Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I have been reading the forums trying to educate myself as much as possible on these fish. I have finally decided an all male peacock/hap tank is for me because I don't want any babies. Which brings me to my next point. The area i live in is super small, and there is absolutely nowhere for me to "trade in" these fish as i have seen almost every forum recommend. The only LFS that I have access to is Petsmart, so I am actually going to be ordering my fish online to begin with.

I have a 75 gallon tank
48" long
17" deep
18" wide

So far on my list of fish is:

Red Peacock Cichlid
Yellow Peacock Cichlid
Ngra Peacock Cichlid
Electra Hap

I have heard mixed reviews about overstocking the aquarium to curb aggression, so I was wondering if anyone's had experience with this?

That brings me to my next question, I know you aren't supposed place a male peacock of the same color into the same tank, so what are my other options? I have heard that OB Peacocks are aggressive and shouldn't be placed with these other fish?

Thanks so much in advance, first time in my life using a forum, but these fish can be super confusing.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,722 Posts
Getting an all-male tank right on the first try may be an unrealistic expectation...one of the characteristics of all-male is you are likely to have some fish that don't get along with the others...whether more aggressive or too timid. Plan for the need to tinker with stocking over the first 2 years the tank is operating.

A good level of overstocking for a 75G all-male tank is 12 individuals that mature <= six inches.

OB peacocks are hybrids that are half mbuna, so both because they are hybrids and because of the mbuna lineage they are likely to be too aggressive for a peacock like Ngara.

See if you can get a turkis peacock. I have had luck mixing these two yellows: maleri and usisya.

Haps that can work are mylochromis ericotaenia, Copadichromis azureus, Protomelas marginatus, Otopharynx tetrastigma.

If you can't ever trade in fish, I would not recommend all male. Go with mixed gender mbuna and choose 10 yellow labs and 10 acei because both may tolerate extra males.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much, I was thinking the same. I was also thinking of an all female mbuna tank, to completely avoid the breeding/less aggression. I have looked all over the internet attempting to find out which types of Mbunas are monochromatic, or where females still show good color. Any chance you can shed some light on that?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,722 Posts
Those 2 yellow labs and acei. But it will be hard to get all females because IME mbuna are rarely sold reliably sexed.

Also get a group of 5 Synodontis lucipinnis and between the mbuna adults and the catfish...no babies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Those 2 yellow labs and acei. But it will be hard to get all females because IME mbuna are rarely sold reliably sexed.

Also get a group of 5 Synodontis lucipinnis and between the mbuna adults and the catfish...no babies.

Do you think this would be an appropriate mix?

Yellow Labs -3
Yellow tail acei - 3
Snow white Mbuna - 2
Red zebra - 3
Red Top Hongi - 2

All planned to be females of course (fingers crossed). Just looking for a pop of color throughout the tank. Any of these I should cross off of the list?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,883 Posts
I think you're missing this....

Also get a group of 5 Synodontis lucipinnis and between the mbuna adults and the catfish...no babies.
The point is to achieve a colorful aquarium, with a balanced - sustainable - level of aggression. Everything else is secondary. And get this - the African Mbuna you want?
Get a vote.
Do this thing wrong, and they WILL thrash each other in your aquarium. And yes.... It's NOT easy to see this happen, but we keep seeing evidence of just that, in the illness and health section of this forum,
"What's wrong with my Cichlid?"
-

