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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all :)

I've been having one problem after another since the illness in my tank around thanksgiving. I recently ordered fish and everything was wrong, my best option appears to be removing fish and getting new ones. I was recommended to consider starting completely fresh, and I'm tossing the idea around. So now to the question I actually have.

As the title says I'm considering an all male hap/peacock stock for my 6' 125g, but before I start jumping into this I wanted to ask if this would be a major challenge as compared to a standard mbuna male/female stock? Also what do you folks with hap/peacock setups have stocked and how are they doing together?
 

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This is all hear-say, having only kept mbuna tanks (breeding groups as well as your standard know-nothing-throw-in-a-million-fish set-ups)... There's more trial and error with the hap/peacocks. You'll need either spare tanks or a good relationship with your LFS/local hobbyists who will be willing to take subdom/incompatible males off your hands. That said, once you find the balance, it seems like maintenance is a bit easier...?

I've always found mbuna tanks to be easier than other people cite. Sure, there's some aggression here and there, but I've never actually lost a fish to aggression before. Knock on wood. Maybe I'm just lucky?
 

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If I were to start fresh then I'd start fresh. Could be called overkill, but if I am putting hundreds of $$$s of fish into a new setup - I want to be 100% sure it is clear of anything at all.

I would completely tear down and bleach everything, completely new media in the filters, and do a fishless cycle at 5ppm with no aid from other media. 95% Water change the morning before you get your fish (don't touch the filters!).

I strongly recommend everyone who does not have access to good LFS buy and have in the house a large bottle of Metronidazole to be able to hit the tank if/when needed. Priceless piece of mind IME, shelf life is 3+ years, and if/when you need it, you need it now and buying the Jug ends up being way cheaper if you know where to go for it.

Have a separate 10-20 gallon timeout/hospital/re-homing tank you can set up at a moments notice.

I will never get Africans from from a big box store again, brought illness into the house every time I have tried in the past and I now only order from a handful of vendors on-line or local hobbyists I trust where I can see the stock.

I've had an All-Male tank for a year and a half now. The 2 losses I've had in that time are a Aulonocara sp. "Stuartgranti Maleri" to bloat Jan 2010 and my Tramitichromis sp. "Intermedius" to aggression/stress (In Nov 2010) while they were still in crammed the 90 waiting for the new 125 gallon tank to cycle.

The only male I needed to re-home was a Aulonocara stuartgranti (Ngara) that decided he hated the Aulonocara sp. "Walteri" more than anything, and they tried to kill each other when housed together - I tried separating them 3 times to no avail. That was last April I believe.

The Taiwan Reef had to be grown out before the Liuli would accept him and the two Sub-Adult peacocks I have in there now needed some growing out as well before they could hang with the big boys.

The other thing to realize is you get the fish that work and can find and not necessarily the ones you want the most - if a fish is hyper-aggressive or too mellow he needs to go so you can't be too attached to any individual fish above all others.

Anyway, I do not consider it a major challenge - the real challenge is figuring out your base stocking from what is available then simply accepting that you need to be prepared when aggression issues come up as I detailed above.

My 125 is currently stocked as follows:

Aulonocara "German Red"
Aulonocara koningsi - Sub-adult
Aulonocara stuartgranti (Chiloelo) - Adult - not colored up
Aulonocara sp. "Stuartgranti Maleri" (Maleri Is.) - Sub-adult
Aulonocara sp. "Walteri" - Adult Colored up
Otopharynx lithobates (Zimbawe) - Adult Colored up
Placidochromis electra - Adult Colored up
Placidochromis sp. "Phenochilus Tanzania" - Adult Colored up
Protomelas sp. "Spilonotus Tanzania" (Liuli) - Adult Colored up
Protomelas sp. "Steveni Taiwan" (Taiwan Reef) - Adult Colored up
3 - Synodontis eupterus - Adult (2 male - 1 Female)

The only fish not showing good color is my Red Shoulder - he never has, and I have heard I am lucky because they can be holy terrors, but I really would like him to show something. I am thinking of trying a Bi-color in there instead and trading the Red Shoulder.

I stocked for a peacefully tank expressly avoiding fish like Aulonocara jacobfreibergi, Protomelas taeniolatus (Red), Nimbochromis and other larger piscavore genera entirely.

I look to buy sexed juvies or sub-adults rather than adult fish and try them grow them out a bit if need be. Seems that new smaller fish can grow into their place in the pecking order vs. dumping a dominant adult fish in and having some serious fighting going on from the get go.

Hope this helps.

Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Goofboy, thank you very much for all of that information. I appreciate your time in posting it. The biggest concern I'm having after reading that is that I do not have the ability to work closely with a lfs, as I literally have only one within a half hour drive. The closest reliable lfs is about 2 hours drive away, and I don't think I could even count on them to be what I need for doing such things. I will most likely be mail-ordering whatever fish I get now because of this.

I may need to re-examine my options and consider another direction. It's really a shame I have no close stores that I could work with or rely on. To be honest at this point I just want to be done and have a tank with fish in it, this has been a long process.
 

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Teggy said:
Goofboy, thank you very much for all of that information. I appreciate your time in posting it. The biggest concern I'm having after reading that is that I do not have the ability to work closely with a lfs, as I literally have only one within a half hour drive. The closest reliable lfs is about 2 hours drive away, and I don't think I could even count on them to be what I need for doing such things. I will most likely be mail-ordering whatever fish I get now because of this.

I may need to re-examine my options and consider another direction. It's really a shame I have no close stores that I could work with or rely on. To be honest at this point I just want to be done and have a tank with fish in it, this has been a long process.
I live in Prescott, AZ. I am 90 miles from Phoenix in a town in the mountains with 38,000 people. The closest reliable fish store I have would also be greater LA as the stores in Phoenix are not very reliable or fairly priced.

Consequently, I order absolutely everything online (not just fish) - and no longer consider it an issue.

I think if you plan it out and ordered complete tank stock as juvies online after doing a complete clean and fishless cycle you would find much greater success.

I wish you luck with whatever you decide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's promising to hear that even when online is your only option you are not limited by it. I am currently working on both sides of this as far as mbuna or hap/peacocks. For the sake of keeping what I can from my current tank it may be mbuna, but with what you say about ordering online I will continue to consider this route. Thank you =)
 
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