Lake Victoria Basin, West African, Madagascar & Asian Species • 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Multispecie (vic) if possible.

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36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Multispecie (vic) if possible.

Postby Tom Jones » Thu Sep 10, 2020 7:20 am

I made a thread in the General Cichlid to know what Cichlids could be kept in my 36" x 12.5 " x 19" tank, and I've been suggested to move to this section at some point since my last questions were more regarding the Victorian fishes. So here I go.

I'm not interested in shellies, nor any Tanganyikans for this tank, and would prefer Africans over SA/CA ones.

I know 36" is limiting when it comes to cichlid, but there is the general idea where in some cases overstocking prevents agression as long as a proper maintenance and filtration is done. I'm not new to aquariums, I have a twenty gallons (planted tropical community tank) and two five gallons (Bettas, snails, shrimps) that have been running for a year and everyone is happy and I never got any casualties. I'm constant on 50% WC on all my tanks every 7 days and I test my AM/NI/NA/PH levels at least twice a week. If Nitrates go over 20-25, I do an extra WC.

In the other thread, I've been suggested Yellow Labs the most, and I've been told they could live with some of the smaller Victorian's mouthbrooders. I've also been said that those Vicatorians could also fit in the general narrative where stocking heavily can reduce agression. I've also seen people suggesting a trio of Yellow Labs + 2 different specimens of Peacocks in a 36" in this forum.

I'm creating this new thread here with a part of my previous message copy/pasted below, as I've been suggested to do since my preferred stocking so far would be either Yellow Labs + 2 species of Victorians (if possible), 2 species of Victorians + 1 Peacock (maybe?), or maybe 3 species of Victorians (maybe 1m/3F each ?) - Anywayws, maybe my expectations are too high and I'm aware it's possible. I hope you will be able to help me get the ideal stocking here (I'd like to avoid having a species tank)

Here is the part of the message that was suggested to be asked in this section :

While I was searching for smallish Victorian-types, I found a bunch that I really liked. I will list those that caught my eyes, could you tell me if some could be kept together and in what amounts/combination ?

» Paralabidochromis Chromogynos Zue
» Haplochromis sp. Red Fin Piebald
» Haplochromis/Paralabidochromis Sauvagei
» Haplochromis Enterochromis Paropius
» Pseudocrenilabrus Philander Dispersus
» Haplochromis Ruby Red
» Haplochromis Obliquens
» Pundamilia sp. Red Flank Nansio Bay

I'd like to know if some of those could be kept with others from the same list, and in what amount if possible.

1- Does the heavy stocking idea to reduce aggression also applies to Victorians ?
2- Could I mix 2, or even 3, groups from the species above ? Maybe 1m/3F each, or maybe 2m/5f each ? (I read having a non-dominant male helps the dominant one show more colors)
3- Could I mix 2 groups of the above Victorians with a group of Yellow Labs or of Lab. Hongi/Sweden ?
4. Could I mix 1 group from the list + 1 group of Yellow Labs + 1 smaller size peacock ?
5. Or could I put any group from the list with 1 smaller size peacock ? Or one group of Victorians + 2 different specimen of Peacocks ?
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Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Multispecie (vic) if possib

Postby DJRansome » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:09 am

#4 is regarding Malawi.

It may take some time for the experienced Victorian Members to reply. On the earlier post it was asked if you have a vendor that can supply all of these Victorians and West Africans? That may limit your options.
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Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Multispecie (vic) if possib

Postby OuiBonjour » Thu Sep 10, 2020 2:25 pm

True, few questions have a link towards the Malawi, as it'd could be and interesting mix to have either Labs or Peacocks with thoss Victorians.

As for the supplier, I didn't want to make posts in Facebook groups asking for each species I like, just to learn afterwards that they can't fit in my stocking/tank.

Did you ask because some in my list are kinda rare or hard to get ?

I know we have a store specialised in Cichlid not far from Montreal. And they seem to be knowledgeable as they also run the Youtube Page Quebec Cichlides, which seems to have good information.

Also, when you said to Post under Other Cichlid I did not find that sectiom, but I believe you meant this section here. The long time before a reply, is it because there are less member hanging around here ?

Thanks again DJ !
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Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Multispecie (vic) if possib

Postby DJRansome » Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:35 pm

OuiBonjour...the OP on this thread is TomJones...correct?

A wait of a couple days used to be the norm...but especially in the Victorian section because the Mods...who know the Victorians well, don't log on as often because there are not as many Victorian posts.

A shame to do a lot of work and settle on a species only to find out you can't get them anywhere and have to start over. Yes, I look for Victorians on the "usual" suppliers often and I don't recall seeing some of the ones TomJones has listed.

