i have a 55 gal 4feet long african cichlid tank and i need help deciding which fish to get rid of (if i have to) and which fish to keep. currently i have:
1) 2 1/2 albino redtop zebra
1) 2 demasoni
2) 1 1/2 yellow tail acei
1) 2 red top zebra
1) 1 1/4 rusty
1) 1 1/2 kenyi
1) 1 1/4 bumblebee
1) 2 1/2 golden mbuna (auratus)
1) 1 1/2 livingstonii
1) 1 1/2 hap electra
1) 2 red zebra (metriaclima estherae)
1) 1 1/4 yellow lab
1) 1 1/2 taiwan reef
1) 1 1/4 yellow banded moori
i would like to know if i have made any terrible mistakes with the fish ive mixed. the aggression is very minimal just typical mbuna activity but im worried that the combination of fish ive picked are not gonna last the long haul even though they seem fine now. im not sure of the gender but a good guess would be that they are all male because they are so colorful
At this point you have little african cichlids. With rock work and hiding places you can have a really interesting looking tank full of these little african cichlids. But that is really only temporary. Most of these will grow to be at minimum 4" and a couple will be 6 to 8" fish. At the size of 6 to 8" you really will only be able to keep 4 to 6 of them in a 55. This crowding if left as if will stress the fish. Even if you were to remove the fish you desired less as they grew there are several that react to stress in a less favorable way.
Those would be the moori, livingstoni, hap electra.
The toughest fish would be the auratus, red zebras, kenyi, rt zebra, rusty, bumble bee.
Some may advise to return a bunch of fish now and plan for the future now. This might leave you with a bit of a lightly stocked tank and not so happy. I would say that at the very least, have an open mind and be ready to respond to any problems that may arise.
thanks thats good info. but what about the whole " you should overstock your tank to decrease aggression" thing? and can you be specific on the fish in my tank that get 6 to 8. because i will remove them as well as the less durable fish. im trying to have a perfect african cichlid tank. also what if i told you that upon measuring them i discovered the majority of them are 1 3/4 to 3 (the albino rt zebra and the auratus are 3) is that still considered to small to tell if they will be compatable in the long run? sorry for all the questions its just hard to find people good general cichlid knowledge.
Last edited by johncomeau8; 05-22-2013 at 01:34 AM.
Part of the joy of having fish is researching them and learning about their compatibility and their size and requirements etc. Enjoy researching the fish you bought.
you overstock to an extent to reduce aggression to a single fish, but you also have to keep your stock
at a level where you can manage wastes and the fish still can grow without being stunted and can swim comfortably.
there is a middle line and unfortunately you currently are erring on the overstocked side of it. while things may be fine now, as Indian woods angels
has mentioned your fish will eventually grow. rehoming some fish will result in a nicer, lower maintenance tank later on as well as healthier and prettier fish.
Nimbochromis livingstonii: this species maxes out at 10" or a little more and requires a larger tank. It's also carnivorous and at full size may be predatory towards smaller fish. Best kept with haps in a larger tank (125gal+).
Taiwan reef: maxes out at about 7". Best kept with haps or possibly peacocks in a larger tank (90gal+).
Placidochromis Electra: probably best kept with haps rather than mbuna's.
Yellow-banded moorii: If this is a tropheus moorii (Ikola), it might actually work with mbuna's, even though they're from Lake Tanganyika. Their dietary and behavior are similar to herbivorous mbuna species. Ideally kept in a tropheus species tank, and in colonies due to their high-conspecific aggressive nature (with only one in the tank its aggressive side may not manifest).
Yellow-tail acei (probably best kept in a 75gal+ due to size (6") but may work in a 55gal).
Rusty. Ideal for a 55gal.
Yellow lab: Ideal for a 55gal.
Demasoni: Ideal for a 55gal. Does best when there is only a single demasoni in the tank or a colony of them (10-12 or more). They usually do well with other mbuna's (particular those that do not resemble them) but can be highly aggressive toward their own kind and are capable and sometimes motivated to wipe each other out when kept in groups less than about a dozen. With TWO in the tank, caution is advised.
Metriaclima lombardoi (Kenyi) & Melanochromis auratus: Two of the most aggressive mbuna species in the hobby. These hyper-dominant species are probably suited to a larger tank (75gal+) and in ideally in breeding groups (1 male/~4 females).
Zebras (red, red top and albino red top): While generally not as aggressive as kenyi or auratus, they can hold their own and compete with them in tank's hierarchy. Once or if they become the dominant fish they may settle down a bit.
Bumblebee's: One of the largest mbuna species in the hobby, maxing out at 8". Its size coupled with its aggressive nature, these are best kept with aggressive mbuna's in a larger tank (75-90gal+).
For the best success in a 55gal stick with the yellow labs and rusties and construct breeding groups (ideal 1 male and a harem of females or at least several females per male). A single demasoni, the ikola tropheus and possibly acei will work in this mix. Example 6 yellow labs (1m/5f), 6 rusties (same gender ratio), 1 demasoni, 1 acei, and the tropheus (15 mbuna's in a 55gal).
Last edited by kaybee; 05-26-2013 at 04:43 PM.
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