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Re: New to Cichlids 5x2x2 tank

Postby daviddj » Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:47 pm

My DIY fish trap. A piece of fishing line rotates the door closed. 8 out of 10 white labs caught so far. Acei and yellow labs think it's a great idea, mainganos less certain.
5x2x2: Mainganos, Rusties, Yellow Labs, Perlmutts, Acei, Petricolas
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Re: New to Cichlids 5x2x2 tank

Postby daviddj » Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:04 pm

So after considerable googling it would appear that my idea that sexing Mainganos is easy was naive in the extreme. Honestly, even if I could catch all 11 in order to "vent" them, I'd be like a goat looking into a bucket :)
I do have a couple that go nearly black, with a few others that are dark. There is a bit of chasing but no murder yet. Obviously I need to reduce the overall number so any advice on the best course of action.
Thx
5x2x2: Mainganos, Rusties, Yellow Labs, Perlmutts, Acei, Petricolas
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Re: New to Cichlids 5x2x2 tank

Postby DJRansome » Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:35 pm

I would just remove troublemakers as they surface.
125G Borleyi, Maleri, Astatotilapia, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Maingano, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Caudopunctatus, Petricola
55G Chrysonotus; 38G Demasoni
33G Hara; 33G Kwanga; 33G Maingano; 33G Cobue
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Re: New to Cichlids 5x2x2 tank

Postby daviddj » Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:34 am

A quick update and of course a question. All is going well with the of the fish showing good growth. The only fatalities I have had are among the Perlmutt which is a pity as they are actually my favorite. I have my suspicions as to the cause but it due to a mix up, mentioned previously, they spent considerably longer at the LFS than any of the others.
Anyway my question. I am still waiting on my rusties. They didn't come in the December order and the LFS January order should be happening in the next few weeks. I'm this thinking of having an alternative option so that that I'm not left high and dry again and have been considering Labeotropheus trewassae chilumba or similar. Any opinions or advice keeping in mind my aim of maximising colour and variety and that I dont find the marmalade or OBs attractive.
TIA.
5x2x2: Mainganos, Rusties, Yellow Labs, Perlmutts, Acei, Petricolas
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Re: New to Cichlids 5x2x2 tank

Postby daviddj » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:29 pm

5x2x2: Mainganos, Rusties, Yellow Labs, Perlmutts, Acei, Petricolas
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Re: New to Cichlids 5x2x2 tank

Postby DJRansome » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:07 pm

Wouldn't the Labeotropheus give you one colored fish whereas the rusties would all be colored?

Four species would actually be enough for a 60" tank if you just wanted to stop there. Or you could double up on your favorites, the perlmutts.

Are the yellow labs giving them problems?
125G Borleyi, Maleri, Astatotilapia, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Maingano, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Caudopunctatus, Petricola
55G Chrysonotus; 38G Demasoni
33G Hara; 33G Kwanga; 33G Maingano; 33G Cobue
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Re: New to Cichlids 5x2x2 tank

Postby daviddj » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:08 am

Tank Update

It’s just over three months since I stocked the tank and I’ve had mixed results. I initially added 11 mainganos, 9 acei, 10-ish yellow labs and 10 ish “perlmutts”. It took me a couple of weeks of scratching and looking at pictures to figure out that my “perlmutts” were white labs. The LFS agreed a mistake had been made and I caught all but one of the white labs and swopped them for 8 perlmutts.

Up till this I had lost no fish and everything seemed peaceful but this changed after adding the perlmutts. One by one they died; they would start hanging out alone, stop eating and eventually die. Two survived and have thrived.
The maingano and acei have flourished growing substantially faster than anything else, I removed one acei that was a bit of a runt (there’s another runt I intend removing too) and one of four mainganos that I thought might be male (at least showed more aggression than the others).

About 6 weeks ago I added 5 S. petricolas. They were hanging out in the mainganos prime location and over a week I lost all five one by one, in the same manner. They seemed to go from normal to rapid gill movements to dead overnight – never during the day, always overnight. They hid constantly and I never saw them feed. My yellow labs had also started to die one by one, hiding in the top corners of the tank.

As an experiment, to see if the water or anything in it was a problem I set up a 10 g quarantine tank with its own sponge filter but fed from the overflow (continual water change) from the DT and added two new yellow labs.
My suspicion was that the territorial aggression of the mainganos was stressing and weakening the fish which were then been targeted by the acei. I saw an acei grab a stressed yellow lab by the tail and thrash it around. I quickly netted it but it died a few hours later.

By chance I managed to trap what I regarded to be the most troublesome maingano and placed him in the QT with the two yellow labs who had happily occupied it for around ten days; within 24 hours one was dead and the other hiding at the top of the tank. In what was a big mistake I returned the maingano to the DT to prevent him killing the other lab and 24 hours later two maingano, including my favourite, an almost all-black, were dead.

Since that things have quietened down considerably although I do think there is another manigano that I could do with catching.

