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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All, I have a 55gal (48"x13"x21") that I purchased from someone getting out of the hobby. It is equipped with one Penguin 330 biowheel filter. This is my first experience with Cichlids.

The set up came with a stock list of:
1 male Ruby Red Peacock
2 female Ruby Red Peacock (or hybrid of some sort but certainly Peacock)
4 Dragonblood Peacock (some sort of hybrid anyway...cross breeding within this tank - sex unknown)
2 Yellow Lab (sex unknown)
1 common pleco

Majority of the fish are 4" and greater at the moment.

I am maintaining 78 degrees F and shooting for pH - 8.0 (getting there). Looking to the future I would appreciate some input on how to:

1) landscape this tank to appease the different species requirements and
2) future stocking considerations and capacities based on current filter (assuming normal weekly water changes of 20-30%)

My research has shown that Mbunas and Peacocks together is not recommended. Can anyone chime in on this? I am comfortable making some changes on my stock list if the end result will be a better tank environment and not one where I have to put extra effort satisfying different needs.

Thanks for your help! I have done a lot of research from the existing info on these forums but wanted something specific to my situation as I am not building my ideal stock list from scratch.
 

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You already have three species which is the recommended stock level for a 55G. I would bump up the labs to six, remove the pleco and add 5 Synodontis multipunctatus to handle hybrid fry for you.

Since the peacocks you have are mixed can't really sell them to swap species. I would keep them for their lifetimes and then add something else once the peacock era is over. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Interesting thought, I know some of this mixed breed were bred right in this tank but the problem is I don't know which are male and female yet. I would like to avoid further hybrids so I can stock with more colorful species...is it common for a cichlid tank to have that many catfish?

Can you comment on pros/cons of having a pleco in a cichlid tank? In my readings I have not seen many people with them, especially the common pleco. Is this due to size/bioload it creates when that space could be used for other cichlids?

Since some of these peacocks are only young I guess I have another 10+ years of the 'peacock era' before I can stock with what I actually want???? Oh well.
 

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Common plecos don't really do that much for a tank, other than pooping. I have a large sailfin in my 180, but utility-wise, there's not much reason for him being there. I've had him for a long time and he's fun to watch during feedings, so I keep him around. I probably wouldn't buy another one though.

For algae control, most folks keep either standard brown or the line bred/man-made albino bristle nose plecos. The standard ones get a bit bigger (6" or so) while the albinos max out around 4"-5". They're cheap, durable, stay small and never stop eating algae like common plecos do when they get bigger than a few inches long.
 

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At 4" if they are males they should be colored up I'd think. Maybe you have all females?

Life expectancy is 8 years and a 4" fish might be 4 years old already. A 4" fish is not young IMO. May not be old...but not a juvenile.

Problem with 1 male of each peacock is...what to do with the other fish. Can't sell them or give them away. Many don't like to euthanize.

The multipunctatus like to be in a large group. Their role would be to keep the end of your peacock "sentence" limited to four years or so, LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was at my LFS tonight and they had some Strawberry Peacocks for sale which were almost identical to my unknown hybrids except they had a much more distinguished red markings in contrast to their pink body. To my surprise considering it is a hybrid as well, the price tag was 49.99...

With that said, I am inclined to think that DJRansome is right and I have all females. I may keep them as I don't feel comfortable with culling them just a little disappointed with the drab colors and not knowing 100% what I have in my tank.

With regards to adding fish, can someone lead me in the right direction when adding new fish? Should I be concerned with the size of new additions in a tank that is predominately adult at the moment? I would rather grow a $6.99 juvenile then shell out for the more expensive adults.

I will definitely add another 4 labs in the next couple weeks while I consider my other options.
 

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Well to add fish you would have to move some out. You are pretty well stocked already. Think in terms of 3 species and 1m:4f of each.
 
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