General African Cichlid Discussion • 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Dont mind overstocking if fish

For general questions and issues. Post here if you are unsure of their origin or if you have questions about mixing.

Moderators: DJRansome, nodima

36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Dont mind overstocking if fish

Postby Tom Jones » Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:47 am

Hello. I have a 39-40 gallons : 36 x 12.5 x 19. It's not my fist tank, as I have 4 other tanks (tropical planted : a 40 breeder, a 20 tall, and two 5s) but it'd be my first cichlid tank. I know my water parameters'd need to be different than my actual tanks, but I've read about this and have all the necessarities (sand, PH increasing rocks, crushed corals, buffer, AM/NI/NA/PH tests, hardness tests, etc). I'm also very zealous about my 7th day ritual of water-changing all my tanks regardless of water parameters and nitrates level, so I'm not afraid of doing so on a new tank, or even do that twice or thrice a week depending on crowding level (see rest of message).

I've read most "stocking" threads in the 5 Cichlid sections (SA/CA/Malawi/Victorian/Tang) that would be similar to my available tank, and I also watched most videos on YT under the same keywords. I also read a lot on different types of cichlids and their needs on a lot of different websites : I usualy google "Name of species + Care" or "name of species + tankmates" in order to get sites with detailed descriptions instead of LFS's and online-FS's websites with limited information besides actual size of available specimens + a copy-pasted description of the specie taken from another non-sourced site.

However, those results usually gets me the max size of the adult fish, the minimum suggested size tank for this specific species, and a list of tank mates only based on behavior but not on tank size. Like, it's not possible to get a list of "how many of this specie if added with these X amount of specimens of that specie and N amount of specimens of that other one". I also found the cookie cutter section of this current site, but based on the comments and posts I read on your forum it seems like it's more like a loose suggestion than an actual advice to follow.

I mostly read threads under the Malawi and Tanganyikan sections of your forum, but I also scrolled the other sections as well, always looking for the words stocking, 40 gallons, 36", etc -- And I gathered some interesting information. From what I read, 36" tanks are pretty limited when it comes to cichlids, and besides some tanganyikans shell dwellers with some dither it seems like the only other options would be Rams, Apistos, or Tanganyikans open water fishes. I also read that mBunas would be possible only if numbers would be how enough to overcrowd them in a way to disperse aggression, territoriality, as well as the urge to breed and/or chase females to death.

Let's say that dwarf or really small species of Tanganyikans don't interest me, neither a combination of Rams with non-cichlid tropical dither fishes, and let's also say that I wouldn't mind doing water changes twice or thrice a week in a voluntary overcrowded tank (as long as it's not a huge load of stress for the involved fishes), what would you suggest me ?

I know that peacocks and mbunas shouldn't be kept together. I also know that species from different lakes shouldn't be souped together. I also read that species only tanks could be tricky in such a small tank as males could chases females to death even if enough hiding spots are provided for them. I also know that males-only show-tanks are not suggested under 55 or even 75 gallons. I know overcrowding can be complicated but I'm willing to try as long as it's humane and that I could get an happy tank. Even though my message might seem like I think I know a lot, I know I actually don't and it's why I want to know more and need your help.

I'd like to know more about overstocking, and how to do it. I know the basics of «why» it works, I know that when there is a lot a traffic it prevents males from establishing territory, it also distract them from chasing their females (either because other fishes distract them from doing so, or just by "knowing" tank is too crowded to even think about raising fry so they just don't), but I don't know the numbers, the details, the important things to know, the..... the pretty-much-everything-else-except-the-why.

I don't have a preference in collection points, neither do I have a preference in lakes or even continents. I just like colored fishes and would like a tank full of them. I am not a fan of tangs (except for calvuses), I don't like Frontosas or any forehead-bumped individuals. I'm not a fan of snails or plecos neither. I don't need 5-6(...)-12 inches long fishes, but I don't want 1 inch long shell dwellers neither. I don't mind chasing and display of attitude, but I'd like to avoid biting/agression/fighting. I understand breeding and territoriality can bring a lot of aggressiveness in fishes but I'd like to avoid both by using the overcrowding method and would like to have more information about it, as well as advices.

So I don't want to cumulate couples and couples and couples as I don't want fry (and/or don't mind if they get eaten if it can reduce aggression), and I would prefer to mix species instead of getting a species only tank. I'm open to trios, harems, and other suggestions.

I'd prefer fish that requires a lot of decoration and caves, rather than open water fishes that prefer an empty tank. I like to see a lot of fish in a tank but I don't like those bare-bottom monster-fish tanks with 5 rocks at the bottom and 20 mbunas stuck in traffic in the remaining empty space. I'd like to have a tank full of life and fishes, but also densily rocked and caved.

