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Help with Haps!!

PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 9:18 pm
by master chi
It's been quite some time since I've had to come on here to request stocklist advice.
I have moved around my mbuna into a 75 to start my 125 as a Hap tank.
Really I want to keep some big boys,and haven't kept much in the way of haps before.
I had a S.Fryeri for a while,but rehomed him because he wasn't thriving.
Now I have my 125 with 1M/3F Nimbochromis Venustus.
I'd be happy either way in keeping the females or rehoming them but I need real advice on what fish I might keep with my Venustus,who is about 6 inches,and well colored.
I went on to my most reliable vendor and filled my cart.
I'd like for anyone willing to help just lay it out.
Which ones are a go,which ones are a no,even species I may have missed.
Again my aim is to keep some larger cichlids for a bit of a change from my Mbuna tank, So I picked mostly larger species.
I have no clue how many should work in a 125,so I'm completely open to all advices.
I'm using generic names here,because that's how they show in my cart,but my vendor does give scientific names when shopping.
Sooo. here's my cart.

Deep Water Hap
Ahli Electric Blue
Blue Dolphin
Ndiwe Fire Hap
Rhoadesi
Tangerine Tiger

I also want to add a Chamsochromis Caeruleus,my vendor doesn't have any in stock,I'd be getting those from my other go to store.


Others I like Otopharynx Lithobates
Red Empress
Starphire Pheno
Copadichromis Azureus..

I'd be okay keeping only a couple or so species with females if that was a possibility too. Like Venustus,Blue Dolphin,have cool looking females,I think. Maybe there are a couple more in my list with interesting female coloration?

I look forward to hearing any suggestions on which way to go.

Re: Help with Haps!!

PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 10:06 pm
by DJRansome
I think if you are going with males and females, and larger haps, you will want just a couple of species. Some of the fish you have on your list are not larger than mbuna...so off this list? Lithobates, azureus, Deep Water, Ahli (which is the same as fryeri).

Venustus, Chamsochromis and one more species? Dolphins?

Re: Help with Haps!!

PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 11:27 pm
by master chi
Dj,thats right. The smaller species you mention are just some I liked,but are smaller than my ideal Hap. Also the idea of Champsochromis,Venustus,Dolphin is really what I'd like. No clue if 3 species is about it? that's okay if it's best. I have no clue about how the Champsochromis females look. I think I'd be going for best females in that set up. I like Venustus females. Their spots are pretty cool imo. Dolphins are nice too. So if it came down to one more large hap harem,I'd be more concerned with female drab(lack thereof). I guess I should also ask what are the best female haps in others opinion. I know I'm not getting female mbuna colors from them,I understand that. But even just on the side of interesting in terms of markings,or species specific behaviors are options I'm wide open to consider. I'd go into species profiles but it's not always going to provide pics for females. I'd use google,but that's not reliable. I trust and put more stock in certain folks here on things like this way more than the Ol' G machine.

Re: Help with Haps!!

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 11:30 am
by DJRansome
Not a huge number of tried and true stock plans for 72" tanks with mixed gender haps larger than 10".

Hope you get lots of Members replying and CF will be happy to have the input as well for future responses.

In a vacuum I would try the three extrapolating from the idea that with six inch haps you are talking about a max of 5 species with 1m:4f of each.

You definitely want females that look nothing alike to avoid cross breeding.

Re: Help with Haps!!

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 2:20 pm
by master chi
sound advice DJ. Thanks. What hasn't been covered here is whether or not my shopping cart of species could work together in a 125 as an all male set up. In my O.P I did mention a willingness to rehome my female Venustus. We hadn't got far along enough in the conversation to consider an all male set up. With mbuna the ''rules'' are no same looking species,no species from same genera,with Pseudotropheus sometimes allowing an exception. What ''rules'' do I need to look for when stocking all male Hap tank. Can I just add a bunch of the ones I like up to a certain number? Are the Otopharynx Lithobates and Veustus gonna have issues,or maybe the blue Ahli?
These are just a couple real questions I'm not sure of. I'll make my list,maybe folks can tell me all male what wont work in a 125

Venustus( He's locked in).
Deep Water Hap
Ahli Electric Blue
Blue Dolphin
Ndiwe Fire Hap
Rhoadesi
Tangerine Tiger
Chamsochromis Caeruleus
Red Empress
Starphire Pheno
Copadichromis Azureus
Otopharynx Lithobates

Re: Help with Haps!!

