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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I have recently become interested in keeping African Cichlids, but I have a bit of an issue on my hands- My largest tank is 30 gallons. I realize I should have a larger tank, but my parents will not permit anything larger, so I am stuck. I have kept fish in the past, and have a close friend very into cichlids, plus I acquired a 55 gallon filter to keep up with increased demand, so I know I can provide. My big problem is- what kinds of cichlids can I keep in 30 gallons? I know they do better in larger numbers, so I feel like I could keep more, but on the other hand its only 30 gallons??? Should I shoot for a bunch of small ones or just one big one? I would be very interested in hearing the opinions and advice of people more experienced than I in the hobby.

Thanks so much,
~Larsvik
 

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It's a difficult sized aquarium, in that it really is too small for most African cichlids.

Some tanks that often work well, include Ps saulosi 12 fish. Or Ps. demasoni 15 fish, plus 3 Yellow Labs.

Does either of those float your boat?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Fogelhund,

I really like the character and curiosity of PS Demasoni, but I also love the carnivorous nature of Yellow labs. My local petco sells feeder fish as fry, so maybe I could feed it those now and then, as a treat? I would love to see them hunting.
PS Saulosi doesn't really do it for me.

The Cichlid Forum profile on Demasoni says I should have at least 12 individuals, but would that fit properly in 30 gallons? Also, in your reply, did you mean that I could fit 15 Demasoni and three labs? Because that sounds amazing, but way too crowded.

Thanks so much for your response
~Larsvik
 

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Keep in mind, if you choose demasoni you'll need another tank to move bullied fish to until you can rehome them. Also yellow labs do not need feeders, these can be very unhealthy and cause more problems than they're worth. I have a 6ft tank with all large predatory haps and have never gave them intentional feeders.
 

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Larsvik said:
Thanks Fogelhund,

I really like the character and curiosity of PS Demasoni, but I also love the carnivorous nature of Yellow labs. My local petco sells feeder fish as fry, so maybe I could feed it those now and then, as a treat? I would love to see them hunting.
PS Saulosi doesn't really do it for me.

The Cichlid Forum profile on Demasoni says I should have at least 12 individuals, but would that fit properly in 30 gallons? Also, in your reply, did you mean that I could fit 15 Demasoni and three labs? Because that sounds amazing, but way too crowded.

Thanks so much for your response
~Larsvik
Labidochromis are carnivorous... on insect larvae and small copepods and shrimps... they are not piscovorous... as in eating other fish. As mentioned above, feeding them feeders would be unhealthy... even if they would eat them, which I doubt.

With enough rocks, those numbers could work, with some over filtration, and regular 25-35% water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Labidochromis are carnivorous... on insect larvae and small copepods and shrimps... they are not piscovorous... as in eating other fish. As mentioned above, feeding them feeders would be unhealthy... even if they would eat them, which I doubt.
Yeah, I am having second thoughts on feeder fish. I guess that seals the deal. Thanks so much for your input.

I'm thinking maybe 8 Demasoni and 2 or 3 labidochromis. That sounds like a good mix to me, but do you foresee any problems with feeding them? With the Demasonis being vegetarian and the labs being carnivorous, could there be trouble if they ate each others food? I heard that most fish food is fine if the unintended fish eats it, but I fear this may be an exception. I also don't want to deal with the trouble of buying and using a separator.
 

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You are reading way way too much into the carnivore vs. omnivore. All the foods that say "cichlid" on them will provide the proper nutrition for any mbuna, peacock, hap you may have. Actually, the more actual meat you have in their diet the more likely they are to catch bloat and die. So realistically, what you should do is just buy New life spectrum cichlid pellets (the brand many of us use) and not worry about who is eating what food.

I am curious why you are not interested in the saulosi... You will have the same colors as in the demasoni yellow lab tank except it will be weighted more towards the yellow side than the blue side. The subdom male saulosi's provide a curious look that makes it look like you have three different types of fish in the tank. The only reason I bring it up is because demasoni are really not a beginner fish as they have a tendency to totally destroy eachother. Also since fogel suggested 15 demasoni and you changed it to 8... you can't do that with demasoni because you need enough punching bags in the group that one fish doesn't feel targetted. The saulosi are going to be a much more foregiving option. Realize that you won't be able to get saulosi from a big box LFS, so if your logic is that you wanted to go to a big box store to get your fish then I am OK with that logic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I do have experience in the hobby, but with normal tropical fish, and I don't have a hospital tank or anything, so I guess I should be more concerned about that possibility. I was leaning towards demasoni because of two reasons- The awesome shades of blue and black drew me in, and I was looking for a slightly greater challenge. I was also cautious about saulosi because I read only the dominant male has the really bright blue colors, while the rest had more subdued tones.

I was concerned that a 55 gallon filter would not be able to keep up with 15 fish in 30 gallons, too. 15 fish to 30 gallons feels really wrong, but again, I am very new to cichlids, and I really appreciate the advice. Everyone seems to say its fine, even better, to pack lots of cichlids into a tank, and pretty much anyone has more experience than me, so I'll have to defer to your judgement. I guess this is in line with a video by KGtropicals I saw where he says for cichlids, you should have about half as many fish as gallons. I'll definitely need to add more hiding spots to the tank though.