I'd like to have suggestions of stocking, as well as advices on how to deal with overcrowding. I'm pretty zealous on water testing and I'm fully aware an overcrowded tank would increase Nitrates very fast, and could also result in Ammonia spike if water changes are not regular enough. I also know that most African Cichlids don't like variations in parameters and prefer more regular small water changes instead of less regular water changes - and I'm ready to deal with this with the proper advices on how to mange this best.

I already have another 40-something gallon tank that's supposed to house tanganyikans rock dwellers pretty soon so I'd like some other suggestion on this 36x12.5x19 tank.

Even though I'd like to avoid guaranteed agressions, I have a 20 gallon long tank already cycled and running that could be used to temporarily separate/isolate bullies or bullieds. However, I'd like to avoid needing to use it and use it for another tropical non-cichlid tank for my girlfriend - or maybe even a betta sorority. That'd be the ideal on the long term, however I'm ready to wait a few month before doing so, in order to keep it available if I need to separate fishes.

Also, I might need to add that I don't have space for a bigger or longer aquarium on the short or medium term. As for the long term I'm not even sure. However, I'd be confortable with slow-growing fishes that'd be too big for my tank once adult but could thrive in it for a year or two before needing to be rehomed. So I would not mind having fish that'll be big one day, as long as I don't need to rehome them in in 3-4 months. I would not mind selling/giving away my adult fishes once they get too big, but please prioritize species or specimens that could thrive in a 36 long for at least a year.

Thanks!

PS : I have another account here, but it seems like I can't login anymore. This is not a fake account created with the intent of getting different answers lol.
I already discussed with some members about a tanganyikan 40-breeder I have and am pretty satisfied with the final stocking that was suggested to me, but this time I'd like to explore my options with this 36x12.5 tank using the overcrowding method. I'm also open to critics if people think this wouldn't be a good idea (either for me or for the fishes). People who already discussed with me here know that even though I ask thousands of questions, I'm always open to compromise or even flat-out change my plans if given good arguments against it.

Thanks in advance guys, and thanks to all of you for your dedicated (and most likely volunteer) work.

PS 2 : Since I don't have a preference in lake or continents, I thought about copy-pasting this post in all region-sections of the forum to get the most replies, but opted out with this "General" section. However, if you think I could get more replies in a specific section please feel free to move this thread there, and/or tag some active members from another section to comment here :-)
Tom Jones
 
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:27 am
Location: Canada

Share On:

Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter

Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Dont mind overstocking if f

Postby BC in SK » Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:22 am

Tom Jones wrote:Let's say that dwarf or really small species of Tanganyikans don't interest me, neither a combination of Rams with non-cichlid tropical dither fishes,

There are lot's of dwarf cichlids from other parts of Africa, besides lake Tanganyika.
The common Krib (Pelvicachromis pulcher) as well as the entire genus Pelvicachromis.
African Butterfly cichlid (Anamalochromis thomasi) stays small (4" or less) and is not too aggressive.
Most of the "Block head cichlids" (genus Steatocranus) are fairly small and not very aggressive.
All kinds of Victorian-types are mouth brooders that do not get too large and could be stocked in larger numbers (8+) to fit your notion to "overstock". For example Egyptian mouth brooder (Pseudocrenilibrus multicolor) stays under 4" and even the commonly available Rock Kribensis (Paralibidochromis sauvagei) doesn't usually get much larger then 4".
From lake Malawi there are small species of mbuna. Saulosi (Chindongo saulosi) and Demasoni (Chindongo demkasoni) get to about 4" or less.
IMO, Rusty cichlid (Iodotropheus sprengerae) and Electric yellow (Labidochromis caeruleus) have decent chance of working out OK in your size of tank, though some others on this forum would disagree. Both of these mbuna get to about 5" or less.
BC in SK
 
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:06 pm
Location: canada

Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Dont mind overstocking if f

Postby DJRansome » Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:43 am

It was a good idea to choose one forum and post there, thank you for that.

Seems like you have a nice selection from BC in SK. Some Members over the years have found rusties to be more aggressive than advertized. For mbuna I would do saulosi,

Some Victorians I have found too aggressive in a 36" tank, but others would do well, such as Christmas Fulu.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
User avatar
DJRansome
Global Moderator
 
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 8:30 am
Location: Little Egg Harbor, NJ

Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Dont mind overstocking if f

Postby Tom Jones » Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:04 am

Thank you for your replies. I've looked at all mentioned species, and I found some of them really interesting.

