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Old 01-31-2014, 05:10 PM   #1
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Question Trying again

My first attempt at African Cichlids went so-so. Stocked with Black and White Auratus from Pet Smart. I think I started with 6 in a 95 gal tank. I put in plenty of places to define territory with one large cave and a big piece of driftwood. All was well for a couple of years with a few successful batches of fry. Then late last year one of the large males decided he wanted the whole tank and harassed the rest to death. The only survivor was one little baby that could easily hide in the rocks & a large pleco. Then out of meanness he died (have no idea why) so I'm left with the juvenile.

So my questions are do I restock with more of a mixture of africans and was part of the problem I didn't have enough of a population to keep things in balance? Do the mature Auratus get along with something like labs? Don't have a great LFS around here to get any specialty cichlids so any ideas are welcome.
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Dennis
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:59 PM   #2
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The key to Africans is to overstock and over filter!!! With only 6 cichlids in a 95 gal, they were all probably fighting for territory. With that large of a tank, you could have 20-25 Africans!!

Auratus are much more aggressive than labs once sexually matured, but if the tank is balanced, they can coexist. Hope this helped some
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhawk__ View Post
The key to Africans is to overstock and over filter!!! With only 6 cichlids in a 95 gal, they were all probably fighting for territory. With that large of a tank, you could have 20-25 Africans!!

Auratus are much more aggressive than labs once sexually matured, but if the tank is balanced, they can coexist. Hope this helped some
Thanks jhawk. That confirms what I've been reading elsewhere. I guess the commitment has to be complete as that could be a little on the expensive side...

Now have to look for a good stocking source that is affordable. Maybe an online source. Only have Petsmart in immediate area with limited selection.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:37 PM   #4
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Ya I fee ya, I only have 2 local fish stores and one is Petco. Mine allows me to special order certain cichlids, petsmart might allow that also? I'm not sure.

Most of the time I check in the assorted tank and try to get a deal on labs, zebras, socolofis, etc. just watch out for the hybrids in them!!

I'd add your fish in 2 groups as adding only a couple at a time will not turn out pretty cause territories will already be established. Add them in groups 10-12.
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:26 AM   #5
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Try live fish direct. Nice variety, pricing, healthy fish, cheap and efficient shipping. I'm about to stock a 180 gal so will probably buy 30 or so young adults from them in the next couple months. They have variety packs for about 13 per fish.
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Old 02-03-2014, 01:58 PM   #6
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Overstock isn't always the answer, it also depends on what the male/female ratio was of those 6 Auratus, which most species you usually need at least a 1M:3F ratio, if not more females (for M. Auratus, usually 1:5). Of course, there's always that 1 occasional bad apple that just hates everyone, but that's just the nature of the hobby. If you're just wanting 6-12 cichlids, you can easily just go with 1 species, but needless to say, make sure that M/F ratio is balanced
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Old 02-03-2014, 02:03 PM   #7
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Search Dave's rare fish they have a great selection of fish. And yea the auratus can be a a** I some how got one male to coexist with the rest of my fish, I have an all male tank to keep breeding aggesion down. And IMO it makes a better tank to have several species instead of one just kinda boring to have one type of fish and one color in a tank that big. With mbuna you can have a rainbow of fish lol

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Old 02-03-2014, 02:06 PM   #8
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I do only males.
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Old 02-03-2014, 02:20 PM   #9
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Yep, an all male tank wouldn't have any issues, aside from pecking order aggression. However, OP said he got his Auratus from PetSmart, which needless to say, aren't the most knowledgeable people. He could've gotten 3-4 males and when it comes to "impressing" the female, the aggression increases dramatically. So, whatever fish sumpnfishy decides to get, just a heads up to be weary of M:F ratios if he does intend to have frys in the future.
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:05 PM   #10
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Of the group I had I only saw one that I assumed was the male since he turned the blue / striped color unlike the rest. A couple did pair up as I occasionally noticed fry hiding in the tank but I never did anything with them. He just seemed to get super aggressive after 2 years and killed off everything then just up and died himself. The pleco was happy after that.

So I assume if you go an to all male tank you have to buy adults to make sure they are sexed properly eh?

A little more digging and I did find some local resources to check out and now the local fish club meets closer to home than they used to so I'll have to go to a meeting and see what they have to offer.

Thanks for all the suggestions. This place is a great help for people with questions!
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