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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been keeping freshwater aquariums for over 20 years, but never cichlids... We currently have 5 tanks set up in our house (55 gal & 30 gal)...

I have another 30 gallon tank I've thought about setting up sometime soon. I'm not sure if I'll do it yet, but I'd love to get yellow labs...

Would that tank work to put yellow labs in? If so how many?

Could I mix them with Rusties or Acei's or any other species (I'm thinking lesser aggressive)? If so, how many?

If not, other than the cookie cutter ideas, does anybody have any ideas for colorful, interesting, and compatable fish that will be very entertaining for us to have for the 30 gal tank?

I'm pretty new to cichlids...I understand larger tanks are recommended, but I have no more room for another 55 gallon tank (2 already set up in our home). I'm reading, reading, reading, reading, and reading some more. I'm starting to understand a little bit here and there about cichlids... but with the names being so long and unfamiliar to me, I feel like a slow learner right now...
 

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Acei's can't be held in a 30 Gallon, they get up to 6 inches and should be kept in small schools for aggression reasons.
 

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Is it a 30" tank? You could do a small colony of yellow labs, no problem. Maybe Rusties too, maybe demasoni (probably will be tougher). Or alternatively, you could do a pair of Neo. brichardi (Tanganyikan cichlids), or a pair of julidochromis with a shell-dweller colony.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the responses...

How many would you consider a small colony of yellow labs? I think I may consider the Rusties... I've heard they're good for beginners... should I go with a pair?

I'm still not sure what I'm going to put in there yet, I'm in no hurry as I want to be prepared... for the record, I'm searching for something blue that will live peacefully with the yellow labs in the 30 gal tank - or at least something with vibrant coloring... we'll see what we come up with!!

Thanks again,
Kerby
 

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I would not put two species in a 30" tank.

I'd probably try 5 yellow labs or 5 rusties, but not both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you - I will keep the 30 gallon a species only tank with yellow labs... I can't wait to get it set up. i have dark substrate and dark rock for hiding places, with a dark background - I think the yellow labs will stand out beautifully.

Any recommendations for a clean up crew? Pleco? Catfish of some kind?

Thanks again - this forum is AWESOME - the more I learn, the more questions I come up with.

Someday I'll set up a 100 gallon tank or larger, for now, I need to start simple and keep reading and asking questions...

Kerby
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Bristlenose... that'll be easy to find... it sounds like this one will be easy to stock... now just to set it up and get the water parameters on target.

Thanks again!!

Kerby
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
After reading and thinking about this some more... I've decided to split my freshwater 55 gallon up between two 30 gallon tanks at home... then use the 55 gallon as a Malawi Lake tank - and use the new 30 for the other fish...

Ok, I still want yellow labs... if I have a 55 gallon tank, how many species should I start with - maybe just two - and what would be good companion species for the Labs - maybe Rusties, Aceis, Zebras??? If so - how many of each fish would work...

... arg, his hobby is very addictive - when this latest project is done, I'll have 7 tanks set up in our home... I can't wait to get these tanks going...

(btw... I'm setting up a 46 bow as a Tangangyika tank - I've posted questions in that section of this forum as well regarding that tank...)

Thanks again - you all have been VERY helpful!!!

Kerby
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just read where demasoni need to be kept in groups of 12... I see they're fairly small fish - If I chose them, should I do 12 in a 55 - and how many yellow labs??

This tank will rock - I have large dark rock - broken up dark flagstone - the back of this particular tank was already painted black - with a few plants and some aquascaping - these vibrant fish will look awesome...
 

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I'd put in three species and if Demasoni (15) and Labs (6)are the first two, then I'd choose between Rusties, Acei, Socolofi and Cynotilapia sp hara Gallireya Reef for the third. Actually I'd choose the Cynos. I'd also do 6 of species #3.

That particular Cyno has no profile on cichlid-forum, you can google images to see what they look like, I chose them because the females are very colorful for Cynos. There is a thread on them right now in the Photography forum too. They are also known as White Tops and Blue Reef.

On the third species, except for Acei, you will eventually want one male and the rest females, but common practice is to buy unsexed juveniles and sort out gender ratios as they mature.
 

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Ditto to DJRansome. 15 dems, 6 labs and I'd do either rusties or acei. Tho I'd lean more towards Acei. they will use the upper part of your tank, and kept in a nice group, they will school and keep everything active.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you very much for the suggestions - I've been reading about these fish so far this morning - I've been at work for almost 2 hours - I guess I should get back to my job...

I think I know where I'm going with this tank and where I'll be getting the fish... it'll still be a while as I have a stand to build, more equipment to buy, and the 55 I'll be using is fully stocked right now... I can't wait until I can introduce these guys to their new home and post some pics...

Thanks again!!!

Kerby
 

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For people wanting to do the Lab + Demasoni thing in a relatively small tank, I had the same idea but substituted the Demasonis for Mainganos with great success.

I'll grant Demasoni are an absolutely stunning little fish but Maingano is almost as lovely, just with horizontal rather than vertical striping. My alpha male is quite young but already so vivid I swear he has eaten a glow-stick sometimes!

I have 8 of each species in a 35G and it has been going wonderfully for almost 6 months with no losses or injuries, and plenty of growth and fry.
 

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Won't the acei's get too big for a 50 gallon?

Don't forget to consider a small group of synodontis, maybe Petriocola (they stay small). They are fabulous, active and help keep the tank clean of uneaten food.

If you don't turn your light on all day, you won't have enough algae to warrant a pleco, and you can save them from having their eyes eaten out. (There's a thread now on this happening yet AGAIN to some poor BN.)
 
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