I love the Electric Yellow and would like to know more about how many I should put together to avoid agression, as well as potential tank mates to put with them.

For tankmates, I saw a video with Yellow Labs and Blue Cobalts and I thought the contrast in colors was amazing (https://youtu.be/nzSkP6FOtCo). However, I believe the tank in the video is way too overcrowded. EDIT : After reading more about the Blue Cobalts, it seems that even though they'd only be 4 inches, they're super territorial and aggressive so I think it would not fit with the peaceful Yellow Labs.

Could I instead mix Yellow Labs with different Labidochromis like the Hongi Red Top or the Hongi Sweden ? Or maybe with peaceful haps like Haplochromis sp. Ruby ? I also saw a post where you said to someone with a 36" tank that he could get a trio of Labidochromis with 2 peacocks. Do you still think it would be feasible ? What specific Peacocks would be better with Yellow/Hongi-Sweden ? I'm looking at pictures of Aulonocara Koningsi (especially Bayou Bengal) and the Korneliae Memelela and I love them. Could I get one of each and a trio of Labidochromis Hongi Sweden ?
Tom Jones
 
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:27 am
Location: Canada

Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Dont mind overstocking if f

Postby BC in SK » Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:07 am

Tom Jones wrote: After reading more about the Blue Cobalts, it seems that even though they'd only be 4 inches,

No, cobalt blues are fairly large mbuna. 6" maximum and easily exceed 5". Typically getting a little larger then yellow labs. A truly dwarf mbuna, like demasoni has a maximum of 4". Just to put things into perspective with weight as I see that as a better reflection of the size of the fish (though both weight and length give a better perspective). A 4" mbuna is typically about a 15-20 gram fish. A 5" mbuna is around 30-40 grams and a 6" mbuna will usually weigh in around 50-70 grams. So the fish is about double the size for every extra inch.
The video posted are all small and fairly young fish. There would be many other options for a blue mbuna that are less aggressive then cobalt blues. And bear in mind that yellow labs are very aggressive cichlids, themselves. Aggression is relative. They are only considered "peaceful" when compared to other mbuna. Some other options for blue might be Cynotilapia sp. hara or sualosi (males blue, females yellow). And yes, in a small tank, to make mbuna work, your odds will be much better if you stock heavily. Probably best just to stick with one species but if you are really intent on attempting 2, then maybe some of the smaller Victorian-types would be the better option with yellow labs.
BC in SK
 
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:06 pm
Location: canada

Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Dont mind overstocking if f

Postby Tom Jones » Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:19 am

BC in SK wrote: (...) but if you are really intent on attempting 2, then maybe some of the smaller Victorian-types would be the better option with yellow labs.


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

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 ?
Tom Jones
 
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:27 am
Location: Canada

Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Dont mind overstocking if f

Postby Tom Jones » Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:28 am

Edit : I also like to add those to the list to pick from, even though they seem to be more on the 5" side :

» Pundamilia sp. Red Flank Nansio Bay
Tom Jones
 
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:27 am
Location: Canada

Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Dont mind overstocking if f

Postby DJRansome » Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:43 am

Pundamilia and piebald are aggressive, I would not do in a 36" tank regardless of stocking. It is not just about the size of the fish.

Ruby Red would work as a single species with multiple males. This is one you might consider with a trio of labs if you do 2 species.

I found Oblique too aggressive for timid haps and peacocks (they did not color well with him in the tank) so extrapolate to mean avoid him in a 36" tank.

When you combine fish with colorless females, you must make sure the females of the various species look completely different. Else the fish may crossbreed and/or you will not be able to ID the separate species for future fishkeeping activities.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
User avatar
DJRansome
Global Moderator
 
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 8:30 am
Location: Little Egg Harbor, NJ

Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Dont mind overstocking if f

Postby Tom Jones » Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:07 pm

Okay, so Pundamilia and Obliquens are out. Red Fin Piebalds as well. When you say Piebald are aggressive, would you consider Chromogynos Zue as such too ? (since they're kinda Piebald/blotched in too)

And when you specified about the females not looking similar to other specie's female, would you include the Sauvagei/Rock-Krib in that warning with Yellow Labs since the female is yellowish ? And if the Sauvagei should not be kept with Yellow Labs because of the yellow female, could the Sauvagei be kept with Chromogynos ?

Similarly, could Ruby/Green be kept with Chromogynos or Sauvagei instead of Yellow Labs ?

