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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any help would be appreciated... hate to be that guy making this thread, but I'm just looking for some feedback on my situation. :)

Been hoping to get into Africans for years and years... in fact I bought this tank brand new about 9 years ago but didn't have the cash at the time to invest in filtration and everything else I would need, and it fell on the backburner.

So, I'm finally doing it now.

First of all, I'd like to ask what you guys think of this article (I was using the stocking calculator and it suggested this link for additional information on Mbuna) and if the information presented is accurate.

The reason I ask is because I had originally wanted to do a mix of yellow labs and demasoni...but, based on this article, it looks like the demasoni might be too much trouble (though they are such amazing looking fish that they'd be worth it).

Based on the information presented there, I'd like to go with 8 or 9 labs, 8 or 9 pseudotropheus acei, and 8 or 9 pseudotropheus saulosi. Possibly a few of the Tanganyika catfish. A bit overcrowded, but as long as I stay up on the water changes and have more than enough filtration, that's the goal here, right?

I figure the saulosi will at least give me a similar look to the demasoni, albeit only the dominant male(s). Kind of a bummer to have to avoid the demasoni, though. Gorgeous fish.

I'd have a LOT of yellow in the tank with the labs and the female/weak male saulosi, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, I suppose. They are beautiful fish, too.

Filtration wise, I'm pretty sure I'm at overkill, so I should be pretty set up for the amount of fish. I've got an Eheim 2075 on the way and a Penguin 350B HOB to supplement the canister.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
http://aqadvisor.com/articles/MbunaIntro.php

Here's the link I referred to above. It wouldn't let me post it in my first post. :oops:

Basically, what I'm asking, is do I really need to avoid demasoni as much as the article makes it seem. The article seems to paint it as if those 4 recommended fish are angels and the demasoni are the devil's offspring.
 

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Demasoni are primarily aggressive toward each other, which is why most people recommend a minimum of 12; the more the better to spread the aggression. They can be aggressive towards other species, especially those with similar appearance (blue and black bars), or if their is a battle for top-dog in the tank amongst males. But, as I said, intra-species aggression is the bigger concern.

You can keep demasoni with yellow labs and Acei. I believe some here actually have that exact combination. It is a nice colour contrast. And a 90 gallon, 4-foot tank is a good size. Be sure you have plenty of rock-work for the demasoni.

I would recommend the following numbers, listed in the order they should be added to the aquarium:

8 Yellow Labs
6 Acei
20 Demasoni (maybe start with 25, and weed out overly-aggressive males)

Others with experience with this combination may have more to add (or correct me ...).
 

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Let me begin by saying that I have never kept Demasoni. They seem to be one of the most difficult species of mbuna to keep, but there a number of members on these forums that have done so successfully and have tips for how to do it. Basically, you need a lot of them (usually you need to start with 15-25 of them) so that no one fish can be singled out for aggression.

As a more peaceful alternative to Demasoni, you might considerMetriaclima sp. Dolphin (aka. giant demasoni). Most members report them being fairly timid and if they are housed with aggressive species, they will not color up. In other words, labs and acei would probably be perfect tankmates for them.
 

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If u really want to keep demasoni then thats what u should get,otherwise down the road u will wish u had.They r not that difficult to keep as long as u have enough to start with.I would recommend starting with 20 to 25 as ppl have already said.I see no reason u cant do dems,labs,and acei in 90 gallon as long as ur filtration is good enough and u do the proper water changes.Good luck and have fun
 

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Go for the demasoni. Just make sure you are willing to remove victim fish fairly often and have a spare tank for hospital and holding until you take the extra to a good LFS for store credit.
 

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A good alternative to demasoni could be maingano. Same colours but horizontal stripes rather than vertical.

In my experience they are also aggressive to conspecifics but no where near as bad as demasoni.

The old Dems are not one of my faves.

Having said that though, you can only try and learn for yourself. Seems demasoni are a polarizing species. Love em or hate em :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Getting closer and closer to getting the tank set up!

Couple questions... Can I do Yellow Labs, Demasoni, and Acei, and as a beginner with cichlids, would it really be advisable to do so. I have read so much here (this thread included) and am having a tough time debating whether it's worth the hassle of having a bunch of maniacal demasoni running rampant in my tank. :lol:

And if it isn't a bad idea, how many of each would be good in a 90g, assuming I'm buying juvies.