One way to do this is view the availability list for the vendor you have chosen. Then you don't have to disturb the vendor to choose among the fish that are available.
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Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Multispecie (vic) if possib

Postby Tom Jones » Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:06 pm

Sorry for the confusion, OuiBonjour is my previous account that for some reason I was not able to connect to anymore from my computer. My previous message was posted via my phone, and it seems like that account was still logged in there. I'll log off OuiBonjour from my phone and keep only this account in order to not cause any more confusion lol.

That being said, I agree with what you said and your idea of simply looking at availability of vendors first and then check if they could fit in my tank and if they'd be compatible together. That's a good idea, however I might not be able to start this aquarium right now as I have a few other things to do before so, as well as some financial limitation, so while I wait and can't buy anything I thought it would be a good idea to ask my questions so that I could make a better or easier choice when I'll be able to afford the modifications of my supporting unit and the purchase of the fish.

I'm sorry if I ask lot of questions in advance, however everything I learned through you guys is not lost in a void : it is precious to me and I like to know the more I can on a subject before I even start shopping. It is common belief already that people at LFS are willing to tell you anything in order to make a buy, but I've learned recently that a lot of fish breeders in my area do the same. One was trying to sell me 12 Cyps for my 36" when I was shopping for my Tanganyikan tank, and even though I told him I've been told by anyone that Cyps needed more than 36", and that Paracyps would be better, he was like "Oh, yeah.... the Internets, lol" just because he wanted to sell those cyps and didn't have paracyps. Anyways, sorry for the long novel, I just wanted to give an example of why I like to learn the most I can before starting a conversation with some vendors.

Also, I agree that it could be frustrating to settle for a good stocking and find out that nobody has them, but if it's the case I think I'd stick with my ideal stocking and postpone my purchases until I find what I truly want hehe

For the rest of your message, I understand that it's not everyone that is on a forum each and everyday, and I'm okay with the wait. I'm in no hurry at all :-)
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Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Multispecie (vic) if possib

Postby DJRansome » Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:56 pm

I would not buy Victorians from the LFS. There are a lot of hybrids out there.

While you wait, access each species in which you are interested in the profiles and read any articles or cookie cutter tanks that feature them.
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Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Multispecie (vic) if possib

Postby Tom Jones » Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:29 am

Oh, don't worry : I will not buy any cichlid from a fish store. I talked about them in my previous post but it was to say that even though we know they lie to sell, I found some personal breeder to lie as much. But I'll always prefer to deal with a breeder anyways!

I'm looking at the most possible articles I can find on species I like, but I find the forum's profile page descriptions a little short, and it seems like I don't find as much other online articles about specific Victorian cichlids (compared to other Africans). I find a lot of articles about their need and tank requirement when kept alone or within their species, but it's hard to then calculate the needed size when speaking of community tank, or bi-species tank - as well as the amount of each species.

I love the information I get here, as you guys use all the information you gathered over the years and mix it with up with personal experience.
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Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Multispecie (vic) if possib

Postby Tom Jones » Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:49 pm

DJRansome wrote:One way to do this is view the availability list for the vendor you have chosen. Then you don't have to disturb the vendor to choose among the fish that are available.


I started checking, and so far these are the Victorians that are available on a regular basis : Obliquidens, Flameback, Fulu, Fire Uganda, Ruby Green, Matumbi, Calliptera, Chromogynos, Macrocephala.

Since I didn't know about a bunch of the Victorians in the list of available ones, I quickly googled the ones I didn't know and checked their look and size. I didn't read on their temper yet. So far it goes like that :

- Obliquidens : I like them, but I remember you told me they might be too agressive, especially with Peacocks and pacific Haps. So probably out of the list.
- Flameback : Didn't know about them, but I like them even though they might be too big (?)
- Fulu : I like them.
- Fire Uganda : I like them too.
- Ruby Green : They were already one of my favorites. Love them.
- Calliptera : I like them, but I read they're actually Malawi. Not sure if that can be an issue.
- Chromogynos : My favourite. I love them. Hope they can be part of my tank.
- Macrocephala : Didn't know about them. They look real nice.
+
- Paralab. Sauvagei : (not part of the list from my potential vendor but I like them and feel like I could find them)

So I guess I'll have to choose among those. (I removed the Matumbi as I don't like them that much)

If possible, I'd like to know which could fit in my tank, which (if any) could be mixed with either other species in the list or with Yellow Labs or single Peacocks. .

I already had checked all the females of my previous list, to see if some species would be incompatible due to their female looking the same. Among those in the new list available :

Paralab. Sauvagei : Yellow
Chromogynos : Black & White, but Piebald
Obliquidens : Black & White, but Striped
Ruby Green : Silver/Gray

Now I just checked for the females of the other ones available from my vendors :

Flameback : Silver/Gray
Fulu : Silver/Gray
Fire Uganda : Silver/Gray
Caliptera : Silver/Gray
Macrocephala : Was hard to find, but they seem mostly Silver/Gray (with very pale stripes)

So it seems like I cannot mix any of those together to avoid hybridization : Flameback, Fulu, Fire Uganda, Caliptera, Macrocephala, and Ruby Green.

