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Old 11-16-2010, 03:55 PM   #1
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Cichlid Questions

Hi all! New to the site, it kept popping up first on my google searches, so I figured this must be the place to be!:p

Anyway, I've recently downsized from a 55gal, to a 29 gal High (space limitations). I have been keeping Cichlids for a long time now, and would like to continue to do so (especially africans). Right now, I only have one large (5") Zebra in the tank. I plan on taking him to a local fish supplier who will trade him for some smaller fish. However, this 29 gal is rather small. Does anyone have any experience keeping African Cichlids in this type of tank? And if so, what species and how many?

Here are a couple pics I took today. This tank is still a work in progress, I am working on replacing the hood and improving the filtration system, but you can get the gist of what I am working with here. I feel I've provided some good hiding places (can't even see the big guy in the first pic), and I've worked on breaking up the sightlines from one side of the tank to the other.... Any pointers here? Should I keep building UP by stacking more rocks? Please excuse the poor picture quality and dirty glass, like I said, it's a work in progress! Any and all tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!






Came out for a look

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Old 11-16-2010, 04:42 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA

Personally, the only Africans I would keep in a 29g would be shell dwellers from Lake Tanganyika... Multies, Occies, maybe even some Brichardi or Julies (though those two are not technically shell dwellers). Most Mbuna would require a larger tank, though I'm pretty sure there are a select few that could comfortably live in that tank.
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:17 PM   #3
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Thanks!

That's great I was actually looking at some convict julies today.... Any idea what type of mbunas would work out?

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Originally Posted by mfdrookie516 View Post
Welcome to AA

Personally, the only Africans I would keep in a 29g would be shell dwellers from Lake Tanganyika... Multies, Occies, maybe even some Brichardi or Julies (though those two are not technically shell dwellers). Most Mbuna would require a larger tank, though I'm pretty sure there are a select few that could comfortably live in that tank.
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:48 PM   #4
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I sure dont, but I'm certain that mattrox will be around here shortly to give his much more experienced opinion
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:58 PM   #5
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LOL I agree with the above advice. Mbuna like to have a high population density and 29 gal is too small for a high population density with 5" fish. A single fish, while it has room in the tank will not be happy at all.

If REALLLLLY wanted malawis, you really could only do 1m 4f salousi or one of the tiny (but hard) to find psuedotropheus species (P. minutus). I guess you could do it with Red Top Ndumbi. It is not really a "safe" option and why it isn't really advised. (Yes you would need to get the rock work as high as possible). This is a highly specialised area because of the varying temprament of fish and could easily find yourself with a tank full of dead fish.

And that is why it is sound advice not to have anything less than a 4ft tank for malawis!

Really you would be better with shellies or the smaller julidochromis species. And still with ample rockwork.
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:53 PM   #6
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Thanks for the response! The guy at the fish place I always go to told me I could stock the tank with 'any' africans, as long as I bought all small ones so they would "grow up together". Didn't seem like good advice so I came here... I'm pretty sure I'm gonna go with some julies... One more question: I've always liked johanniis and they seem like fairly docile fish, would I be able to keep them in the tank, or is it just too small?
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Old 11-20-2010, 01:25 PM   #7
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Definitely not johanniis, not in a 3' long tank.

I have kept many juvenile Africans in the size of tank that you are talking about, and even later in the juvenile stage, if they are not moved out, their numbers will begin to decline as they pick each other off.

In my seventeen years of keeping Africans, I have been able to keep enough of a school to get reproduction a few times; once with the recommended salousi, and once with the Yellow Labidochromis (sorry forget their species name). Neither time however was I able to successfully reintroduce the female (after removing her to brood the fry), even with major rearrangement of the rockwork. At one time I actually had a population of what I identified as some small type of Psuedotropheus elangatus, which reproduced for me multiple times in this size tank. This of course was very strange given their reputation for aggression, but I was never able to positively ID them, and they eventually died out.

I don't recommend trying to keep any of the Africans long term in this size of tank. Juveniles yes, adults no. HTH
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Old 11-20-2010, 01:44 PM   #8
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Welcome to AA. How about some german blue rams or mcmasters apistos?
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:45 PM   #9
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+1 on the johanni... my female has gotten to her later years and had to be removed from the community tank because she's attacking and killing smaller tankmates and even her own mate! the males will not tolerate each other. or maingano. or some rocks. they are pretty much jerks
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:52 PM   #10
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+2 johanni. My male dominates the tank, although he didn't claim any specific place as his territory. He just bosses and chases everyone around. He also killed the other males of his species.
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