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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I'm new to this forum. I am based near London, and having had around 10 years of heavily planted tanks, I eventually moved into the world of Mbuna around 6 years ago. For a while i have been keen to try out Haps (and maybe Peacocks), and when i was in my LFS i finally took the plunge and purchased 6 Venustus haps.

The tank is 110 gallons, which i appreciate is on the smaller side of what is generally advised for these fish. Perhaps some would say 125 is the minimum?

The fish are around 2 to 2.5 inches. In the shop i found it impossible to identify male/females and took the decision to buy six with the view that i'd be incredibly unlucky not to get a male.

My question is whether anyone has had experience keeping a Venustus only tank - and specifically where there are multiple males and females present? Is it asking for trouble to keep more than one male in 110 gallons, and should I look to trade-in any excess males with the LFS when my male(s) start to show colour? Or is it possible for six Vensutus to exist together?

Currently the only other fish are two yellow labs from a previous Mbuna set-up.

Many thanks in advance

Peter
 

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Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

It is a 55 inch tank. The reason the 125G is recommended is that the length is 72 inches. I like 72 inches for any fish larger than six inches at maturity. Even when the fish is a juvenile, I like to put them in their full-size tank. Malawi cichlids may not reach their full length until more than half their lifespan is over, but they need to room when they start spawning which could be three inches for many haps and peacocks...not sure about venustus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

It is a 55 inch tank. The reason the 125G is recommended is that the length is 72 inches. I like 72 inches for any fish larger than six inches at maturity. Even when the fish is a juvenile, I like to put them in their full-size tank. Malawi cichlids may not reach their full length until more than half their lifespan is over, but they need to room when they start spawning which could be three inches for many haps and peacocks...not sure about venustus.
Thanks very much for the welcome and for the advice! I do plan to get a larger tank, but realistically it won't be for a couple of years. I need to think whether to take the Venustus back to the LFS.

In the meantime, if anyone else has experience keeping Venustus in 140cm (or similar) sized tanks, i'd be interested to hear how you got on. Thanks
 

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I had to look up a couple of my old posts and found that I started with 4 juveniles in a 75G (48" long) tank and after 6 months or so I upgraded to a 125G (72" long) tank and moved some yellow Labs and the venustus over to it. After a couple more months I found 2 of the venustus dead as the males started maturing and a month later I needed to separate the 2 remaining venustus to separate tanks.

I think the last male died after 10 years or so, he was a gorgeous fish but eventually developed a bent body and I needed to euthanize him and it was a very sad day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had to look up a couple of my old posts and found that I started with 4 juveniles in a 75G (48" long) tank and after 6 months or so I upgraded to a 125G (72" long) tank and moved some yellow Labs and the venustus over to it. After a couple more months I found 2 of the venustus dead as the males started maturing and a month later I needed to separate the 2 remaining venustus to separate tanks.

I think the last male died after 10 years or so, he was a gorgeous fish but eventually developed a bent body and I needed to euthanize him and it was a very sad day.
Hi Deeda,

gosh, that does sound very sad. I think your experience is enough for me to take back any excess males to the LFS once i can positively identify them.

Were the two that died males or females? Were the two that survived both kept in 72" tanks?

I'm feeling a little frustrated in the LFS who were positive my tank would be sufficient for Venustus despite my reservations in the store. But i'm also frustrated win myself for not researching more thoroughly...Oh well, nothing has died, but it is a pain to have to go back to the LFS and start again...
 

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Better not to take advice from people who need to sell fish for their business to survive. I have found LFS employees...and often even owners, just don't know that much about African Rift Lake cichlids, so they may give you erroneous advice innocently. When I first started I listened to my LFS cichlid specialist enthusiastically, and then within a couple of years of me buying and selling fish to him, he was starting to ask ME about cichlids and Synodontis, etc. Most stores have to sell a large variety of genera, hard to know 100% about every genus.

How long will it be before you have the 72" tank? I think Deeda was saying she put all of them in the 72" tank within six months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Better not to take advice from people who need to sell fish for their business to survive. I have found LFS employees...and often even owners, just don't know that much about African Rift Lake cichlids, so they may give you erroneous advice innocently. When I first started I listened to my LFS cichlid specialist enthusiastically, and then within a couple of years of me buying and selling fish to him, he was starting to ask ME about cichlids and Synodontis, etc. Most stores have to sell a large variety of genera, hard to know 100% about every genus.

How long will it be before you have the 72" tank? I think Deeda was saying she put all of them in the 72" tank within six months.
Yep, I agree. the LFS in question is very reputable and i don't think they were just trying to make a sale. I think it was an innocent mistake.

I just can't see me getting a 72" (or hopefully bigger) within 2 years from now due to family circumstances.

I'll give some thought as to what i do next. Peacocks might be a better option, but I don't seem to get too excited by them. Mbuna yes. Haps yes. Peacocks not so much.

Anyway, thanks for your very helpful input. I'll let you know what decision i reach and how things go!
 

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@PJ_W , I think I had 1 male and 1 female left and left the female in the 72" inch tank and the male in the 48" tank with a male Auratus that was also rather mean. I left the female in the 72" tank because I switched to some Aulonocara peacocks but just don't remember which species they were.

The venustus are so cute and personable when small but I find they have an attitude especially when males start to color up and bully the other venustus.

I think you would be better off returning them to the store if you can unless you know someone who would be willing to take them off your hands when they become aggressive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks again for your help. I've contacted the LFS and they are happy to receive them back. Can i ask what hap recommendations (or peacocks if you don't think i should have any haps) you'd recommend for a 55" / 110 gallon tank? (feel free to push this request to a different part of the forum if necessary).
 

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Anything that matures less than or equal to six inches. Many of the Copadichromis, but not borleyi. Protomelas marginatus. Placidochromis electra. Oropharynx tetrastigma.

For peacocks I would skip the jacobfreibergi and the hybrids like firefish, OB peacocks, etc. The stuartgranti tend to be less aggressive overall.

On the other hand for all male avoid the super timid haps (like lethrinops) and peacocks (like kandeense) who don't tend to color well in an all-male tank.
 
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