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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I want to order some more fish for my 55g, but would like to get some input from my well-informed forum friends here! :)

I currently have only 3 yellow labs (about 2 inches, maybe a hair less) in my 55g. Had 4, lost one :( ... He was hiding a lot, never ate, and not sure how he passed. Water chemistry looks fine, so I'll monitor the remaining 3 for another week and see if anything pops up. In the mean time...

I'd like to add more fish after this quarantine of sorts is over. I'm running an Eheim 2217 with plenty of cover for more fish. I'm thinking maxing out at about 12-15. Here is what I'm thinking:

2 more yellow labs (for 5 total)
5 cobalt blue zebras (metriaclima callainos)
5 cynotilapia afra (cobue)

I'm going to order from livefishdirect and these will all be relatively small when they arrive (1.25-1.5 inches) so sexing will not be possible yet. Anyone see compatibility issues here or bad numbers? Thanks all.
 

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To my rather novice mind that looks like a nice mix of fish for a 55g.

I would like to say though if your end goal is to keep 5 fish you should order more. These juveniles aren't that hardy and I think shipping takes a greater toll on these fish than vendors like to let on.

I've been ordering groups of 7 and have lost a few. In fact I had an order arrive yesterday and have lost 2 already. I'm now wishing I ordered 8 or 9 of this particular fish (the males can vary greatly in color in my specific case so I wanted a larger assortment to pick from).

Another example I had was I ordered 7 fish. 8 were shipped to protect against dead loss. I'm now down to 3 from that original 8. So I just ordered 7 more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was wondering that. I read about how ordering from some place like livedirect is better than your LFS since all the "other" shipping that goes on behind the scenes. Truth is, I'd prefer ordering from my LFS, but his selection does not have what I'd like, so I'll chance it.

I guess in a worst case scenario, assuming I order 8 or 9 of each, I have an over abundance if they all live and I sell them or start a new tank :)

The #1 thing I'm worried about here is future cross-breeding. I really really want to avoid that. I'm hoping that this mix won't lead to any issues there.
 

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Order with confidence. The vendors that get good reviews stand by their product and their shipping. Just order a couple extras and you are fine. If you get unlucky like me then you'll get a credit.

If your LFS doesn't have the stock you want then you really don't have much choice but to order. Even if your LFS can order them for you they are getting them all from the same sources anyway.

No need to get cold feet. It is better to get the fish you want :thumb:
 

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I agree, it looks like a nice mix of fish. The Colbalts can become a bit aggressive but that can honsetly be said about almost any kind of mbuna. Start with something like 8-10 (which you are already doing) and get it to where you have something like 1-4 or 1-5 M/F ratio. PM me about livefishdirect (I've ordered from them before) best of luck :thumb:
 

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Jmanolinsky said:
Will the cobalts not cross with the labs just the same as red zebras would?
The cobalts willl cross with the labs and red zebras, and vice versa.
 

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Jmanolinsky wrote:
Will the cobalts not cross with the labs just the same as red zebras would?

The cobalts willl cross with the labs and red zebras, and vice versa.
Though there is always a chance of crossbreeding, the chance of a Cobalt breeding with a Yellow Lab are a lot less than a Red Zebra and a Yellow Lab.

I have kept Cobalts and Yellow Labs together for years. I have yet to witness a male Cobalt paying any attention to a Yellow Lab female. I did ensure, though, that the Cobalt male did have female Cobalts to pursue when he was bitten by the mating bug ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So it isn't enough to just maintain separate species, you need to ensure that they don't "look" the same is what I'm gathering?

I was under the impression that keeping, say, Labidochromis away from other Labidochromis would suffice. I, apparently, have A LOT to learn :)
 

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Hybridizing rules:

1. Mouthbrooders will hybridize with mouthbrooders. Period.

2. The more you can satisfy your males (lots of females to choose from) the less likely they'll be to go after another species.

3. Looking similar might increase the likelihood, but see #1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Great tip dielike. Great advice from all. I might end up swapping out the cobalt blues for some pseudo sp. (Acei) or something other than zebras.
 

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This so sounds like my decision making process lol

I looked at a LOT of species before I just placed my order. Stated a few times I had made a decision. Then I changed it a week before I placed my order.

I predict at least one more change for you :D
 

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I'd rather have cobalts than acei. IMO acei are better in a bigger tank and I don't think cobalts have the same crossbreeding risk with labs as the estherae do.

I would choose a more aggressive afra however, maybe a Jalo Reef.
 
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