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Results 1 to 10 of 13
  1. Default Mbuna 55 gallon JUST STARTED

    0 Not allowed!
    After MUCH hard work and agonizing research, my 55 gallon tank is up and running! I set it all up with sand and slate rocks (which I spent a week breaking up myself haha). I have a penguin 350 filter, and a nice heater in there of course. I also have 2 air stones in there but I plan to add 2 more to the other half of the tank tomorrow.

    I put my first few fish into the tank the day before yesterday. The 3 fish that I bought from the very scary "assorted african cichlid tank" at the pet store. I know that this is not ideal, but I'm almost certain that they are yellow labs. they are electric yellow and they each have a tiny black stripe down their backs. they are very small, not even 2 inches yet.

    This leads into my questions.... how big do they have to be before I can tell their gender? I have heard about venting but it seems rather scary.

    How often should I add new fish? I want to have about 20 in this tank, and I know that number is very high, but I want to keep aggression way down by overstocking the tank. I plan to add more filtration to the tank as well. I was advised to add 2-3 fish per week, does that sound like a good pace?

    male/female ratio... how in the world can I keep this straight when they are so small? Should I try getting tons of juveniles and taking the extra males back to the pet store, or should I let these 3 little guys grow out a bit more and add larger fish from the pet store that have already had their genders determined?

    Eventual fish types? I know that for my second type of fish that I would like to have blue acei. I'm still undetermined about any other types. The bumblebee cichlid is beautiful but my research says that they are large and aggressive... The red zebra also drew my attention, but the a lot of people who I followed on youtube had to rehome their red zebras due to aggression. the kenyi is one that I am also considering, but I would really love to find a red or orange fish that is compatible with my yellow labs and blue acei. The colors of those fish would be incredibly striking against my black background, dark slate, and white sand.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to help me!!
    Last edited by fish_crazy65; 10-23-2012 at 03:31 AM.
    55g Mbuna cichlid tank
    3 yellow lab juveniles

    38g bowfront tank
    10 neon tetras, 2 mollys, 3 glasslight tetras, 4 zebra danios, 5 cherry barbs, 1 blue gourami, 1 pleco

    2 tiger barbs, 1 green tiger barbs, 1 cory catfish

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    First Off How did you get the tank started did you cycle it? fishless or are you doing a fish cycle? I recommend adding you future filtration ASAP before you add more fish (Ditch the penguin And Add a AC110 with a eheim 2215 it should cost you around 150-160). The size mbunas are sexable vary from 3 to maybe 4 inches and the best way to do that is by the anal fin for males will develop egg like dots that are suppose to attract the females. The ratio should be 1m:3-4 female to be ideal for that size tank stay with only 3 species Yellow lab , Blue acai, And most people would reccomnend rustys. If you are doing a fish in cycle add fish according to you tanks readings wait untill ammonia is being broke down before you add more to the tank so i would say 2-4 fish every 2 weeks or so. Oh yea and about sexing them so young with mbunas its a trial and error game with them and thats why alot of people pass on them you ahve alot of work ahead of you with this tank buying and returning fish.
    110g All Male Peacock/Hap Tank

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Has this tank been cycled with media from the other tank in your signature? If not, then you are essentially cycling it with the fish you just bought and I wouldn't add anymore at this point. You will need a test kit to keep an eye on ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. The first 2 should always be at 0, with the last being kept under 20ppm. Search for fish-in cycling here and you can see how others have done it.
    11 tanks, 5.5g up to 125g(2). Mbuna, Haps, Peacocks, Tangs, wild caught to tank raised!

  4. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    So I really cant change my filter at this point. I considered getting a canister filter but it is definitely not something that I can do in the near future for cost issues. Maybe I will save and get a canister for my next filter, but the stand that I have for my tank doesn't really have a good place to keep one. I put a sponge into my 38 gallon that I was planning to put into the 55 gallon, but I was a little concerned about killing any bacteria by putting it into a tank that didn't have any ammonia in it at all. I have checked the ammonia every day and I think that I will put the sponge in tonight since I finally saw a little ammonia on the test. The fish have been in there for 2 days now. only 3 little guys, they are actually only an inch long. (SO CUTE THO! :D)
    55g Mbuna cichlid tank
    3 yellow lab juveniles

    38g bowfront tank
    10 neon tetras, 2 mollys, 3 glasslight tetras, 4 zebra danios, 5 cherry barbs, 1 blue gourami, 1 pleco

    2 tiger barbs, 1 green tiger barbs, 1 cory catfish

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    Try craigslist always great deals with people getting out of the hobby. You could easily find a good canister for cheap. What i reccomend doing since a 55g is a good tank to work with with baby juvies is add 2 more to make it 5 and leave that total there do you water changes very frequently the more the better get that test kit and dont add anymore until your cycle is well on its way.
    110g All Male Peacock/Hap Tank

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    You don't need to spend 150 dollars on filtration right now. You could easily get away with The bio-wheel filter you currently have an AC110. As the fish mature I would suggest some sort of backup filtration though, such as a smaller eheim canister. Just doesn't seem worth it to dump a bunch of money into filtration that will be unnecessary in a tank full of juvies.
    Coastie-to-be... hopefully.

  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    thanks for the advice everyone. I think that I will make a trip to the petstore this weekend to get a couple more juvies
    55g Mbuna cichlid tank
    3 yellow lab juveniles

    38g bowfront tank
    10 neon tetras, 2 mollys, 3 glasslight tetras, 4 zebra danios, 5 cherry barbs, 1 blue gourami, 1 pleco

    2 tiger barbs, 1 green tiger barbs, 1 cory catfish

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    I see a couple problems actually. You don't need a canister but I believe you need another filter. A second filter gives you more space for bacteria to grow to house a heavier bio-load. In addition, mbuna tanks are generally overstocked to hold down aggression so that's even more reason for adding another filter.

    Mbuna tanks are really best to have cycled first before adding the fish due to several should be added at once, unlike other fish. Trying to cycle a 55 gallon with 3 tiny fish is going to take a long time.

    Honestly, IMO, I would return those 3 fish and get that tank cycled first. Instead of buying more airstones, I would invest in a second filter.

    But another thing that popped out at me was those Tiger Barbs in a 10 gallon tank with a pleco. That simply will not work. No pleco belongs in a 10 gallon and Tigers should be overstocked as they are also aggressive.

    I'm trying to think of what you could do with this and perhaps the neons, other tetra's and cherry barbs should go in the 10 gallon and the Barbs (plus more or them) and the pleco go in the 38? Even that I'm unsure of because of the gourami and mollys but a better situation than you have now.

  9. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Maybe you misread my signature. The pleco is in the 38 gallon tank, not the 10g. I know that a 38 is still not ideal because he will become huge. The 38 gallon tank actually came to me fully stocked with those fish, I didn't chose them. I certainly wouldn't have gotten a pleco since they get so big, the gourami either probably. I should have clarified about the air stones as well. They are ones that I already have, I am simply installing them. Eventually I will get another filter, but I also only have 3 fish atm. I do not want to add large groups into this tank, but instead add a few slowly. I think that if I monitor the water carefully, it should be fine.
    55g Mbuna cichlid tank
    3 yellow lab juveniles

    38g bowfront tank
    10 neon tetras, 2 mollys, 3 glasslight tetras, 4 zebra danios, 5 cherry barbs, 1 blue gourami, 1 pleco

    2 tiger barbs, 1 green tiger barbs, 1 cory catfish

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    Sorry. Yes, I did not read that incorrectly.

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