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stocking list mbuna tank and a peacock/hap tank

Postby magila » Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:47 pm

I'm in the process of converting my 2 current tanks to freshwater. One will become a mbuna tank and the other a hap/peacock tank.
Both tanks are identical 170x40x60cm (67"x16"x24"). Guess this is around 110 gallon??? (i suck at imperial system :oops: )

I made 2 potential stocking lists and I would like to hear your opinion about them.

Mbuna tank:

5x Pseudotropheus perspicax
5x Labidochromis caeruleus
3x Metriaclima estherae red zebra
2x Metriaclima estherae OB
5x Pseudotropheus Elongatus Mpanga
5x Metriaclima Kawanga Gold Zebra
5x Labidochromis sp. hongi red top sweden
5x synodontis petricola
2x ancistrus dolichopterus

start with all juveniles

all male Haps/Peacock tank:

1x aulonocara dragonblood
1x aulonocara rubin red
1x Aulonocara Usisya
1x Aulonocara Jacobfreibergi Cape McLear
1x Aulonocara Red Blotched Multicolor
1x Aulonocara Baenschi Benga
1x Copadichromis Borleyi Red Kadango
1x Otopharynx Black Orange
1x Copadichromis Mloto
5x synodontis petricola
2x ancistrus dolichopterus

start with all juveniles that just starting to change colors.

what do you think about them?
any advise/suggestions?
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Re: stocking list mbuna tank and a peacock/hap tank

Postby DJRansome » Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:04 pm

I would put less fish in the mbuna tank. Think in terms of 5 species with 1m:4f of each. To get 4 females you might stock 8 unsexed juveniles of each.

Choose genera and are not alike and don't look alike. One blue barred species. One metriaclima. I would skip perspicax...they are reputedly THE most aggressive species and I have not heard of anyone keeping them successfully. Oddball rule: don't mix metriaclima estherae and yellow labs as they hybridize.

And more fish (18 cichlids) in the hap/peacock tank.

Choose individuals that look nothing alike. One red, one yellow, one blue peacock, etc. Jacobfreigergi and hybrids like the dragonblood are larger and more aggressive so you may want to avoid them with a timid peacock like the rubin and the baenschi.

I would not mix borleyi with timid haps like mloto and otopharynx.
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Re: stocking list mbuna tank and a peacock/hap tank

Postby BC in SK » Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:14 pm

DJRansome wrote: THE most aggressive species and I have not heard of anyone keeping them successfully.

I think that is an odd take, as the majority of experiences reported on the internet seem to claim that they are not that aggressive. Almost nobody reports that a auratus or chipokae are not too aggressive, yet that is exactly what many posters say about perpicax is that they are not very aggressive. We have a couple people reporting that they had experiences with very aggressive hyper dominant males (and that can happen with ANY mbuna) but in the very same threads we have at least as many if not more saying they did not have a problem with aggression (and often the claim of them behaving well in small tanks!). Just a couple threads on cichlid-forum (and there is only 2 posters claiming to have bad experience with aggression, and virtually the only ones on the internet): https://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=250060 https://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=256964 In both these threads we have people having experiencing of them not being all that aggressive. I can't ever recall, for example, threads on auratus or chipokae, where some people have experiences with them not being very aggressive...quite the opposite, it's pretty much unanimous that they are extremely aggressive.
A couple more sites where they did not experince perspicax as very aggressive at all:
http://www.borstein.info/profiles/malawi/pseudotropheusperspicaxo.html
http://www.african-cichlid.com/Perspicax.htm
Also, over the years, we have had on a number of forums, many threads on "most aggressive mbuna". Kenyi, crabro often mentioned. Auratus and probably chipokae mentioned the most frequent. In these numerous threads, I don't think perpsicax has ever been mentioned once! An example of the numerous threads over the last 10-15 years on fish forums: https://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=227282
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Re: stocking list mbuna tank and a peacock/hap tank

Postby DJRansome » Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:57 pm

Thanks for the summation...I am definitely guilty of placing a greater emphasis on the experiences of people I have come to know and respect in the hobby.

