Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

· Registered
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I'm new here. I'm terribly long winded, just as a warning...
Have kept goldfish, various tropical communities, full planted set ups, CA ciclids, and a few Tangs. Next project I want to work on is an all-male Peacock/Hap setup. I realize this project comes with a warning label. ;)

Tank will be a 75 or a 90, depending on what I find a good deal on. I would love a 125 or more of course but just don't think I have the room. Filter is a Fluval 404. If more filtration is needed I suppose I can search for another canister to add. And it MUST have a DIY 3D background, I love mine on my 55.

I have a few questions. :roll:

What size to purchase fish and where from?
I am attempting to keep costs in check. Locally I can find a variety or two of Peacock occasionally, usually juvies, or sub adult just barely starting to color. Every once in a while a large adult male. I can hardly ever find Haps locally. So this means I will have to ship at least some of my fish. I am not sure which places online are best to order from. Since shipping is expensive, would prefer to do a larger order instead of one fish at a time. Better to get a group of juvies or adults? Really really don't want to deal with growing out a bunch of females, I don't have space for a bunch of extra tanks. So you can see I would prefer fish I know to be male.

I would like to try to buy most of my fish from local shops, but it will be a long process, getting what I can when I can, rather than really picking and choosing exactly what I want. Is this an awful idea, adding new fish to the set up occasionally? Is it better to add them all at once to reduce aggression issues? Is it bad to mix adults with younger fish?

Ok, so to summarize the above paragraphs:
In my ideal world I would be acquiring smaller, just starting to color males, locally, as they came available, so the fish in my tank would be different ages and sizes. And perhaps placing an order for males of the species impossible to find locally.
So questions are: will that work, aggression wise? and Where should I order from online? (private replies ok)

More questions:

I am familiar with the rule of not stocking fish with similar appearance as they will fight.
I know a bit about peacocks, not looking to add any of the more notorious aggro varieties.

I know next to nothing about haps. Recommendations for some relatively common haps who would fit comfortably in this setup and not overwhelm the peacocks?

Could I add a group of yellow labs, or a black calvus? (I REALLY want a calvus)

Should I have a catfish of some kind?

Black sand or white? Which do you think looks better? I prefer black, DH prefers white, so just want some feedback on what makes more dramtic setup and compliments fish colors, in your opinion. And should it be a special cichlid sand ($1/lb) to help buffer, or will pool filter sand(where do I find this anyway?) or white silica landscape sand suffice?

What lighting to use? To really emphasize the fishes colors? I am set up for 48" bulbs. How many to use? Actinic and daylight mix or....? Just use them for fish viewing or should I encourage some algae growth?

How many fish should I put into a 75? Into a 90? Should this type of tank be overstocked (and overfiltered) to reduce aggression, or will that cause more stress? If there are only a few fish in there for a while will that cause more problems with aggression?

OK, I guess what I am asking for is a set-up guide, lol. :eek:

HELP!!! I over think everything but I so badly want this to all go well. :oops:
Very much appreciate any tips you could spare to help this go smoothly.

Thanks in advance
If you made it through all that you deserve a cookie.

· Registered
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Finally, here is my Benga Peacock. An old pic of him, he is a great fish, looking even better now. I think he is about 2 years old. If I attempt some combo of adults and younger males, is it better to add adults first or younger first? Does it matter? Is it just a bad idea?

This is the only peacock I have ATM. The new tank is not set up yet.

· Administrator
40,927 Posts
Did you already read the all-male article in the Library?

One problem with your ideal stocking plan is when adding new fish to a tank, you want to (a) quarantine them for 3 weeks and (b) add a bunch of fish at once so the established tank will not single out one newcomer for attack.

You are likely to find that it is not the most cost effective option either since if you order the fish all at once even with shipping they are cheaper than an LFS purchase.

Black is expensive and dramatic. Haps poop big though and it really shows up on the black. I find some fish dull down their colors over black. I have it in my hap/peacock tank but only because I wanted a plant substrate and sand that matched. Have not seen PFS-colored plant substrates. :)

White (pool filter sand) is cheap and natural looking. Fish colors are good and debris shows less.

I did have a calvus in the tank for a while. He was a rescue from my Tang tank since the other male did not appreciate his presence. He wasn't the happiest fish alive, but he did better than I thought he would. A group of labs will work.

Haps/peacocks are generally carnivores so algae would not be as desirable as it might be in a mbuna tank. I find actinic gives me too much algae so I throw the bulbs away that come in fixtures. For non-plant tanks I use the fixture that comes with the tank and I found I like the Reef color ZooMed makes. I tried a bunch of different color bulbs on my hospital tank.

Here is my list in case you see any haps you like. I'd also look at other long-term successful tanks in "Your Tanks" and search for members like Joea, Fogelhund, GoofBoy and others.

