General African Cichlid Discussion • Intro, and some questions

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Intro, and some questions

Postby Jorge H. » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:12 pm

Hello, everyone. My name is Jorge, and I'm returning to my aquarium hobby after a long hiatus. Initially, I kept South American cichlids, Jack Dempseys, in particular. I've been keeping an African tank for about 4-5 months, and everything is going smoothly. I don't intend to breed. It's more of a desire to have the serenity that comes with having a beautiful tank to get lost in, and have something living, besides me, in my 1 bedroom apartment (wow, that sounds really sad. lol ). Anyways, since I'm not a COMPLETE noob, you'd think I'd know better than to jump right in, without researching these fellas first, but... :oops: Like I said, they all seem very happy, but I just wanted to run my setup by you guys, and get some feedback, good or bad. I have a Mbuna tank, that's for sure, though I'm not totally positive about the ID of a few of these guys. From what I've read around here, so far, some of my selections shouldn't work, but they do, and they have for these past 4-5 months.
Jorge H.
 
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:21 pm
Location: Orlando, FL

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Postby Jorge H. » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:12 pm

This is a 55-gallon tank. Filtered by a Penguin 350 with dual bio-wheels.

This is what I know I have:

2 Auratus: 1 is the dominant male, complete with coloring (3"), the other (2")
3 Metriaclima estherae: 1 showing some traces of blue and red in all of its fins (3"), another (2"), and the smallest (1")
2 Kenyis: 1 is turning yellow (2"), the other (1.5")
2 Labidochromis caeruleus: 1 (3"), the other (2")
2 bright, yet soft blue, with black "trimming" to all their fins (I can't ID them): Both (2")
1 Albino (can't ID): (3")
1 Pseudotropheus crabro: (2")
1 Acei: (1.5")
1 Venustus: (1.5")

2 Plecos: The biggest one is (6"), the other (4")

Besides the Auratus, the larger Metriaclima estherae, and possibly, the Kenyi that's turning yellow, I don't know the sex of any of the others.

Here are some pics, and a video (at the end):

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Jorge H.
 
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:21 pm
Location: Orlando, FL

Postby DJRansome » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:27 pm

Beautiful colors, between the fish and the decor. :thumb:

2 Auratustoo aggressive for 55G
3 Metriaclima estherae good choice
2 Kenyistoo aggressive for 55G
2 Labidochromis caeruleus good choice
2 blue, with black "trimming" Pseudotropheus socolofi? Good choice.
1 Albino post a pic for ID
1 Pseudotropheus crabro: (2") too aggressive for 55G
1 Acei: (1.5") too big for 55G
1 Venustus: (1.5") too big for 55G

Three species stocked 1m:4f is a good stocking for a 55G. Coincidentally you have three species left. They will work, but note the estherae and yellow labs will crossbreed.

Add 5-6 Synodontis multipunctatus for fry patrol and enjoy!
125G Aulonocara, Malawi Haps, Vics (trial), S Polli
75G Demasoni, Labs, Cyno hara, Met estherae, S Multipunctata
75G Calvus, Caudopunctatus, Cyp Kerenge, S Petricola
33G Neo omnicaeruleus; 33G Flameback Kisumu; 33G P nyererei Igombe; 33G Hap ruby green
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Postby lilcountrygal » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:53 pm

DJ is the pro. As much as I'm sure you'd hate to start rehoming fish, you should listen. If you dont rehome them (even take to LFS for store credit), you will lose lots of money when the Kenyi/Auratus go on a killing spree and wipe out over half your stock.

But... I have to say... you have an awesome looking tank!!
55 G - AC110 and AquaTech 30/60 ~ 5 yellow Labs, 5 Callainos, 5 Callainos Blueberry, 5 Rusty
125 G - XP4 and AquaTop CF-500UV - 5 Pseudotropheus Williamsi North, 5 Labeotropheus Fuelleborni, 4 Lab. Hongi, 4 C. Moori, 1 Acei Ngara, Red Empress, Venustus
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Postby Jorge H. » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:51 pm

Thanks for the kind words, guys. :)

So, DJ, due to adult size, you suggest I find a new home for the Acei and Venustus. Understandable.

The Bumblebee, and Auratus wouldn't work, even with a bit of "crowding"? Again, I don't see any one fish being bullied too much with the variety that's in there now. Are you suggesting that I remove both Auratus, or is it ok to keep one? Same for the Kenyis? As for the Bumblebee, it's actually, downright tame. Not arguing with you here, as you're far better versed in this than I, just seeing if there's room for discussion, or it's pretty much a disaster waiting to happen.

I think you're right about the Pseudotropheus socolofi. Sometimes, they can get a little darker, with vertical, blue stripes running the length of their bodies. That sound about right? Here are a few quick pics I just snapped of the Albino. Sorry for the bluriness, it was being camera shy:

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As proposed, that only leaves me with 7 cichlids. Do I stock a few more of the 3 "good choices", along with the 5-6 Synodontis multipunctatus? The plecos I have in there should be ok, too, right?
Jorge H.
 
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:21 pm
Location: Orlando, FL

Postby lilcountrygal » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:17 am

Personally, I've never owned a Kenyi so I will let someone else chime in on the aggressiveness of one. I have however, kept Auratus. One will still decimate your entire tank. I never actually saw my Auratus kill fish at first, I just kept finding a dead one every day/every day. Id sit when he didnt know I was watching and watch him just obliterate anyone. Meanest fish I've ever kept. (by the way, I got mine as a juvie and it took a while for his evil streak to emerge)

In a 55, they recommend keeping 3 species. If you got it down to the 3 choices, I'd definitely up the ratio. With the right M/F combination and the right tankmates, you would probably have alot of breeding going on[/i]
55 G - AC110 and AquaTech 30/60 ~ 5 yellow Labs, 5 Callainos, 5 Callainos Blueberry, 5 Rusty
125 G - XP4 and AquaTop CF-500UV - 5 Pseudotropheus Williamsi North, 5 Labeotropheus Fuelleborni, 4 Lab. Hongi, 4 C. Moori, 1 Acei Ngara, Red Empress, Venustus
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Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:39 pm
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Postby DJRansome » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:56 pm

15 cichlids, three species, five individuals of each, ratios 1m:4f.

Acei is borderline...it's a 7" fish so some make it work and some don't like it. Bumblebee is a big aggressive fish that needs 1m:7f in a 75G or larger to work. Kenyi are not overly big, but they are overly aggressive in a tank smaller than 75G (48" x 18"). The "overcrowding" aspect for these fish is the 1m:7f stocking. Even with that you want the larger tank.

Best post I ever read on aggressive mbuna like auratus, bumblebee, kenyi, etc. suggested three species max with 1m:7f each in a 72" tank with huge rock mountains in between territories. :thumb:

Aggression is often not seen, and you would not expect to see it until 8 to 12 months. Sometimes you get the illness before you recognize the aggression. :(
125G Aulonocara, Malawi Haps, Vics (trial), S Polli
75G Demasoni, Labs, Cyno hara, Met estherae, S Multipunctata
75G Calvus, Caudopunctatus, Cyp Kerenge, S Petricola
33G Neo omnicaeruleus; 33G Flameback Kisumu; 33G P nyererei Igombe; 33G Hap ruby green
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