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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm about a year in to my 1st Cichlid tank. Wasn't able to finish my stocking so I'm trying to determine best course of action. Here's where I'm at presently. Note that I'm not great with the scientific names so going to just use the common. I can clarify as needed.

5 Yellow Labs (2 are very much juvies which survived as fry)
3 White Labs
1 Lithobate
1 Ahli
1 Strawberry Peacock
5 synodontis multipunctatus

If I had to do over, I wouldn't have gotten the Peacock. But it is by far the prettiest and biggest fish in the tank at moment so don't think I'd want to part with it. He's also the most aggressive as I think he might have killed an Deep Water Electra & Sunshine Peacock that I had mid-summer last year. He doesn't really bother the Labs or remaining Haps. So just not sure best way forward. Lithobate is a male starting to color pretty nice. Ahli also a male, still a smallish side without much color.
 

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Do you want all-male haps and peacocks with a group of yellow labs in the end?

Or do you want breeding groups (because you had problems with your must-have fish killing others) with possibly labs, strawberries and lithobates?

I would choose either white or yellow labs and don't save fry that were spawned when both species were in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think my preference would be the all male haps/peacocks with the labs. But...I can see where I may have some struggles pulling that off. I'd rather just avoid the fry/breeding issue though I'm not opppsed to groups.

Am an you explain the reason for now keeping the fry? Or what you recommend I do with the 2 I have that have survived?
 

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Yellow labs and white labs are likely to crossbreed, so you can't be sure the fry are pure. A hybrid can look exactly like either parent.

I avoid the issue with my stocking because I don't like to euthanize and I don't always have room to house hybrids separately for their 8-year life span.

I would rehome either the white or yellow labs and put the survivors in a separate tank.

I would do 1m:6f each of the labs, lithobates and strawberries since they like each other and you like them.
 

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Agree on focusing on 1 Lab variant, as DJ advised. They are the same species, but from different locales in Lake Malawi. No doubt, they will crossbreed, if that has not happened already.

If taking the Lab, Strawberry, Lithobates route...
I'd take the Lions Cove/Yellow, simply to add an electric splash to the tank. You'll have plenty of white/off white with the Dragonsblood/Strawberry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the help/thoughts. Are there dangers to the hybrids or just the idea that they may not be "pure". Just making sure I understand.

Let's assume I can re-home the 3xwhite labs and the 2 surviving fry. I think I should be able to find a home at some local fish stores.

I'd get ~3 more yellow labs. So now I'd be at 6 yellows, with the strawberry, lithobate, ahli. IF, I wanted to add additional males what would be safer bets?

If I go the lithobate/strawberry route, your advice would be to get females only of each. You're also saying 6 females of each? So i'd be up to ~18-20 cichlids in the end? What about the ahli under this scenario.
 

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Once the hybrids are adults, you will not be able to tell which are the survivor fry and which are the pure fish you originally bought. At that point you would not have the option to sell rehome any of them. It does not help the hobby to let possible hybrids out of your home.

For a 75G mixed gender 20 fish is a good number. The ahli (really sciaenochromis fryeri) crossbreed with peacocks so you don't want them with the strawberry.

If you must keep the aggressive strawberry, how would you find other haps or peacocks that would survive? He already killed an electra and a sunshine, which are sturdy fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The 20 doesn't count the synodontis correct?

I see what you mean on the hybrid.

If my end target is something like 6 yellow labs, 4 lithobates, 4 strawberries and maybe try another hap species of 4, would that work?

I guess at store I'd be asking for females when I get more lithobates/strawberries and then hope they can sex. If not, I may just have to rehome as mature??

Trying to learn how it works
 

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I have never has luck with quads. 1m:4f of each for 4 species.

Your problem is your killer strawberry. You need something fairly aggressive but still small enough for a 75G. I have had luck with the Victorian Astatotilapia latifasciata and the females look nothing like the lithobates females which is also essential...you could try them.

It is hard to find females that are reliably (key word) sexed, even from excellent online vendors. Then expensive. What we do is order 8 unsexed juveniles and then rehome the extra males as they mature and cause trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks. I think I've got some thinking to do on what to do. I don't really have re-homing options other than trying to return/give to store on these which makes things a tad more difficult. Btw, put a couple (not great) pics of what I was told was a Strawberry when purchased in case you see something that would indicate otherwise. Would hate to purchase more strawberries only to find I've just compounded the problem.

20190225_011939248_iOS.jpg


20190225_012050647_iOS.jpg
 

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I would find it hard to keep cichlids without a rehoming plan. That's exactly what I do...sell the adults to the LFS for store credit. Or sell them at a fish club auction.

Strawberries are hybrids anyway. As long as you buy fish sold as strawberries, you should be OK.
 

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Drew31 said:
Thanks. I think I've got some thinking to do on what to do. I don't really have re-homing options other than trying to return/give to store on these which makes things a tad more difficult. Btw, put a couple (not great) pics of what I was told was a Strawberry when purchased in case you see something that would indicate otherwise. Would hate to purchase more strawberries only to find I've just compounded the problem.

View attachment 1

Hybrid, dragonblood, firefish, strawberry...same hybrid different names / shades of orange and red. Nobody can know exactly what they're mixed with.