You are one of those BC in SK. Have you ever kept them?
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Re: stocking list mbuna tank and a peacock/hap tank

Postby BC in SK » Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:37 pm

DJRansome wrote: Have you ever kept them?

No, I have not.No personnel experience with them so I can only look to the experience of others.
But I have known others that have kept them and they were not noted for being especially aggressive.
In the 2 links from cichlid-forum (that I just posted) are about the only posts on the internet I can find with experiences claiming that they are very aggressive. In these 2 links there are 5 posters with experiences of them being not too aggressive, and only 2 that claim they are terrors. And even Fogulhund (one of the 2 posters with an aggressive experience) did not list perspicax in the "nastiest mbuna thread" but rather mentions johanni, kenyi, crabro, auratus and chipokae.
Like any mbuna, you can encounter hyper-aggressive individuals. Particular individuals in particular situation. If the cichlid is really among the most aggressive, then people will report this for the majority of specimens in a variety of situations. But we have the opposite. Many saying they are not especially aggressive......something very few say about auratus or chipokae for example, especially the longer they have kept them.
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Re: stocking list mbuna tank and a peacock/hap tank

Postby magila » Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:29 pm

thx for the input.
Perspicax are not a must have for me, so i'd better skip them, just to be on the safe side.

it is kind of a puzzle :roll: I'll also skip the zebra's and the Elongatus since I already put Kawanga and Hongi on the list....
How about Pseudotropheus Williamsi Blue Lips North Makonde ?
any recommendations what else would fit in nicely?

The peacock/hap tank definitly needs more research... no idea what else to put in there what doesnt look like the rest.
sciaenochromis fryeri white knight or Aulonocara Red flush maybe ?? or some Protomelas species?
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Re: stocking list mbuna tank and a peacock/hap tank

Postby DJRansome » Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:09 pm

1m:7f Pseudotropheus acei and 1m:7f Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos Maingano to add much needed blue. The kawanga and hongi females are drab.

Do you prefer the timid haps and peacocks or the more rambunctious ones? Choose one red peacock...for timid the rubescens...for rambunctious the dragonblood. Once you have one that is red-pink-orange, you would not want others.

The haps you can have multiple blues (more of a problem for peococks). If you can find Aulonocara turkis, the light blue is unique.

The fryeri and the borleyi are on the rambunctious side. The mloto and the otopharynx are on the timid side.

Placodichromis electra works either way. It is harder to get a timid Protomelas...also harder to get one that matures <= six inches. Protomelas marginatus is one.
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Re: stocking list mbuna tank and a peacock/hap tank

Postby magila » Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:44 pm

oh are maingano's possible? I thought they might be too agressive :-?
But indeed i need more blue in there. Not really a fan of acei for some reason...

I'm used to having tanks full with trigger/tangs and angels, which can be extremely aggressive. So i'd like to have some active fish with character.

are there any mbuna/peacocks/haps with the color green in them?
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Re: stocking list mbuna tank and a peacock/hap tank

Postby DJRansome » Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:39 pm

In my opinion, nothing green. White labs or white socolofi are an option for the mbuna tank.

Some Victorians can have flashes of true green, but usually do not color well in all male.

Kawanga are aggressive and hongi are even more aggressive. I might to 1m:7f of the hongi as well now that you mention it.
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Re: stocking list mbuna tank and a peacock/hap tank

Postby magila » Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:48 pm

Thx. I think i'll put the peacock/hap tank on hold for now and first focus on the mbuna tank. That way i can leave 1 tank running with SW untill everything is sold.

