Lake Malawi Species • Starting over

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Starting over

Postby TeamPisces » Tue Nov 03, 2020 5:21 pm

Hello, I have kept fish on and off with some success. I am currently running a 55 gallon aquarium with 2 Aquaclear 110 filter, and a sponge filter with airstone. I had a bad ick outbreak around the middle of this past September. I lost 13 of 15 peacocks due to not quarantining. Even though, I did not have any fish in the 55 gallon at the time, I thought that a sponge from the person I bought the fish from would be enough to support the load. That did not work. I am left with two surviving Aulonocara jacobfreibergi Tsano Rock Swallowtails. The two remaining fish are doing well. I now want the direction of the 55 gallon to just support less agressive Mbuna like some rusties and yellow labs. My plan is to upgrade to a 75 gallon tank in the next six months. I already fluval fx4 to go with the 75. I would like to do some species groups of mixed gender.

Questions: 1) How many fish can I add at one time to my 55 gallon while having two 3in fish right now? Should I try to buy the female of the species I am looking for first and than get a male for the group? How many fish can be added to a 10 gallon qt tank?

Thanks.
Will H.
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Re: Starting over

Postby DJRansome » Tue Nov 03, 2020 8:00 pm

The last fish died in September? What were your test results for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate at that time? Now?

I would rehome the peacocks and at the same time add 8 unsexed juvenile yellow labs. Mbuna are not generally available sexed, at least not by the better vendors.
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Re: Starting over

Postby TeamPisces » Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:34 pm

DJRansome wrote:The last fish died in September? What were your test results for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate at that time? Now?

I would rehome the peacocks and at the same time add 8 unsexed juvenile yellow labs. Mbuna are not generally available sexed, at least not by the better vendors.


The 13th fish out of the 15 died around Oct. 21. I cannot remember all the water parameter. I was not writing it down. I did see some ammonia and nitrite. I did several large water changes. I don't we realized it was ick until it was too late. We treated the tank with Super Ick Cure almost 2 weeks. I have since put in new media in the aqua clears I was dosing with Seachem's stability in effort to try improve the bacteria. PH was had always been around 8.0 until I added the sponge filter and air stone. The PH is now between 8.2 and 8.4. I don't know if I would be able to find anyone to take the last two fish. In the last three days PH has been between 8.2-8.4, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, and Nitrates 10-20ppm.

Is a 10 gallon tank big enough to house 8 juvenile labs for quarantine?
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Re: Starting over

Postby DJRansome » Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:42 pm

I would put the peacocks in the 10G and the labs in the 55G. I don't think you want to mix the peacocks and the mbuna, now or in the future. Is the 10G even cycled?

I would wait a while longer before adding fish...

It is unfortunate that you changed the media because that removed a lot of your beneficial organisms. So adding 8 fish to a tank that was supporting 2 is more of a challenge because the organisms that were living there in September have been removed.

Maybe you should put the peacocks in the 10G with an aqua clear and cycle the 55G with ammonia and no fish. Then you can stock the 55G all at once with 1m:6f each of the rusties and labs.
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Re: Starting over

Postby TeamPisces » Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:09 pm

DJRansome wrote:I would put the peacocks in the 10G and the labs in the 55G. I don't think you want to mix the peacocks and the mbuna, now or in the future. Is the 10G even cycled?

I would wait a while longer before adding fish...

It is unfortunate that you changed the media because that removed a lot of your beneficial organisms. So adding 8 fish to a tank that was supporting 2 is more of a challenge because the organisms that were living there in September have been removed.

Maybe you should put the peacocks in the 10G with an aqua clear and cycle the 55G with ammonia and no fish. Then you can stock the 55G all at once with 1m:6f each of the rusties and labs.


No, I don't have a running 10 gallons. Could I just put the one HOB's on the 10 gallon tank and have an instantly cycled tank along with with the water from the 55? In either case, I will probably just wait a while longer before adding anything else.
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Re: Starting over

Postby DJRansome » Wed Nov 04, 2020 8:59 am

The water in an established tank is not helpful because the organisms live on surfaces...thus why we have filter media with a lot of surfaces.