Lastly, besides the Sauvagei and the Chromogynos, what do you think of those two ? down below :

» Haplochromis Enterochromis Paropius
» Pseudocrenilabrus Philander Dispersus
Tom Jones
 
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:27 am
Location: Canada

Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Dont mind overstocking if f

Postby DJRansome » Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:45 pm

I did not mention fish I have no knowledge of. You might try a post in "Other Africans" for questions about Victorians or West Africans, etc.

Also check out the profiles of the "Other Cichlids" and from there you can link to articles if they exist in the Cichlid-forum Library. Paralabidochromis Chromogynos for example.

Do you have a vendor for all of these? Availability may be a limiting factor.

Hybrid Victorians are common so go with a vendor that has an impeccable reputation for Victorians.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
User avatar
DJRansome
Global Moderator
 
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 8:30 am
Location: Little Egg Harbor, NJ

Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Dont mind overstocking if f

Postby Tom Jones » Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:17 am

Do you think a colony of Yellow Labs could live with some Tiger Barbs as dither fishes ?

I see those barbs pretty often in cichlid tanks, and apparently they're good dither for a number of reasons (Doesn't hide, Active & fast, not too small to eat, not too big to be seen as a menace).

In the same essence, could a single male peacock (or maybe 2 of diff. species) be kept with barbs as dither fish ?

Also, would 2 male peacocks of different species show agression towards one another if they don't look alike and have no female to impress ?

Also :

DJRansome wrote:Ruby Red would work as a single species with multiple males. This is one you might consider with a trio of labs if you do 2 species.


I completely forgot about that one. I would love to be able have a double colony that includes Yellow Labs.

However, when you said Ruby Red would work, were you thinking about the Ruby Red Peacock, or you meant Victoria's Ruby Green ? I'm asking because I said in the previous post Haplochromis Ruby Red by mistake (instead of Ruby Green). At first I just thought we were having the Victorians discussion while using the same typo, but I just realized Ruby Red was actually another cichlid as well.

If you meant the Victorian Hap, how many would you put with a trio of Yellow Labs ? And when you said with multiple males, what ratio did you have in mind ?

And if you meant the Ruby Red Peacock : could this specie be changed for another one of similar size and temper ?
Tom Jones
 
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:27 am
Location: Canada

Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Dont mind overstocking if f

Postby BC in SK » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:52 am

Tom Jones wrote:Do you think a colony of Yellow Labs could live with some Tiger Barbs as dither fishes ?

I see those barbs pretty often in cichlid tanks, and apparently they're good dither for a number of reasons (Doesn't hide, Active & fast, not too small to eat, not too big to be seen as a menace).

I've tried to keep tiger barbs with cichlids many times in the past. And always starting out with the tiger barbs considerably larger then the cichlids. IMO and IME, they will last 6 months to a year at best. They need to be kept in a group of 6 or more, other wise they will get "nippy" towards the cichlids....and they won't get away with being nippy for very long, they will pay with their lives. They will work OK with young, small cichlids but IME and IMO they have slim chance of lasting with full grown mbuna.
In general, mbuna do not require dithers. They are very confident and out going fish. But if, for what ever reason, you end up with a tank that is overly scared or skittish (and sometimes all it takes is one fish to make all the rest scared), IMO and IME, giant danio has about the best chance of doing well as a schooling dither with aggressive cichlids. Though so far, I've never had any last more then 4 years. Over a span of about 6 years, I have purchased over 30 and have absolutely none today. And that is by far the most successful I have ever been keeping small schooling dithers with aggressive cichlids :lol: Some ended up being swallowed whole (full grown 4" giant danio can be swallowed by salvini) and also witnessed them being attacked by mbuna and finished off by larger cichlids.
BC in SK
 
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:06 pm
Location: canada

Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Dont mind overstocking if f

Postby DJRansome » Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:38 pm

Yes I did mean Ruby Greens. Multiple males with single species. 1m:4f if you combine with a trio of labs. One colored Victorian, if the Victorian male is happy.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
User avatar
DJRansome
Global Moderator
 
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 8:30 am
Location: Little Egg Harbor, NJ

Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Dont mind overstocking if f

Postby Tom Jones » Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:42 pm

Thanks! That could be an interesting mix.

If you have another Hap that you think could ago with a trio of labs, I'm all ears (or eyes).
Tom Jones
 
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:27 am
Location: Canada

Re: 36" x 12.5 " x 19" Stocking. Dont mind overstocking if f

Postby DJRansome » Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:44 pm

BTWE the Ruby Greens are also a Victorian was was considered timid. However, some members who kept them later found they were not as peaceful or small as advertised.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
User avatar
DJRansome
Global Moderator
 
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 8:30 am
Location: Little Egg Harbor, NJ

Next

Return to General African Cichlid Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests