General African Cichlid Discussion • 265 gallon stocking list questions

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265 gallon stocking list questions

Postby fishboy75 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:24 pm

Hi, originally I was going to convert my tank into an all male hap and peacock tank with some of the yellow labs I have mixed in. After doing extensive research on this forum as well as others I have decided to go a different route. I'm thinking about 3 or 4 less aggressive species of mbuna and maybe adding 1 or 2 from Lake Victoria. Also, would like to add 2 or 3 medium large hap or peacocks for fry control and different color. As I previously stated, I already have the yellow labs and would need to cut the group of 35+ down significantly. The sizes range from fry to full grown adults. I also have six Syno Multipunctatus which are actually more likely Syno Grandiops based off another thread on here. I have had them for 12 years and they haven't grown much from the 4 inches they were when I bought them. I'll give you my proposed stocking list and let everyone dissect it for me:

Mbuna- most certain

Labidochromis Caeruleus
Pseudotropheus sp. Acei Yellow Tail
Metriaclima sp. Dolphin- Giant Demasoni

Lake Victoria possibilities:

Paralabidochromis chromogynos- I like the interesting look of the females but might be a little meek to be kept with mbuna.

Christmas Fulu, Kyoga Flameback, Hippo Point Salmon, Pundamilia nyererei or any other red hap that anyone can suggest. My only dislike of any of these fish is that the females seem to be pretty drab.

Haps/ Peacocks- main purpose to provide different shapes and colors and also help with fry control

S. Fryeri Electric Blue- seem to coexist fairly well with mbuna, keep their color even when not the most dominant and don't get big enough to pose a threat to adult mbuna

Eureka Red, Lemon Jake and/ or Lwanda peacocks- probably the most feisty of the Aulonocara

Another mbuna I would be interested in but might be too aggressive is Labeotropheus Trewavasae Red

If keeping 4 or 5 different species what is a good number of each to shoot for? Was thinking about 10-12. Thanks for any thoughts, experiences and criticisms you might have to share. Im also going to post this on monsterfishkeepers.com so I can get as much information and input as possible. I know there are members here that frequent that site as well, like DJ Ransome and Deeda who regularly answer questions here and there. Thanks again.
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Re: 265 gallon stocking list questions

Postby DJRansome » Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:35 pm

What is the length of the tank?

Reports on giant demasoni say they are skittish. The fulu is timid and best in a species tank. The nyererei is aggressive and best in a species tank. Flameback did not do well with haps and peacocks for me...it was pale. Other claim to have had success.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: 265 gallon stocking list questions

Postby fishboy75 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:07 pm

7 feet long. I have read that the Giant Demasoni were less aggressive and hard to breed but i hadn't come across skittish. I figured they should be ok with the Labs and Acei at least. Shooting for a less aggressive tank and not looking to keep fry.
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Re: 265 gallon stocking list questions

Postby shiftyfox » Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:57 am

If you do go with the giant Demasoni and other two Mbuna species let us know how it goes, a similar combination I want to try for my next tank.
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Re: 265 gallon stocking list questions

Postby fishboy75 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:17 pm

Will do. Was hoping someone who has kept them before would weigh in. Also, the same for the Paralabidochromis chromogynos or the Paralabidochromis sp. Red Fin Piebald which is very similar. Thanks
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Re: 265 gallon stocking list questions

Postby Fogelhund » Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:12 am

The comments about the Giant Demasoni are refelctive of my experiences as well. I found them to be a fish that hid in the rocks a lot, and weren't very showy. Maybe a good option would be some Cynotilapia zebroides instead. A small mbuna, with with similar Blue/Black patterns, and males can be quite spectacular.

Some victorians can be quite spectacular, if you find good quality... but that's the problem, I rarely see good quality anymore. If you can find good quality, go ahead and try it, you've got more latitude in a 7ft tank, than others who might have only tried such mixes in smaller tanks. Personally, I'd go for some Copadichromis borleyi instead.

Sci. fryeri would mix well, I've often kept mine with Yellow Labs, and other mbuna in the past.
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Re: 265 gallon stocking list questions

Postby fishboy75 » Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:05 pm

Fogelhund wrote:The comments about the Giant Demasoni are refelctive of my experiences as well. I found them to be a fish that hid in the rocks a lot, and weren't very showy. Maybe a good option would be some Cynotilapia zebroides instead. A small mbuna, with with similar Blue/Black patterns, and males can be quite spectacular.

Some victorians can be quite spectacular, if you find good quality... but that's the problem, I rarely see good quality anymore. If you can find good quality, go ahead and try it, you've got more latitude in a 7ft tank, than others who might have only tried such mixes in smaller tanks. Personally, I'd go for some Copadichromis borleyi instead.

Sci. fryeri would mix well, I've often kept mine with Yellow Labs, and other mbuna in the past.


