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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently got a 55 gallon tank for my bday back in late november. I cycled it with ammonia and went to the lfs to get some mbuna. The guy there was helpful but I don't think he knew a whole lot. my stock list is:

2 red zebra
1 albino red zebra
2 Melachromis(sp?) blue and black with horizontal stripes
1 blue and black with vertical stripes
1 light purplish, maybe cobalt blue zebra
2 rusty
1 yellow lab
1 rhino pleco

all fish are around 2-3 inches except the lab which is a little bit smaller.
The pleco is about 8-10 inches

Should I stock some more fish?
What fish would be ok to stock?
Will synodontis be a problem with the pleco?

Just last night I rearranged their rocks and provided ample hiding spots and caves.
I do water changes weekly.

I had 3 Venustus but the all died quickly with no real signs of disease. Are they not very compatible?
 

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You need to decide what your "plan" is for stocking your tank and why the Venustus died before you go any further. Venustus get too large for a 55G, but that's not what killed them. Aggression, perhaps. Maybe start another thread for that, I'm not good at diagnosing disease and death, but you want to be sure it's nothing that will kill your other fish.

You have a lot of species and not enough individuals of each for a 55G tank. First decide if you want all male (one of each fish) or breeding groups. If all male, read the article in the library for next steps. For breeding groups, identify the fish you have (Unidentified Cichlid Forum on this site) and choose 3 species that you want to keep, return the rest to the LFS.

For the 3 species, shoot for one male and four females of each. Do you think the purplish one might be a yellow-tailed Pseudotropheus Acei? (Look at the profiles, Lake Malawi, Mbuna.) If yes, Acei, Labs and Rusties would be a nice beginner tank. With acei and labs, gender ratios are less important. You would only have to worry about weeding out males on the Rusties.

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
One of the problems is this LFS does not usually carry large mbuna and they said it is hard to tell the differences between the males and females when they are young. What would be the best way of going about doing this. The purple fish does not look exactly like the acei but could be. I will try to get a pic tonight.
 

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We would get a larger group of unsexed juveniles, wait for them to mature, and weed out males. Since you don't have to worry about it for Acei and Labs...you can get 5-6 each of them with no worries, and maybe a larger number of Rusties since they are more of a dwarf mbuna. I don't have experience with Rusties...I might get 10-12 and weed out as they mature. You return excess fish to the LFS for store credit, or bring them to a fish club auction, or post them on the trading post here.

You can also choose some other fish on your list instead of the 3 I suggested. The horizontal stripe blue one (maybe Mainganos), the verticle stripe (called bars) blue one (maybe Demasoni) are also options.
 

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Well if you go with Demasoni as one of the three, you need 12 to spread aggressioin and you don't have to worry about gender.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So if i Do demonasi I need to get 12, sex does not matter.
Sex also does not matter with yellow labs and melachromis?
What are some other types that it does not matter?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
12 demonasi
5-6 yellow labs and
5-6 melachromis
??? Is that too may fish for my 55 gallon and will I need to weed out some of the more aggressive ones?

Also will synodontis go well with my pleco?
 

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Gender ratio matters with almost all Malawi except yellow labs, acei and Demasoni. Can't think of any others.

Your stocking should work, plan on having to remove Melanochromis males, but you can see how it goes. I'd only do five, one male and four females. Of course, you can buy more juvies.

I don't know anything about rhino pleco's...how big do they get? Do they stay on the glass/rocks? I'd probably trade the rhino for a bristlenose instead (they mature at around 5") and get 3-6 Synodontis Lucipinnis...but wait until you see the price of those. :eek:

Hey, I'm having almost as much fun with your tank as you are. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
well I took the trouble makers back

so now I have 10 Demonasi, 1 was the original

6 yellow labs, 1 original

2 melachromis, The store did not have any but these two get along well and just hide the majority of the time and do not fight

and 2 synodontis B something, i wrote it down but left my wallet in the car.

And the pleco stays or my wife would kill me, I hear he will only get to about 12 inches

I am starting a 125 gallon for all these guys to go in eventually but since my house does not have central air i need to see how hot it gets this summer.

Right now one of the synodontis is swimming around partially upside down exploring the top of the tank, I think he is confused.
 

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They are also called upside down cats you know. Have a spare filter running on your 55G at all times and have a spare tank ready for the extra melanochromis. At 2" they are ready to start trouble any day now, and it's an overnight kind of thing.

Also with only 10 Demasoni, keep an eye open for the sub-dom male that is lowest in the pecking order...they will start chasing him constantly until he gets sick from his injuries. He can infect the tank if he is not removed.

Mine were good for the first year, but they were only 1" when I got them.

Sounds like a great tank!
 
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