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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thank you in advance to anyone who takes the time to consider my dilemma here with yet another stocking question.

I currently have a quite full 150 gallon tank, but I’m considering adding a few more fish to it because I’m trying to free up a tank for a new setup. This tank, along with the 90 that I’m freeing up is plumbed to a central system with a 125 gallon sump with a very large wet/dry. I also have (2) C360’s (one per main tank) on the system for extra mechanical filtration). Water changes are about 110 gallons once a week. My point here is that there is enough water in this system to keep nitrates low despite the large amount of fish. I am not concerned about breeding, but I don’t want the overcrowding to make the fish miserable. Right now, it is a very healthy, functional tank.

The fish I’d like to add are (4) Melanochromis labrosus @2" (very peaceful fish) and (4) Ps. “Blue Dolphinâ€
 

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i feel like sometimes. there just aint many ppl coming here during day.

anyways, i added yur fish inchs and its about 150".
since u got 150, 90, 125 all plumbed together, im sure you can more.
1" per gal rule.

also main thing is you are doing water changes weekly so i would definitely add more.

i got 350gal and plan to add doulble yurs.
 

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Cich of it all,

In my opinion, you're overcrowding your tank even if you apply the One Inch Per Gallon Rule. The sum of the inches of your fish, including the Melanchromis and Blue Dolphins you intend to add, equate to 150-plus inches. And one of the main problems with using the One Inch Per Gallon Rule is that it doesn't take a fishes girth into account.

In addition, just because you have 150-gallon aquarium does not mean your fish have 150-gallons to dwell in. You must also take rockwork, the amount of substrate and average amount of evaporated water in account to get the true amount of gallons. And because you have 30-plus cichlids and haps with a lot of growth potential (Bucccochromis, Fossorochromis, 3" haps, etc.), I think you're tank may already be overcrowded.

The only solution I have for you is to separate your haps and mbunas by placing the haps in the 150 and mbunas in the 90. Either way, I hope it all works out for you.

F-1
 

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That 1" per gallon rule is complete nonsense, especially with cichlids.

Example, I have ~70-80 inches of fish in my 55 (actual gallonage around 45), with no nitrate problems. (~40ppm before w/c, ~20ppm after).

Go for it. If aggression kicks up, undo it. Just keep on your water changes
 

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Well, my 125 currently has 43 fish in it, though many are not yet fully mature. I don't have those large fish like you (nothing like a Nimbo). However, I do have peacocks/haps/mbuna and in my experience it's been okay.

I was able to keep nitrates below 20 throughout the WHOLE week, but to do so I had to slash feedings in half, from twice a day to once. I have since relaxed this and feed more often, as I was losing fish through aggression; I now accept higher nitrate levels as a result. I'm taking out a few so I'll be back to 40 fish in the tank. I do 60-70% water changes per week.

Short answer: I believe it will be okay. You may need to tinker with your feeding levels to find an acceptable nitrate level. Worst case scenario, sell some fish on craigslist. I usually shuffle the contents of my tank anyway, taking out the most aggressive fish as time goes on, so don't think of that high number of fish as set in stone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone for the replies; I really appreciate them.

I think what I'm going to do is just leave the 150 exactly as it is and leave well enough alone. I may even cut back on the labs by 2 or 3, but like having all 10 acei's in there as they are a joy to watch. I'll just have to figure out something else. I'll keep this thread posted when I come up with a plan if anyone cares.
 

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The Buccochromis lepturus profile says they can reach 16" anyone have any experience with these fish, do they really get that big in a fish tank?? I would like to have one they are beautiful fish and I noticed Cich of it all you want to remove yours at 10".
The Fossorochromis rostratus
profile says they get to 16" but I've heard they rarley get to 12" in an aquarium
 

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Inch per gallon is a horrible rule. It doesn't apply to african cichlids at all, where overstocking is encourages, and stocking has much more to do with suface area than gallons.. but I digress.

I wouldn't do it.. not because of overstocking, but because your haps will be miserable.

I've done a lot of experiements.. and I've found that a haps don't like a lot of mbuna, and conversely, that a few mbuna don't like a lot of haps.

Forget the peacful, just leave out the Mbuna, but then again, I really really do NOT like Mbuna with the exception of L Caureleus.

If it were ME, I would ditch all the mbuna except for the Labs..

Try some Jakes would do best with those big fish, probably a Lemon Jake, a Lwanda, or Otter Point.. a nice Eureka Red would give a splash of color. A nice OB Peacock might contrast the color well.. and they can stand up to anyone!

Maybe some haps like Placidochromis Phenochilus, Johnstoni and electra..., D. Kwinge are cool... Exochocrhomis Angyses would be an awesome torpedo for your tank. Oh, and P. Steveni "Taiwan Reef" can be awesome. Maybe a Protomelus Mbenji "thick lip".
And I'll suggest the C. Borleyi Mbenji.. Mine is kind of mean.. I also have an 8" Boreley Kandango... but I prefer the cool fins of the Mbenji.. and he does't take **** from anyone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm trying to get away from the whole one of these, one of those look.
An all male hap/peacock tank is quite pleasing to the eye and looks amazing in say, a dentist’s office, but after the novelty of a big mix of color wears off, this kind of tank gets quite boring to me. I love the few larger haps that I have, but I rather enjoy watching the behavior of fish in groups. There's nothing quite like watching all 10 of those acei school around like a flock of geese. They tend to stay at the front of the tank while the haps cruise around further toward the rear.
I’m not really that fond of most Mbuna myself anymore, but labs and acei make for a great tank that’s always fun to watch. The combination of theses two species with those male haps has been working out quite nicely.

My tentative plan is to keep the (4) Ps. Sp. “blue dolphinsâ€
 

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Whoa, I thought oscars didn't work with any tankmates at all? Maybe post that question in general aquatic so people who know those fish can opine.
 

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I made the oscar mistake with africans already. Oscars will get beat up all through there life (if they make it) and then when they get bigger they have a vendetta on all the fish that picked on them. I only kept my 2 oscars untill they got to 8" then they had to go. I'd go with frontosa or something like that if you want big.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well the moves have been made. I picked up a proven pair of red oscars this weekend - a 13" male and a 9" female. They have the 90 all to themselves. My 55 is now a Mbuna only tank with 5 red zebras, 4 giant demasoni, and 4 M. labrosus. Need less to say, many of my fish now temporarily (hopefully temporarily) at the LFS.
 
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