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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I recently bought 3 new cichlids, my first ones actually, but i wanted to get a male and female of each kind. Right now the ones that I got are babies, they are 1 inch to 3 inches big. So, this leaves me with two questions, how can i determine the sex of my fish? and is it a good idea to have these cichlids all together in one tank (75gal). So far they have all been getting along. I also have some tropical fish in there as well which aren't getting bothered AT ALL, which makes me happy. :)

My fish are:
1 Melanochromis auratus
1 red zebra hybrid with?
and 1 small blue cichlid that is blue with cobalt blue srtipes.(I cant recall the name it starts with an m and its from lake tanganyka).

can anyone help?
 

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Hello and welcome

At their age no one can tell you what sex they are. Wait and see :)

A few points of concern -
Auratus and zebras are Malawi mbunas. They live and spawn in harems, one male to many females. One male and one female in a tank will result in the female being harrassed to death by him. I'm not exaggerating. 1 male to 4 females is normally ok.

Auratus are probably the most agressive mbuna you could want to keep. They need to be 1 male to 7+ females, and even then it might not work. They're pretty, those beauties, but holy cow they're grumpy. At least with them, the males will show themselves soon. At about 4 months old (just about a month older than they usually sell them), the males will start changing colour, and become devils-with-fins. They will banish all younger males. Give LOTS of hiding space to your females.

Some people frown on mixing species from lakes. In your case, in all likelihood, your tanganyika fishy will be too timid to handle the agression of the mbunas.

Now for my two cents - Up that stocking :) You have a big tank, keep a harem of zebras, and pick two other harems (yellow labs? cobalt blues?). Or do a demasoni/yellow lab tank. I'd say skip the tanganyikans, and take that auratus back... but then, I'm a malawi mbuna lover, so I'm biased.
 

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lolkillaotwo said:
Hello,
So far they have all been getting along. I also have some tropical fish in there as well which aren't getting bothered AT ALL, which makes me happy. :)
The cichlids you got won't really be aggressive until about 3"-4". Then... your fish are likely in trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
"They need to be 1 male to 7+ females" Wow thats alot, can my tank even hold that many, along with other fish? What if i make my auratus lonely? what if its a female? would i have no problems with him/her? Another thing! thats my third fish, a demasoni. I will look into the labs, I haven't really considered those.

Thanks for the help!

Ps
The cichlids you got won't really be aggressive until about 3"-4". Then... your fish are likely in trouble.
What should i do with my tropical fish then?

Pss. My LFS doesn't accept returns... so i think i'm pretty much stuck with my fish, unless i ask about an exchange....ill find out
 

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What tropicals do you have in there with the cichlids? Post some pictures if you don't know what they are.
Most stores don't accept returns but they will usually take trades, meaning you might get a third of their value.
Also, I wouldn't recommend Auratus as a beginner cichlid, you might want to start out with 3 or 4 more peaceful species if you can trade back in.
I assume your 75gallon is 48" wide x 18" deep?
Anyway, let's find out what you have for sure and we'll go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well my tropicals i know what they are. I have 2 balloon mollies, 2 regular mollies, 2 platies, and a neon glofish.

the cichlids are the zebra hybrid, the demasoni, and the aurateus.

And yesss you are correct with the dimensions of my tank.
 

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lolkillaotwo said:
Well my tropicals i know what they are. I have 2 balloon mollies, 2 regular mollies, 2 platies, and a neon glofish.

the cichlids are the zebra hybrid, the demasoni, and the aurateus.

And yesss you are correct with the dimensions of my tank.
Well, you can take my advice with a grain of salt as I don't have a lot of experience with tropicals, other than bala and ID sharks 10 years ago :roll:
Unfortunately, I think your tropical fish's days are numbered. Mollies can be surprisingly aggressive and I've read of others successfully keeping them with mbuna, specifically yellow labs, however, auratus and zebra's are likely going to be another story, same goes for the platies and danio (glofish). While the mbuna are young, they may co-exist peacefully but once they mature, things will change.
On to the cichlids. As stated earlier in the thread, mbuna are harem breeders, it's best that males have multiple females to receive their aggression, the fewer females, the more aggression per fish. Arguably, Auratus have a reputation as being overly aggressive, leading to general recommendations of male to female ratios in the neighborhood of 1:5-7. At this point in the game, you might want to think about trading him in which leaves us with a red zebra hybrid and a single Demasoni. For sure you can keep the Demasoni, they're recommended as either a single or multiple greater than 12. The red zebra should be fine on his own but would do better with 4-6 more of the same species.
So, we have 5-7 red zebras, a single demasoni which could be brought up to 15-20 if you wanted and room for one more species, or two more if you stay with the single demasoni.
Take a look at some of the cookie cutter setups for 75gallon tanks or browse through the mbuna species profiles and post back here if you'd like further opinions or help on stocking your tank.
 

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I have a 400ltr (100g approx) with 45 Mbuna including all the most aggressive fish available. I have no problems at all. I have male and females of all the species and the only aggression i get is when they spawn which is all over in a few days. My advice is to overstock to avoid aggression but you MUST over filter the water to compensate, they produce a lot of waste. I change 40% of the water once a week. Your guppies will become live bate soon, sell them on
 
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