Lake Malawi Species • Stocking and upgrade question

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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby DJRansome » Sun May 15, 2016 10:58 pm

I would not do 15 fish in a 36" tank (12 might work for certain species) and it's always better to wait until you have the big tank to buy fish to stock it because...life happens.

If you were going to buy fry now and grow them out for 3 months and have your big that that quickly...that might be different.

Many fish are spawning six months after they are spit and that is when you need the big tank.
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby aausa1983 » Sun May 15, 2016 11:08 pm

DJRansome wrote:I would not do 15 fish in a 36" tank (12 might work for certain species) and it's always better to wait until you have the big tank to buy fish to stock it because...life happens.

If you were going to buy fry now and grow them out for 3 months and have your big that that quickly...that might be different.

Many fish are spawning six months after they are spit and that is when you need the big tank.


So, let's assume that I have 12 species that work in a 75g tank (4 ft). Approximately how many more cichlids could I add to that 75g?
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby DJRansome » Mon May 16, 2016 9:09 pm

I'm not sure whether you are asking about mixed gender or all-male.

In a 48x18 rectangle I like 12 males that mature <= 6".

In a 48x18 rectangle I like 4 species with 1m:4f of each (depending on the species).
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby aausa1983 » Mon May 16, 2016 9:18 pm

I'm referring to an all-male tank. Also, I'm not referring to adult cichlids that are 6 inches. I know 15 adult cichlids males will not work in a 65g. That is why I was asking, "how many juvenille cichlids (2-3 inches) will fit in a 65g tank for 6-9 months"?
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby dledinger » Tue May 17, 2016 9:06 am

If you're considering this a grow out tank and can keep up the water quality then you can stock a lot heavier than most people would recommend.

It'll go against everything you have read here, but I have routinely raised 50+ fish to around 3" in bare bottom 20 longs with daily water changes and a maintained a mortality rate of virtually zero.

There's a lot of factors in play that you need to consider, however. For example, my success with the above is probably partially due to the very dense stocking and lack of territory. Also, consider that some fish are fully mature at 3", and others are still practically babies. Growth rate is another consideration. Your water quality and nutrition will have a big impact on how fast your fish grow in 6-9 months.
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby aausa1983 » Tue May 17, 2016 12:39 pm

dledinger wrote:If you're considering this a grow out tank and can keep up the water quality then you can stock a lot heavier than most people would recommend.

It'll go against everything you have read here, but I have routinely raised 50+ fish to around 3" in bare bottom 20 longs with daily water changes and a maintained a mortality rate of virtually zero.

There's a lot of factors in play that you need to consider, however. For example, my success with the above is probably partially due to the very dense stocking and lack of territory. Also, consider that some fish are fully mature at 3", and others are still practically babies. Growth rate is another consideration. Your water quality and nutrition will have a big impact on how fast your fish grow in 6-9 months.


My whole thought process is that, since I have to upgrade my tank within a year for 15 juvenille cichlids, I might as well use my tank to its fullest advantage, which is as a grow out tank. My plan is to have no more than 20 or 25 male juvenilles in my current tank (7 to 10 more fish than I have right now). Hindsight is 20/20. Had I known 3 feet was a bad idea I would have gotten a 75g for side.
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby dledinger » Tue May 17, 2016 5:08 pm

Crazy as I may be...I think you're better off with more than less.

To really think about it, if it's a matter of "how long can I get away with a 36" display tank", VS., "what can I put in a 36" grow out tank"....I'd respond with two different answers. The first question implies I want to make this work as a display. The second does not.

In other words, sparsely stocking a 36" tank and allowing the fish to mature while hoping it will work could turn out really bad, but you could grow out a ridiculous number of fry and have it work just fine.
125 Gallon Mbuna
60 Gallon Tropheus Duboisi
65 Gallon Amazon
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby aausa1983 » Sun May 22, 2016 2:37 am

dledinger wrote:Crazy as I may be...I think you're better off with more than less.

To really think about it, if it's a matter of "how long can I get away with a 36" display tank", VS., "what can I put in a 36" grow out tank"....I'd respond with two different answers. The first question implies I want to make this work as a display. The second does not.

In other words, sparsely stocking a 36" tank and allowing the fish to mature while hoping it will work could turn out really bad, but you could grow out a ridiculous number of fry and have it work just fine.


I just have to decide the max number of juveniles (peacocks, haps, aceis, labs) that will work for a 6-12 month period in my tank.
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Re: Stocking and upgrade question

Postby dledinger » Sun May 22, 2016 4:22 pm

In 12 months you will have problems. Fish will mature and be inclined to kill each other. What are you trying to end up with in the long run? I'd base my plan off that, with some calculated culling and potential losses.

Like I said, my approach would be different than a lot of folks here. I'd go bare tank, no decor and very heavy stocking. I'd probably run the tank a little on the cooler side. That's the only way, I believe, to get around aggression issues in a tank that size. Still, 12 months would be a long time to make this work and it could go downhill real fast.

And FWIW....I've never used a tank that size for a grow out, so I'm purely speculating what I think would work. Generally I use smaller tanks and limit them to a single species.
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