Lake Malawi Species • All-male 4' 60gal tank stocking

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All-male 4' 60gal tank stocking

Postby MagnumPK » Tue Dec 29, 2020 3:27 pm

This is my first foray into aquariums at all - I've been working with a good LFS on stocking and would like some feedback / advice on next steps.

All male African mixed species African tank. All of the fish are anywhere from 2.5"-4" long. I've been adding the fish in groups of 3 for the last 7 months or so.

Tank: 60 gal, 4' W x 13" D x 25" H
Filtration: Fluval 110 HOB Filter, Fluval 407 Canister Filter
Decor: 3 Java ferns, 2 Anubias, Lots of Rock/Caves/Hideouts. Some tall fake plants along back wall. Gravel substrate, 1.5" deep

Water: 8.0 pH, Malawi buffer and some salt. Naturally hard water.

Mbuna:
1 Labidochromis caeruleus (Yellow Lab)
1 Metriaclima pyrsonotos (Albino Red Top Zebra)
1 Metriaclima estherae (Red Zebra Cichlid)
1 Metriaclima tarakiki (OB Blueberry Mbuna)
1 Labidochromis sp. 'Hongi' (Red Top Hongi)

Peacocks:
1 Aulonocara stuartgranti (Flavescent Peacock)
1 Aulonocara unknown (Peacock, female, my first purchase without knowing what I was doing. Currently trying to rehome)

Haps:
1 Nimbochromis livingstonii (Livingstonii)
1 Cyrtocara moori (Dolphin Hap)
1 Dimidiochromis compressiceps (Hap Compressiceps)
1 Sciaenochromis ahli (Hap Ahli)
1 Protomelas taeniolatus (Red Empress)
1 Astatotilapia latifasciata (Zebra Obliquidens)
1 Copadichromis azureus (Azureus Cichlid)
1 Haplochromis sp. "ruby" (Hap Ruby Green)

Misc:
1 Red Tail Shark
1 Synodontis Hybrid - It has the body of Eupterus and coloring/pattern of an Ocellifer

Regular water changes. No real aggression - The Flavescent Peacock killed a Blood Dragon Peacock a month or 2 ago, but I think the Blood Dragon peacock was a bit sick (fins were separating) and they killed it overnight. The OB Blueberry is the clear tank boss and also the largest.

I appreciate any feedback!
MagnumPK
 
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:35 pm
Location: Texas

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Re: All-male 4' 60gal tank stocking

Postby DJRansome » Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:25 pm

:o

Welcome to Cichlid-forum!! For all male in a 48x12 tank I would limit to 8-10 individuals that mature at or less than six inches. Next steps are to observe for aggression and plan on when/how you will rehome the fish you want/need to remove.

I would choose timid haps and peacocks for this tank and eliminate the mbuna except maybe the yellow lab. Aggressive mbuna expected to cause trouble:
1 Metriaclima pyrsonotos (Albino Red Top Zebra)
1 Metriaclima estherae (Red Zebra Cichlid)
1 Metriaclima tarakiki (OB Blueberry Mbuna)
1 Labidochromis sp. 'Hongi' (Red Top Hongi)

The haps that need a six foot tank once they are three inches:
Livingstonii
Moorii
Dimidiochromis
Empress
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: All-male 4' 60gal tank stocking

Postby MagnumPK » Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:35 pm

Thanks for the reply - it's been difficult to determine what qualifies as overstocking vs understocking with young cichlids (nearly all have colored up are are very much on their way) compared to what overstocking vs understocking with adults will be.

I think the plan, pending wife approval, would be one of two options:

1) Leave the mbuna's in the 48x12 tank and add a handful more, and move the haps and peacocks to a future 6' tank.

2) Any chance the mbuna could coexist with the haps/peacocks in a large 6'x24" tank in the future? Or am I still asking for trouble, even though the Livingstonii, Moorii, Dimidiochromis and Empress all get significantly larger than the mbunas? A single large tank is an easier sell than two large tanks...
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:35 pm
Location: Texas

Re: All-male 4' 60gal tank stocking

Postby DJRansome » Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:58 pm

You stock the tank as if they are all adults. It is not the size of the fish that determines whether they need more room, it is when they begin to spawn even if that is 2 inches.

Anything is possible, but you have some relatively aggressive mbuna on your list that we would normally recommend a larger tank than 48x12, like the hongi. And three species of metriaclima which you would normally not mix in one tank.

I have heard that haps can coexist with mbuna if the haps are very mature and well established in a large tank (six to eight feet) and the mbuna are added as juveniles.

Keep in mind that stocking for all-male in a 72" tank is still limited to enough overstocking to manage aggression and no more. Think in terms of 18 individuals if they all mature at six inches or less.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: All-male 4' 60gal tank stocking

Postby jcover » Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:58 pm

That's quite the list of big haps! Like DJ said, a bigger tank is required or find a new home for them.
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