Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
493 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an 80 gallon bow front that has been running for 4 months now,all with Mbunas and I have it stocked pretty well, but I want to add at least 4 more juveniles in the near future. The tank is well filtered, with (1) filstar XP2 and (1) XP3 with weekly water changes of at least 30 gallons. They are flourishing and the zebras produced fry last week.

My stocking list is: 2 red zebras, 1 cobalt zebra, 1 albino scolofi, 2 kenyi, 1 johanni, 2 Melanochromis auratus, 2 electric Blue haps, 3 yellow labs, 4 demasoni juveniles, 1 elongatus, 1 crabro, and 1 pleco

I dont want to push it, but would I be able to get more in, and if so, how much?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,306 Posts
Well, if I were you, I'd work on the stock I already have in the tank before going any further.

What do you want from the tank?

Would you like to get into some breeding and distribute some fry, or do you just want a colourful nice tank to look at?

If you're interested in breeding, there are quite a few changes you need to make.

The red zebras will crossbreed with the Cobalt zebra. Red zebras will crossbreed with Yellow labs. The singles of a species that you have may interfere with breeding for the others that you do have a male and female of a species. None of these are "pairing" fish, and shouldn't ever be kept in groups of two per species. They are harem breeders, and require 1 male to 3-4 females of a species. M. auratus are wickedly aggressive, and males may require more than the mentioned 3-4 females. Demasoni should never be kept in groups smaller than 12, unless you choose to only keep one. 4 will eventually become 1, as they mature fully.

If you just want alot of colour, I would go for an all male tank, and remove all females.

Sooooo...Ideally for an 80G tank, if you choose to go with breeding groups, I wouldn't keep more than 4-5 species - max. I wouldn't add any fish until I got rid of some.

As it is, this will be a highly aggressive tank as these fish all fully mature, and will likely present you with lots of problems.

Kim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
493 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your advise cichlidaholic.

What I really want from the tank is a pretty tank to look at and to breed them as well.

I knew they are harem breeders, but when I started out, I never thought that I would have any success breeding them so I didnt bother to start out with numbers like you suggested. On top of that, I have friends who upon seeing the tank, went out and bought me singles of certain species, as gifts, so thus my tank came to have such pairs, and not groups.

But since my zebras have had fry, im gung-ho about breeding them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,306 Posts
Okay, then! You've been bitten by the bug just like all the rest of us!

You need to decide on 5 species to keep in this tank, no more than 6, and you need to expand on those groups and remove all the extras/singles.

I've listed the ones you don't need to house together (if you're breeding) in my post above, so this may help a bit when making your decisions about what to keep and what not to keep.

I wouldn't let those zebra fry that you have right now leave the tank, unless you're certain you witnessed the whole spawn between a male and female red zebra...Keep in mind that the spawns can take hours!

Kim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
493 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
About those fry,

I didnt witness the whole spawn, I came home from work one day and the female was holding.
So I removed her into a separate tank.
Unfortunately I neglected to cover the top, and she jumped out and died overnight.
But I managed to strip the eggs from her mouth, and miraculously they survived.
Actually, they just started to free swim this morning.

why do you say

I wouldn't let those zebra fry that you have right now leave the tank, unless you're certain you witnessed the whole spawn between a male and female red zebra...Keep in mind that the spawns can take hours!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,523 Posts
Because your zebras could have cross bred with another species in your tank and you have possible hybrids. Many people consider distributing hybrids into the hobby to be unethical. A local auction recently banned them from the auction (maybe that's typical, not sure).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
493 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I agree

But Im pretty sure they are pure reds.

The male that I have is the bully of the tank, and I noticed him courting the female countless times. She even was in the cave that he meticulously dug out after she collected eggs, and the male would drive away any other fish who got near.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,306 Posts
Timkat4867 said:
But Im pretty sure they are pure reds.

The male that I have is the bully of the tank, and I noticed him courting the female countless times. She even was in the cave that he meticulously dug out after she collected eggs, and the male would drive away any other fish who got near.
Because of your stocking with the small groups and singles of a species, there is no way to be entirely sure.

Too much potential for crossbreeding there to even begin to be certain, and some highly aggressive fish, so "dominancy" would be up for grabs every time a female is ready to spawn. :wink:

Kim
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,523 Posts
The thing I didn't realize is that you still can't tell after the fry are born, or even after they grow up. Hybrid fry can look exactly like either parent. Cichlidaholic tells about some "perfect" yellow labs that turned out to be hybrids...they had fry exhibiting red zebra characteristics, even though the parents did not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,306 Posts
You can't always tell, that's for sure. They can take on the characteristics of one or both of their parents, unfortunately.

It would be great if you could always tell by looking!

Kim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
493 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So,
lets say, I got rid of some of the singles in my tank, and added some more of the ones i already have.

So it looked like this,

4 cobalts, 4 albinos, 5 labs, 4 reds, 12 demasoni, 1 johanni, 1 elongatus, 1 pleco

would that give me what I needed at least to alleviate the problems you forsee and probably have better chances to breed?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,306 Posts
Not quite...

You'd still have the single johanni and elongatus, and you'd still have all the zebra variants that could crossbreed, as well as the Yellow labs and red zebras that can crossbreed.

From what you have to work with, this is what I would keep:

Cobalts (up the group to 6)
Yellow labs (up the group to 6)
Demasoni (up the group to 15-18)

This would minimize your risk for crossbreeding, and still look really nice.

Then, if you wanted one more species for another "colour", you could go with a group of 6 snow white socolofi.

Kim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
493 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok, lets say I did that with the 6 snow whites.

that ups my total to 33 fish in a 80 gallon.

That wouldnt be too much load for the filters?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
493 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
On a side note,

Before I started to stock my tank, my wife caught eye of some young frontosas in the pet store.
She wanted one to add to the tank with the mbunas I was getting but I refused her many attempts
to get a fish I didnt know much about, only that they get really big, and that they come from different lakes. And to this day she insists on getting them, but I tell her they arent compatible, and we wont be getting any.

Am I correct on saying that mbunas and frontosas arent compatible?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
Yes you would be correct in saying that. I've never tried it but i'm sure there have been people succesful in doing so but frontosa would grow much larger than any mbuna and would have a good chance of eating them. Also, a good chunk of mbuna are herbivores and frontosa need a carnivore diet.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,523 Posts
I am sooooo NOT a front expert. But if it will help dissuade the Mrs., I understand they need to be in groups, large tanks (min 6 feet?), and are best kept in a species tank. This is because they are easily stressed by rambunctious fish and will eat anything smaller than they are...which is most everything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
493 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have decided to follow cichlidaholics advise on getting rid of some of the single species in my tank and putting more groups of females in.

What would you recommend,

adding them all at one time, like:

6 cobalts, 6 labs, 12 demasoni, 6 snow whites

or

3 cobalts, 3 labs, 6 dems, 3 snows at one time, and then the following week (or a later time) the rest,

or

take the time and add one species of 6 one week, and then another group another time, and so forth.

If this makes sense to you, what would you recommend?

Tim
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top