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Creating an all male hap tank

483 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  zimmy
I'm thinking of setting up an all male hap tank with some less aggressive mbuna.

My tank dimensions are as follows: (LxDxH): 72 x 19 x 19 inch (114g)
I've set the tank up with large river rocks on each side and some smaller flat rocks in the middle. The river rocks are the size of a football or larger (the biggest one probably weighs about 60 lbs). The rocks are not stacked just leaning against each other. The substrate is sand. The tank will be filtered by an Eheim 2262.

The mbuna species I want in the tank are as follows:

6 x Yellow Lab (Labidochromis caeruleus)
6 x Pseudotropheus Acei

Some of the haps I'm considering going with are as follows:

Copadichromis Borleyi "Red Fin"
Placidochromis electra
Protomelas sp. "Steveni Taiwan"
Lethrinops sp. "Red Cap"
Otopharynx lithobates
Placidochromis sp. "Phenochilus Tanzania"

My questions are as follows:

1. Any problems with the list above or my tank set-up as I've described it?
2. If I end up with 6 male haps and the 12 or so mbuna I've listed, is this a sufficiently stocked tank to minimize aggression?
3. I've been advised that it's best to start with all juveniles. In terms of the haps, since my intention will be to just keep the males and they won't be sexed at the time of purchase, how many of each should I be purchasing?
4. Any other stocking recommendations?

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You've picked the best mbuna for mixing with haps, so good start there.

The rockwork sounds great for haps - shouldn't be much of an issue for the mbuna, either, since they're not ridiculously aggressive.
Not sure about Eheim filters (I always used HOB) so we'll leave that up to someone who uses canisters.

You'll probably want more haps - 10 or so?

4-6 juvis is what's usually recommended. Keep the one that colors up the fastest.
I dont see a problem with what you have and what your getting, I do agreewith a few more haps,maybe throw in a venustus to add some bright color(yellow). The eheim is a good filter but you will need to add a powerhead or something to create more water movement from one side of the tank to the other. This will help for better filtration. I have a peacock and hap tank and just a heads up, haps are poopers so good water changes and poop clean up is a must.
Isn't my tank too small for the venestus? What if I added a couple of peacock species instead?
Not sure your tank is too small for a venustus, our male got to just under 11". Those borleyei will get pretty large also but not as thick. We have two mature male borleyei, very dark red, they tend to mix it up at times. cyrtocara moorii get along with most haps and can get pretty big, just takes like forever for them to grow.

I am not sure you want too much rock work with haps as they are more open swimmers and some are sifters or like to create bowers.
A 6' should be big enough for a venustus, but they're pretty aggressive (more than any of the other haps you've listed, I think).
Won't the venustus eat the labs?
DJRansome said:
Won't the venustus eat the labs?
I'm guessing that's a high probability. The venustus is a great looking fish but it brings too many potential problems for me to consider it.
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