Lake Malawi Species • Stocking and upgrade question

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Stocking and upgrade question

Postby aausa1983 » Thu May 05, 2016 1:47 am

Hello,

I have a 65g with 15 African cichlids in it. They are all very young ranging from 1.5" to 2.5". My Super Red Empress is 3". My stock consists of aceis, labs, haps and peacocks. 13 out of my 15 fish will grow between 4 and 6". Two of them will grow 8-10". There is 0 aggression in my tank (at the moment :)). I will definitely upgrade to a 150g in the future, but I plan on doing it once my fish outgrow the 65 gallon (36" x 18" X 25"). Two questions for you:

1. How many cichlids do you believe is the max that can go in a 65g?

2. For the 15 cichlids I currently have, and assuming they grow at a "normal" rate, what is your opinion on when I would need to/should upgrade to the 150g? 1 year? 3 years?

Thanks!
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby DJRansome » Thu May 05, 2016 2:33 pm

I'd say the max is 12 and the 2.5" and 3" fish are ready for the larger tank now. I'd plan the upgrade in six months if you want to wait.
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby des » Fri May 06, 2016 1:34 pm

I say upgrade to the 150g as soon as you can if you have the space. Their health; growth, colour, behavior will benefit from it. Do it!
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby aausa1983 » Fri May 06, 2016 1:39 pm

des wrote:I say upgrade to the 150g as soon as you can if you have the space. Their health; growth, colour, behavior will benefit from it. Do it!


I agree! However, space is an issue at the moment. How long though do you predict hese guys will have space in my current setup (before there's cramming/aggression)?
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby tanker3 » Fri May 06, 2016 1:49 pm

aausa1983 wrote:
des wrote:I say upgrade to the 150g as soon as you can if you have the space. Their health; growth, colour, behavior will benefit from it. Do it!


I agree! However, space is an issue at the moment. How long though do you predict hese guys will have space in my current setup (before there's cramming/aggression)?


Depending on food amount, clean water, which fish is more aggressive when feeding, male population, number of males for each species, ---maybe a few months.
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby des » Fri May 06, 2016 1:54 pm

I say about 5-6 months if you are keeping all 15 fish. I think their growth will depend out how often you feed them and how often you change your water. Your bio load will be a good indicator.
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby aausa1983 » Fri May 06, 2016 2:28 pm

des wrote:I say about 5-6 months if you are keeping all 15 fish. I think their growth will depend out how often you feed them and how often you change your water. Your bio load will be a good indicator.


I feed them twice a day for 30 seconds to a minute....NLS pellets, tetra flakes, and National Geographic Cichlid pellets (sometimes). I change water once per week. I've read varying things online but roughly how much will they grow within 6 months?
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby dledinger » Fri May 06, 2016 3:13 pm

They will grow at very different rates depending on several factors...that's most likely why you see differing information.

It's not possible, really, to put a timeline or specific fish size on it. The two issues that would necessitate a change are water quality (and the ability to maintain it) and aggression. In your specific setup you have a lot of volume in a short tank so water quality shouldn't be an issue.

If I were to guess....I think you're safe for another 6-9 months. On the same token, you might wake up tomorrow to find a rogue Mbuna on a warpath.
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby aausa1983 » Fri May 06, 2016 3:18 pm

dledinger wrote:They will grow at very different rates depending on several factors...that's most likely why you see differing information.

It's not possible, really, to put a timeline or specific fish size on it. The two issues that would necessitate a change are water quality (and the ability to maintain it) and aggression. In your specific setup you have a lot of volume in a short tank so water quality shouldn't be an issue.

If I were to guess....I think you're safe for another 6-9 months. On the same token, you might wake up tomorrow to find a rogue Mbuna on a warpath.


Thanks. How often do you feed them veggies (cucumbers and peas)? Also, what brand shrimp would you advise?
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby dledinger » Fri May 06, 2016 3:56 pm

NLS is a good food. It's all I've used for the past couple years. The only other thing I feed is broccoli and noori. I feed the broccoli as a matter of convenience because my wife often blanches some for the our macaw, and the noori is just for my entertainment. The fish seem to love both, however.

I can't advise you on a brand of shrimp, and I wouldn't feed it to Mbuna.
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby aausa1983 » Fri May 06, 2016 4:17 pm

dledinger wrote:NLS is a good food. It's all I've used for the past couple years. The only other thing I feed is broccoli and noori. I feed the broccoli as a matter of convenience because my wife often blanches some for the our macaw, and the noori is just for my entertainment. The fish seem to love both, however.

I can't advise you on a brand of shrimp, and I wouldn't feed it to Mbuna.


If you had to put a number on it, how many NLS pellets are normal for a 2 inch cichlid to consume per feeding?
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby dledinger » Fri May 06, 2016 4:21 pm

I put no where near that much thought into it, but if you're talking about the regular 1mm pellet I would guess 4-5 or so. There's slender species and there's chunkier species, so it can really vary a lot.
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby aausa1983 » Fri May 06, 2016 4:28 pm

dledinger wrote:I put no where near that much thought into it, but if you're talking about the regular 1mm pellet I would guess 4-5 or so. There's slender species and there's chunkier species, so it can really vary a lot.


I just want to make sure I'm feeding enough. I try hard not to overfeed, but in my opinion that's relative. If I drop a ton of pellets in at once there are 3 or 4 cichlids that snatch them fast while the others may not get much. I'm probably over-thinking it but it would be nice to be certain. I also have several that don't come to the top so it's harder to feed them. The others get them before they sink down far enough.
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby Aaron S » Fri May 06, 2016 5:22 pm

if you pre-soak the pellets and put them in front of a filter return then they will sink much faster and give more food to those fish that do not like to come to the top of the surface. In my tank currently, all my cichlids are afraid of the top of the water and wait for the pellets to sink. Oddly enough my syno's will periodically eat the pellets off the surface while the cichlids watch in horror of the brave little catfish stealing their food.
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby DJRansome » Fri May 06, 2016 5:27 pm

If the slow ones are hungry they will come up and go faster...unless you have aggression problems. I like to remember that stomachs are the size of the eyes so that means only several 1mm pellets/fish, like dl says. But don't watch the pokey one and keep adding pellets until he gets six. Guesstimate the amount and dump. The fast dump gets some to the bottom because they sink faster. I think it is a perfect feed if no pellets make it to the bottom or last less than 30 seconds there.
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