General Aquaria Discussion • Stocking questions

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Stocking questions

Postby Spath » Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:50 am

Hi Guys

Have a question I am sure you have all heard before regarding how many fish I can keep in a custom 60 gallon. You hear the term "controlled crowding" often but then also people saying no more than x fish. I think I am either fully/over-stocked/controlled crowded already, so any help would do.

I have 20 juveniles in my 60 gallon (220 litre) and I am kinda feeling it out to see what I will keep as they get larger. Do you guys think this is a good approach? Do I need to get rid of some fish at all? They are all around 4cm at the moment.

The reason I ask is that I have mostly common fish. Every time I go to my LFS I see something else I want. Can I add a few more (1 or 2) and then slowly remove as they get older?

Mark Smith's "Lake Malawi Cichlids" lists around 22 fish in a 55 gallon, so hopefully I am still good for now. Anyway, your feedback will be awesome.
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Postby DJRansome » Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:04 am

What are the dimensions of the tank? Which species are you stocking?
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 Spath » Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:28 am

Well, tank dimensions I can give you. 120cm (L) x 45cm (B) x 50cm (D). Its filled to 45cm giving me 220 odd litres.

Species are a bit mixed. Mostly haps and mbuna. I will post a picture when I get home. Also have a vid but will take some time to upload.
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Postby Spath » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:38 am

Pic as promised. Excuse the quality.


Image
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Postby Spath » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:45 pm

Spath
 
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Postby DJRansome » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:16 pm

About 48" x 18" and 75G.

I see some mbuna like socolofi, kenyi, labs and Metriaclima estherae.

I see maybe a Victorian?

And maybe a Nimbochromis?

It appears you have some groups and some single fish. Is there a long-term plan? Are you looking for all-male or mixed genders?

Some of your mbuna are on the high end of the aggression scale. Some will crossbreed. And the Nimbochromis may get too big for your tank.
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 jd lover » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:52 pm

youre making a mistake weve all made once.

my advice. plan out what u want that tank to be and focus only on that breed of fish. dont just buy a bunch stick them in the tank and get rid later.

start out right by having a plan and an interest of a breed or a few if they can co-exist
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Postby DJRansome » Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:09 pm

Also note that you can stock 20 fish in that tank, but maybe not the 20 you have. So first I would decide about the stock you want, and then come up with a number of individuals.

If you go all-male the maximum number is lower than if you go mixed-genders. If you keep the large fish the maximum number is lower than if you go with smaller fish.
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 Spath » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:51 am

Well thats just it, I dont really know. And so all the help I can get would be welcome. This is my first cichlid tank and only my 2nd tank ever.

I went to my LFS and picked up a bunch ( 18 ) "mixed malawi cichlids". Not many of the stores I have been to have much knowledge regarding cichlids. This is basically what I got apart from the addition on the livingstonii, a rusty and the melanochromis auratus. There are some I know and some yet to be identified. What I know I have is the following:

2 Lab Caeruleus
1 Nimbochromis Livingstonii
1 Hap Obliquidens
3 Albino Metriaclima estherae (not 100% sure, but can also be seen in the link below)
3 Metriaclima estherae (not sure on 1 because he is pretty long compared to the other 2)
2 Yellow Fin Borleyi
1 Lab Socolofi
1 Melanochromis Auratus
1 Iodotropheus sprengerae - Rusty
1 Petrotilapia chrysos (Looks like its becoming one - unsure)
3 Met. Lombardoi - Kenyi
1 Pseudotropheus barlowi

And 2 that I have no idea at all that u can maybe identify here:
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/view ... p?t=237685

They would be the 2 silver ones. One is spotted, on with stripes. They can also be seen in the video.

Just noticed I am up to 22, but have always planned to remove a few depending on how they turn out. I do know I love the Red Zebra's and the Barlowi. The Borleyi are not my favorite and it seems I have either ended up with 2 females or they have not yet colored up from juvenile. I dont see myself removing the Electric Yellows either, but any of the other I am pretty flexible on. I didnt plan on all male tank and with the lack of knowledge of cichlids at LFS's, I dont know how easy it will be to pick out each time. But once again, I am pretty easy here.

Any suggestions on which direction to go in?
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Postby DJRansome » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:34 am

Sounds like you are choosing mbuna and rejecting haps. So choose four species that are not too aggressive and stock 1m:4f of each.

Yellow labs and Metriaclima estherae crossbreed, but if you are not saving fry this is not a problem. You probably want a group of 5-6 Synodontis multipunctatus for fry patrol if you stock crossbreeders.

You may want to choose between Metriaclima estherae and barlowi (this is not a Pseudotropheus). Both metriaclima and similar in color, you would have a risk of crossbreeding and aggression.

Pseudotropheus socolofi and Iodotropheus sprengerae (rusties) will work with these.
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 Spath » Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:56 pm

The thing is that I kinda enjoy the mix of fish rather than many same colored. Is there any option for this?

I wasnt planning on saving any fry. When you say "fry patrol", do you mean in addition to what I have?

Let me put it like this, based on what I have, and allowing for some nice color and variation in the tank, what would you do?
Spath
 
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Location: South Africa

Postby DJRansome » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:34 pm

Go with an all-male tank and that way you can have one of each, no two alike. Get rid of all females. And choose between haps and peacocks or mbuna.

You probably don't want 20 fish in the tank with all-male though, especially if you choose some of the larger haps like Nimbochromis.
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 Spath » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:11 am

Thanks a million mate. Will do. They all pretty small at the moment, but will start removing as I go.
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Postby DJRansome » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:43 am

If you choose haps/peacocks you will keep only these:
1 Nimbochromis Livingstonii
1 Hap Obliquidens
2 Yellow Fin Borleyi

Then remove the extra borleyi.

If you choose mbuna you will get rid of the fish listed above and remove extras and females.
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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Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 8:30 am
Location: Boonton Township, NJ

Postby Spath » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:12 am

Just a quick one on sexing then. As I am pretty new to the whole cichlid thing, how do I identify male/female? I have searched on the net and while the egg spots can be an indication, I have seen both males without and females with.

Do I wait for them to get a little older when they start changing? I think what I thought was Petrotilapia chrysos is actually a kenyi male changing slowly to yellow, but I am unsure.
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