Since he's that aggressive why do you want to keep him? He could just kill your new fish too.

I had a firefish, more orange, but he was super mellow. If that were my fish I would get rid of him.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm heading to the LFS this week so may ask to understand their policies on rehoming or trading. If their policies or favorable, then that should open my options.

As for the strawberry, I should note that he is much more mellow now with current inhabitants. Haven't seen him chasing anyone. I bought him as one of my first cichlids when I jumped in too fast without understanding what I was doing and just taking LFS advice. So bit of emotional attachment plus he is best looking fish in tank...at present.
 

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Not sure where you're at in Indiana, but take a look at the GCCA.net. Greater Chicago Cichlid Association. May be worth the trip to their upcoming fish swap on 3/10. You can even use their free classifieds section to sell your fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Made it to LFS, they'll take back things. Didn't ask about any store credit/trade in, but at least I have option.

Thinking about this approach after reading through the cookie cutter ideas and thinking this through...

Return tomorrow 3xWhite Labs and Return Ahli (probably dullest looking fish I have anyway).

GET: 3xYellow Labs, 4xAcei (Actually pulled trigger on this one tonight), 3xLithobates

So...End up with 8xYellow Labs, 4xAcei, 4xLithobates, 1xStrawberry, 5xMultipunctus.

Now, I'm counting the 2 fry as part of my yellow labs. Separate tank isn't an option and I just don't really have many other good options other than to keep them. Just will have to hope nature takes care of future fry I guess? I got the Acei tonight to try to move closer toward some of the reco'd setup. I really don't want to double down on any more Strawberrys, even though I like the one I have...just in case I do have to get rid of him. If I got more, then I've got more to figure out what to do. So, figure I can move towards a 3 species setup with this and then just see how or what to do with the strawberry. If he wasn't included above, it seems I'd have a decent stocking???

Hope I haven't made things worse....
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Iggy Newcastle said:
Not sure where you're at in Indiana, but take a look at the GCCA.net. Greater Chicago Cichlid Association. May be worth the trip to their upcoming fish swap on 3/10. You can even use their free classifieds section to sell your fish.
Unfortunately other end of the state so that one probably won't work though I may check it out in case people post from other sections of state. I am trying to find time to see what is out there around me where I could find re-homing options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Drew31 said:
Made it to LFS, they'll take back things. Didn't ask about any store credit/trade in, but at least I have option.

Thinking about this approach after reading through the cookie cutter ideas and thinking this through...

Return tomorrow 3xWhite Labs and Return Ahli (probably dullest looking fish I have anyway).

GET: 3xYellow Labs, 4xAcei (Actually pulled trigger on this one tonight), 3xLithobates

So...End up with 8xYellow Labs, 4xAcei, 4xLithobates, 1xStrawberry, 5xMultipunctus.

Now, I'm counting the 2 fry as part of my yellow labs. Separate tank isn't an option and I just don't really have many other good options other than to keep them. Just will have to hope nature takes care of future fry I guess? I got the Acei tonight to try to move closer toward some of the reco'd setup. I really don't want to double down on any more Strawberrys, even though I like the one I have...just in case I do have to get rid of him. If I got more, then I've got more to figure out what to do. So, figure I can move towards a 3 species setup with this and then just see how or what to do with the strawberry. If he wasn't included above, it seems I'd have a decent stocking???

Hope I haven't made things worse....
Only other thought is whether 4 or 5 is right number
 

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Four is not the right number...with 3 species plus one male, go for 6 of each and specifically 1m:5f. Trios and even quads are more likely to have aggression issues than 1m:4f or more. And you want to end up with 20 cichlids in a 75G to manage aggression.

Do not save fry from this tank for any species (the strawberry will spawn with the lithobates since he does not have his own females) and do not sell or rehome any of the yellow labs.

Sounds like a workable tank to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks again. I thought my 4 was a little low. Went a slightly different direction after reading and reviewing the cookie cutters and thinking. I used the Mbuna 75G cookie cutter where it has you "Pick 4"...but instead went a pick 3. Went to LFS this morning and returned 3xWhite Labs & the Ahli. Got a little store credit for them which was nice.

Keeping the Lithobate & Strawberry for now as stand alone males. I'll monitor and if I have to re-home for store credit I will. Instead of more Lithobates, I got 6x Iodotropheus sprengerae (Rusty) 2xAcei to bring my total to 6. So my stock now looks like this...

1xStrawberry Male
1xLithobate Male
6xYellow Labs (2 are fry that could be hybrids with the whites)
6xAcei
6xRusty
5xMultipunctus

Gives me 20 on the nose and I'm just going to monitor aggression as everyone matures.

Oh, and regarding the fry. Correct, none of the fry are leaving the house. I'd prefer if I don't have any make it, but we'll see. If I end up with Rusty or Acei fry, do I have the same concern about cross breeding as I did with the labs? Guess what I'm trying to understand is the fry concern only with the labs in my tank or do I need to hold on to Acei and Rusty as well? The whole fry thing is very new to me.
 

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Now it is only with the labs. You can't sell or rehome the adults either. The 2 babies could be hybrids. Once they grow up you won't be able to tell which is which.

You might find your lithobates colors down with the more aggressive mbuna in the tank.
 
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