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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Starting to put a wishlist together for my setup. Hoping to be able to start getting fish in about a month.

I've done mbuna in the past but I asked my kindergartner's opinion and he'd rather have fish that all look differently so thinking I might give all-male a shot. I don't have a lot of familiarity with peacocks and haps though. Been combing the profiles trying to put together a nice mix but looking for any suggestions on anything I may be overlooking.

I know I want a group of synodontis, preferably multipunctatus/grandiops rather than lucipinnis/petricola (sidenote: does it seem like the species names are ever changing??)

My brother has some super red bristlenose plecos that I guess are overrunning his tank with spawn so I might get 1 or 2 of them from him. Not really a huge pleco fan so probably wouldn't get any if they weren't being given to me for free.

For cichlids, I know the recommendation I should be looking for is ~18 males maturing <=6". There're a couple species >6" I like and maybe want to mix in so maybe ~15 individuals will be a better target for me? I've spent most of my time looking at peacocks so far and have come up with this basic framework:

Red/Orange:
-Stuartgranti Maleri "German Red" (alternates: "Ruby Red/Rubescens", Chidunga Rocks "Sunshine", Chipoka "Sunshine)

Yellow:
-Stuartgranti Maleri Island (alternates: "baenschi", Chiwindi "blue neon", Hai Reef "blue neon", Hongi Is. / Kande Is. / Mbamba Bay "steveni", Undu Reef "blue neon", Usisya "Flavescent")

Question: are any of the yellows compatible with the Maleri Island or are they all too close in appearance? They all have yellow bodies, but for example Maleri Island also has yellow fins, while Undo Point has a little bit more blue and blue fins.

Blue:
Gosh there's so many similar looking mostly blue with light yellow/orange shading... guessing only 1 of these?
-koningsi "blue Regal" / masoni / stuartgranti (Chilumba) / stuartgranti (Cobue) / sp. "Walteri"

Others
-Ngara "Flametail" (any issue with the german red or alternates?)
-kandeense "Blue Orchid" (or similar alternate maylandi "sulfur head")
-"Turkis"
-Stuartgranti (Chiloelo) "Red Shoulder" (or various alternate similar red shoulders)
-"Chitande Type North" (if no issue with the yellows)
-there's rostratum "long nose" (but not sure I like the looks enough for the extra large 7.5" size)
-would any of the jacobfreibergi work in here or are they going to dominate/be too similar to some of the others above? I like Hongi Island and Undu Reef "lemon jake" better than "Eureka" or Otter Pt.

So I'm at somewhere in the realm of 8-10 peacocks assuming I can actually find them all. Could maybe add an OB and an Albino but I know those are hybrids and unpredictible.

For Haps, I haven't spent as much time looking but I consider
-Otopharynx lithobates (Zimbawe Rock) (must have)
-Placidochromis sp. "Phenochilus Tanzania" (matures 10" but really really like...)
-Copadichromis azureus Mbenji (like the blue. Ok with blue peacocks?)
-Cyrtocara moorii (matures 9" - not a must have but kinda like the unique look)
-Protomelas sp. "Steveni Taiwan" (Taiwan Reef) (not in love with but one of the smaller ones I thought might be compatible)
-Protomelas sp. "Spilonotus Tanzania" (Liuli) (ok ok 12" is likely too big so probably not but I love the looks)

Also considering mbuna: yellow labs or acei, single male each or colonies, depending on what I can find.

Any thoughts on the species I've listed, or recommend any I haven't?

Thanks
 

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Which is your favorite? Example if it is Ngara, they are very hard to get colored in a male tank so choose timid tank mates...but not so timid as kandeense which is better in a species tank.

What are the over six inch fish you want to include? I found the taiwan reef intimidated my more timid haps so I swapped him out.

Or if you like the taiwan reef better than the Ngara...go for all assertive haps and peacocks. Then maybe you could do jacobfreibergi.

OB is half mbuna, so might be too aggressive for timid peacocks like Ngara. Same for peacock hybrids.

For peacocks the most conservative approach is one red (includes orange and pink) one yellow and one blue. Turkis is a different enough blue to include. I found Maleri Island and Usisya were OK together, but blue neon did not color at all with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey DJRansome! Happy to see you're still hanging out around here.

What would you suggest for assertive haps and peacocks? I feel like it's difficult identifying 18 <=6" individuals that look differently even without considering timid vs. assertive.

I was mostly looking at the peacocks because they're smaller and I thought they would be compatible with each other as long as they looked different from each other. I wasn't aware there was that much of a spectrum on the aggression scale amongst them. I know the jakes were a little bigger and more aggressive but other than that I thought they were all more or less compatible with each other as long as they looked different enough. I figured whether a fish colored up had more to do with the individuals temperament rather than a species trend. So good to know about the tendencies of the Ngara to be difficult to get colored up or about the kandeense being particularly timid.

