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Old 05-30-2012, 02:20 PM   #1
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Tankmates for Labs

OK I'm going to ask this question as if I am a Cichlid noob, just to get some fresh input. My 55 currently is going to be going through some stock changes eventually. Here is what I currently have:

-5 Yellow Labs. My favoritres. I recommend these to anyone who can keep them.
-1 EB Hap Ahli. One of my first batch of Cichlids. It's fully matured and I luckily have a mellow one; it never bothers anyone, so it's a keeper until it acts otherwise.
-2 Nimbochromis venustus. Impulse purchase (shame). Obviously these beasts are going to be too big for my 55. I'm growing them out until I need to swap them out.
-1 Copadichromis borleyi (Red Fin-Female). I dunno if I'll be able to keep this one. If it gets too big for the tank I'll have to trade her up.
-1 Sunburst Peacock. Very pretty Peacock, very healthy, gets along with everyone. I'll roll the dice and keep it unless there are problems.
-1 Sunshine Peacock. Recently it's in rough shape and hangs out in the upper corners like it is being ostracized. It may need to go. No more Peacocks for this tank. I have not had good luck with them overall with the Mbuna. Not a good mix.
-1 Synodontis Eupeterus. It's really cool, and gets along with everyone, but if it exceeds about 6" I should trade it up.

So really the only sure thing after the potential trade-outs are the 5 Labs, the EB Hap Ali, and the Sunburst Peacock. If the Syn.Eupterus is swapped I'm considering a Bristlenose Pleco to keep the algae down (Syn. do not eat Algae). I'm looking for readily-available tankmates that have a compatile temperament with the peaceful remnant that will remain, and that are suitable for a 55 gallon aquarium.

Suggestions?
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:39 PM   #2
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What about Auratus? Red Zebras?
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:40 PM   #3
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Not red zebras way to aggressive IMO
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:18 PM   #4
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I've hot red zebras with my yellow labs.1 male to 4 females of each with no problems whatsoever.It can be a bit hit and miss but in my experience it isn't a problem.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:21 PM   #5
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I would go for sunshine peacock actually very passive IMO
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josh7
I would go for sunshine peacock actually very passive IMO
did you read my OP? I originally had three. Two died, and one is bad shape hanging out in the corners. I'm not going to take the chance with any Peacocks anymore. I think the Mbuna beat them up when I'm not looking.

Now, if I had a tank with only Peacocks, then yes I would add a Sunshine Peacock because they are very pretty, but only one male. When I was down two two males they were constantly fighting to be top dog.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garfy
I've hot red zebras with my yellow labs.1 male to 4 females of each with no problems whatsoever.It can be a bit hit and miss but in my experience it isn't a problem.
Yeah I've heard both ways. I wonder if 55 is big enough to keep their aggression dispersed. What size tank do you have them in?
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:57 PM   #8
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My bad I just skimmed over it will read it all next time
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labenator65000

Yeah I've heard both ways. I wonder if 55 is big enough to keep their aggression dispersed. What size tank do you have them in?
Fair point I guess.Mines a 143g
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:18 PM   #10
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Any other suggestions for Mbuna tank-mates that can coexist with Yellow Labs in a 55 gallon tank?
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:02 PM   #11
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I have decided to add one Demasoni and one Bristlenose Pleco to the mix. So after I swap out the ones I really should, I will have this stock:

- 5 Yellow Labs
- 1 EB Hap Ahli
- 1 Sunburst Peacock
- 1 Syn.Eupterus
- 1 Demasoni (future purchase)
- 1 BN Pleco (future purchase)

My 55 gallon now has 800 GPH filter circulation, and the water params are perfect for Malawi Cichlids. I still feel like I could safely add a few more fish to the mix, but I need ideas. As you can see, my strategy is to have only one of each species (except the labs) to minimize conspecific aggression. It's really very challenging to pick the proper stock for a smaller tank (yes, 55 is a smaller tank) and to have relatively peaceful cichlids.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:14 PM   #12
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I have pseudotropheus socolofi (snow white) with my yellow labs in a 55 gallon. I started with seven of each as juveniles a year and a half ago when I first set up the tank. Since then, I've grown out 5 or 6 offspring of the labs. There's not much fighting, although I did lose one of the socolofi a while back when they were establishing their hierarchy. My original plan was to add metriaclima estherae (red zebra), but i'm glad i didn't overstock that much. I recently added a synodontis eupterus that fits in well with them.