Tank will have plenty of rocks (about 300 lbs worth).

After a fishless cycle, how many of them should I add to a fresh tank at once? Not really sure how much of an ammonia load a freshly fishless cycled tank can handle. This is another one of my issues with going the demasoni route... can I really just throw 35-40 fish into a new tank at once (assuming a ton of demasoni and then a few of the other species)? It seems you need an awful lot of demasoni to make things work and I'm worried that a brand new tank can't handle all that.

My plan B is to go with 9-10 labs, 5 or 6 acei, and some of the metriaclima blue dolphin (not sure how many)...

The idea of 20 or so demasoni causing havoc is awfully alluring, though.

I guess the cliff notes version is...

A - Should I bother with demasoni or just put a demasoni imitator in?

B - Either way, how many of each fish can/should I dump into a freshly (fishless) cycled 90 gallon tank?

EDIT - :oops: I suck. I'm sorry, I just realized that some of these questions were already addressed. Been so long since I had looked at this thread. Still would love to hear any advice out there, thought.
 

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As long as your tank, once cycled, is able to process 2-3ppm ammonia, resulting in 0ppm ammonia and 0ppm nitrite within 24 hours, you'll be able to add everything at once.
Even if the colony isn't as large as it should be, within reason, they'll ramp up production rather quickly. If there's a spike, you'll be able to detoxify with a good quality dechlorinator.
If you're purchasing as juvies, go ahead and get the demasoni, you'll have around 4-6 months to read everything you can about them before things start to get interesting. Once that happens, plan to devote some time to watching your fish, both during the day as well as after lights out (when things tend to get even more interesting). As they mature, you remove harassed sub dominant males that hang out up top or behind heaters, intake tubes etc, or are repeatedly chased. This is why, particularly with this fish, you purchase more than you plan on keeping. 25 to end up with 15-20.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
GTZ said:
As long as your tank, once cycled, is able to process 2-3ppm ammonia, resulting in 0ppm ammonia and 0ppm nitrite within 24 hours, you'll be able to add everything at once.
Even if the colony isn't as large as it should be, within reason, they'll ramp up production rather quickly. If there's a spike, you'll be able to detoxify with a good quality dechlorinator.
If you're purchasing as juvies, go ahead and get the demasoni, you'll have around 4-6 months to read everything you can about them before things start to get interesting. Once that happens, plan to devote some time to watching your fish, both during the day as well as after lights out (when things tend to get even more interesting). As they mature, you remove harassed sub dominant males that hang out up top or behind heaters, intake tubes etc, or are repeatedly chased. This is why, particularly with this fish, you purchase more than you plan on keeping. 25 to end up with 15-20.
Guess I'll go that route, then!

How many would you say of the other species (acei and labs) would be a good amount in that tank, then?

I also plan on a few of the tanganyika catfish.
 

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Ballpark, 6 Acei, 6-7 yellow labs should be fine, along with a group of vacuums ;)
You have a LFS to take extra demasoni?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don't know if they'll take them, but I do have a LFS that I like to give my business to. I'll have to ask them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Getting closer yet. If I do the 25 Demasoni, 6 Acei, and 7 Labs, + some synodontis, a couple of questions...

Do I really need to worry about M/F ratio with the Labs and Acei? From what I've read, not so much with them.

How close am I to capacity with such a setup? Would I be able to add a fourth species (other than the synodontis)?

Tank is 90g with an Eheim 2075 and a Penguin 350B HOB.
 

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Just adding my 2 cents to the mainganos suggestion. My tank has 6 yellow labs, 6 saulosi, 8 mainganos, 4 cynotilapia afras, 6 labeotropheus trewavasae, and 3 different kinds of catfish. I'm actually trying to sell the yellow labs b/c I don't need the extra yellow and my tank is getting a bit crowded now that they have grown a bit.

I've had this combo for about a year and half now and I love it. Great mix of colors, sizes, personalities, and body shapes. My trewavasae have been breeding like crazy, and I've also had a few saulosi fry.