A week ago I added 8 Rusties, 6 Perlmutts and 6 yellow labs (some of which I had previously rescued from the DT) after having them in the QT tank for 10 days. So far no fatalities but I have had to remove a lab and an acei who were getting bullied.

Aside from continuing to manage what I have I hope to try adding some petricolas again. I will keep them in the QT tank for a week or more to be sure that they are eating before adding them to the DT.

I’m not entirely happy with the group of yellow labs that I have and might consider replacing them in the not too distant future if I can get what I’m after.

Fingers crossed.
5x2x2: Mainganos, Rusties, Yellow Labs, Perlmutts, Acei, Petricolas
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Re: New to Cichlids 5x2x2 tank

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:27 am

Sorry to hear your troubles...

Sounds like a classic case of bloat brought on by stress, or possibly introduced by the Perlmutts. Not sure on your cats though... If you continue to have any more of the symptoms you've mentioned, you'll need to act quickly. Take a look at this article if you have not done so already-

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/malawi_bloat.php
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Re: New to Cichlids 5x2x2 tank

Postby daviddj » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:47 am

Hi Iggy,
I guess it's normal mbuna stuff...

I did consider that the perlmutts brought something in with them as they had spent 3 weeks at the LFS but the LFS have not lost any. I do think its stress induced and blame the mainganos!! Also adding small numbers was probably not a great idea. As I figured out a system I was able to remove bullied fish before they were too far gone and after they had recovered (relaxed and started eating again in the QT) reintroduced them along with my new fish in a large batch (20) and that has been successful. I am less sure how to reintroduce the lone acei I just pulled out today though :)

Naturally I would do it differently with the benefit of hindsight..
5x2x2: Mainganos, Rusties, Yellow Labs, Perlmutts, Acei, Petricolas
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Re: New to Cichlids 5x2x2 tank

Postby wryan » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:51 pm

daviddj,

Thanks for the detailed update ... :thumb:

Just out of curiosity, what where the approximate size/lengths of the fish ? (mainganos, acei, yellow labs and perlmutts)
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Re: New to Cichlids 5x2x2 tank

Postby daviddj » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:45 pm

Hi Wryan,
In December all were around 1-1.5". Now, in the video above the acei are a chunky 3-4", the maingano 2-2.5". The small rusties and perlmutts are about 1".
5x2x2: Mainganos, Rusties, Yellow Labs, Perlmutts, Acei, Petricolas
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Re: New to Cichlids 5x2x2 tank

Postby DJRansome » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:22 pm

It's unusual for Synodontis to die from something like that...mine live through EVERYTHING except once I lost a bunch by doing too big of a water change after a period of high nitrates, and once I lost a bunch by over dosing Excel.

I've never lost a Syno in a tank that was going through a bloat epidemic.

I'd hold the acei until you get your new fish. Quarantine new the guys and add the acei along with them.
125G Borleyi, Maleri, Astatotilapia, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Maingano, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Caudopunctatus, Petricola
55G Chrysonotus; 38G Demasoni
33G Hara; 33G Kwanga; 33G Maingano; 33G Cobue
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Re: New to Cichlids 5x2x2 tank

Postby wryan » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:22 am

daviddj wrote:Hi Wryan,
In December all were around 1-1.5". Now, in the video above the acei are a chunky 3-4", the maingano 2-2.5". The small rusties and perlmutts are about 1".

Thanks.

I was primarily wondering about the acei, as mine are starting to exhibit more aggressive behavior recently - mainly just fin spreading, shaking/vibrating, and short chases. It is probably due in large part to current tank mates. To a large extent, it seems to be directed at other acei tho' ...

The 7 acei I have, I picked up back in December and at the time they were around 1 1/4" to 1 1/2", IIRC. Currently they are 2" to 2 1/4".

The right side of the 55G that they are in has been taken over by a male auratus (mid to top level) and a julidochromis (mid to bottom) ... those two keep most of the other fish (7 acei, 4 other auratus, a clown and a tiger loach, 1 other smaller julie, and a pair of BNP's) herded over to the left side of the tank for the most part ... so it's a little crowded on the left, which is probably increasing the aggression levels.

And most all of the auratus are pretty aggressive generally, and it's not confined to conspecifics ... that there is courting going on by the male with several of the female auratus probably isn't helping matters any either.

Probably time to consider moving fish around to other tanks.

BTW - nice DIY fish trap ... :thumb:
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Re: New to Cichlids 5x2x2 tank

Postby DutchAJ » Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:22 am

The acei shaking and vibrating sounds like mating behavior to me...
75 G- Saulosi (Taiwanee), Yellow Tail Acei (Luwala), & Rusties
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Re: New to Cichlids 5x2x2 tank

Postby wryan » Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:43 am

DutchAJ wrote:The acei shaking and vibrating sounds like mating behavior to me...

That's what I was thinking as well ... the ones that these shaking displays are being targeted towards seem receptive (they're circling and not swimming away)

Just didn't know if at that size if the were ready to do the deed, given how large they get at full maturity.
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