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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We had a Tiger Oscar in our store for many years. He passed and while we loved him, he got a bit large for any chance of tank mates. We are planning on re populating our 75g tank with a convict, plus a school of yellow labs (~15) and a Pleco. I think they will get along okay with the landscaping and such, but is there an introduction Strategy that I should follow?

Should I introduce from weakest to strongest (pleco, yellow labs, convict) to allow the weak to find hiding spots?

Should I let the convict choose their spot first and then let the others in to find any other spots?

I haven't ordered them, but was planning on all arriving and being introduced very close to each other. Should I space it out more?

Trying to avoid a fight during initial days. Hoping younger/smaller fish will help. I think from what I've read the species should otherwise get along?
 

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Ummmmm, well......
I'll just say that's an odd mix of fish. :cautious:
When mixing fish that originate from three, different continents, there could always be some problems.....
So, to begin,
  • When you say 'store', is this some kind of pet store? Or, just a nice aquarium to enjoy in something else?
  • Are you set on that stocking scheme for the 75 gallon tank? One of the things this site does absolutely best is to provide Cichlid stocking schemes and plans that will look great and have a decent chance of long-term success.
  • Are you willing to purchase. get, find some interesting new furnishings and items for the interior of this aquarium? Your new stocking plans may require some stuff.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In googling tank mates for yellow labs, you get both Convicts and Plecos as possible options. A rubber nosed Pleco is specifically what I'm looking at. Concern seems to mainly rise if there is more than one convict and breeding occurs. What are your concerns about different continents?

1) It's an aquarium that accents our home decor store. We are not a pet store. These fish will be our pets and the kids in the community adored our last Oscar.

2) I'm not set on the stock scheme, but I want intelligent and socially interactive fish (cichlids), with one of a descent but not too large size (convict) and some tank mates. Yellow labs also being smart cichlids appeals, the yellow color appeals, and they don't sound overly aggressive unless you have a poor male/female ratio. The pleco is to help keep the tank clean, and will certainly need algae wafer supplements too.

Our Oscar was very smart and interactive. He was able to differentiate humans. Would dance with us. Loved coming to the glass and playing with the kids.

3) We had a cichlid, so I know the whole live plant thing is difficult. We have gravelscape with a cave, a log, another "stone" structure and a few colorful ceramics mixed around. There are plastic plants along three walls. There are places to hide and get out of the way.
 

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All plecos have survival concerns in a Malawi tank...even BN which have the best record only have a 75% survival rate upon introduction to a Malawi tank.

I would skip the convict. What source was giving you a rubber nose (lip?) and convict as tank mates for yellow labs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
All plecos have survival concerns in a Malawi tank...even BN which have the best record only have a 75% survival rate upon introduction to a Malawi tank.

I would skip the convict. What source was giving you a rubber nose (lip?) and convict as tank mates for yellow labs?
 

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Yeah... okay.
My own personal experience with keeping Cichlids and Pleco catfish together is definitely mixed. Unfortunately, the African Mbuna I had (Yellow Labs were also part of the tank), just completely murdered any Pleco I put in with them. But then, a much larger Diadem and T-Bar Cichlid I had together in a heavily planted tank, just completely ignored many different Pleco catfish that were kept with them.
Both of those very different aquariums were 150 gallons in size each.
  • A dedicated African, Lake Malawi-themed Cichlid tank will look and 'feel' very different from the recommendations you got online from the Petco based web site. The most successful of those type of tanks have literally a 'wall' of rocks in them, simulating the visual look and conditions of a freshwater reef. To furnish, rocks are literally piled up to the water line of the tank (and beyond!). The African Mbuna Cichlids are set up in compatible 'harem' groups in aquariums like these, with typically 1 male of a species kept with multiple females of the same species to better distribute aggression. Multiple African Mbuna Cichlid species groups are possible depending on the size of the aquarium. These tanks are colorful, full of constant movement and are extremely popular now in the aquarium hobby.
  • A dedicated New World aquarium can be set up with live plants if desired, or artificial plants if not important and the Cichlid species (herbivorous) won't permit growing live aquatic plants in the tank with them. These types of aquariums are usually quieter in nature and will visually look more green - alive. Riverine habitats furnished with bogwood pieces and rocks provide structure in this type of aquascape. These kinds of aquariums are considered more 'traditional' or even 'old fashioned' in look and type. The classic!
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Of course, there are many other possibilities when keeping Cichlids. Keeping species together that originate from the same geographic areas at least, helps a lot with controlling aggression and providing water parameters and an environment that all of the fish species kept in the tank will thrive in. There is a lot of information on Cichlid Forum about these different environments and the Cichlids that live within them. Setting up those sorts of aquariums, and then keeping them running successfully, is what a lot of the members on this site do best. :)
 
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In googling tank mates for yellow labs, you get both Convicts and Plecos as possible options. A rubber nosed Pleco is specifically what I'm looking at. Concern seems to mainly rise if there is more than one convict and breeding occurs. What are your concerns about different continents?

1) It's an aquarium that accents our home decor store. We are not a pet store. These fish will be our pets and the kids in the community adored our last Oscar.

2) I'm not set on the stock scheme, but I want intelligent and socially interactive fish (cichlids), with one of a descent but not too large size (convict) and some tank mates. Yellow labs also being smart cichlids appeals, the yellow color appeals, and they don't sound overly aggressive unless you have a poor male/female ratio. The pleco is to help keep the tank clean, and will certainly need algae wafer supplements too.

Our Oscar was very smart and interactive. He was able to differentiate humans. Would dance with us. Loved coming to the glass and playing with the kids.

3) We had a cichlid, so I know the whole live plant thing is difficult. We have gravelscape with a cave, a log, another "stone" structure and a few colorful ceramics mixed around. There are plastic plants along three walls. There are places to hide and get out of the way.
You could consider an american cichlid tank of a pair of red spotted severums and a pair of blue acaras/1 Green Terror. Maybe even add 4 clown loaches.

OR

Set up an african cichlid lake malawi tank with about 10 peacocks and smaller hap cichlids.
 

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I agree, I would not mix African and American cichlids, they don’t understand each other. Choose one or the other. If your water is suitable for rift lake cichlids it would also be Ok for Central American cichlids. If you have soft water South American cichlids would be better. Plenty of choices, and as Auballagh said, plenty of advice here.
 
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