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 3:52 pm
by DJRansome
With all male again the size of the haps you want makes it hard to have a lot of experience with what is tried and true. There are a number of people that have one-off successful mixes, and a similar number of people with one-off failed mixes. Pretty hit and miss. IMO 12 haps of the size you describe in a 72" tank might be too many.

To minimize risk...fish that look nothing alike are less likely to fight than fish that look alike. Also fish that look alike may focus on each other more than other tank mates...resulting in one failing to color.

The other thing with all male is if you mix feisty fish like venustus, empress, tiger with timid fish like lithobates the timid fish are more likely to fail to color. I have had better success with wimpy haps (lithobates, pheno) in all male when I focused on them and avoided the feisty ones.

Tiger and empress are closely related, I would pick one. Pheno and Deep Water Hap same thing.

Re: Help with Haps!!

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 8:02 pm
by master chi
Thanks again DJ. That does clear some things up. I've got a ways to go until I figure out who to keep.

Re: Help with Haps!!

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 11:08 am
by Fogelhund
Dump the rhoadesi and Champsochromis... I think they'll be too much for the other fish in your tank. If you stick with Haps that are typically below 8", you can easily go 12-15, though it should be noted, that it's often trial and error. What works for some, might not for another, and it's best to have a hospital tank for recoveries. Once you've got the right mix, it can be pretty rewarding.

I'd add a picture of my Champsochromis caeruleus here to show what they become, but he's a bit too aggressive for some of his tankmates, and he's in a 7' 270 gallon.... He may grow more, but he's already 10".

Re: Help with Haps!!

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 11:54 pm
by master chi
Thanks Fogelhund.I do get a small impression you have slightly misunderstood my post. From your response I get the sense you think the fish in my list are actually stocked in my tank. i only Have Nimbochromis Venustus in my 125. The others in my list are shopping cart fish. I.E ones I want,but not sure yet on who can mix,and fit in my tank.From all I've heard venustus should be fine with the champsochromis,and Rhoadesi.Still I do appreciate the input,and am still working on figuring exactly what it is I actually want.Mostly I want some Large Cichlids. The Venustus fits that bill,at least a couple more big guys likely will be a great fit for me. DJ's suggestion on 3 Harems right now sounds best to me. I'm strongly leaning that way,with Cytocara Moori and Champsochromis being my other 2 Species. it would mean I could end up stocking with younger groups of the two to save some money,My venustus is about 6'' now.

Re: Help with Haps!!

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 8:51 am
by Fogelhund
master chi wrote:Thanks Fogelhund.I do get a small impression you have slightly misunderstood my post. From your response I get the sense you think the fish in my list are actually stocked in my tank. i only Have Nimbochromis Venustus in my 125. The others in my list are shopping cart fish. I.E ones I want,but not sure yet on who can mix,and fit in my tank.From all I've heard venustus should be fine with the champsochromis,and Rhoadesi.Still I do appreciate the input,and am still working on figuring exactly what it is I actually want.Mostly I want some Large Cichlids. The Venustus fits that bill,at least a couple more big guys likely will be a great fit for me. DJ's suggestion on 3 Harems right now sounds best to me. I'm strongly leaning that way,with Cytocara Moori and Champsochromis being my other 2 Species. it would mean I could end up stocking with younger groups of the two to save some money,My venustus is about 6'' now.


I understood you, I just meant, dump them from your list. Maybe starting with the venestus larger than the Champsochromis might help, or the Champ could end up outgrowing him, and possibly eliminating him. If you want the Champsochromis, I'd recommend the moori, and some Yellow Labs.