If I were to pick favorite peacocks today the 2 I'd pick would be the German Red/Ruby Red/Rubescens/Sunshine (which I know are all essentially different line bred strains of the same fish) for a red and the Maleri Is. or baenschi for yellow. Most of the rest weren't really favorites just me trying to fill out a list of different looking fish and have some variety. There's a whole bunch of "mostly blue with slightly different shadings of red or yellow" and I don't really prefer 1 over another.

For Haps I really like the oto lithobates z-rock and seems a good fit due to smaller size. The star sapphire is another favorite. The species profile says 10". My favorite blues are the c. azureus or s. fryeri, both ~7" - I think the azureus was the one that first got me interested in cichlids when I saw one in a fish store a long time ago. moorii's (9") have the unique shape. I didn't mention venustus before, I do like them but I know they're also big and would likely be the most aggressive. "Spilonotus Tanzania" (Liuli) is a really cool looking fish but at 12" max that seems like too big for my tank or maybe just the top end limit.

Maybe I'd be better off with fewer slightly larger species? How many males >6" but <=12" would be recommended for a 125? 10? Are the larger haps typically going to be expected to reach the max sizes listed or do they tend to average a little less? Wasn't really trying to end up with the "big fish trapped in a small tank" look
 

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It sounds like you mostly prefer the less aggressive haps and peacocks. I don't do big haps so no idea what a male tank with them might look like.

I just posted an old list of mine for another Member if that might help you.
 

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Rhinox said:
Hey DJRansome!

For Haps I really like the oto lithobates z-rock and seems a good fit due to smaller size. The star sapphire is another favorite. The species profile says 10". My favorite blues are the c. azureus or s. fryeri, both ~7" - I think the azureus was the one that first got me interested in cichlids when I saw one in a fish store a long time ago. moorii's (9") have the unique shape. I didn't mention venustus before, I do like them but I know they're also big and would likely be the most aggressive. "Spilonotus Tanzania" (Liuli) is a really cool looking fish but at 12" max that seems like too big for my tank or maybe just the top end limit.

Maybe I'd be better off with fewer slightly larger species? How many males >6" but <=12" would be recommended for a 125? 10? Are the larger haps typically going to be expected to reach the max sizes listed or do they tend to average a little less? Wasn't really trying to end up with the "big fish trapped in a small tank" look
You aren't going to have a problem with azureus, phenochilus, fryeri, moori in a 6' 125 gallon. Nimbo venestus is going to be hit and miss... some specimens are aggressive, some less so. Basically trial and error, but most all male tanks are like that, even if things "should" work out.

The sp "spilontus tanzania" doesn't get as big as the regular spilontus. Usually 8", it should be fine in a 125 gallon as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
DJRansome said:
It sounds like you mostly prefer the less aggressive haps and peacocks. I don't do big haps so no idea what a male tank with them might look like.

I just posted an old list of mine for another Member if that might help you.
Is this the list you're referring to? Post

Thanks it does help and I will check it out. I think we share a lot of similar preferences. I would prefer smaller and less aggressive. I'd hate it if my sons picked out favorite fish and then they had to be removed due to being bullied or being too aggressive. I know that's a risk with any malawi though.

Fogelhund said:
You aren't going to have a problem with azureus, phenochilus, fryeri, moori in a 6' 125 gallon. Nimbo venestus is going to be hit and miss... some specimens are aggressive, some less so. Basically trial and error, but most all male tanks are like that, even if things "should" work out.

The sp "spilontus tanzania" doesn't get as big as the regular spilontus. Usually 8", it should be fine in a 125 gallon as well.
Thanks Fogel, any thoughts on how many individuals that size would be appropriate? Would they still be ok with the smaller species like the z-rock or peacocks?

Also thinking logistics, with haps are those species pretty easy to tell apart from each other, such that I could mix groups of them as juvies and then remove the females and extras once I've identified a male? Been worrying about how to get set up with primarily peacocks since I didn't really want to shell out the $ for a full tank of adults at once and don't have growout tanks to keep each species separated as juvies. I know peacock females can't really be distinguished species from species if mixed.

Assuming that strategy works with the haps, could I do as little as 2-3 of each species or would it be better to keep the groups bigger even as juvies?

Appreciate the advice, even coming from a leafs fan :p (I'm Sabretooth over on HFBoards but don't really post much these days because the Sabres are too depressing. Appreciated your sympathy post over there the other day though).
 

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Rhinox said:
Thanks Fogel, any thoughts on how many individuals that size would be appropriate? Would they still be ok with the smaller species like the z-rock or peacocks?

Also thinking logistics, with haps are those species pretty easy to tell apart from each other, such that I could mix groups of them as juvies and then remove the females and extras once I've identified a male? Been worrying about how to get set up with primarily peacocks since I didn't really want to shell out the $ for a full tank of adults at once and don't have growout tanks to keep each species separated as juvies. I know peacock females can't really be distinguished species from species if mixed.

