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Old 04-09-2011, 11:30 PM   #1
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cichlid questions

i'm starting my 55g tank back up..and going for cichlids..i hate to admit that ive had them before....but i'm not sure which i can get and which can go with who...my aunt uncle owned the store and they would suggest ones that i could get based on what i had in my tank...i had the bumblebee, blue peacock, a few mbuna....so looking that up i would assume its african lake Malawai ...now in stocking my new tank how can i figure out what i can put together on my own? i'd like to have a slightly different variety then i had previously..as well as a few of my old favorites...
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Old 04-10-2011, 12:27 AM   #2
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I just got into more harder cichlids recently such as tiger oscars, convict, jack damsy etc.
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Old 04-10-2011, 12:40 AM   #3
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Are you stocking Africans from Malawi again? A 75 gives you a much better range of options for those than a 55, but you can still keep some of the smaller/less aggressive species.
There are less aggressive species from SA or CA, or if you prefer interesting behavior over bright colors some of the Tanganykian cichlids are suitable for a 55.
Simplest thing would be to start with your absolute favorite fish and work around that. Check out cichlid-forum.com for compatible species. It's almost certain that any combo you can come up with has already been done and discussed on the forum there.
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Old 04-10-2011, 12:44 AM   #4
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nope just the 55g...i'm attached to it..it was a gift from my mom for graduation..plus my unemployed wallet couldnt handle a larger take..lol

honestly..i dont know..i loved what i had..they were fun to watch..they had energy...and were so pretty ..and it seems that their more popular now then they were 8 or 9 years ago..plus i dont know whats available..if i go to the store..