I agree that if you are in love with the Demasoni, you may as well go for it and see if it works for you. But if you want something more manageable I can tell you that I'm very pleased with my tank.
 

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As long as you have the money to burn, try the demasoni. If you get tired (patience or money) of it, at least you tried.

If you don't - you may wonder, "Man, what would it have been like?"
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
After much thought, and reading DJRansome's advice in this thread...

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/view ... f04e9bf845

...I am leaning against the Demasoni. I feel like I'd be in over my head with having to deal with the issues that might pop up, and I'd rather have a "set it and forget it" type of tank (in terms of my stocking), or at least as close as I can get to that. Maybe further on down the road when I'm more experienced keeping these guys, but this is the first tank I've even kept (period) in almost 10 years.... so the less unforeseen (and foreseen) challenges, the better.

I know I'd like the acei and the yellow labs... but I'm not sure what else to go with, and how much now that I wouldn't be having 25 demasoni filling up my tank.

I'm open to all kinds of suggestions... I was looking at Cynotilapia sp. hara.... can they be kept with giant demasoni, or do they look too similar? If so, I'd probably opt for the hara. Very cool looking fish.

Not sure where else to go... maybe some cobalt blues or some rusties? Not a big fan of the mainganos, but I do like blues in general. Also, I'd love some bigger Mbuna in there.

I'm pretty much starting from scratch, so I'm just looking for suggestions. I'm thinking maybe 4 species in groups of around 10 each (smaller if I can get a larger species in there) + 4-5 synodontis. Too much?

A cookie cutter type suggestion for a 90gallon would help a lot, too (the articles only go up to 75, so I figure I could have at least a little more going on in a 90).
 

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Hello! I am also new to the cichlid world. I have just wrapped up my fishless cycle in my 75 gallon tank. In that time waiting I did alot of research, and got alot of help from these great ppl on this forum! :thumb:
I also was thinking of goin with the demasoni, and I still might. I'm just kinda nervous about their aggresstion and how it could be a bad deal for how much they cost. So with that being said, while I was waiting for my tank to cycle I came out with 3 to 4 possible stocking options I may injoy.
Just list what you may think you would like and ppl from this forum will help you decide what will work and what will not!
Here is a list of what I may go with. Just some food for thought for you in possibilities for you.
OPTION 1:
White Top Hara
Yellow Lab
Maingano
White Tail Acei or Yellow Tail Acei
OPTION 2:
Demasoni
Yellow Lab
OPTION 3:
White Top Hara
Msobo
Socolofi (albino)

Like I said just some food for thought! Just ask questions and they will be answered!!!
 

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DavidH said:
I'm open to all kinds of suggestions... I was looking at Cynotilapia sp. hara.... can they be kept with giant demasoni, or do they look too similar? If so, I'd probably opt for the hara. Very cool looking fish.
Labs, hara, acei and giant demasoni should work.

Not sure where else to go... maybe some cobalt blues or some rusties? Not a big fan of the mainganos, but I do like blues in general. Also, I'd love some bigger Mbuna in there.[/quote]Acei are big. To me the hara, acei and Metriaclima callainos (cobalt blues) would not provide enough constrast aesthetically.

DavidH said:
I'm thinking maybe 4 species in groups of around 10 each (smaller if I can get a larger species in there) + 4-5 synodontis. Too much?
I would do 5 of each instead of 10, shoot for 1m:5f.

DavidH said:
A cookie cutter type suggestion for a 90gallon would help a lot, too (the articles only go up to 75, so I figure I could have at least a little more going on in a 90).
Lake Malawi tanks are stocked by footprint and the 75G and 90G have the same footprint, so you would stock the same number of fish. The 90G is just higher and the Malawi don't use the height much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks, guys.

What if I did around 6 (1m 5f - if i can even achieve that with juvies) of each with rusties (or possibly cobalts - but you're right, too much blue), labs, hara, acei, and giant demasoni?

would love to have that kind of variety

is that too many fish? in a perfect world, that's 30 fish... (+ the catfish) which is in the neighborhood of where i would've been with the, let's say, 15 remaining (after paring down) demasoni, + 7 labs and 6 acei...

or am i simply not looking to overcrowd as much if i'm not doing demasoni?
 
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