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Old 04-26-2015, 05:26 PM   #1
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Hello from St Marie Mt

I've kept fish on and off for almost 30 years now. However this is my first time having cichlids. I currently have two aquariums.

I have 4 angel fish (they're black and silver) in a 55 gallon aquarium. These were given to me by someone who was getting out of breeding them. From what I can tell I have 2 males and 2 females. They've laid eggs three times when they were in their previous aquarium (a 29 gallon) but they always ate the eggs. No big deal really as I'm honestly not interested in breeding them.

In addition to the angel fish there are 4 fish that are native to this area. They mostly hide, and leave the angel fish alone entirely. They stay in the bottom in a hollow tree stump thing. The angel fish ignore them as well.

In the 29 gallon I now have a female white lab. All I know is that she's a little over a year old, or rather the previous owner had her from the initial purchase (a year ago in March) when she was small until I took her, which was just a week ago. I'm certain she's female as we witnessed her laying eggs just a couple days ago.

Her previous tank was a messy, algae filled 55 gallon. She had no tank mates. As far a so know she'd never laid eggs until I got her.

I feel comfortable with maintenance and such. What I don't know is:

1. Should the white lab cichlid have a tank mate? I've taken video of her and then played it back and she seems very interested. She has also shown interest in her own reflection. I've read mixed opinions about if I should have another in the 29 gallon tank.

2. Any suggestions for adding interest and color to the angel fish tank?

I live a minimum of 3 hours from any pet store and realistically it is about a 5 hour drive to a store that I'd want to buy fish from. I'd be ordering online.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-26-2015, 05:55 PM   #2
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Woohoo! another michigander

As for the white lab, it's either a go big or go home proposition with these types of fish.

The white lab is a Mbuna which are some of the most aggressive freshwater fish around. Because of this they need to be stocked very specifically.

1 - 55g minimum Because of how big they get and the need to overstock the tank with a group of them it's recommended to have no less than a 55g tank for them.

2 - If you want to keep multiple mbuna in the same tank you need lots of rocks. They are cave dwelling fish. The more rocks / caves there are the more comfortable the fish will be.

3 - To keep multiples they need to be stocked in fairly specific ratios of male to female. These fish are harem breeders i,e, 1 male to a group of females. In general with fish like the labs it's 1 male to 3 females. However, with more aggressive fish like the Demasoni it's 10+ females per male. The males tend to abuse the females and the larger groups allow them to get lost in the mix and spreads out the males aggression a bit.

4 - Stocking a 55g with mbuna - approximately 3 different species in groups of 4 will work well in a 55g.
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Old 04-26-2015, 06:03 PM   #3
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Thank you!

LOL I'm in Montana....

Given that I don't have the budget for another tank at this time, and the angel fish just can't go back into the 29 gallon, it sounds like the white lab need to be a loner until I can get another tank. I was more concerned about her being lonely lol.

At some point though I want to get a VERY large tank. A minimum of 100 gallons. At that point I'll be stocking it with more of the cichlids like the white lab.
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Old 04-26-2015, 06:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MommaJade View Post
Thank you!

LOL I'm in Montana....

Given that I don't have the budget for another tank at this time, and the angel fish just can't go back into the 29 gallon, it sounds like the white lab need to be a loner until I can get another tank. I was more concerned about her being lonely lol.

At some point though I want to get a VERY large tank. A minimum of 100 gallons. At that point I'll be stocking it with more of the cichlids like the white lab.
Aww, I was excited for a second there and read it wrong
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:07 PM   #5
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Hi MommaJade, welcome to Aquarium Advice! I love Angelfish, they are one of my favorite types of freshwater fish.
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