Assuming that strategy works with the haps, could I do as little as 2-3 of each species or would it be better to keep the groups bigger even as juvies?

Appreciate the advice, even coming from a leafs fan :p (I'm Sabretooth over on HFBoards but don't really post much these days because the Sabres are too depressing. Appreciated your sympathy post over there the other day though).
Small world..re;HFBoards. Jeez, what a disaster that is... really Pegula and on down need to go. It's a deplorable situation, when things were looking so promising. I hope it doesn't affect Dahlin's potential too much.

Peacocks are pretty easy to tell male or female, by 2", at least in most species. I don't think finding all males, should be too hard for you.. though I don't even know which retailers or breeders are close to you. Peacock compatibility is really going to depend on which fish you choose. Jake types will easily compete, and so will many of the stuartgranti complex. Chitande, kandeensis, maylandi won't.

I'd probably just look around for individual males, one of each species... Anything I breed, I can tell by 2" for sure. Some bigger haps are a little harder, but even then, many are showing by 2"
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah haha, I remember doing a doubletake the first time I saw your avatar over there. The sabres definitely do seem to have this reverse midas touch ever since the Pegulas bought the team. Everything they've touched has turned to ****.

I've got 1 nearby LFS that is a cichlid specialist and also breeder. I've bought some fish from there in the past but the selection was hit or miss. I wouldn't expect to be able to fill all or even much of my wishlist at once from there, but might have some to pick through for males. I haven't been there in a long time and they just moved to a bigger store with more tanks so I'll probably at least take a drive over there once I'm ready for fish to see what they have and talk.

Other than that everything else I've kept I've had shipped. The one vendor I've used multiple times in the past has much of what I'm looking at, I'm just not sure he's willing to try to pull males out of his juvie tanks or not. Haven't called to ask yet though, and I know there's other options too.

I'm a little disappointed I'm not set up yet because the OCA has an online auction going on right now, could have tried to snag something from there. Lot exchange happens before I'll be set up and cycled though. I joined a local breeder group on social media, seems like there are pretty regular listings. I'll probably post a request there to see if anyone local is breeding anything I'm looking for.
 

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Sorry I did not include the link. I was looking for it and my PC crashed. Did I have Protomelas marginatus on the list? A favorite of mine but not always easy to get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
DJRansome said:
Sorry I did not include the link. I was looking for it and my PC crashed. Did I have Protomelas marginatus on the list? A favorite of mine but not always easy to get.
Yeah thats on your list. There's not a full profile for it here and only 1 photo of what looks like a pretty young individual so I probably skipped over it on my first pass when I was clicking through profiles.
 

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Rhinox said:
DJRansome said:
Sorry I did not include the link. I was looking for it and my PC crashed. Did I have Protomelas marginatus on the list? A favorite of mine but not always easy to get.
Yeah thats on your list. There's not a full profile for it here and only 1 photo of what looks like a pretty young individual so I probably skipped over it on my first pass when I was clicking through profiles.
Sadly once the site was sold, the profiles can't really be updated properly, so they've become quite dated now. While still partially useful, you might find this to be more current.

http://malawi.si/Malawi/Haplochromises/ ... index.html
 

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Rhinox said:
Are there any plans of fixing/upgrading this site?
I highly doubt it. The company that owns it, just wants the ad revenue, and doesn't seem very involved... though maybe moreso than when I stopped admining, but that was the case then. I don't even know who has access to the profiles, or library anymore. Strangely, I do, but then you need complete site admin rights to make changes that would need to be changed, to make that work. I made the decision to step down, as it didn't seem to make sense, to volunteer so that a corp, could profit off me.
 

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You think THOSE African Cichlid species profiles are bad? The Central & South American profiles are now really outta whack! :oops:

https://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/vie ... 4&t=453569

It's terrible! And kinda embarrassing actually. So honestly, I came back a few months ago to (mostly) just update those New World species profiles I helped to initially build. That ain't happening, because the site software needs an update(s). And, as 'DAS WASSERHUND' informs - no one has full Admin access now to the species profiles sections, so they can be properly updated. :x
So, I'm mostly just hanging around these days because the CA & SA section posts weren't getting answered - and I'd sorta forgotten how cool it was here to 'Talk Cichlids'. :)
 

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Auballagh said:
You think THOSE African Cichlid species profiles are bad? The Central & South American profiles are now really outta whack! :oops:

https://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/vie ... 4&t=453569

It's terrible! And kinda embarrassing actually. So honestly, I came back a few months ago to (mostly) just update those New World species profiles I helped to initially build. That ain't happening, because the site software needs an update(s). And, as 'DAS WASSERHUND' informs - no one has full Admin access now to the species profiles sections, so they can be properly updated. :x
So, I'm mostly just hanging around these days because the CA & SA section posts weren't getting answered - and I'd sorta forgotten how cool it was here to 'Talk Cichlids'. :)
How profitable can this place even be now?

