i had posted a topic when i first started my tank at the end of march about having 7 different species in my tank and i believe your the one that helped me. I have 1 F auratus, 1 F yellow lab, 1 M red zebra, 1 unsexed peacock, 1 unsexed afra nkhata bay, 1 F kenyi, 1 M cobalt(i think it was in a mixed mbuna tank at the LFS), and 1 unsexed acei. I know it sounds like a horrible mixture! I honestly have no aggression in the tank other then the red zebra towards the cobalt. It was alot of aggression the first two days but has died down big time to the point of almost no aggression. There are tons of hiding spots in the tank especially since adding about ten big river rocks. I monitor them every day and if i start noticing alot of aggression i will remove the weak. The problem with taking them back is that the LFS wont buy them back until theyre at least 3". If i take them back now i lose the money spent on them. Im worried about the zebra and lab cross breading too. I do have plans to upgrade to a 90 gal mid july to early august so would i be safe adding 2 more labs and 2 more zebras to minimize the threat of them cross breading or should i wait to get a bigger tank?
It depends what your goal is. If you want to keep 7 species with mixed genders, it might work in a 72" tank. I say might because I prefer to limit the species in a 72" tank to five after having one stocked with mbuna for two years.
I think 7 species with mixed genders, even in a 90G, is likely to give you trouble. A 90G is only 48". Not really additional room on the substrate for territories.
If you want variety like your current "one-of-each" stocking and want to keep as many of your current fish as possible, go all female and stick to one-of-each. Switch the red zebra and the cobalt to females. Wait and see if the others are female. If the peacock and afra are colored at all they may be males.
1 F auratus,
1 F yellow lab,
1 M red zebra,
1 unsexed peacock,
1 unsexed afra nkhata bay,
1 F kenyi,
1 M cobalt
1 unsexed acei
You already have a good # for a 55G. If things are OK now I would not add fish. Wait until they are 3" and sell them back to get what you want.
If you still want a 90G and mixed genders...wait until the tank is in your possession and cycled. Then you can choose 4 species and fill in so you have 1m:4f if you choose among lab, zebra, afra, cobalt, acei. Or, if you choose auratus and kenyi try just those 2 species and stock 1m:7f of each.
What i am trying to get out of it, is as much variety and color as possible. The LFS carries probably about 30-40 species and when i was setting my tank up i asked the girl which ones were compatible and she said all the africans are fine together. Im pretty sure her specialty is not cichlids haha. Next time i went down the guy told me its not impossible to do what im doing but its gonna be alot of buying and weeding out b/c of each individual fishes personality. All though he was alot more helpful and went out of his way to try and pick fish that could possibly fit into my tank scheme. So like i said id like to keep it the way it is unless things get nasty in my tank. But if i have to start over I will!
Lets say i have to would I be ok goin with Labs, cobalts, acei, and the afra? or maybe instead of the afra switching it with demasoni? From what i read demasoni and afra shouldnt be in the same tank!
And is it a bad idea mixing the peacocks with any of those mbuna? cause i know the peacocks tend to be pretty colorful.
One other thing is it a strong possibility my auratus will try and kill everything in my tank as it gets older or is this more of a male trait? I read the article on mixed african cichlids by robin lovell and one of the last things she said was "How do you know your hybrid's grandmother wasn't a Melanochromis auratus and will someday seek to kill every other fish in your tank?"
Alright, ill monitor them closely and watch the aggression and be ready to take action if necessary. Its my first cichlid tank so im sure its not the last youll hear from me. Haha Thanks for the help tho much appreciated.