Lake Malawi Species • Stocking dilemma

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Stocking dilemma

Postby Ice Man » Tue May 28, 2019 10:47 am

Hi all was hoping for a bit of help please with changing out some of the fish in my tank

I have a 4’ 68g

Current stock is
5 x ps. acei itungi
5x yellow lab
1x sc. fryeri iceberg - male
1 x proto. Steveni Taiwan reef - male
1x Stuartgranti Chilumba - male
1 x Aulonocara Lwanda red top - male
1 x OB Peacock - male
1 x Dragons blood - male
3x syno petticola lucipinnis

All the fish are about half grown so about 2- 3.5” The tank is “working” fish are colouring up nicely no nipped fins or serious Fighting. Only battle was between the Dom yellow lab and Acei. The Acei won and that there has been no further attempts to be “boss” . He’s not aggressive and doesn’t chase other fish around he just commands the respect of the tank.

So my problem (s)

The Dragons blood is a wuss and spends half his time behind the power head. No body seems to chase him, and his colour isn’t great - he will likely be going

My Lwanda has stopped eating, When I bought him his blue was very greyed out but he had good orange colouration, his blue started to improve until he stopped eating a few days ago. He is currently in the hospital tank, he is swimming around fine no obvious signs of being ill he does have some slight damage to his scales but still not eating. Will have to see how this goes in terms of illness and colouring up. When he was in the tank he was fairly high up the dominance pyramid and wasn’t being hassled. It is possible that he made a bid for the top job ( noting slight damage) and failed hence his current predicament.

So nothing of any major issue so far.... which brings me to my main problem the yellow labs. I started with 7 in hope that I would get at least 1 female. 2 obvious males have already gone and the remaining 5 are looking to be male. There is no sign of breeding activity ( one of my acei who is smaller has spawned twice since the yellow labs have been in)they just chase each other for territory and dominance, having kept Mbuna for a while their behaviour seems very male like. My other issue is that they are not great quality fish either missing black bands or showing barring. This is where I would be great full for some opinions. I like the yellow of the labs and they contrast nicely with the yellow in the acei.

Options

1 - try and find some better labs and hope for some females this time
2 - a group of metraclima msobo Magunga ( I can get some F1’s which further appeals) this is the option I really want to work but fear they are too aggressive to go with Haps and Peacocks? If this can work What ratio m-f would you recommend?
3 - ps. saulosi? Not so keen on the females vs yellow labs and the msobo
4 - add more Haps and peacocks, Potentially Otopharynx Lithobates, Aulonocara Baenschi,chiwindi, Maulana, would these work with my current fish? Would there be trouble with so many males and a breeding group of Ps Acei?
5- switch back to a Mbuna tank, OB and sc fryeri would need to stay but could do msobo, room for another? Probably not.

And just to curve ball it slightly I am in negotiations for a bigger tank and hope to win that battle in the next 6-12 months. The new tank will be 6’ 120gallon the old tank will be sold and that will be part of the deal ( non negotiable). My wish list for this tank includes the haps peacocks mentioned above plus some bigger fish such as Placidochromis Milomo, and Electra so what I chose now would need to work in the new tank which will probably be more hap peacock bias.

Thanks for reading and in anticipation of some ideas
Ice Man
 
Joined: Mon May 20, 2019 8:26 am
Location: UK

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Re: Stocking dilemma

Postby DJRansome » Tue May 28, 2019 10:53 am

Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

I would not stock the existing tank with the future tank in mind. Don't do #2 or 3 or 4 or 5.

I would do #1 and swap out the yellow labs with barring and missing dorsal stripe (not yellow labs) and be ruthless...only have the quality you want if you want to save fry.

I would rehome the Lwanda and dragon blood and Taiwan reef. The tank will then be properly stocked.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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DJRansome
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Re: Stocking dilemma

Postby Ice Man » Tue May 28, 2019 3:06 pm

Thanks DJR,

The original plan was pretty much as you have suggested , I just got a bit carried away with seeing fish that were on my original list when I was deciding what to stock and had dismissed. With the yellow labs not working out thought it might be an opportunity to correct my moments of weakness and consider other options plus its hard to find decent yellow labs. I would only keep 1 of my current yellow labs, and I suspect he might be the one I got from a different shop.

Sat in front of my tank right now and it looks how you have recommended, with the Lwanda in the hospital tank and and the dragons blood hiding, it looks right a good contrast with the labs and Acei and a splash of blue from the other 3. My challenge now seems to be to find some decent Yellow labs. Or a plan b

Re the comment on the bigger tank it wasn’t about stocking big or lots of fish ready for the bigger tank it was about having fish that would work in my current tank and could be transferred across and work with stocking options that a bigger tank opens up especially as the new tank is about being able to get some of the slightly bigger Haps.
Ice Man
 
Joined: Mon May 20, 2019 8:26 am
Location: UK

Re: Stocking dilemma

Postby DJRansome » Tue May 28, 2019 3:40 pm

In general you want haps and peacocks OR mbuna but not both. Note that the milomo is an aggressive 11" fish. Leave lots of room for him and don't stock wimpy haps or peacocks like stuartgranti peacocks.

Assuming the 65G is 48x12 and rectangle shape? I would stick to labs and acei if you are going haps and peacocks in the 72" tank.

If you end up not being able to get the 72" tank I'd rethink the acei.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Stocking dilemma

Postby Ice Man » Tue May 28, 2019 6:57 pm

It’s a bow front so has a slightly bigger foot print, starts at 13” to 18” in the middle

Thanks for the heads up on the milomo, it’s exactly that type of forward planning I wanted to consider. However I just spotted your signature especially your 75g.... that has not helped my predicament! I love maingano’s but had long given up on them working with anything else I was considering keeping. I have successfully kept Dem’s before and don’t want to do them again, just finished growing out My last batch of fry and sold them and their parents about a month ago, the plan was for a more “peaceful” tank, However I am now tempted to start again and go back to an all Mbuna setup mainganos, msobo and perhaps cyno Hara’s could this work with my tank size?
Ice Man
 
Joined: Mon May 20, 2019 8:26 am
Location: UK

Re: Stocking dilemma

Postby DJRansome » Tue May 28, 2019 7:38 pm

We don't count the bowed out front, so stock it like a 55G. Three small and peaceful species. You could keep the yellow labs and swap out the acei for Cynotilapia sp. hara. Skip the maingano in that tank size and the msobo with the yellow labs.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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DJRansome
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Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 8:30 am
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Re: Stocking dilemma

Postby Ice Man » Wed May 29, 2019 2:25 am

As I thought didn’t think it would work, saves further complicating my dilemma
Ice Man
 
Joined: Mon May 20, 2019 8:26 am
Location: UK


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