Can't they just sell it back to us for $1, and we can fix it?
 

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Send them a note Fogelhund!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
seems to me like the ad revenue must have gone way down over the years. There's not nearly as much activity around here as there used to be. You'd think a little more involvement might be warranted? Maybe a lot of guests keep getting directed here from search results though because there's somehow over 200 views on this thread. There's another thread down the page with only 9 posts but over 1700 views :-?

Anyways, focusing less on peacocks and more on haps, I think I'm having an easier time putting a wish list of options together I'd carry with me when shopping around. Currently looking like this, of which I'd be happy with just about any subset of 10? 12? 15? idk what an appropriate number is? Some on the list have similar appearance to others so this is clearly not an "everything is compatible with everything else" list, but is there anything in there that would absolutely not be recommended with many/most of the others?

Aulonocara...
  • German Red/Ruby Red/Rubescens "stuargranti maleri" (Chipoka)[/*]
  • "stuargranti maleri" (Maleri Is.)[/*]
  • jacobfreibergi 'Otter Point' or 'Undu Reef' or 'Hongi Island'[/*]
  • Could maybe consider OB or dragonblood or albino but probably enough variety without[/*]
Copadichromis...
  • azureus[/*]
  • borleyi[/*]
  • trewavasae[/*]
  • sp. 'fire-crest mloto' Gome[/*]
Cytocara...
  • Moorii[/*]
Lethrinops...
  • sp. 'red cap' Itungi[/*]
  • sp. 'mbasi'[/*]
  • marginatus[/*]
Nimbochromis...
  • venustus 'Luwala Reef'[/*]
Otopharynx...
  • lithobates 'Zimbawe Rock'[/*]
  • sp. 'auromarginatus margrette' Likoma Island[/*]
Placidochromis...
  • sp. 'phenochilus tanzania' Lupingu[/*]
Protomelas...
  • sp. ''Spilonotus Tanzania'' Liuli[/*]
  • sp. 'steveni taiwan' Taiwan Reef[/*]
  • marginatus[/*]
  • sp. 'steveni imperial'[/*]
  • taeniolatus 'Senga Point'[/*]
  • 'Namalenje Island'[/*]
Sciaenochromis...
  • fryeri[/*]
 

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Skip all the lethrinops in all-male. Even with other timid males, they will not color well. Mbasi is a favorite of mine in a species tank.

If you are going for a timid theme, I would skip the jakes, hybrids, fryeri, all protomelas except marginatus, borleyi, nimbochromis and moorii.

Why no blue peacocks? The Cobue and Turkis have worked well for me. And my maleri and usisya worked together even though they are both yellow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm ok skipping Lethrinops. They have some nice more subtle colors that probably wouldn't stand out in an all male even if they did color well.

Cobue is nice. Guess I thought I'd have a similar blue if I went with a fryeri or azureus. Turkis is fine too. I should have them both listed as options. Usisya is ok but not my favorite yellow. After Maleri Is. I like baenschi then the blue neons above usisya (which I know you already said blue neons didn't color well and baenschi is probably too similar to Maleri)

Of your suggestions to pass on to go timid I would most miss fryeri (but with azureus or cobue maybe not too much), venustus (which I already knew were out for timid anyways) and moorii (I thought these guys were peaceful tho?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
How up-to-date is the vendor review section of the site? Is it broken like some of the other pages? I've noticed many of the top vendors don't even exist anymore. The texas vendor I'm familiar with and have ordered from in the past is still there and it's where I plan to call first after checking my LFS. But I was wondering if in the last 10 years other new vendors have emerged that are well-liked and how one might go about finding those vendors? I've googled and found some places I hadn't seen before, but hard to know which are actually decent quality / non-hybrid / non-juiced / etc.

Also, synodontis seem particularly difficult to find right now anywhere, particularly the larger multipunctata/grandiops/whatever it is they really are and are being called now, which is what I want. The dwarf petricola / lucipinnis / whatevers maybe a little easier to find but I'd prefer the larger variant. If anyone has a tip on where I might be able to find some and can shoot me a PM that would be amazing. I think I'm far enough along now I can target end of the month or beginning of may for getting fish (but that might depend on whether I can actually get my sump to cycle at this point).

I'm still a little worried about logistics. If I end up buying adult or near adult males showing color, how much of a problem would it be if I could only add 3-4 at a time and stretch out the full stocking over like 4 months or so?

Would it be better, worse, or worse in different ways if I kept juvie labs and aceis while gradually adding the males over time? I would adjust my final stocking to accommodate the mbuna - fewer males and only the species that would have a change at being the least incompatible.
 
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