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Finally Ready to Stock!!

Discussion in 'Cichlids' started by easterner2012, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. easterner2012

    easterner2012 AC Members

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    After waiting for four weeks for my 60 gallon tank (48" x 12" x 22") to cycle, it has finally happened! Currently I have one yellow lab and one demasoni in the tank. I'm hoping to get more yellow labs, red zebras (or some sort of orange color fish) and some more blue fish (not sure if I will go with more demasoni or yellow tail acei which are really nice). Any suggestions before I go to my local store? A colorful tank is key.
     
    cyberbeer65 likes this.
  2. myswtsins

    myswtsins AC Members

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    1st suggestion is I hope those fish weren't in the tank during cycling? With mbunas you want to stock groups of young fish all at once, ideally. Eventually getting 1m:3f minimum, more females if possible.

    The demasoni are an all or nothing type of fish needing 12 or more to a group and a species tank preferred, especially at 60g. They are very aggressive. I recommend trading that guy in and going for other less aggressive groups to give you the colors you want.

    With Mbuna you are looking at territory area so the footprint is what determines stocking levels. With this footprint I would go with 3 species of smaller, less aggressive mbuna. Aggressive is a relative term here, all mbuna are aggressive of course. My suggestions...

    Yellow labs are an excellent choice of course. Stay small, great colors, high success rate for keeping and breeding

    Yellow tail acei can work in a 4ft tank but having had them myself I would want a 5ft+ for them if I got them again but I highly recommend them anyways. They can get big at 7" and are very active but mine were the most peaceful fish in the tank and full of personality.

    Rusties stay small, add purple, orange and brown and also pretty chill for mbuna.

    These three give you almost every color and keeps your aggression down, a solid selection IMO.

    Avoid - Demasoni, bumblebees, socolofi, zebras and so many others lol. Also avoid adding groups of similar fish.
     
  3. easterner2012

    easterner2012 AC Members

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    That's a lot of information to take in and consider. Thanks!

    After going to my LFS I ended up getting two more yellow labs (now I have 3 total) and two yellow tail acei. I really like these fish. Unfortunately, one already died.. not sure what happened to him but it looks like he had a big white spot next to his fin so I expect he had some sort of disease already or a bite mark?

    Now I have 3 yellow labs, 1 demason and one yellow tail acei.

    I am leaning towards getting another tank down the road to stock it with demasoni and yellow labs and then having my original tank stocked with yellow labs, yellow tail acei and another species..

    It's an addiction ...
     
  4. myswtsins

    myswtsins AC Members

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    You really should be quarantining all new fish, who knows what the one died of and if it is contagious. Quarantining is especially hard with Mbuna because the way you ar buying them a few at a time you be QTing forever and while they are in QT the ones in the main tank grow up and think they own the place. You are headed down a very slippery slope here. 1. no QT 2. only a few at a time and not even in proper groups at a time. MANY newcomers do this and it usually ends badly. The best success rates happen when you add ALL the fish at once to a properly cycled tank as young fish and in large groups that you can later sex out into the right ratios. Keeping Mbunas is a delicate balance and most people never find that balance and end up giving up when all their fish do is kill each other, especially with a tank as small as yours. Sorry if this sounds harsh but I want you and your fish to have the best chance possible. Mbuna are SO rewarding if kept properly.

    1st priority now needs to be to make sure you other fish don't get sick, after that...

    Since you are thinking of a dem tank anyway why not bring the acei back (the other one was sick apparently so they should take it back anyways) and get 3 more yellow labs and at least 20 demasoni in the hopes of ending up with at least 12, 15 is better and 4+ labs. It'd be best if you did a fishless cycle first but we are here now so dosing with prime every 24-48hrs and lots of water changes will carry you through till the cycle catches up, shouldn't take too long.

    Then in the future get a bigger tank, even a 75 would be substantially better for your mbuna community.

    What kind of filtration do you have? You want about a 10x turnover with mbunas.
     
  5. easterner2012

    easterner2012 AC Members

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    There seems to be so much conflicting information on raising cichlids, it's hard to know what works and what doesn't.

    I'm getting 3 more yellow labs this week which would bring my total up to 6 yellow labs, 1 demasoni and 1 acei.

    Ive also been reading up and it seems that it's next to impossible to sex out yellow labs until they are mature.

    I really don't think a 60 gallon 4 foot tank is too small for cichlids. People out there has had success with smaller tanks but each their own as they say. Also, if I get 20 more demasonis and don't get a 75 gallon tank till months from now wouldn't I have more issues? Also, how would a low pop of yellow labs fair with a high pop of demasonis since one is highly agressive and the labs are just semi ?

    I still really like the coloring of the aceis. The rusties are just mundane IMO..

    I guess I could get rid of the demasoni and keep all yellow labs and aceis..
     
  6. easterner2012

    easterner2012 AC Members

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    I currently have an aqua clear 70 but looking at adding another aqua clear 70 on
     
  7. easterner2012

    easterner2012 AC Members

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    How about

    5 labs
    5 acei
    1 Dems

    According to AqAdvisor, my tank would then be 100% stocked ...
     
  8. myswtsins

    myswtsins AC Members

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    Your tank is not too small, it is just on the lowest/smallest end of the spectrum and that makes the balance ever more critical. Bigger tanks allow for a little more leeway is all.

    Yes, you have to wait till they are sexual mature to vent them.

    15 dems and 6 labs will be fine in a 60g long term you don't need a 75. You start with more than you need though to account for die off and to get the right M:F ratios. Dems and labs are proven combo.

    I agree, I didn't care for the rusties either. A nice male is one thing but 3-5 blah females wasn't worth it for me. Acei are a favorite of mine too.

    Aqadvisor is a great starting point for most tanks, this is not most tanks though. You want about 20 small cichlids in that tank. Acei are not small btw so if you want to do just labs and acei I'd go for something more like 9 of each, maybe 10 labs to 8 acei. 1 Demasoni is iffy but you can try it if you want just be prepared to have to re home him if he doesn't behave. Do you like catfish? A group of syno cats with the labs and acei would be perfect IMO. About the most peaceful Mbuna tank you can get with lots of color and activity.

    2 AC70s is good but I'd go with a 110. Can't overfilter a Mbuna tank! And/or add a powerhead or 2 to keep the rocks clean and the crap moving towards the filters.
     
  9. tanker

    tanker Josh Holloway--Be mine!!!

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    AqAdvisor is just a starting point, but nice to use. The Yellow and Blue Combo would make a nice set-up. I would up the yellow Labs to about 10, with the 5 Acei and the one Demasoni. You will need to do large weekly WC though.
     
  10. easterner2012

    easterner2012 AC Members

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    I'm leaning towards 10 labs and 5 acei at the moment along with the 1 demasoni. Further down the road I will rehome the demasoni into a larger tank. The girlfriend really likes the acei, so I have no choice in sticking with them now lol. Happy girl, happy life. I also have a clown pleco and a common pleco in the tank. Will also rehome one of them into the demasoni tank later. Is it better to have syno cats than the plecos?

    Good thing I recently bought one of those python water changers :D
     

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