thank you i will have to check that out...
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Old 04-10-2011, 01:06 AM   #5
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Convicts are pretty cool and can do fine in a 55gal.
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Old 04-10-2011, 01:17 AM   #6
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had to google for a picture..i had him with the list from above..as well as a kenyi (sp?)
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Old 04-10-2011, 01:17 AM   #7
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Generally speaking, avoid the "mixed Africans" because they're usually the worst species for a 55.
Peacocks really do best in a larger tank, and aren't active/aggressive enough to compete with mbuna. Avoid zebra's of any type unless you want a tank full of nothing else, they're rather aggresive.
If you want constant activity and bright colors a group of 5-6 electric yellow Lab's and 12 or so demasoni makes quite a display.
If you can't find what you're looking for at the store check out aquabid. Great site to check out various cichlids, and even w/shipping you can often find a better deal than the lfs IME.
Africans and SA or CA cichlids don't mix well. Their dietary requirements, water chemistry, and general dispositions are too different.
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Old 04-10-2011, 01:27 AM   #8
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thank you for reminding me about aquabid ...i use to buy guppies from there a few years back...even those names you mentioned sound familiar..i might of had those in with what i've listed...
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Old 04-10-2011, 01:28 AM   #9
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and what do you mean exactly by "mixed" africans?
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:03 AM   #10
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There are a handful of species that are mass-produced on fish farms, usually in FL. Auratus, zebras, and livingstonii are among them. Wal-Mart and even some lfs sell them labelled as "mixed Africans" rather than as separate species.
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:05 AM   #11
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i really dont go for walmart fish..they dont even know how to care for them..but forgive me for my ignorance..but how can i tell if their mixed????? sorry its late here and my brain stopped working two weeks ago...
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:27 AM   #12
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the tank will be labled 'mixed africans' or 'assorted africans'. You can find some gems in those tanks, but you have to know what you're looking at pretty well. the mixed or assorted tanks are pretty common around here. It basically means that the lfs is either too lazy or incapable of identifying the individual species
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Old 04-10-2011, 03:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giggalz View Post
i really dont go for walmart fish..they dont even know how to care for them..but forgive me for my ignorance..but how can i tell if their mixed????? sorry its late here and my brain stopped working two weeks ago...
There are basically three lakes in Africa, the Malawi, Victoria and Tanganyika.
The Cichlids from each lake will never be in the same tank at any reputable FS. Don't trust the chain FS on this.
The reason they won't be together is that their needs are different. The water conditions of each lake are different.
I don't remember who said it, but staying away from the Red Zebras (Malawi)is good advice. They are the most aggressive of all the Malawi cichlids.
I have a 55g tank with Malawi Cichlids. I have Yellow labs, and Blue cobalt's. And some that no one knows what they are, but they were beautiful so I got them. I have 3 black Mbunas with bright blue fins and 3 White Mbunas, but not albino. They have black eyes with the iridescent greenish blue around them. Both are beautiful and unique. I don't know what they are except, they all came from the same lake, they are wonderful to watch and they aren't as aggressive as the RZ.
I'm not planning on breeding, so having different color Mbunas is fine. I have one Red Zebra left that is going back to the FS April 18Th.
I took some new pics. today of my Cichlid tank. I'll post them by tomorrow so you can see some of the different cichlids from lake Malawi, if you'd like.
Other than the RZ, all the others in my tank get along fine.
4 Blue Cobalt
1 Red Top Blue Cobalt (wanted more, couldn't get
get any)
2 Yellow labs
1 Kenyi, Female (had a male, but he was killed
by the RZ)
1 Gray w/goldish tummy (ID unknown, but beautiful)
3 Black w/bright blue fins (ID unknown, But
really cool looking)
3 White w/black eyes 2 w/stripes, 1 without.
Since getting rid of the adult RZ, I've had no fighting at all. it's an active but peaceful tank.
When I had the adult RZ, every other day someone was either seriously injured or dead. So I took him back to the FS. I have another but, I couldn't return him at the same time. The adult RZ had harassed the younger RZ so much he looked anemic and malnourished. He's now very healthy and is picking up a few bad habits. So before I have more deaths, he's going back to the FS.
I absolutely love Mbunas, they are beautiful and entertaining. But I will never have another RZ in my tank again.
If you want to know which Cichlids are compatible, check out www.liveaqquaria.com they have a compatibility chart for all of their livestock. They also have Quick stats, with things like, Tank size, care level, temperament, water conditions, max. size, and diet. Then there is an overview for each fish.
They are a good way to figure out what you want and who will most likely get along.
With Cichlids there is no guarantee but they have a good idea who will and who won't
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Old 04-10-2011, 12:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddnbecka View Post
There are a handful of species that are mass-produced on fish farms, usually in FL. Auratus, zebras, and livingstonii are among them. Wal-Mart and even some lfs sell them labelled as "mixed Africans" rather than as separate species.
goootcha..i wasnt sure if you meant actually bred with others or what..i could of taken it many ways...so i wanted to be sure...gotcha..its a shame..the site off of foster and smith to get fish has them "mixed"...thats a shame though they cant figure out what they are...
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Old 04-10-2011, 12:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfdrookie516 View Post
the tank will be labled 'mixed africans' or 'assorted africans'. You can find some gems in those tanks, but you have to know what you're looking at pretty well. the mixed or assorted tanks are pretty common around here. It basically means that the lfs is either too lazy or incapable of identifying the individual species
gotcha..its a ashame they cant figure out the fish their getting to know what they are...
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Old 04-10-2011, 12:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WendiDell View Post
There are basically three lakes in Africa, the Malawi, Victoria and Tanganyika.
The Cichlids from each lake will never be in the same tank at any reputable FS. Don't trust the chain FS on this.
The reason they won't be together is that their needs are different. The water conditions of each lake are different.
I don't remember who said it, but staying away from the Red Zebras (Malawi)is good advice. They are the most aggressive of all the Malawi cichlids.
I have a 55g tank with Malawi Cichlids. I have Yellow labs, and Blue cobalt's. And some that no one knows what they are, but they were beautiful so I got them. I have 3 black Mbunas with bright blue fins and 3 White Mbunas, but not albino. They have black eyes with the iridescent greenish blue around them. Both are beautiful and unique. I don't know what they are except, they all came from the same lake, they are wonderful to watch and they aren't as aggressive as the RZ.
I'm not planning on breeding, so having different color Mbunas is fine. I have one Red Zebra left that is going back to the FS April 18Th.
I took some new pics. today of my Cichlid tank. I'll post them by tomorrow so you can see some of the different cichlids from lake Malawi, if you'd like.
Other than the RZ, all the others in my tank get along fine.
4 Blue Cobalt
1 Red Top Blue Cobalt (wanted more, couldn't get
get any)
2 Yellow labs
1 Kenyi, Female (had a male, but he was killed
by the RZ)
1 Gray w/goldish tummy (ID unknown, but beautiful)
3 Black w/bright blue fins (ID unknown, But
really cool looking)
3 White w/black eyes 2 w/stripes, 1 without.
Since getting rid of the adult RZ, I've had no fighting at all. it's an active but peaceful tank.
When I had the adult RZ, every other day someone was either seriously injured or dead. So I took him back to the FS. I have another but, I couldn't return him at the same time. The adult RZ had harassed the younger RZ so much he looked anemic and malnourished. He's now very healthy and is picking up a few bad habits. So before I have more deaths, he's going back to the FS.
I absolutely love Mbunas, they are beautiful and entertaining. But I will never have another RZ in my tank again.
If you want to know which Cichlids are compatible, check out www.liveaqquaria.com they have a compatibility chart for all of their livestock. They also have Quick stats, with things like, Tank size, care level, temperament, water conditions, max. size, and diet. Then there is an overview for each fish.
They are a good way to figure out what you want and who will most likely get along.
With Cichlids there is no guarantee but they have a good idea who will and who won't
yeah i knew there were different lakes and each are different..you can tell just by looking at the fish...i just wanted to be able to pair them on my own ..and maybe didnt know if i could of branched out etc...some of what you have is what i had as well although i'm curious on your red top one..i didnt have anything red :O(
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Old 04-10-2011, 12:23 PM   #17
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ah yes i've been on that site...wasnt impressed with some of the info..like how much space they'd need..i had them previously in a 55 and all did just fine..
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:05 PM   #18
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but i do like their compatibility chart..its a little helpful..i guess with this its something that really depends on the their temperament when you get them and how well it goes with the other fish
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:08 PM   #19
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www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles is really an excellent source of information. Compatability is generally not so much of an issue with africans as long as you keep m-f ratios correct and stick with appropriate fish (ie mbuna with mbuna, peacocks with peacocks, haps with haps, tangs with tangs, etc).
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Old 04-10-2011, 03:49 PM   #20
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hmm no i was planning on community of cichlids like before...thanks for the link!
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