Not sure if this applies to Chromogynos and Obliquidens (since they have gray/white, but have patterns) and Macrocephala (since mostly gray, but have very pale pattern)

Also Sauvagei should probably not be mixed with Yellow Labs for the same reason.

So, from what I know so far, if I want to mix more than one species (and if it's possible in my tank) and want to avoid hybrids, my compatibility list (female-wise) would be :

Sauvagei Compatibility : Anything except yellow labs
Chromogynos Compatibility : Sauvagei, Yellow Labs (not sure about silver/gray females, not sure about Obliquidens)
Obliquidens Compatibility : Sauvagei, Yellow Labs (not sure about silver/gray females, not sure about Chromogynos)
All species in the Silver/Gray category : Sauvagei, Yellow Labs (not sure about Obliquidens and Chromogynos)

Yellow Labs Compatibility : Anything except Sauvagei
Peacocks : I have no idea (there are so many + Not even sure they'd be compatibles nor be too big)

(The above list is only based on the female ressemblance, I don't know about they temper compatibility, and other incompatibilities, and it's where I need your help)

Sorry for the long novel again, I just wanted to shorten the list :P
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Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Multispecie (vic) if possib

Postby james1983 » Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:53 pm

Your tank is on 36", I wouldn't think there would be enough room for more than one species.
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Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Multispecie (vic) if possib

Postby Tom Jones » Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:18 pm

I read that sometimes heavy stocking of a cichlid tank could reduce agression, as it creates distraction for the males, limiting their ability to create a territory and their breeding urges. However I mostly read this about Mbunas : this wouldn't work with Victorians ?

And if I go with only one specie, would any of the above species work ? And how many should I put, and in which M/F ration ?

Also, could a single male Peacock live with one specie ? Or a single male of another specie of Victorians ?

I'm sorry for all the questions, hope you don't mind.
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Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Multispecie (vic) if possib

Postby DJRansome » Sun Sep 13, 2020 3:39 am

Even with a single species, you would overstock to the correct level and not just stuff the tank with fish.

IME single male Victorians do not color well, so what would be the point?

I would do the fulu or the ruby greens. Start with 12 unsexed and see what happens with the males...remove them until the colony seems happy.
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Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Multispecie (vic) if possib

Postby BC in SK » Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:53 pm

Tom Jones wrote:So, from what I know so far, if I want to mix more than one species (and if it's possible in my tank) and want to avoid hybrids, my compatibility list (female-wise) would be :

Sauvagei Compatibility : Anything except yellow labs
Chromogynos Compatibility : Sauvagei, Yellow Labs (not sure about silver/gray females, not sure about Obliquidens)
Obliquidens Compatibility : Sauvagei, Yellow Labs (not sure about silver/gray females, not sure about Chromogynos)
All species in the Silver/Gray category : Sauvagei, Yellow Labs (not sure about Obliquidens and Chromogynos)

Yellow Labs Compatibility : Anything except Sauvagei
Peacocks : I have no idea (there are so many + Not even sure they'd be compatibles nor be too big)

(The above list is only based on the female ressemblance, I don't know about they temper compatibility, and other incompatibilities, and it's where I need your help)

