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Thread: now what

  1. #11

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    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by marc4 View Post
    If I were to decide to keep a Pseudotropheus demasoni only tank, could I decrease the likelihood of aggression if they were all females? If so, what would be a decent number for a forty gallon tank? (I also don't want any babies and it sounds like these guys tend to breed easily in captivity).Thanks, marc4
    While I have never kept adult demasoni's in anything smaller than a 75gal, this author/article suggests that because they are dwarf cichlids they can be kept in 36" tank (though he does recommend going larger): http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/p_demasoni.php

    Due to their conspecific aggression (which is the type of aggression exhibited toward their own kind, not toward other species), they are best kept in larger groups, rather than in gender ratio's which typically work for many other mbuna species. Also the aggression isn't all male-originated; matured females will direct aggression toward other females and sub-adult males, as well as toward low-ranking matured males. (side note: my most aggressive mbuna's were female metriaclima sp. msobo's which engaged in female vs female aggression)

    Demasoni's are best kept in groups of twelve or more demasoni's (or as a single representative in a tank containing other sorts of mbuna species). In smaller groups they'll likely start eliminating each other. Were you to pursue an all female set up you'd have to get their gender's verified (by physically handling them to vent them), because they are a monomorphic species (the two genders practically identical).

    If you are interested in the demasoni's colors and or patterns, there are less aggressive mbuna species to consider, such as the Labiochromis sp. Mbamba (common name 'Yellow Top Mbamba). They're actually closer related to Yellow labs (Labidochromis caeruleus) with similar lower aggression levels. They have a similar stripe pattern which extends down half the body length and have yellow fin-lining; also they max out at about 3.5".

    These are pics from years ago:

    Demasoni (top), Yellow top Mbamba (bottom); because the mbamba resembles the demasoni, they would harass him which would cause him to shift to sub-dued patterns:
    demasoni_mbamba.jpg

    Among other labidochromis (such as with yellow labs), the yellow-top mbamba would sport his dominance colors:
    labs.jpg

    On the web site that Slaphappy7 provided, they're listed there as Labidochromis sp. Mbamba.

    On an aggression scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being peaceful and 5 being extremely aggressive) I'd give the Mbama a 1 to 2, and the demasoni a 3 (or a solid4+ vs other demasoni's).
    African cichlid and saltwater aquariums

  2. #12

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    0 Not allowed!
    There is no way I would pack 12 fish, even three inch fish in a forty gallon 36" tank. That is too packed for me. It would be nice to have a tank big enough, because I like them (at least their looks, obviously never owned one), but that ain't gonna happen. What ratio do you keep the Mbamas at? Minimum number?

    marc4

  3. #13

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    0 Not allowed!
    add on. Have you dealt with Live Fish Direct? They have several of the Labidochromis Mbambas in several ages, both sexed and unsexed.
    Secondly, when dealing with a lower aggression rate, how many could I get away with that would cause the least aggression without stuffing the tank?
    Finally, How do you keep fish from breeding? I've noticed that many species are sold as a pair, most notably guppies. I just don't have room or a reliable source to sell babies to. There seems to be conditions under which fish are more likely to spawn, but not always.

    marc4

  4. #14

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    2 Not allowed!
    only way to stop any fish from breeding is to only have one sex in the tank

  5. #15

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    1 Not allowed!
    I've never dealt with Live Fish Direct (but they seem to have a great assortment of african cichlids). One thing I forgot to mention is the Mbamba is a dimorphic species, so the genders are not identical in appearance (the females are a more muted color).

    I may have mentioned in another thread, but mbuna's in general are typically not recommended in anything less than a 55gal, so keeping them in anything smaller may entail some risk. If acquired as juveniles they can be kept in smaller tanks and their behavior will let you know when a larger tank is required (couple of years).

    But to answer your question, mbuna's are generally recommended to be kept in 1 male: 3-4 female gender ratio's (with some exceptions of course, case in point the demasoni). In addition to the above gender ratio, mbuna's are also best kept in groups of 8+ for aggression dispersal purposes.

    If you're willing to try your luck: 5 juvenile females in the 40gal. That will solve the procreation issue and "might" work. (no males, less aggressive mbuna species might mitigate the slightly lower numbers and slightly smaller tank).

    If you were to consider african cichlids that are well suited to a 40gal tank, something like Lake Tanganyika Shell Dwellers ('Shellies') would definitely work (on the Live Fish Direct site they're the Neolamprologus multifasciatus), more species info here:
    http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/cich...lldwellers.php
    African cichlid and saltwater aquariums

  6. #16

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    0 Not allowed!
    The shell dwellers are cute, and a possibility. I'll have to do some thinking. My substrate is too large for them and there is no sand, so it would mean having to redo the tank. They may also be so small I'd lose them from sight. The Mbambas come with their own problems, so if I get them, I'll have to start saving for a larger tank. That I can do. Between the two of them, they sound like the best options so far. At least that whittles down the candidates. I doubt there is ever a perfect fish for a tank. I'll post it when I decide. Everyone's help has been appreciated and patient.

    marc4

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