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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just now getting into a larger freshwater aquarium (72 gallon bowfront) and am planning on turning it into an african cichlid tank with some peacocks (currently have 8 giant danios establishing the nitrogen cycle). I built a spray bar that spans the entire length of the aquarium to work in conjunction with my Fluval 406 cannister filter to help provide the surface agitation and oxygenization of the tank. I've also added 4 anubias plants. I'm wondering if the spray bar will be enough? Should I be adding a flow pump or wave pump to my tank? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Welcome to C-F!

You should be just fine with the DIY spray bar and would love to see pics of your tank set up and spray bar installation.

Depending on how you decorate the tank with hard structure such as rocks or decorations, you may need to add a water circulator such as a power-head or wave pump but no need until more tank details are available.

Are you planning an all male Peacock tank or a species only? I will assume this tank is a standard 72G bowfront, correct?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the quick reply! As you can see in the picture, I've divided my tank down the middle. My plan was to start with 8-10 juveniles in the right side and once they start manifesting their colours, move the males to the left side to create a male only community on the left with the females with one male on the right and hopefully have some successful breeding. Yes, a standard 72 gallon bowfront. What are your thoughts?

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Thanks for the pics and nice job on the DIY spraybar!

I don't think your idea of splitting the tank will work well as there really isn't enough room for the fish to get away from each other. This is a 48" long tank and the fish will use the entire area and the length allows them to escape any aggression from chasing which is normal.

You didn't mention if these will be all the same Aulonocara (peacock) species, what are you considering buying? Multiple males of the same species will probably experience more aggression than if you were to do multiple males of different species. You also don't want to buy different juvenile Aulonocara species and mix them as the females won't be able to be identified since they look almost indistinguishable from each other.

I'll move this topic to the Lake Malawi forum since it's mostly about stocking choices.
 

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An all-male aquarium is difficult even in a large tank, but a 72G bowfront is small for all-male even when you have the entire tank as Deeda mentioned. I would do your breeding tank in the 72G and get a 75G (48x18) or larger if you eventually decide you want to try all-male.

I second Deeda's advice that when breeding peacocks, one species/tank is the max.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sounds like I need to rethink my tank setup and if I want to just do all male or just breed. As far as water circulation and aeration goes will the spray bar be enough?
 

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Shoot for 8X to 10X GPH turnover in your tank. I just use the regular filter returns with no wave makers, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I should be shooting for 576-720 gph and with my Fluval 406 only moving 383 gph would you recommend I supplement that with a wave maker to move the extra 200 gph? I was hoping my spray bar would aerate my tank enough to eliminate any deadspots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Also just to clarify, I wasn't planning on keeping the left side of the tank as a permanent all male setup. My plan was to have a portion of the tank divided to move the males to once they've been identified and once all the males have been identified, I would take them back to the aquarium shop I got them from and keep the 1 male with the females to breed and repeat the process once they have started breeding and there are fry.
 

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Also just to clarify, I wasn't planning on keeping the left side of the tank as a permanent all male setup. My plan was to have a portion of the tank divided to move the males to once they've been identified and once all the males have been identified, I would take them back to the aquarium shop I got them from and keep the 1 male with the females to breed and repeat the process once they have started breeding and there are fry.
The spray bar will aerate a larger space, but the agitation may not be sufficient for good oxygen. I would add a second filter. Also provides backup in case one fails.

You will have trouble keeping multiple males of the same species in the same tank, let alone 1/2 of a tank. Once they are identified as a problem, they need to be moved elsewhere...such as sold at a club auction or traded in at your LFS for store credit if they allow this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the advice. I think I'm going to remove the divider and try my hand at a breeding tank. I've heard and read conflicting things concerning the ratio of males to females. An associate at my LFS told me to have 1 and only 1 male in the whole tank while I have read elsewhere that a ratio of 1 male to every 3-5 females. What would you guys recommend for my size of tank?
 

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This question really is best answered as, 'species dependent'. To inform, as more is learned about keeping these fish in captivity/aquariums, their actual behaviors demonstrate the best processes to apply in the aquarium more than well, just how it's always been done. Even in supposedly riverine species, which form pair bonds etc.... we now know that those bonds may only be as solid/lasting as the 'free-swimming' stage for the fry produced in the spawning run. If given the opportunity, many Cichlid species of both the male and female will selectively spawn with multiple partners, (and the aquarium is large enough to permit such activities).
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So, in answer to your question... your aquarium may be large enough to successfully accommodate a breeding project for some cichlid species. Too small for possibly others. Please inform what species you would like to breed - the aquarium size answer you receive will be based (most correctly) on that.
NOTE: if you REALLY want to commit to a breeding project? It is contingent on YOU as the breeder, to obtain the highest quality Cichlids you can find. By that, I mean working with wild caught specimens or very certain/proven F1 (babies produced from WC parents). This will ensure you are providing quality/proven species stock for sale to LFS, interested individuals, or just about anyone.
 

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1m:4f is often used for a single species group when you have multiple species. If you choose a timid peacock like kandeense you probably can get away with 3m:12f in your tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey guys, I've done some more research and reading in the forum. I'm wondering if it's possible to do a mixed species tank? I'm wanting a bit more variation in my tank without going all male. I've read that yellow labs and acei are able to mix with peacocks. Would it work to have:
Flavescent Peacock (or some other peacock species)- 1m/4f
Yellow Lab - 1m/4F
Acei - 1m/4F
Would this or some other combination be possible? Thanks for your help thus far.
 

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You could do it with the yellow labs, but the acei are too large for your tank.
 

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If you are going to have males and females I would just do the yellow labs. The peacock males will want to spawn with the hap females if they are in the tank.
 
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