Lake Malawi Species • Dimidiochromis compressiceps questions

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Dimidiochromis compressiceps questions

Postby fishboy75 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:26 pm

So, I made an impulse buy last week and picked up a nice looking 4.5 inch male from my local store. Went in looking for a few bristlenose and some more lace rock but couldn't resist this guy. I have searched this forum and others for people's personal experiences and was just hoping to hear some more. He's in a 265 gallon that is 7' x 2' x 2.5' with about 35+ yellow labs ranging in size from fry to 5 inch males, as well as 6 Synodontis Multipunctatus or possibly Grandiops and 4 large clown loaches. My previous plan was to convert to an all male hap/ peacock tank with some yellow labs. I then decided I would rather have 3- 5 groups of mbuna and possibly a couple haps or peacocks as "centerpieces" that would also provide fry control. Now that I added the compressiceps I'm wondering if that is still a viable plan. It seems like the consensus on the temperament of the compressiceps is that there is no consensus. Experiences seem to range from very peaceful to murderous. After a week, my guy seems fairly well behaved but obviously has a lot of growing to do. I would like to hear what experiences fishkeepers on here have had keeping them with adult mbuna. I would imagine I should stick to mbuna that are a minimum of 5 inches as adults but also worry about ones that might be too aggressive. The mbuna I'm currently considering are:
Maingano
Yellow- tail Acei
Cynotilapia sp. White top hara
Labeotropheus trewavasae

Other haps/ peacocks I'm considering are:
S. Fryeri
C. Borleyi or Super Red Empress
Lemon Jake or Eureka Red or Lwanda

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or suggestions!
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Re: Dimidiochromis compressiceps questions

Postby DJRansome » Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:36 pm

No idea on keeping mbuna and haps so will leave that to others. Maingano and Labeotropheus would not be among the more peaceful mbuna however.

If you already have 35 labs plus the comp why would you want to add fish?
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Dimidiochromis compressiceps questions

Postby ken31cay » Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:45 pm

So much more natural behavior possible in very large tanks, which is one of the main advantages IMO. I only crammed smaller tanks at times out of necessity to control aggression. In my 450gal 8x3x2.5 I have 27 fish, all 4" to 6" except for the larger male front who is 8". My fronts have alot of growing to do, but even now if all 27 fish stayed this size the tank is great the way it is.
450gal Frontosa (blue Zaire Moba) & haps
180gal school of Red Rainbowfish
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Re: Dimidiochromis compressiceps questions

Postby fishboy75 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:54 pm

I'm planning on removing the majority of labs. Would like 3-5 different mbuna species. So maybe 6 to 8 for each group? There are probably about 6 labs that are 5", most of the 35 or so are 3" and under. Just the yellow labs has been pretty boring for the most part.
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Re: Dimidiochromis compressiceps questions

Postby DJRansome » Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:44 pm

I like 25 mbuna that mature <= six inches as the entire stocking in a 72" tank. (Five species with 1m:4f of each.) This is 15% percent larger but you are adding the giant comp. Maybe let him have the spot for the six species of mbuna to himself.

I guess the next question is what is more important...more mbuna species or more haps and peacocks? The borleyi/empress are large fish so you would want to allow plenty of space for them as well.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Dimidiochromis compressiceps questions

Postby fishboy75 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:54 pm

Ok, I can work with what you're saying. I would definitely say my tank is stocked fully or probably overstocked right now. I do two 60% water changes a week to keep nitrates at 20. I guess my next question is which mbuna am I going to add. Probably just go 3 species including the labs at this point. Would love to hear from someone who has kept mbuna with haps and pecocks in larger tanks.
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Re: Dimidiochromis compressiceps questions

Postby CheekyGoblin » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:13 am

I would get Mbuna that are on the larger side and can defend themselves. An eye biter can swallow some adult Mbuna whole or at least severely damage them. I’ve kept haps with Mbuna in the past but not a Malawi eye biter. In my experience even my most aggresive mbuna don’t mess with haps If there’s enough mbuna in the tank to argue with.
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Re: Dimidiochromis compressiceps questions

Postby fishboy75 » Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:59 pm

Thanks for your input, CheekyGoblin. I have been watching some mixed tank videos on YouTube as well. Seems like some that work well have enough rocks for the mbuna and enough open space for the haps and peacocks. I'm hoping I will be able to do that in my tank. I'm fine with the Compressiceps eating fry but if he starts to injure or maim larger fish I will have a decision to make about who stays and who goes.
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Re: Dimidiochromis compressiceps questions

Postby CheekyGoblin » Tue Jul 28, 2020 5:05 pm

I have a mixed tank right now. Mostly mbuna but 4 haps in it. I’ve got quite a lot of rock work but the upper three fifths of the tank is open water. The mbuna don’t bother them. Rereading your post if he hasn’t killed any at his size now you’re probably ok. I’d probably get peaceful mbuna if you wanna keep the clown loaches.
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Re: Dimidiochromis compressiceps questions

Postby fishboy75 » Tue Jul 28, 2020 5:37 pm

He's definitely trying to catch fry but don't think he's been successful yet. He shows aggression towards the yellow labs that are smaller or don't stand up to him but doesn't seem out to kill them...yet. Good point on the clown loaches. They are about double the size of anything in there but yeah I wouldn't want super aggressive mbuna chasing them around and stressing them out either.
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Re: Dimidiochromis compressiceps questions

Postby CheekyGoblin » Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:45 pm

If he was gonna eat them he’d swallow them whole so I think your ok just don’t get any like really young fish. With adults he should be fine haps don’t usually try to harass fish like mbuna do in my experience.
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