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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, so I have a 29 gallon saltwater tank that I set up, that's been very difficult for me to deal with because I'm at college, and all our fish stores up here are very poorly stocked/situated for saltwater. So I've decided to hold off until the summer to start the SW tank. However I've been trying to figure out what I want to do with the 29, and was thinking about doing a grow-out tank of cichlids. Getting them very small and growing them for a few months, then just trading them for store credit once I get back home to a populated area. What do you guys think? I was thinking just a few small mbunas, I'd like to do a harem or two but the fish stores up here don't sex the fish, and I'd like to order from LiveAquaria online, but they don't sex either. So I was thinking three or four small fish lwith maybe a school of tetras or something (since the cichlids will be pretty small).

What do you think? Are there any Peacocks or Mbunas or NW fish that color up at a small size, and are peaceful or semi-aggressive when small? I'm doing a bit of research but I figure I'd ask here since I find this forum a lot more reliable lol. What do you guys think?
 

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I used to keep a colony of P. saulosi in a 29G for a while. I think I had about 10 of them, and they did well in that tank for several months. Disaster struck when I was on vacation. One of them must have died and the sponge filter I had in the tank could not keep up with the bio load. If I hadn't gone away for a week and/or had used a better filter, I think I could have bred those fish in that tank.
 

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If you want color, these might not be for you, but you can do a number of interesting tang tanks in a 29 gallon. Check these cookie cutters out if you haven't already. Also look at the 20 long cookie cutters.

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/q ... e_list.php

I've been intrigued by the 29g Mbuna myself. Basically I want to do some tank reshuffling, but replace my 20L office tank with a 29 - same footprint so the stand and canopy will still work. Here is an interesting thread where one of our members is trying a 29g saulosi.

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/view ... 7e63efc26f

You could probably try something similar with some Cynotilapia afra species. Also, I'm not going to break protocol and discuss specific vendors, but go look in the reviews section and check out some of the vendors in there.

I'd go with something that has a decent chance of working long term. You might end up with something you really like and want to keep it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well guys I went and checked at my local fish stores in their "Misc. African Cichlid" section, and took these pictures.

I believe there're yellow labs, red zebras, an auratus, and maybe a kenyi? I'm not sure what that yellow barred one is. I was thinking the labs zebras and maybe auratus could work together, but I've heard they can be aggressive. Remember though that the fish will all be young adults, so I'm not sure if they'll be as aggressive?





 

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The blue one is a Kenyi from what I can tell. The yellow-ish one may be as well, since the males of that species are an orange/yellow with the bars, rather than blue.

From what I've read, yes they are very nasty little fish. I have 2 in my 55 gallon tank that I suspect are females, but I'm not completely sure since some males change later than others. They're with about 10 other malawi cichlids in the tank so to this point I haven't really had any aggression issues, however they are still young. I'll be watching them for sure.
 

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Re; Kenyi, I had 2 males & 5-6 females in my 125 for a while (6 months?) from youth to 4.5" and no aggression issues.
 

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The term "Misc. African Cichlid" raises a red flag. Word of caution, if you would like a breeding colony (that you can grow out and trade in for credit) I would chose a reputable breeder/vendor so you don't end up with hybrids.

(BTW- Is that a dead fish in the first picture? -Base of castle...)
 

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I will second the warning about buying "assorted African cichlids". They are often the rejects which they sell to unsuspecting new fish keepers. I would strongly caution not to try zebra or auratus. They were some of the first African cichlids imported and they are also what gave African cichlids the rep of being killers! Yellow labs are a definite plus for this situation. They are pretty plentiful, breed easy and are always in demand due to the color. I have a 20 gallon growing out 4 yellow labs and 14 Hongi. As they are small, they have done well for the time being.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well guys my plan is to over-filter the tank and stem aggression by overstocking it. I did that with a 55 Peacock tank I ran last year and it worked out well. Well tonight I bit the bullet and grabbed a few fish. I got one yellow lab, one red zebra, and I believe one Acei. The lab and the acei are just under 2", the red zebra just over. Well I put them in the tank with no issues, the zebra chased the other two for awhile but have no problems now. Well I am a little concerned though, because they've been acting really strangely. They've been constantly active for the last six hours, constantly swimming up and down the glass excessively, like trying too hard. They've also been diving into the sand and blowing it out. They have no aggression or space issues, often crowding and bumping against each other. I'm going to do a 16% water change tonight with conditioned tap water, and possibly another one tomorrow with RODI water from my saltwater filter. What do you guys think of the behavior?
 

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That's normal for a fish in a new tank.

Once those fish get bigger and more mature (4-5") even overcrowding won't help the size limitation.

You can't really tell if a tank will work or not in a week, or even a month. Give it 9-12 months.
 

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Do you have some rocks for hiding spots? These fish will feel much better if they can get out of sight for a while. Right now they are very nervous and would like to go hide. Sounds normal behavior if there is no hiding available. The lab will bear careful watching as it will be the more timid of that group. Good luck.
 

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Sorry, your [OP] post did state it would be temporary.

I suspect it will be fine for short-term, young mbuna.
 

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If you bought these fish as "Mixed African Cichlids", you should also sell them as that. Just because one of those fish looks like an auratus for example, that doesn't mean it is one. They are probably all hybrids to some degree, just some of them look more like auratus, others more like kenyi, and so on. If you grow out these fish and then sell them as what they look like without revealing to the buyer that they are actually "Mixed African Cichlids", I would consider that to be outright fraud. I don't mean to imply that's what you are intending to do, just saying it as it is.
 

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fmueller said:
If you bought these fish as "Mixed African Cichlids", you should also sell them as that. Just because one of those fish looks like an auratus for example, that doesn't mean it is one. They are probably all hybrids to some degree, just some of them look more like auratus, others more like kenyi, and so on. If you grow out these fish and then sell them as what they look like without revealing to the buyer that they are actually "Mixed African Cichlids", I would consider that to be outright fraud. I don't mean to imply that's what you are intending to do, just saying it as it is.
Well said
 
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