General African Cichlid Discussion • Overstocking Question

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Overstocking Question

Postby marten » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:59 pm

Quick question,
Is there a way to do an Mbuna tank without overstocking it?

I have some knowledge, but making some plans for a 90 gallon, and not sure if I want to buy a second canister + so many fish to overstock.
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Re: Overstocking Question

Postby DJRansome » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:12 pm

The proper level of overstocking for 48x18 would be 20 fish for mixed gender. How many do you want to stock?

No need or 2 canisters as long as you have 1 filter that can do 8X GPH.
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Re: Overstocking Question

Postby marten » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:50 pm

I was thinking between 6 and 12

the canister is a Rena XP3 (350 gph)
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Re: Overstocking Question

Postby DJRansome » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:34 am

If you are an experienced fish keeper and have extra tanks, you could do all-male haps and peacocks and then 12 would work. Not cost efficient though, because usually you buy adult males at $30 to $50 per fish.

Why not choose something that does not need to have aggression managed by overstocking?

A dozen yellow labs might be worth trying.
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Re: Overstocking Question

Postby marten » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:30 pm

Thanks for those suggestions. I like Yellow Labs, but was hoping to get a bit more color variety in the tank. I'm also trying to keep this from being really expensive.
So I'm thinking of adding two sponge filters, one as a prefilter for the Rena XP3, and a second one with a powerhead to move some water at the surface. Hopefully that would allow me to overstock. Has anyone had success with something like that?
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Re: Overstocking Question

Postby noki » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:35 pm

marten wrote:Thanks for those suggestions. I like Yellow Labs, but was hoping to get a bit more color variety in the tank. I'm also trying to keep this from being really expensive.
So I'm thinking of adding two sponge filters, one as a prefilter for the Rena XP3, and a second one with a powerhead to move some water at the surface. Hopefully that would allow me to overstock. Has anyone had success with something like that?


You can always do weekly water changes. Bioload depends on the size of the fish. Mbuna tanks do best when you have a crowd, keeps it more social and hopefully having one fish make everyone else hide.

What Mbuna do you want?
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Re: Overstocking Question

Postby marten » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:43 pm

noki wrote:You can always do weekly water changes. Bioload depends on the size of the fish. Mbuna tanks do best when you have a crowd, keeps it more social and hopefully having one fish make everyone else hide.

What Mbuna do you want?


A couple of my favorites are Msobo and Purple Acei. But I'm still sorting out what i can get locally, and what can work together.
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Re: Overstocking Question

Postby Cyphound » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:01 pm

I run all my tanks with filters that do 2 to 4x turnover believing in Dr Paul liouselle who say that any water contact greater then that will not allow sufficient contact with bio media reducing proper filtration. Having said that I compensate for increased flow rate by running MJ's with attached sponges. Easy to clean during weekly water changes and great for surface agitation and you can use them to clean in rocks before wc.
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Re: Overstocking Question

Postby marten » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:39 pm

Cyphound wrote:I run all my tanks with filters that do 2 to 4x turnover believing in Dr Paul liouselle who say that any water contact greater then that will not allow sufficient contact with bio media reducing proper filtration. Having said that I compensate for increased flow rate by running MJ's with attached sponges. Easy to clean during weekly water changes and great for surface agitation and you can use them to clean in rocks before wc.


So my filtration idea isn't totally crazy :)
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Re: Overstocking Question

Postby DJRansome » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:54 pm

Do you want to overstock or understock?

Do you want to add filters or avoid adding filters?
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Re: Overstocking Question

Postby marten » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:42 am

DJRansome wrote:Do you want to overstock or understock?

Do you want to add filters or avoid adding filters?


I'd like to know how to understock, if that's possible with a variety of colors.
A variety of colors and having a few large fish 6-7" are the main thing i want, so I'm willing to add more filtration if i need to overstock to get that.

Sorry, the title of this thread doesn't make a lot sense this far into the discussion.
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Re: Overstocking Question

Postby noki » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:05 am

marten wrote:
DJRansome wrote:Do you want to overstock or understock?

Do you want to add filters or avoid adding filters?


I'd like to know how to understock, if that's possible with a variety of colors.
A variety of colors and having a few large fish 6-7" are the main thing i want, so I'm willing to add more filtration if i need to overstock to get that.

Sorry, the title of this thread doesn't make a lot sense this far into the discussion.


Really doesn't make much sense anyway. Hard to have variety and a small amount, especially with Mbuna. You could buy some 7 Aulonocara males and hope they don't fight too much, but there is no guarantee and that might be expensive... there never is any guarantee with cichlids, that is what makes them more interesting + frustrating.

15 mbuna is not crazy overstocking. Usually people want way too many fish because there are literally too many cichlids to choose from.
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Re: Overstocking Question

Postby DJRansome » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:13 pm

What if you go to another continent? Some of the SA or CA are larger, work better in a smaller tank, and don't need large groups to manage aggression.

Check out the cookie cutter tanks.
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Re: Overstocking Question

Postby marten » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:35 pm

Thanks for your help. I'll check out the cookie cutter lists, that should be helpful with whatever i end up deciding.
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Re: Overstocking Question

Postby Bluepitbullzzz » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:29 am

How to understock mbuna... very simple

Buy 10-12 juvies of 2 different species you like that are different from each other in appearance... preferably 2 different genus

Weed out extra males as they pop up then you keep 1-2 males of each species and all of the females... good luck
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