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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Uh.... I may have made a few mistakes in the setup of this tank.

Ammonia, nitrate, nitrite are all at 0ppm.

Ph is about 7.6

Filtration: One 40-gallon rated Top Fin HOB, one 45-gallon rated Tetra HOB, and one 75-gallon rated sponge filter with a chunky air pump.

The stock list: (Where things get bad)
  • One yellow lab
  • 3 local-caught minnows
  • 3 local- caught crayfish
  • One opaline gourami (Don't ask)
  • One cobalt blue zebra
  • One Kenyi
  • One Auratus

Sooooo, this is probably a disaster waiting to happen.

The first red flags are probably the crays. However, I have had them for over a year with little to no problems. One of them simply hides all day long in a burrow, one of them rules the seafloor, and the other (the smallest) is often seen precariously perched on top of the rock pile. The one that rules the seafloor is the boss. He is MASSIVE. Probably pushing nine inches in length. However, all three are slow and never catch any fish.

The minnows just mind their own business, along with the gourami.

The cichlids are very interesting, with distinct personalities. The cobalt and kenyi seem to be at perpetual war with the kenyi usually on top. However, he does not bully the cobalt to death or even near it. Sometimes, their quarrels are entertaining. The yellow lab generally minds his own business, but is sometimes chased by the others. The Auratus, (sold as a bumblebee) is extremely docile, oddly enough. he just swims around happily all day long.

I am considering restocking with Demasoni and more Yellow Labs. Thoughts?

The tank with my dog, a golden retriever-irish setter mix.
Gas Electric blue Midnight Space Darkness
 

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What are the dimensions of the tank? What is the shape? It does not look like a standard rectangle.

Although demasoni can be done in a 36" tank, I prefer a 48" tank for them. For example 12 demasoni (end up with 12 after removing extra males) and a trio of yellow labs.

The cray is likely to be eaten when it molts. Could the cobalt be a female? Perpetual war can be harmful to the health of the fish, compromising immune system and leaving them susceptible to opportunistic diseases like bloat. This is the most common scenario for illness/death among Malawi that are otherwise well cared for IME.

You should have a nitrate reading if your tank is cycled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The tank is 36'

The crayfish have molted multiple times with absolutely no issues.

Yes, the cobalt may be female. 100% agree with you on the issue of aggression.

idk what is up with my nitrate test, i use the api master kit. Will test again asap. Tank is cycled.
 

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Malawi, not ideal but a group of saulosi.

Tanganyika a group of shellies and a pair of small, peaceful rock dwellers like julidochromis.
 

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I wish. Sadly, I am not yet out of the house and my parents will not let me expand any larger. I'm stuck with this tank.
Try educating them about why, as a responsible fish keeper, you need a larger tank. Then negotiate in good faith with them. Stay with it. During the course of raising three children, who are all now highly functioning, self-sufficient adults, I changed my mind and eventually agreed to a lot of things over the years my children requested, if they were persistent, well meaning, and made a good case for what they wanted. Good luck!
 

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As a parent, I see their point of view. My son has a turtle, and 40 gallons is the max I'll let him have in his room. I was the kid that had a tank break on a 2nd floor bedroom. Thankfully, that was only 10 gallons. I was also the one that had a 55 break a seal in a rental apartment. The good news is that one day you will have your own place and be able to get a bigger aquarium. In the meantime, seek out fish that can be happy long term in your tank.
 

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I agree with MaKettle. Show your parents how you can make the best use of the aquarium you have. Once they see that your enthusiasm only increases over the months and years, they may be more inclined to support your growth in the hobby.
 
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