So for now the stock would look like this:

1m4f Labidochromis caeruleus ?
1m4f Metriaclima Kawanga Gold Zebra
1m7f Labidochromis sp. hongi red top sweden
1m:7f Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos Maingano
5x synodontis petricola
2x ancistrus dolichopterus

Are the yellow labs ok with the hongi? Since they are both Labidochromis... or is it smarter to change the yellow labs with all female chindongo saulosi?
If the labidochromis can go togeter, i might go with white labs instead and add the saulosis as the 5th (yellow) species.
If not, how would a Labeotropheus species mix with them as a 5th species?

btw i have no intention of breeding them, so if they do breed, the fry will stay in the tank and be eaten i guess.

And what would be the best order to introduce them in the tank? I guess if I put them all in together it would be to big of a change in bioload?
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Re: stocking list mbuna tank and a peacock/hap tank

Postby DJRansome » Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:29 pm

I believe people have kept them together so worth a try.

This is not a full 72" tank so not necessary to add the 5th species. Regular blue socolofi, if you do?

You don't want the saulosi and the hongi...both blue barred fish.
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Re: stocking list mbuna tank and a peacock/hap tank

Postby magila » Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:25 pm

The saulosi would be only females, no males.
To get that yellow in there.
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Re: stocking list mbuna tank and a peacock/hap tank

Postby DJRansome » Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:51 pm

Saulosi are yellow orange. I would stick with the labs.
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Re: stocking list mbuna tank and a peacock/hap tank

Postby magila » Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:27 pm

I ended up buying the remaining stock of a local breeder that quite the hobby about a month ago.
It was a all or nothing deal, so i got them all.
Have to do some sorting now and see who i keep and who i sell.

Tank 1 Mbuna (170x40x60cm):

- 25 Chindongo saulosi juveniles ( 9 of them started coloring up as males so far)
- 14 Cynotilapia sp. lion ntekete 'Liwani' juveniles (sex unkown yet)
- 9 Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos maingano juveniles (sex unknown yet)
- 1m4f Cynotilapia afra cobue adults
- 1m Metriaclima zebra gold kawanga (just started coloring up)
- 1m2f Labidochromis sp. hongi red top sweden juveniles (really orange/red, almost not blue barred)

Tank 2 Peacocks:

- 2m2f Labidochromis caeruleus albino adults
- 1m aulonocara red rubin semi-adult
- 1m Aulonocara Stuartgranti "Hai Reef " blue neon big 17cm adult
- 1m aulonocara maleri juvenile (just started to show some color)
- 2m aulonocara baenschi benga juvenile (just started to show some color)
- 1m aulonocara stuartgranti ngara mdoka juvenile (just started to show some color)
- 1m aulonocara fire fish semi-adult
- 1m copadichromis mloto undu (big 15cm adult)

Tank 1: Everybody get along well untill now and only some saulosi makes fight abit with each other, but nothing crazy.
Could i keep it stocked as it is for now, after removing the excess males of all species? Guess the afra's need to go elsewhere though....
I have a another tank (120x80x60cm) in the basement, but it is not setup yet. Also still need approval of my wife haha.

Tank 2: I have alot more aggresion issues here...
The Copadichromis is being terrorist by the Blue neon,so he show no color what so ever.... so he will go.
The Firefish is being beaten up constantly by both Baenschi Benga's.
The Maleri is being harrest by the Red Rubin occasionally..
And I don't like the yellow labs for some reason, so the will also go.


Any thoughts and recommendations who to rehome and what new to buy?
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Re: stocking list mbuna tank and a peacock/hap tank

Postby DJRansome » Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:59 pm

I would choose 5 species with 1m:4f of each for the mbuna tank. I would not keep all the species you have...too many blue barred species. Which do you like? The hongi and the Maingano are more aggressive, plan on 1m:7f of those.

You need more haps and peacocks in tank 2 but I would choose a theme...aggressive or peaceful. I would choose either the benga or the maleri. I would eliminate the fire fish (aggressive). Could the blue neon actually be a lemon jake? Also aggressive, eliminate him.

I would add a blue peacock like stuartgranti cobue. And then some haps like electra, tetrastigma, marginatus.
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