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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone! I have been lurking this phenomenal forum for the past several weeks and the amount of information in here has truly blown me away. Also, the community here seems unbelievably understanding and super helpful in every post I have come across. My wife and I have been out of the aquarium game for 4-5 years now and decided to jump back into a 75 gallon, which is what we had before. Years ago, we had a community tank with clown loaches, silver dollars, gouramis, tetras, and beautiful aquascaping with drift wood and some plants as well. We have always wanted a cichlid tank which is what brings me here now.

I am currently on day 18 of my fishless cycle and only on day 2 of the nitrite phase, so I still have quite a bit of time to determine which direction I want to go, because I am honestly so torn. We are leaning toward African Cichlids due to our naturally hard water from the well and slightly higher pH from the faucet (7.4).

Here is what the tank currently looks like:
Cabinetry Wood Gas Shelving Cupboard


As of right now, the setup I am leaning toward is 8-10 all-male peacocks and maybe 1-2 smaller haps (if possible). Also, my wife is really in love with the blood parrots. I know it seems to be a touchy subject, but the more I have been researching, it seems they can be quite adaptable with the right water parameters. So I was thinking of 1 of those, and finally 1 BN Pleco. What are everyone's thoughts on the aquascaping for that type of setup and does this seem like it could be a feasible, successful tank? I was going to purchase all fish in the juvenile stage or slightly bigger (1.5" - 2.5") from what seems like an extremely reputable vendor. This vendor has unsexed that they guess as close as they can to match a male, or for a bit more, you can get a guaranteed male (still on the fence of which route to go). I have thought a lot about which route to go, mainly between peacocks and mbuna, but I think I am settled with the setup I wrote out.

Any criticism/feedback is welcome! Thanks in advance!

*Added
As for our setup, it is an Aqueon 75, FX4 Canister, Fluval Aquaclear 110, and 20g sponge filter running for our 20L quarantine tank. Based on rated GPH, this tank is turning water over 16x per hour. I know filtered, this is more like 10x per hour. 300w heater set at 80 degrees. pH is currently sitting at roughly 7.4 but was planning on adding a bag of aragonite sand into the filter to buffer the pH and change it out once a month or so.
 

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Hello, and welcome to YOUR FIRST POST on Cichlid-forum in almost...... TEN YEARS?!!!
Whoaa.... you may have possibly set the C-F Lurking Record! :oops:
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So, the 75 gallon tank is a good one. With a bottom 'footprint' of 48" X 18", that size gives you a lot of nice options in stocking with Cichlids.
Great!
Now, the cold water? And yes... it's that Blood Parrot.
So, putting aside basically EVERYTHING we can drag up regarding the problems surrounding the very existence of this man-made hybrid?
Let's focus on why I think placing a single Blood Parrot in this tank is - A BAD IDEA.
  • SIZE. These are NOT little Cichlids! Once adult size is attained in that Blood Parrot, it will be far and away the largest Cichlid in the tank. Budfy? Speaking of.....
  • BEHAVIOR. Blood Parrots have some Real Tough Guys in their genetic make up. These are Central American Cichlids that are territorial, mean, and just generally have a Bad Attitude (on their good days!). And unfortunately, those Blood Parrots will often still think they are one of those 'Tough Guys'! Those cutesy little orange blimps bumbling around in the LFS tank? Ain't gonna stay that way long. A Blood Parrot will instigate fights. Constantly push and throw it's weight around. And just generally be a true PITA for everyone else around them in a community tank. Happy to bully others that won't call them on their bad antics, then having to be rescued from a little Convict or Firemouth Cichlid (barely a third it's size) who's finally had enough of it's obnoxious behavior. Peacocks and Haps (esp. the really pretty, more timid ones) are gonna get crushed by 'Budfy the Blood Parrot' in your tank. A Blood Parrot is a marginal member at best, of a Cichlid community tank set up.
  • LOCALITY. Why would you want to place one of these ridiculous Cichlids in such a carefully balanced, and well-thought out African Peacock - Hap aquarium? Make this aquarium a celebration of the African Rift Lake experience. A beautiful, well balanced work of art!
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So yes, I totally understand the LFS impulse appeal of those Blood Parrots. Thousands and thousands of Oscars have been sold through the years at those LFS' for precisely the same reason! So, if you REALLY want to enjoy the Blood Parrot Experience? Who am I to Kill that Buzz? Do it right! And get another 75 gallon tank. Place two or three of those things in there, in a tank set up just for them. Then sit back and enjoy all of the Non-Stop Blood Parrot Excitement and Action! :LOL:
 

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It is difficult to find 10 peacocks that look nothing alike...once you have a yellow, a red and a blue what is left that looks really different? Twelve haps and peacocks in a 75G can work...you just need more haps. Also a spare tank or two and a rehoming plan...set your expectations that you will need to monitor the tank closely for the first two years and swap out fish as required to get the most color and peacefulness.

