Lake Malawi Species • Questions from a beginner // 450l - ~119gal

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Questions from a beginner // 450l - ~119gal

Postby somegermanguy » Sun May 26, 2019 6:38 am

Hello guys,
I hope I'm in the right place. If not, please guide me there. First of all English is not my first language so please excuse any mistakes.
I'm a fishkeeper for years now (mostly Asian and South American fish) so I'm not a complete beginner but I have a tank which will be redone soon and this time I want to try the beautiful african cichlids. As I mentioned in the title it is a tank which holds 450 liters with measurements of 150x50x60 cm.
Why do I want to try these beauties? Honestly? I saw a picture of one fish which I instantly fell in love with. After researching what it was and reading a lot more into it, I think it is unfortuately not a good fish to try at first nor does it fit in any of my stocking options.
The fish I saw was labeled as 'Aulonocara marmelade cat RED OB' which doesn't exist but is just a regular OB Peacock, right? From what I read they seem to be more on the aggressive side and would rather fit in a mbuna tank? Now that's a problem since I am actually not too keen on mbunas since I'm not that much of a fan of all yellow or blue barred fish. Don't get me wrong, these are definitely beautiful but there is just not enough diversity for me I think.
Now to my first actual question: where does such an OB peacock actually fit in? Would it work in an all-male peacock and haps tank?
I would love to keep that fish but if it doesn't work out I won't force the issue.
Another question on an all-male tank is what actually defines a similar looking fish in the eyes of a fish?
I ask that because I could probably choose ten different Aulonocara species and be happy with that. But that probably won't work anyway, right?
That being said I'm not opposed to a mixed-gender tank either, since there are a lot of dynamics I'd enjoy too. There's just the problem I couldn't fit more than one Aulonocara species in there and I honestly don't think I want of 80% of fish to be Grey, brown or yellow either. Maybe I have a misconception about female colors.
My last question would be how many fish would you put in that tank in general?

Thanks for your time and help.

Greetings from Germany,
Nico
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Re: Questions from a beginner // 450l - ~119gal

Postby ken31cay » Sun May 26, 2019 9:14 am

Nice post, and really good english btw. Sorry I can't help too much as I'm fairly new to africans myself, but as you can see in my signature I really love the haps/peacocks and Frontosa.

'Aulonocara marmelade cat RED OB' which doesn't exist but is just a regular OB Peacock, right? From what I read they seem to be more on the aggressive side and would rather fit in a mbuna tank?

My experience with these has not been good. I had some real beauties (males) in my 180gal and had to rehome every one as they approached adult size. They were only matched in aggression by the one Pseudotropheus johannii in there and it appeared to me these two species were the only ones who could coexist in that tank. But I still have a couple female OB's which live perfectly fine with my other peacocks in the tank.

Another question on an all-male tank is what actually defines a similar looking fish in the eyes of a fish?

Valid question. From what I see similar colors and similar colors + patterns appear to attract more aggression. But then you have the hybrids like OB's and Firefish/Dragonblood peacocks. IME the (male) OB's are aggressive toward everything while the Firefish/Dragonbloods are a little more complex; I have three of these in my 450gal and the only other fish that seem to exist in that tank for them is each other and Aulonocara Lwanda - mine of which have a gold colored flash behind the gills and no red whatsoever. So make of that what you will, maybe my Firefish some Aulonocara Lwanda blood somewhere in their mix?

My last question would be how many fish would you put in that tank in general?

I started off with 20 fish my my 180gal and after removing the aggressors and also deaths due to aggressors I now have only 9 fish left in there.

HTH and I'm sure others here will be along to give their input, good luck if you do move forward with the tank.
450gal male peacocks & haps, Frontosa
180gal Trewavasae Chilumba & Kenyi
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Re: Questions from a beginner // 450l - ~119gal

Postby Kipnlilo » Sun May 26, 2019 1:49 pm

somegermanguy wrote:Now to my first actual question: where does such an OB peacock actually fit in? Would it work in an all-male peacock and haps tank?


I have two All-male tanks. I have them in both, It’s really hard to get them to work. The only way I’ve got them to work is by introducing them at half the size of your lowest ranking fish in the tank. They seem to adapt better that way as they grow. I also overcrowd mine purposely. More maintenance, but less aggression.

Another question on an all-male tank is what actually defines a similar looking fish in the eyes of a fish?


This is a good question. I’ve found, it’s really trial and error, but before even trying an all-male tank, be prepared to rehome or move fish to other tanks. It’s almost impossible to avoid blue. I go for differences in body color, fin colors, blaze from nose to dorsal, bars, etc. There aren’t to many yellow, red and oranges to pick from either. I believe species type makes a difference when choosing jacobfreibergi, stuartgranti, etc. You usually don’t want two of those together either. To answer how many, it’s debated all the time. I personally keep 15 - 18 @ 4” - 7” Peacock/haps in each 125 plus a 7” albino rainbow shark, 4” lace catfish in one and two 4” Synodontis Petricola Leopard catfish in another. Mind you, this was all through lots of trial and error. I would venture to say, if you are running an all-male tank, you will always have to keep a watchful eye on it and be ready to make adjustments. It makes a beautful assortment and you will get tons of compliments from friends and family, but it’s a lot of work. To me it’s worth it, but I’m retired and have plenty of time to take care of them. Good luck, and I hope my trials and tribulations with all-male setups help you out some.
125G x2 Male Hap Peacock Mbuna
55G Female Hap Peacock
40G Mbuna
10G Hospital
:fish: :fish: :fish:
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Re: Questions from a beginner // 450l - ~119gal

Postby DJRansome » Sun May 26, 2019 10:47 pm

The more different they look to you, the better the chance they will look different to each other. I have not had success finding many peacocks that look completely different (yellow, red [includes pink and orange], light blue, dark blue).

If you like the OB's and want to try them get 1mL4f of the and put them with less aggressive mbuna like yellow labs and acei and rusties. That way all fish will be colored but the 4 OB females.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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