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african mixed setups

3111 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Dewdrop
I am wondering if you can mix peacocks with african malawi cichlids and with lake victoria cichlids. Does anyone know?
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What species of peacocks?

What species of "african malawi cichlids"?

What species of "lake victoria cichlids"?

That's far too general of a question to even begin to answer without knowing what species you're interested in housing together. :wink:

I think the general basic answer would be no but they do have pretty much the same water requirements so it's depending on the species of each. I think there are fish from all 3 groups that "could" work together but someone with experience would have to say which ones because there are more that WON'T work together than ones that will.
i'm not exactly sure what species of victoria or peacocks. i'm still trying to figure out exact names of the mixed african ones that i have. thanks for the info dewdrop. all i wanted to know for now is if it is possible at all. it's nice to get some general answers with out everyone else wanting to tell me about it like they're experts. all i wanted was a simple answer. sorry everyone if i sound like a jerk, but it is aggravating when i'm still trying to learn and so many people critisize about what exact species.. i have 12 african cichlids: 2 yellow labs,2 orange labs? 2 blue zebras?, 2 white and black striped with yellow bellys, 1 all black, 2 trewavas' mbuna,1 bumblebee.
If you have access to a digital camera, post pics of your fish over in the unidentified folder. If not, browse through the profile section and see if you can identify them!

The problem with cichlids is that it's very important to know what you have. Many are incompatible, and tank size is always a factor for the species you choose to keep. It can be hard to build a successful tank if you don't know what you've got in it. Most cichlids are aggressive, and although it's not complicated at all once you get the hang of it and learn a bit about the fish you are keeping (or wish to keep) it can really be disheartening to set up a tank without knowing what you've got and watching it blow up.

For instance, from the fish you have identified in the above post, the problem areas I see are mainly that these aren't "pairing" fish and should not be kept in groups of 1 or 2. The yellow labs, zebras, trewavasae and bumblebee all fall into the harem breeder category, meaning you need one male to 3-4 females of each species.

The "orange" labs may be Metriaclima estherae, or they may be a common hybrid in the hobby - a cross between Yellow labs and red zebras.

We also don't know what size tank you have, so it's impossible to advise on stocking without having more information.


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my tank size is a 75 gallon. how can i tell if they are male or female? all the info i read say's you need to wait until they are bigger. i bought all of mine in the small size to save $; and to watch them grow. do you know approx. what size they need to be to tell if they are male or female?
also the fish that i have are the only species ones that i've seen at all the lfs. in the wisconsin and illinois area. i've checked out about 20 different stores, and i am not going to ship the fish, the cost is just rediculous.
i did see some different species in the adult size, i figured when my current ones reach that size i would then buy a few adult sized one's, i just didn't want to stock my whole tank with each fish at $23 a fish.
The best thing to do is start out with a group of juveniles, and weed out the extra males and add females as they mature, if you want to go with breeding groups.

Or, you could always go with an all male tank, one of each species, trying not to get species that look similar to each other.

We'd have to identify your fish properly in order to tell you how to sex them. Some are monomorphic, meaning males and females look identical to each other as mature adults, and these can only be sexed by venting or witnessing a spawn. Others are dimorphic, which means they all start out with adult female colouration, but males will take on male colouration as they mature. Again, venting is the best way to sex them, since subdominant males can take on female colouration, and stressed females can look like males.

Out of what species we know you have, the bumblebees are dimorphic. Females will remain yellow and black as adults, males will turn almost completely black. They will have to be a pretty good size before this happens, though.

As far as your other fish, we need to confirm the species before we go any further.

If you do decide to go with breeding groups, you may want to consider getting rid of a couple of species once we properly identify them. For your tank size, I wouldn't keep more than 5 breeding groups, and even then, if you plan to distribute fry, you'd have to be careful as to what species you house together, since many will crossbreed.

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If you are close to the Chicago area--make sure to check out the Greater Chicago Cichlid Association. Their website is:

You will learn more and get better buys when dealing with club members.
Where I live there isn't much to choose from in the local fish stores either and what is available is in mixed african tanks so you have to find out what they are after you buy them. Well, I guess you could take a pic of them in the store and go home to find out what they are (pain in the rear). If you're lucky you might find a store that will let you return fish (hard to do once you get attached lol).

Anyway, xbottenx, you probably should figure out what fish you have before adding more. Like Kim said, even the ones you have might not be compatible let alone adding ones from different lakes. I'm not saying it can't be done & hope I'm not sounding like a smart alec. Just trying to be helpful (I'm pretty new to fish keeping and trying to learn myself). I looked in the unidentified section to see if you posted pics. For some reasons the links you posted won't work for me :( . Someone identified them as possibly being...
1. Metriaclima lombardoi (kenyi)
These can be a pretty mean fish and it's recommended to have even MORE than 3-4 females per male of them. Sexing of them should be easier than some species though. The females are a light blueish color with black stripes and the males are yellow with brown stripes and eventually lose the stripes and turn all yellow. Males do look like females when they are born but I think they get their male color pretty early. I hope someone corrects me if I'm wrong. I'm just going by the two little ones I bought.

2. Metriaclima Greshakei
I don't have any of these but you can check them out in the profile section. I don't think they're overly mean. I don't know about sexing them either.

3. Labidochromis caeruleus (yellow lab)
They are a nice mellow fish as far as cichlids go and the sex of them isn't so important unless you're wanting to breed them.

4. Melanochromis auratus
A real pretty fish but can get very MEAN. I bought 3 small ones and they were fine until 2 of them started turning male colored (loosing some of the yellow and white and turning mostly black). I had to take the one male out and put him in another tank to grow his tail back before I return him to the store. 2 males won't get along in the same tank unless it's a really really huge tank. I was lucky it wasn't worse with mine. I've heard they can be real killing machines.

5. Copadichromis borleyi
I have one of these I bought from Walmart (didn't know what it was when I got it). I've read that they like to be in groups so I'd like to get some more when my bigger tank comes through. It does try to swim with my acei so I believe they are a skoaling sp? (schooling) fish. They are a carnivore where the others aren't but if you feed New Life Spectrum food it's good for all of them. They are a peaceful fish though even if they are carnivores. I'm not sure about sexing them. Mine is brown with rusty orange fins and tail. I think the males turn kinda blue but I don't know at what size. If I remember right, I think they get to be 8".

You said you have 2 orange labs? Like Kim said, that sounds like it could be Metriaclima estherae (red zebras) but nobody mentioned them from looking at your pics so maybe they are the M. greshakei?
I hope this has been some help. Trying to keep cichlids can get overwelming when you get alot of info thrown at you all at once but take your time and try to learn what you can about them. Almost any of them will get along ok while they are small as long as the water and food is right for them. You have a nice size tank for cichlids too so enjoy your fish and the hobby. It's wayyyyyy fun lol. :fish:
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