I also would not cross my fingers that anyone can reliably sex haps and peacocks at 2.5"...let alone 1.5" so that makes me skeptical about the vendor you have in mind.
 

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Mbunas can be sexed that small though... It really comes down to preference on African Cichlids on whether you want mbunas, peacocks, or haps. Bigger fish vs. more fish. I have absolutely been loving my mbunas, but they are even more aggressive than the other cichlids. Your setup is great! Mbunas would been more rocks, but the others wouldn't. I have the same stand and filter for my 75, and it's doing a great job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone, really appreciate the replies! I didn't even realize I had signed up this account 10 years ago HAHA truly defines LONG time lurker!

In regard to the blood parrot, duly noted. I have come across some scenarios where it seemed to work, but maybe not for long I would assume by the sounds of it.

For the peacocks, I guess I may have been mistaken on my interpretation of look alike, I think I assumed that say red head and different color body would be different than say red body and different colored head, or an OB that is redish in color, those would all be considered look alikes? For example, an Apache Peacock vs. a German Red vs an Albino Firefish? Just want to clarify, obviously want to set this up as successful as possible from the get go, but I certainly understand that there will always need to be close monitoring throughout their lives in case one decides to be the jerk and starts beating up other fish badly.

In regard to the unsexed vs guarantee, not entirely sure how they do it, I assume they are starting to show color in order to guarantee? I know with the unsexed, it is really described as a best educated guess but obviously no guarantee. Could take my chances to save a some money, or just spend a little extra to know I will get a male right off the bat.

Also, regarding haps, I was under the understanding that haps do not do well in a tank size of 75 gallon and really should be in a 90 minimum or a 6ft tank. Is this true? We do have the 20L tank as a QT or temp home while we rehome any of the fish, and we can easily snag another if need be. Luckily also, we have several great LFS around my area so rehoming shouldn't be an issue. I have really been leaning to Peacocks/Haps lately. I was thinking Mbunas for a bit and doing 3-4 species, what seems to be a standard setup, 6-8 of each (1m:7f) of yellow labs, yellow tail acei, some rustys and maybe one other, but yes, we would absolutely need more rocks!

Thanks again for the responses!
 

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Anything in the pink/red/orange category is likely to view the other as a look alike. Just a different color fins does not differentiate the fish in their eyes (necessarily). Be careful of jakes and hybrids in an all male tank. The OB is not even a peacock...it is a cross between mbuna and peacock.

I would buy from a vendor that sells sexed males around 3" or larger. A vendor like that will have better quality fish in any case. You worry a 1.5" fish starting to show color in the haps and peacocks is likely hormoned. Also look for scientific names including genus, species and collection point as opposed to a marketing name like Apache.

You absolutely don't need a six foot tank for haps, there are many haps that mature at less than or equal to six inches, just like the stuartgranti peacocks.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is great feedback! I stumbled across a thread labeled "Where to start with all male 75 gal Peacock & possibly h" and it had a lot of great info as well about which species specifically would work well in an all-male tank with haps and peacocks. I will continue doing research on this, but certainly understand that whatever "list" I come up with, may not work in the end and changes may need to be made. Going to send you a PM with a question DJ. Thanks again for the info though, very very helpful!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Going to send you a PM with a question DJ. Thanks again for the info though, very very helpful!
Could you send me a PM possibly? Looks like your profile is limited to who can reach out to you, assuming my post count is the culprit. Question is involving vendors, I know that type of discussion is not allowed within the forum discussions. Thank you!
 

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Now we're talking!
And well, you have now reached the amount of rocks I believe work well for keeping Peacocks and Haps.
For Mbuna? Oh, you're just getting started... More! MORE!!!
Seriously.
As explanation, those Mbuna live naturally on a ROCK WALL in Lake Malawi. To have them colored up and comfortabe in your aquarium, you're gonna need a LOT more rocks.
Here is a 38 gallon, dedicated P. saulosi tank I made and set up for a Middle School science classroom (back before you even joined C-F! GULP )
Reptile Wood Picture frame Art Building

The 'wood' piece in there is just a resin cast, 'imposter'. Rocks are stacked up almost to the surface.
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And another one from my profile. This is a four foot long, 150 gallon tank.
World Art Cloud Soil Rock

These rocks actually ARE just touching the water's surface of the aquarium.
A huge Rock Pile!
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NOTE: All African Cichlids can be pretty dedicated substrate diggers (esp. Mbuna though, for some reason). Place all rocks solidly down onto the bottom glass of the tank for your rock pile. Otherwise, your quite prodigious little diggers will undermine those rocks over time, which could cause a quite disastrous ROCK FALL in the tank! :eek:
 

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Nice. I might jumble them up more to make the spaces in between the rocks smaller. The fish prefer the tight spaces and it will be easier to lose someone chasing you.
 
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