Thanks so much for your input, it really means a lot to see this much interest. Anything at all is more than welcome and much appreciated.
 

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I'd say the idea of 12-15 fish in a 36" tank applies to very few species and demasoni is one of them. I've been keeping them for 10 years but would not go back to keeping them in my 36" tank.

I did try 9 of them in my first tank (the 36" inch tank) and lost most of them to bloat before I identified a problem and got control. Twelve minimum for me and that is after removing extra males. The larger the tank...the larger the minimum IME. And have extra tanks...rehoming plan...willingness to tear down the tank often to net out any particular individuals that need to go.
 

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I think you will find cichlids to be more work than your tropicals from a mitigating aggression standpoint. I agree that the colors of the demasoni are really striking, but I would make sure you read DJ's post several times and are ready for that (and if you are, then awesome!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I would like to add a few yellow labs to the mix, maybe 10 Demasoni and 4 labs. Do you think that would help buffer aggression by adding different species/colors, or just narrow the focus down to one or two demasonis being bullied more? I would like to see the two species, but lower aggression is obviously top priority. I would be fine with 12-15 demasoni if that meant less fighting.
 

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Larsvik said:
I would like to add a few yellow labs to the mix, maybe 10 Demasoni and 4 labs. Do you think that would help buffer aggression by adding different species/colors, or just narrow the focus down to one or two demasonis being bullied more? I would like to see the two species, but lower aggression is obviously top priority. I would be fine with 12-15 demasoni if that meant less fighting.
I have Demasoni and Yellow Labs in a 55g (with a couple of Acei)..and I do find that the Y-Labs to help manage the Demasoni aggression and they never mess with each other .. and the bright Yellow Labs and the colors of the Demasoni go perfectly together.

I also keep Saulosi (1m/2fm and 2 babies) along with Rusties (1m/1fm and a baby) in a 30g.. They do great together but a 30g tank gets pretty small once the fish are full grown (as mine are). I've thought about moving the Rusties and going Saulosi only but this group does very well so I leave it alone. I started with a few more of each but lost a couple of females along the way and moved a couple of extra males.

I would recommend a Saulosi only tank.. but if you want to try the Demasoni / Y-Lab combo go for it. It will definitely be a fun tank while they are growing out but you should try to plan to get a 55g to move them to later on. if that's possible.
 

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I would do 12 demasoni minimum no matter what. If you must also have the labs, do a trio.

As mentioned I did try 9 demasoni myself and it ended in disaster.

After 10 years of working with demasoni...I would do a single species saulosi tank in the 36" tank. Some have had success with 3 males coloring up.
 

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Labidochromis are carnivorous... on insect larvae and small copepods and shrimps... they are not piscovorous... as in eating other fish. As mentioned above, feeding them feeders would be unhealthy... even if they would eat them, which I doubt.

With enough rocks, those numbers could work, with some over filtration, and regular 25-35% water changes.
This is very useful info... Thank you, I noted that...
 

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The more demasoni you have, the better. They don't really both other species, they just want to kill each other.
I have Demasoni and Yellow Labs in a 55g (with a couple of Acei)..and I do find that the Y-Labs to help manage the Demasoni aggression and they never mess with each other .. and the bright Yellow Labs and the colors of the Demasoni go perfectly together.

I also keep Saulosi (1m/2fm and 2 babies) along with Rusties (1m/1fm and a baby) in a 30g.. They do great together but a 30g tank gets pretty small once the fish are full grown (as mine are). I've thought about moving the Rusties and going Saulosi only but this group does very well so I leave it alone. I started with a few more of each but lost a couple of females along the way and moved a couple of extra males.

I would recommend a Saulosi only tank.. but if you want to try the Demasoni / Y-Lab combo go for it. It will definitely be a fun tank while they are growing out but you should try to plan to get a 55g to move them to later on. if that's possible.
Thanks.
I have a 55 gallon with many hiding places and an aragonite substrate. I have a Fluval 70 and 110 running right now.
I have 10 Yellow labs unsexed. I have an idea now, but I don't think I could separate by sex successfully. I have 36" long 40 gallon breeder ready for fish as well. Its empty (no fish) and all I might have to do is get the PH up some. Its got a sand substrate with some limestone arrangements and I use crushed up limestone in the filter media bag.

To my question.
Can I introduce Demasoni to the 55 gallon tank containing the 10 yellow labs? And how many could I use? Since I do have another tank I could move some around if I had to. The spare 40 is just sitting there and I wanted it ready in the case of fry.
One more question on the Labs.
Since I cannot determine sex for sure and its apparent I could not catch individual fish to move to the other tank, would moving 5 of the 10 over help with possible breeding and the possible addition of the Demasoni ?
DJ mentioned using the cichlid holes I have to catch fish. I modified them adding another hole in each one. I guess I could close up one of the holes and remove fish this way? But finding hims and hers is going to be a challenge along with the second tank being only 36" long.
TIA.
 
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