I'm not sure where you are getting the idea that rock kribensis ( Paralidiochromis suavagei) is some how more similar to yellow labs because of a little bit of yellow coloration. Mbuna are more likely to hybridize with other mbuna (or peacocks, or the other Haplochromines endemic to lake Malawi). Having larger groups or at least a number of females per male, lessens your chance of producing hybrids, but all endemic Malawi Haplochromine have a fairly high chance of cross breeding if they are kept together in the same tank, because they are all closely related. The only way to be certain that they do not ever cross breed is to keep no more then 1 species per tank especially considering a female can sometimes breed with 2 ore more males in the same spawn.
"Victorian-types" are more likely to crossbreed with other "Victorian -types", even if their females happen to look a little different to are eyes. And while crosses of "Victorian -types" with Malawi cichlids might produce viable offspring (??), there are very, very few reported cases of it. The resulting offspring should be more obviously hybrid, then crossing more closely related species.
These fish get called Victorians, not because they necessarily come from lake Victoria, as most in the hobby do not, but because lake Victoria has the largest number of species of Haplochromine fish with a similar size and body shape and these kinds became associated with lake Victoria as apposed to the Haplochromines endemic to lake Malawi which come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Astatotilapia calliptera https://www.fishbase.de/summary/6707 while it is found around the mouths of rivers on the southern end of lake Malawi , it is not endemic to lake Malawi as it is also found in rivers as well as lake Chilwa and lake Chiuta. In all likelyhood it would have much greater chance of hybridizing with other members of it's genus (such as Aststtotilapia latifasciata) then it would with endemic lake Malawi ciclids.
I'd agree, zebra obliquidens (Aststatotilapia latifasciata) is an aggressive species. So is Astatotilapia burtoni, IME. Astatotilapia bloyeti, not so much, and should do fine in a decent size group in a smaller tank, IMO, though not too sure they would even be available these days. These 3 species make up my experience with "Victorian-types" (none of which come from lake Victoria) So I'd be speculating on any of the other species. In the past, seen a few people keep Egyptian mouth brooders (Pseudocrnilibrus multicolor) successfully in very small tanks, but they were always species tanks and not too sure how well they would mix with other species. Rock kribensis (Paralibidochromis suavagei) have seen them mixed in many Malawi tanks with out problems and think it likely they are less aggressive then zebra obliquidens, though I have never personally kept them.
There is never any guarantee with cichlids nor any way of for telling the future. The smaller the tank, the worse your odds of succeeding will be. Choose less aggressive specie and stock with sufficient numbers and you may have a decent chance. Encounter aggression problems at some future point might require removing an aggressor or a picked on fish. IMO, start out with at least 6-8 or more per species. You need sufficient numbers, especially in small tanks. A trio might have decent chance of working out well in a 180 gal., but it has fairly slim odds in 40 gal. for pretty much any mouth brooder.
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Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Multispecie (vic) if possib

Postby Tom Jones » Sun Sep 13, 2020 3:59 pm

DJRansome wrote:Even with a single species, you would overstock to the correct level and not just stuff the tank with fish.

IME single male Victorians do not color well, so what would be the point?

I would do the fulu or the ruby greens. Start with 12 unsexed and see what happens with the males...remove them until the colony seems happy.


I knew that males of some species of Victorian did not color when alone, but I thought that maybe some would. My bad.

My girlfriend really like the Ruby Greens, we could consider them if we have to go with a single species tank. I know you told me in the other thread that Red Fin Piebald were too agressive to share a small tank, but would they work in a species only tank ? If they'd work, I might prefer them over the Ruby and Fulu as their female is not gray. I'd also love the Chromogynos in a species only tank, but I read that males need to be separated at 2", otherwise they go on killing spree. Maybe that'd be the case with Red Fin Piebald too, as you said they were pretty aggressive.

I've seen dither fish suggested often on the forum, like Tiger Barbs (mostly with Yellow Labs or Peacocks) — Could it be beneficial / feasible with Victorians ?

PS : I'm not completely decided on Victorians yet, as I found old posts on the forum that suggested some 36" Malawi combinations that I liked. I would like to discuss some of the stocking suggestion I've seen. Would it be better if I open a new post under the Malawi section, or I should ask my questions in my previous post under General Cichlids ?
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Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Multispecie (vic) if possib

Postby Tom Jones » Sun Sep 13, 2020 4:21 pm

BC in SK wrote:I'm not sure where you are getting the idea that rock kribensis ( Paralidiochromis suavagei) is some how more similar to yellow labs because of a little bit of yellow coloration.


I must have incorrectly extrapolated when told to avoid species with females of similar color. Even though mbunas and the rock kribensis are not in the same genome, I thought it might have been a possibility that they hybridize because their females were both yellow. Thanks for the correction and the explanation.

BC in SK wrote:There is never any guarantee with cichlids nor any way of for telling the future. The smaller the tank, the worse your odds of succeeding will be. Choose less aggressive specie and stock with sufficient numbers and you may have a decent chance. Encounter aggression problems at some future point might require removing an aggressor or a picked on fish. IMO, start out with at least 6-8 or more per species. You need sufficient numbers, especially in small tanks. A trio might have decent chance of working out well in a 180 gal., but it has fairly slim odds in 40 gal. for pretty much any mouth brooder.


Yeah, I'm all about textual information at the moment but I'm sure it will be once I have the fish in my tank that I'll see how it really is :lol:

I want to avoid making errors, but I guess sometimes errors are beneficial as they make you learn and contribute to our experience. I'm still looking for my perfect stocking, but one thing for sure is that I'll get myself a back-up/hospital tank before I get the fish, whatever the specie(s)!
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Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Multispecie (vic) if possib

Postby DJRansome » Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:07 pm

Tom Jones wrote:I'm not completely decided on Victorians yet, as I found old posts on the forum that suggested some 36" Malawi combinations that I liked. I would like to discuss some of the stocking suggestion I've seen. Would it be better if I open a new post under the Malawi section, or I should ask my questions in my previous post under General Cichlids ?
Do not open a new post. You need the people who have experience mixing Victorians with each other or with Malawi and they are more likely to hang out here. If you see old posts outlining suggestions, reply to each one and Members can chime in.
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