Astatotilapia latifasciata Lake Kyoga 'Zebra'
Protomelas marginatus 'Turquoise', 6 juveniles
Tramitichromis Intermedius
Placidochromis electra Likoma 'Deep Water'
Copadichromis chrysonotus Mumbo 'White Blaze'
Copadichromis trewavasae Likoma 'Ivoryhead Mloto', 6 juveniles
Copadichromis borleyi Kandango
Aulonocara Stuartgranti (Flametail Mdoka)
Aulonocara baenschi
Aulonocara Ruby Red
Aulonocara turkis
Synodontis lucipinnis, 6 adults

· Registered
1,608 Posts
You've got good advice. I would second the importance of ordering online and all at once. You can get your tank ready to deal with that bioload with fish-free cycling but I'd also suggest you invest in some bottles of Dr. Tim's One and Only to help your cycle along.

I personally like to get peacocks/haps that are mature enough to show color and be male, but not fully mature. they are cheaper, you get the fun of watching them grow up and they do better together.

I used to have p. acei and labs in my all male peacock/hap tank. I ultimately did not like they look. If I were to do this type of tank again, I would not add anything but peacocks and haps for consistency of shape, etc. (I especially personally wouldn't add a calvus.)

You need more filter capacity IMHO. I run a Fluval 405 and 305 on both m y 45 and my 58. so I believe in overfiltering and doing it with more than one filter. I think it's just safer. So I'd advocate you adding a Fluval 405 to the 404 you already plan to use.

Having a group of synodontis is an absolute must!! I have lucippinis now but used to have multipunctatus and I think I prefer the latter as they are larger. You can do larger in your sized tank, so I think I'd recommend that species. But 5-6 is a good size group.

good luck and have fun!!

Also, make sure that you have a separate hospital/QT tank set up when you're doing an all male set-up. You will invariably have a fish that doesn't play nice and will have to be removed and rehomed AND you're likely to occasionally have a fish get picked up and need to be removed and medicated. If you don't have room for a separate tank (it doesn't need to be larger than a 20 gallon IMHO), then I'd recommend you rethink this. Male tanks are always a balancing act and you need to have a back-up option.

· Registered
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I found the reviews area and that was just what I was looking for, found some dealers I like. After looking around a bit, I do agree with you guys, ordering a group online is going to be the best bet all the way around.

I do have other established tanks I was planning to seed this new one from, so cycling should go smoothly, then add the fish in a couple groups. And I do have a QT/Hospital tank that I keep running all the time, and if it came to it I suppose I could set up a few more.

Decided I will probably stick to haps/peacocks and not add any mbuna. Will look further into the synos. I think I have a pretty good idea of the species I want now, with some alternatives just in case.

Thanks for the tips on lighting.

Re: sand. So is a buffering substrate unnecessary? My water is about 7.3 and fairly soft. I use the buffer recipe from this site for some smaller tanks and that seems to work just fine. Is this sufficient long term?
Where do you buy pool filter sand? I've checked various big chain stores and hardware stores and can't seem to find it. Do I need to just find a pool specialty store? What grain size works best?

Will add more filtration.

Is that your stock list for a 75? It seems like a lot of fish. So is it best to overstock this type of setup?

I will look through the "Your Tanks" section too.

Thanks for the replies. I think it is starting to come together in my mind. ;)

· Registered
2,172 Posts

I've been keeping male peacocks and haps for years so I just sent you a PM regarding some reputable breeders and yes, it's good to order a large population at once. If funds can't afford it, then order small groups (3 or more) and introduce them at a time after you have re-arranged the aqua-scape.

Regarding sp. mix, Jacobfreibergis (Jakes) sometimes tend to be on the more aggressive side but it all depends on your stock list.

Ditto on the advice about a hospital tank/quarantine tank, filtration, etc...

Have fun!

· Registered
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here are some species I like so far.

Copadichromis Azureus
Protomelas steveni Taiwan
Placidichromis electra
Otopharynx lithobates
Lethrinops intermedius

german red
Albino something..
Blue Neon
Yellow Jake (maybe)

Note: this is not my stocking list, just ideas. I know it isn't super rare and inspired or anything, but I'm just getting started, so that's not really the point.

I also liked Sciaenochromis fryeri but thought that might conflict with the azureus. Which would be better? Most of the fish I really notice and drool over in show tanks seem to be either some type of sulpher head or like a lemon jake or lwanda (prob too aggro). If there is a sulpher head/white line type fish better than the lithobates, I'm open to suggestions.

If you see any conflicts, or a substitute fish that would be better, please let me know! I kind of wanted more Haps than Peacocks, but they seem to get bigger. And as I said, I don't know as much about them, still researching...

Thanks. :)

· Administrator
40,927 Posts
Just make sure they look nothing alike. My list is 11 fish excluding the synos and extra juveniles. The juveniles are 1.5" and only there as a group until they grow out enough that I can sex them and choose a male. And, I made sure the juveniles look different so I can differentiate between the species.

For example do the azureus and the lithobates and the fryeri look alike?
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.