He's beat up, yo'.....
-
And, so it goes.....
  • Order online. Pay - a lot! You are still going to be getting baby-sized Cichlids. The gender of those little rough necks? Who knows? The only possible thing guaranteed in these sorts of transactions, is the species.
  • Species behavioral differences. It matters! Oh yes.... The slaughter accompanied by a failed Mbuna stocking scheme is well, SOBERING, to say the least. Avoid that? Enjoy success!
  • Harem-Keeping. Yes.... it's a thing. And in so doing, emphasizes a key aspect of the Mbuna psychology. You totally NEED to exploit that, to successfully keep these colorful little beasts.
  • The 75 gallon size of your tank is marginal for keeping these fish. Small. And, you really don't have any room for errors or adjustments at that size. And with smaller tanks in keeping Cichlids, failure is just soooo much closer.
-
The Truth? If you want to keep these African Mbuna Cichlids successfully? You are going to lose some of them initially. Self-culling is generally preferred, to remove excess males from the tank who will cause fights, aggression and ultimately beaten, thrashed fish if not removed first. And taking these fish back is not as tough as it may seem. Your LFS can often be very accommodating when the word 'Donation' or 'Free' is verbally spoken to describe the transaction. Yep. Sometimes, you might even get a bit of store credit with these excess male giveaways.
But, I wouldn't count on it.
-
So yes, your Cichlids WILL spawn for you. Oh yeah - that is indeed what they do. But no worries! Just check that DJRansome quote out - the answer is well in hand. All of those spawned fry are NOT gonna grow out and cause your aquarium to spontaneously explode or something!
Nope.
And the adult Cichlids will do what they do best. Look colorful. Chase, nip, lump and bump each other (seemingly all of the time) and no one in your aquarium will be beat up, thrashed or killed.

Success. :cool:
 
  • Like
Reactions: awesomismmama

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,722 Posts
All of what Auballagh said and more: no I do not recommend trios, even if you COULD get all the fish female. Females are aggressive and fight for pecking order even without males. Large groups of each species leads to peace, and that is your must-have if I am understanding you because of where you live.

Hongi females are drab. I would skip the socolofi (snow white) because they are aggressive. If you wanted to TRY 7 labs, 7 acei and 7 red zebras all female you might end up having to remove the zebras, as long as you have a plan for that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think you're missing this....



The point is to achieve a colorful aquarium, with a balanced - sustainable - level of aggression. Everything else is secondary. And get this - the African Mbuna you want?
Get a vote.
Do this thing wrong, and they WILL thrash each other in your aquarium. And yes.... It's NOT easy to see this happen, but we keep seeing evidence of just that, in the illness and health section of this forum,
"What's wrong with my Cichlid?"
-

He's beat up, yo'.....
-
And, so it goes.....
  • Order online. Pay - a lot! You are still going to be getting baby-sized Cichlids. The gender of those little rough necks? Who knows? The only possible thing guaranteed in these sorts of transactions, is the species.
  • Species behavioral differences. It matters! Oh yes.... The slaughter accompanied by a failed Mbuna stocking scheme is well, SOBERING, to say the least. Avoid that? Enjoy success!
  • Harem-Keeping. Yes.... it's a thing. And in so doing, emphasizes a key aspect of the Mbuna psychology. You totally NEED to exploit that, to successfully keep these colorful little beasts.
  • The 75 gallon size of your tank is marginal for keeping these fish. Small. And, you really don't have any room for errors or adjustments at that size. And with smaller tanks in keeping Cichlids, failure is just soooo much closer.
-
The Truth? If you want to keep these African Mbuna Cichlids successfully? You are going to lose some of them initially. Self-culling is generally preferred, to remove excess males from the tank who will cause fights, aggression and ultimately beaten, thrashed fish if not removed first. And taking these fish back is not as tough as it may seem. Your LFS can often be very accommodating when the word 'Donation' or 'Free' is verbally spoken to describe the transaction. Yep. Sometimes, you might even get a bit of store credit with these excess male giveaways.
But, I wouldn't count on it.
-
So yes, your Cichlids WILL spawn for you. Oh yeah - that is indeed what they do. But no worries! Just check that DJRansome quote out - the answer is well in hand. All of those spawned fry are NOT gonna grow out and cause your aquarium to spontaneously explode or something!
Nope.
And the adult Cichlids will do what they do best. Look colorful. Chase, nip, lump and bump each other (seemingly all of the time) and no one in your aquarium will be beat up, thrashed or killed.

Success. :cool:
All of what Auballagh said and more: no I do not recommend trios, even if you COULD get all the fish female. Females are aggressive and fight for pecking order even without males. Large groups of each species leads to peace, and that is your must-have if I am understanding you because of where you live.

