General African Cichlid Discussion • 40G Mbuna mix

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40G Mbuna mix

Postby Murkin » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:11 pm

I have a 40G breeder with 3 mainganos (recently added, about 2.5" right now), 4 yellow labs (about 2"), 3 albino labs (2"), 3 full grown tiger barbs (who constantly squabble among themselves), 1 male kribensis (the female died after a tank upgrade), 1 male rainbow shark (3.5 - 4" right now), 1 yoyo loach, and 1 german blue ram at about 2")

now the labs and the rest of the fish have lived together for aout 6 months with no issues, but the maingainos were added about 4 days ago. Two of them seem to be male (even though i asked the guy at the lfs to try and pick 2 females) but all 3 seem to get constantly harrassed by the ram. I've seen the dominant (bigger and darker) maingano stand up for itself but the ram seems to be relentless and theyve yet to settle the score due to the rainbow shark breaking up the party (he is by far king of the tank right now)

my question is two part:

should i be worried about this set up over the long run, and will the ram eventually get put in his place and then some by the mainganos? i think i may already know the answers but need some confirmation as to which fish i should probably remove and take back to the lfs first. so far there seems to be a delicate pecking order established with the rainbow shark at the top, followed by the biggest yellow lab and then the blue ram. the filter is rated for 70g so i am not worried about the stocking issue as i do weely 40% water changes.
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Postby brinkles » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:17 pm

When the maingano hit maturity (soon), they'll probably dominate everything else in the tank. I think they'll be trouble long term in a 40 breeder.
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Postby Murkin » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:25 pm

i dont really mind if they dominate, i got them for that purpose because the rainbow shark is stressing everything else out. as long as they dont end up killing anything...
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Re: 40G Mbuna mix

Postby DJRansome » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:06 am

Murkin wrote:should i be worried about this set up over the long run?
Yes. Mainganos are better in a 75G rectangle stocked at 1m:7f because of their aggression.

Murkin wrote:will the ram eventually get put in his place and then some by the mainganos?
I don't know rams, but I believe they have very different requirements from Africans. I'd remove the maingano, the ram and the shark.

If a fish dominates a tank too much, worse case scenario is the other fish will not be allowed to swim around, sustain injuries, become stressed and ill, and die, infecting the whole tank. So, Maingano are not a good fit for a 36" tank.
125G Aulonocara, Malawi Haps, Vics (trial), S Polli
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Postby Murkin » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:48 am

hmm, i will try them and see what happens. i appreciate the advice, but so far they seem like the most docile fish in the tank. could be because the rainbow shark is keeping them in check and weary of asserting themselves, and it also seems like the only aggression (and even that is half-hearted) is among themselves.

i will post updates if things change.
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Postby jaymore1 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:57 pm

What is your ph at? I ask because africans need a high ph 8-9 where as the ram needs alot lower ph 5-6.
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Postby Murkin » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:32 pm

ph is around 7.5 but everyone is fine as their colours are not faded at all and they all seem pretty lively. the shark also likes lower ph but he is dark black with bright orange fins. he's usually my indicator :)
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Postby Murkin » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:48 pm

here are some photos:

Image

Ram chasing Maingano:
Image

and again:
Image
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Postby GTZ » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:38 pm

I await your post in the illness forum...best of luck however.
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Postby Murkin » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:43 pm

haha why who looks ill?
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Postby malady » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:23 am

Murkin wrote:haha why who looks ill?



hes commenting on the future

because the stock list you have right now will cause problems later on when the fish grow, It might be disheartening but keep researching and finding a happy medium on a stock list.
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Postby Murkin » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:16 am

k so had to take the little ram back to the lfs. poor guy got beat up pretty bad (missing a few fins and lower lip slightly busted up) by the dominant male maingano that he was previously chasing around. he's fine but even after i separated him from the rest with a pane of glass he kept trying to get at the maingano. got a lot of respect for this little guy now after that. he runs away from the shark even tough he never hurt him, but wouldnt give in to the maingano... i didnt see the fight happen, but i can only assume it was the maingano because he was the only fish murderously swimming at the pane of glass trying to get at the ram with all his fins flared after the separation. thankfully he seems fine at the fish store, swimming around with the larger blue rams in their tank, so i ope he's much happier now.

the rest of the tank seems to have established a pecking order after i added more rocks, but the shark still throws fits from time to time and chases everyone in his vicinity but only when there is a scuffle (which is usually between the tiger barbs with all 7 labs and 3 mainganos swarming around as if it was a schoolyard fight haha) no injuries at all though and no one is stressed out. the mainganos and labs started digging neat little burrows and protect their territories but without any real aggression.
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Postby Fatal » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:53 pm

jaymore1 wrote:What is your ph at? I ask because africans need a high ph 8-9 where as the ram needs alot lower ph 5-6.


Rams like their PH to be between 5 and 7.5. So I'm sure they will be ok.
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Postby Murkin » Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:17 pm

Ok, so i have made some changes now. Not because of illness/deaths, but because it was the right thing to do. Here is my stock list for the 40g now:

M Cyaneorhabdos x4 (1m:3f) (2")
L Caeurelus x4 (no idea as to sex yet) (2.5")
L Chisumulae x2 (same as yellow labs) (2.5)
P Estherae red x2 (juvies, 1" or less)
Tiger Barbs x 5

Lots of rockwork, 70g rated filter, weekly 30-40% water changes.

Any feedback? Am i overstocked or can i add anything else? I was thinking maybe a solo demasoni?
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Postby DJRansome » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:40 pm

You are overstocked. I'd remove the maingano and the estherae. Instead I would stock 1m:4f of either the yellow labs or the chisumulae. Or you could try them together and see how it goes, but definitely 1m:4f...with a pair the male is likely to kill the female.
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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