Thanks for the feedback. Disappointing to hear about the Giant Demasoni. Were they in a species tank or mbuna community? If community, what were the other fish if you remember? I would probably switch off to Maingano if I'm further persuaded against keeping them. I did watch a couple videos of them on YouTube where they seemed pretty confident, one in a species tank and the other was a male in a mbuna community. Borleyi is a good recommendation for a reddish fish. I have seen some vendors with very red strains.
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Re: 265 gallon stocking list questions

Postby Fogelhund » Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:54 pm

I kept the giant demasoni in a 75 gallon mixed tank, though there was nothing in the tank that would come close to challenging them. The maingano are a very nice fish, but are probably going to be too aggressive for fryeri/borleyi etc... I get the appeal of nice males and females though. Cynotilapia sp. 'hara' have females that look better than most, and the males can be spectacular. They'd work.
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Re: 265 gallon stocking list questions

Postby fishboy75 » Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:41 pm

Fogelhund wrote:I kept the giant demasoni in a 75 gallon mixed tank, though there was nothing in the tank that would come close to challenging them. The maingano are a very nice fish, but are probably going to be too aggressive for fryeri/borleyi etc... I get the appeal of nice males and females though. Cynotilapia sp. 'hara' have females that look better than most, and the males can be spectacular. They'd work.


Great recommendation, I never would have thought about them. Ill have to see if my vendor can get them in. I guess I'll have to decide if I'm going just mbuna now or still want to add a couple haps into the mix. I really dont want too many fry to survive because I don't have anywhere to take them right now with alot of restrictions still in place
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Re: 265 gallon stocking list questions

Postby Fogelhund » Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:03 pm

fishboy75 wrote:
Fogelhund wrote:I kept the giant demasoni in a 75 gallon mixed tank, though there was nothing in the tank that would come close to challenging them. The maingano are a very nice fish, but are probably going to be too aggressive for fryeri/borleyi etc... I get the appeal of nice males and females though. Cynotilapia sp. 'hara' have females that look better than most, and the males can be spectacular. They'd work.


Great recommendation, I never would have thought about them. Ill have to see if my vendor can get them in. I guess I'll have to decide if I'm going just mbuna now or still want to add a couple haps into the mix. I really dont want too many fry to survive because I don't have anywhere to take them right now with alot of restrictions still in place


If you go with the maingano, you might not mix them with fryeri/borleyi, but then you could put in some Dimidiochromis compressiceps instead... or a Nimbochromis...
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Re: 265 gallon stocking list questions

Postby fishboy75 » Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:43 pm

So I did something I normally never due and made an impulse buy. There was a beautiful 4.5 inch Dimidiochromis compressiceps at my local store and I pulled the trigger. Have become friendly with the owner and he sold it to me for $20 which I think is a steal for a colored up male of that size. First time owning one and he is cool as #%$&. Now my question is, am I going back to a hap/ peacock tank or will he be okay long term with full sized mbuna? I would still prefer to have 3-5 groups of mbuna and maybe add another couple haps/ peacocks as well.

Fogelhund- I'm assuming you have kept Maingano with your Compressiceps in the past given your previous post. Is it your experience that a full grown Compressiceps doesn't attempt to eat mbuna that are 4+ inches? My main concern would be him attempting to eat them and just injuring or killing them instead which I would definitely not want. The mbuna I am now considering along with the yellow labs I have in there now would be:

Maingano
Yellow- tail Acei
Labeotropheus trewavasae with OB females
Cynotilapia sp. Hara

Thoughts or suggestions? Thanks in advance.
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Re: 265 gallon stocking list questions

Postby fishboy75 » Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:18 pm

Figured I would give an update because a lot of times people ask questions and get help and never report back. I have two boxes of fish coming in from two different vendors this Wednesday. After speaking to one vendor, I decided to go with my original stocking plan as it relates to the mbuna. I ordered 8 Pseudotropheus sp Acei yellow tail and 10 Metriaclima sp Dolphin Manda. I love the way they look and hope they arent as skittish as has been reported. If they are and it frustrates me I will probably wind up putting them in a species only tank. I also am getting a bunch of haps and peacocks, all males. Here's my list:

1x Aulonocara stuartgranti Chilumba
1x Aulonocara baenshi Benga
1× Aulonocara jacobfreibergi Eureka Red
1x Protomelas Spilonotus Tanzania
1x Protomelas steveni taiwan
1x Otopharynx lithobates Zimbabwe Rocks
1x Otopharynx tetrastigma
1x Placidochromis milomo
1x Xystichromis sp. Flameback
1x Copadichromis trewavasae Likoma

My plan is to quarantine the haps and peacocks for 2-3 weeks. When they are ready to go into the 265, I will remove all the Yellow Labs and the Dimidiochromis compressiceps. I will let the new haps and peacocks establish themselves for about a month. In that time, I'm hoping the juvenile Acei and Dolphin Manda will put on a little size and I will introduce them. Lastly, I plan to add the Dimidiochromis compressiceps and I'm thinking maybe 5 male Yellow Labs. I really dont want a tank full of yellow labs again. Does this plan seem reasonable? I will keep updating as things progress. Thanks to all who have responded previously.
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Re: 265 gallon stocking list questions

Postby SenorStrum » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:29 pm

I'm extremely interested to hear how this goes for you. Especially curious about the dolphin Manda in a setup this large. Thanks for the update!
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Re: 265 gallon stocking list questions

Postby SoccerMbunaAndShak » Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:08 pm

I personally do not mind fish that like to hide in the rocks a lot. I think it looks natural to see fish darting in and out of rocks, chasing each other around them, and hiding. If you are worried about the tank looking empty with hidey/timid fish, just wait a month or two for your acei to bond with you and they will definitely fill the top and middle of the tank up, especially once they grow to be 6-7 inch gentle giants.
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