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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I set up a 55g last April with 16 juvenile demasoni and 12 young yellow labs. Since then I re-introduced the first two babies I found surviving in the tank (the rest get separated) and one yellow lab mom I rescued from a Petsmart that was neglecting her, as well as a trio of acei, and recently upgraded them to a 75. That's a lot of fish, of course.

Yesterday I fished out my first dead demasoni.

I suppose this is a sad occasion, since he was one of the larger prettier males, but I choose to look at it from the optimist's viewpoint: I've had a tank full of these known aggressive fish, was a cichlid beginner when I got them, and for 13 months all 18 of them survived happily. It's quite possible that he died from stress from the move too, as I didn't see him fighting at all (but I could be wrong). I guess I run the risk of jinxing myself with this post, but I see lots of people warning of overstocking in other forums, but with these guys I think it's just the way to go. 35 fish in a 55 (and now 75) seems a bit ridiculous but with care and proper filtration it works.

The tank is filtered by an XP2 and an XP3, buffered up to 8.2 pH, and gets water changes whenever the evaporation takes the water below the spray bars. The fish are happy as can be. The yellow labs especially love the extra foreground space in the 75... that was a worthwhile upgrade.

Just thought I'd share. All the advice about loading up on demasoni is definitely valid. Thanks to everyone who has helped.
 

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Yeah I totaly agree with you. I've got 20 dems, 8 labs and 2 albino plecs in my 55. I think it just helps to keep agression down and is totaly worth doing!
 

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what is your male to female ratio? I am just curious. I agree with this theory. I had 2 demasoni, 1 died within a year, I think the other one killed him. The one I had lived for a couple years. I think it is certainly true 1 or many with these little punks!
 

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I've noticed it depends a lot on the size of the fish, too. Demasoni don't get too big, so 15 of them is like having 7 or 8 full-grown socolofi or something.

You could never have 35 peacocks in a 75G tank, but 35 mbuna is not a problem provided it's well-designed and the fish get along.

My current count is this:
15 Demasoni
5 Acei
5 Albino Zebra
4 Rusty
6 Ps. Elongatus "Sunburst Orange" (just got yesterday)

plus I have 10 catfish (plecos, synos, etc)

That's a lot of fish in a 75. 35 Mbuna and 10 catfish, total of 45 fish.

None are full grown (except maybe the Acei which are close) but the Rustys and the Demasoni have spawned. The tank is only 6 weeks old and I've changed the layout a few times, just setting it up the way I like it so I can see the fish, but I think they are doing okay in there.

The Demasoni are really only jerks to the other Demasoni.
 

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Dare I say that your stock level seems light compared to how I like to keep mbuna? Crowding really does spread aggression.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am not sure, but I believe I only have 6 females. And they're always holding. I've got about 100 babies in my two fry tanks. Need to get rid of some.

I suspect that with the extra space the yellow labs might grow into it a bit. I don't think I'll ever worry about the dems but I could see the labs being too big for a lot of the caves in time. Three of them are pretty big now but still not full grown, at least not compared to what I've seen in stores.

Another thing that I think is key is that I frequently re-scape the tank, whenever I tear it up to net out the holding females. I don't change it too much, as I have a general setup that I like, but even just having it empty for an hour and smoothing out the sand makes it seem like they're starting over when I put it all back.
 

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Someone told me having 45 fish in a 135 gallon would be over stocked I thought that would be a normal stocking level for a tank that big.
 

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eagl97 said:
Someone told me having 45 fish in a 135 gallon would be over stocked I thought that would be a normal stocking level for a tank that big.
my local breeder keeps about 70-80 malawis in his 110g tanks and it keeps agression down. Even fish that were harrased in other tanks like his overstocked tanks much better..
 

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What you have to keep in mind is that the footprint is important, not the gallons. There are 135G tanks that are only 48" long. It also depends on whether the fish are full size or dwarf, and how aggressive they are.

A 55G tank that is 45" long will hold more fish than a 65G tank that is 36" long.
 

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My 135 gal is 72"L x 22"H x18"W so I think it should fit 45 fish easily. Plus the fish seem happier in larger groups.
 

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45 to 50 fish in a tank that has a 72" x 18" footprint is a good number (assuming some are dwarf). It's what I have in my 125G of the same footprint. Most of them are full grown and half of them are dwarf. To be honest, it looks almost overfull to me. With this fishload and weekly vacuuming and 50% PWC I am able to keep my nitrates under 20ppm.

Breeders and even some fishkeepers do stock heavier than this, but for a show tank, I don't think it's as attractive.

45 to 50 fish in a 72" x 18" footprint IS overstocking. It's one of the attractions of Malawi. Try marine or Tanganyika. I'm switching the 72" tank over to Tang first of the year, and if I squeeze I can have 5 pairs of fish only plus a population of cyps to occupy the open water. My 38G may become marine someday and plans for that call for one or two single, very small individuals.
 

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When I setup my 135g I had agression issues.But when I added more fish the problem went away.Everything is breeding like crazy and I have a ton of fry.They were very shy and always hiding until I added the Otopharynx lithobates,now they are out all of the time.Here is my stock list.

20+ Pseudotropheus Acei
18 Pseudotropheus demasoni
20+ Labidochromis caeruleus
10 Otopharynx lithobates
1 Melanochromis simulans
3 clown loach
3 bristlenose pleco
 
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