a 75 gallon in a couple of months and when that move happens i will be adding one of my cannister filters along with making my first sump! sorry i don't have any pictures yet hopefully in a few weeks i'll get a camera.

  16. #16
    DIYFK member memfish's Avatar


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    also JonK, with the demansi, it's been a couple of weeks and so far he is doing great with everybody, but if he gets to aggressive i'll move him on out. I'm also not planning on breeding, however if a few do breed and any fry survive i guess my tiretrack eel and my brothers jack dempsey will have some extra food as i don't want to propogate any hybrids or focus on trying to get purebreds.

  17. #17
    DIYFK member JonK's Avatar


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    Cool, looking forward to the pictures!

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    DIYFK member chiroken's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by memfish Click here to enlarge
    hey everybody thanks for the advice and discussion. i think i've got my stocking down for now and hopefully everybody will grow up happy together with no problems. as of now i have
    1 demansi
    2 yellow labs
    3 peacocks
    2 red zebras
    2 johanni
    1 i believe rusty cichlid, or he's a rusty hybrid
    1 blue ahli
    1 bumblebee
    1 giraffe (venutus)
    1 jewel
    2 acei
    1 aurutus
    1 albino socoli
    1 upside down cat
    1 senegal birchir
    1 apple snail
    5 nerite snails
    and some mts

    so far the aggression with the cichlids has been great the ahli is still the boss but nobody has nipped fins and there is very little chasing. JonK thank you very much for the work you put in on the boards you have been very insightful. i am keeping an eye on the giraffe but for right now everybody is around 2 inches so he's not big enough to eat anyone yet and if he does get big enough i'll rehome him. as for non fish i have 3 anubias that are thriving so far in the tank and 7 smaller java fern plants along with a marimo ball. for filtration at the moment i have 4 15 gallon hob filters along with a water bottle filter. also i am doing 50% water changes weekly. these guys will all be moving into a 75 gallon in a couple of months and when that move happens i will be adding one of my cannister filters along with making my first sump! sorry i don't have any pictures yet hopefully in a few weeks i'll get a camera.
    I am not a fan of mbunas with peacocks and haps, tried it and it doesn't work. Once these fish start to mature and get adult sized I think you will have problems. The auratus might be a huge problem. I would watch that the peacocks don't get overwhelmed and that venustus will get big and I like 6' tanks for the bigger haps.
    300g with sump to be a peacock and hap african cichlid tank!
    55g peacock cichlids, pictus cat, pleco
    90/65/55g grow out tanks + 45g & several 10-15g tanks for the kids!

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