Hongi females are drab. I would skip the socolofi (snow white) because they are aggressive. If you wanted to TRY 7 labs, 7 acei and 7 red zebras all female you might end up having to remove the zebras, as long as you have a plan for that.
Thank you, I didn't realize the fish you mentioned above were used in fry control, I will be doing as nature intended and placing males in with females, including the Synodontis lucipinnis. I think I will stick with yellow labs, and Acei for now. One last question for you guys, you mentioned above "large groups bring peace."

How many of each fish of each species would you recommend would be the absolute minimum to maintain that peace? Also, above you mentioned 7 of each? Is my tank going to be large enough to support that many Mbuna? Kind of new to the "overstocking" idea as I have never done that in my established tropical aquarium. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Overstocking definitely helps. But, only if you have good filtration and stay up on water changes.
I would go with 10 of each to start and add other species from there. The yellow labs and yellow tails are very different as the labs love the rocks at the bottom and the Acei tend to be more in the open water above. Total tank load can be 30 if your filtration is good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Here’s my mbuna/peacock/hap tank: I count 26 in the pic, but you can’t see the pleco. Not overstocked at all because I have a serious moving media sump below them; water is crystal clear and reads great.
Fish supply Water Pet supply Organism Plant
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,722 Posts
Agree 10 of each...you are just doing the labs and acei and hoping extra males will be tolerated so you are starting and ending with 20 fish.

If you did not have a problem with rehoming you could do more species in smaller groups (still targeting around 20) but then you would be moving into the more aggressive mbuna where extra males are less and less tolerated. The last thing you want is aggression that leads to illness, wiping out your tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Overstocking definitely helps. But, only if you have good filtration and stay up on water changes.
I would go with 10 of each to start and add other species from there. The yellow labs and yellow tails are very different as the labs love the rocks at the bottom and the Acei tend to be more in the open water above. Total tank load can be 30 if your filtration is good.

Thanks! I have the 75 gallon, and made sure to get the Fluval FX4, as I read the filtration should be 10X the gallons in an hour!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Gotta give a huge thanks to those who took the time out of their day responding to this thread! This forum is awesome, and I can tell you want success for beginner cichlid keeper! I learned more in a couple days of responses here, than I did in a month of google!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Agree 10 of each...you are just doing the labs and acei and hoping extra males will be tolerated so you are starting and ending with 20 fish.

If you did not have a problem with rehoming you could do more species in smaller groups (still targeting around 20) but then you would be moving into the more aggressive mbuna where extra males are less and less tolerated. The last thing you want is aggression that leads to illness, wiping out your tank.
I was doing some research and thinking from your list above
7 yellow labs
5 rusty cichlids
7 yellow tail acei
5 dwarf petricola

Not sure if you had any experience with the rusty's and in doing research everywhere seems to say that they're one of the more peaceful Mbuna like Labs, and Acei? Or will just the change in species make the males less tolerable? Thanks!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,722 Posts
People find rusties to be more aggressive than labs and acei so I would either not do the rusties or do 10 rusties (to get the max females) and 5 labs and 5 acei.

Labs are the most likely to tolerate extra males. Acei are second most likely. Rusties are least likely to tolerate extra males from your list. Have you decided you are going to be able to rehome fish after all?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
People find rusties to be more aggressive than labs and acei so I would either not do the rusties or do 10 rusties (to get the max females) and 5 labs and 5 acei.

Labs are the most likely to tolerate extra males. Acei are second most likely. Rusties are least likely to tolerate extra males from your list. Have you decided you are going to be able to rehome fish after all?
Thank you! I have to contact the fish store I purchased my rocks from and ask them if they will take the "unwanted" fish. My fingers are crossed they will, they're an hour and a half away so they seem like one of the only options. I ordered 7 of the labs, and 5 of the dwarf Petricola to start (my tank is cycled, but still want to make sure it can handle the bio load).
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top