You could put an established filter on the 10G and no cycle would be required because you moved the organisms...you did not have to wait for them to grow. You would have also LOST beneficial organisms when you move a filter with the established media from the larger tank where you already had toxin problems not too long ago.

Jacobfreibergi peacocks may not be ideal for a 55G because they can be larger and more aggressive than the stuartgranti peacocks. On top of that you have 2 of the same species. These fish do better in larger species groups so whether they are 2 males or 1m:1f it is hard to manage aggression with a duo.
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Re: Starting over

Postby TeamPisces » Wed Nov 04, 2020 1:14 pm

DJRansome wrote:The water in an established tank is not helpful because the organisms live on surfaces...thus why we have filter media with a lot of surfaces.

You could put an established filter on the 10G and no cycle would be required because you moved the organisms...you did not have to wait for them to grow. You would have also LOST beneficial organisms when you move a filter with the established media from the larger tank where you already had toxin problems not too long ago.

Jacobfreibergi peacocks may not be ideal for a 55G because they can be larger and more aggressive than the stuartgranti peacocks. On top of that you have 2 of the same species. These fish do better in larger species groups so whether they are 2 males or 1m:1f it is hard to manage aggression with a duo.

I am going to deal with the two as best I can over the rest of this month. I plan to get a 75 early next month. I will put another sponge filter in the 75 and take the existing sponge filter to put in a qt tank with 4 more of the same fish. Once the 4 pass qt they can join the other 2 fish in the 75. Could this plan work with a 75 upgrade?
Will H.
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Re: Starting over

Postby TeamPisces » Wed Nov 04, 2020 7:07 pm

DJRansome wrote:The water in an established tank is not helpful because the organisms live on surfaces...thus why we have filter media with a lot of surfaces.

You could put an established filter on the 10G and no cycle would be required because you moved the organisms...you did not have to wait for them to grow. You would have also LOST beneficial organisms when you move a filter with the established media from the larger tank where you already had toxin problems not too long ago.

Jacobfreibergi peacocks may not be ideal for a 55G because they can be larger and more aggressive than the stuartgranti peacocks. On top of that you have 2 of the same species. These fish do better in larger species groups so whether they are 2 males or 1m:1f it is hard to manage aggression with a duo.


Thanks for your help and explanations.
Will H.
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:00 pm
Location: Maryland

Re: Starting over

Postby DJRansome » Wed Nov 04, 2020 7:45 pm

Even in the 75G I would not mix jacobfreibergi peacocks with mbuna like rusties.

Are the 2 remaining fish both males? I would expect one to kill the other within the year regardless of the size of the tank but you never know.

If keeping one jake is a must have in the 75G then I would limit the mbuna to yellow labs and acei. I would not stock rusties. And I would add female jakes of the same species as your male.

1m:6f each of labs, rusties and jacobfreibergi.

Don't do this until you actually have the cycled 75G. While you are still working with the 55G stick to the labs only and the 2 male peacocks.
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Re: Starting over

Postby TeamPisces » Wed Nov 04, 2020 10:43 pm

DJRansome wrote:Even in the 75G I would not mix jacobfreibergi peacocks with mbuna like rusties.

Are the 2 remaining fish both males? I would expect one to kill the other within the year regardless of the size of the tank but you never know.

If keeping one jake is a must have in the 75G then I would limit the mbuna to yellow labs and acei. I would not stock rusties. And I would add female jakes of the same species as your male.

1m:6f each of labs, rusties and jacobfreibergi.

Don't do this until you actually have the cycled 75G. While you are still working with the 55G stick to the labs only and the 2 male peacocks.


I don't know if the two remaining fish are both males. One has a much more red anal fin than the other. I understand about making sure the the 75 gallon is cycled first.
Will H.
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Re: Starting over

Postby DJRansome » Wed Nov 04, 2020 11:23 pm

I meant to say don't stock up the 55G in advance of acquiring the 75G.
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Re: Starting over

Postby TeamPisces » Wed Nov 04, 2020 11:59 pm

DJRansome wrote:I meant to say don't stock up the 55G in advance of acquiring the 75G.


I wasn't planning to, but thanks. I am still taking it slow.
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