I switched from ken's flakes to NLS Thera about two weeks ago. Waiting to see if it makes a difference.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slade
I have pseudotropheus socolofi (snow white) with my yellow labs in a 55 gallon. I started with seven of each as juveniles a year and a half ago when I first set up the tank. Since then, I've grown out 5 or 6 offspring of the labs. There's not much fighting, although I did lose one of the socolofi a while back when they were establishing their hierarchy. My original plan was to add metriaclima estherae (red zebra), but i'm glad i didn't overstock that much. I recently added a synodontis eupterus that fits in well with them.

I switched from ken's flakes to NLS Thera about two weeks ago. Waiting to see if it makes a difference.
Thanks for the suggestions. I will check it out. I found a difference in coloration after about 3 weeks of switching from flakes to NLS Cichlid. I found an immediate difference in water quality when I switched to NLS. Less fragmentation of the food with the pellets than with flakes.
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:21 PM   #14
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if you can get some white labs i think they would look good in your tank, for me at least it is hard to find a good stock but when you do its worth it! very nice fish and just a color morph of the yellow lab which already seems to be your favorite.

if you do decide to get them look out for any odd coloring, only pick the brightest and whitest of fish, any slight green coloring seems to be a sign of illness, even if the fish are acting healthy. they will be a pure white not the pinkish white of an albino and have the same black on the fins as traditional yellow labs
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:56 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by a.tetreault
if you can get some white labs i think they would look good in your tank, for me at least it is hard to find a good stock but when you do its worth it! very nice fish and just a color morph of the yellow lab which already seems to be your favorite.

if you do decide to get them look out for any odd coloring, only pick the brightest and whitest of fish, any slight green coloring seems to be a sign of illness, even if the fish are acting healthy. they will be a pure white not the pinkish white of an albino and have the same black on the fins as traditional yellow labs
Wow those are nice-looking. I had never heard of them. I'll have to see if my LFS can get them. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 06-23-2012, 06:39 PM   #16
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I have only seen them and purchased them at a petland near me, which is surprising since they usually dont have a great selection. But they seem to have these readily available at all times. but like I said, not always a great stock, that could also be due to lack of care from the employees.
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:49 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labenator65000
I have decided to add one Demasoni and one Bristlenose Pleco to the mix. So after I swap out the ones I really should, I will have this stock:

- 5 Yellow Labs
- 1 EB Hap Ahli
- 1 Sunburst Peacock
- 1 Syn.Eupterus
- 1 Demasoni (future purchase)
- 1 BN Pleco (future purchase)

My 55 gallon now has 800 GPH filter circulation, and the water params are perfect for Malawi Cichlids. I still feel like I could safely add a few more fish to the mix, but I need ideas. As you can see, my strategy is to have only one of each species (except the labs) to minimize conspecific aggression. It's really very challenging to pick the proper stock for a smaller tank (yes, 55 is a smaller tank) and to have relatively peaceful cichlids.
Well I cannot find any Demasoni locally and my LFS may order BNP soon, but does not know when. I think I'm just going to add a single Yellow-Tail ace I and a single Red Zebra for now and hold out on the BNP.
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:16 PM   #18
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Came across a couple of albino greshakeis. Would these work with labs? Also there is a nice-looking albino lab, but im not sure if it's too small to go with the others.
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:06 PM   #19
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The albino greshakeis albino lab were not there when I got back, so it must not heave been meant to be. I settled on a pair if Yellow-Tail Acei and a Red-Zebra/Yellow Lab mix (I think). Wow those sure looked bigger in the store tank then they do at home. They are tiny compared to my other tankmates. I worried for a couple of days that they may have been picked on or that my Venustus would try to eat them, but all is well after 3 days. I have to find a home for those Vensustus (impulse purchase). I really hate to give them up, but they are just going to get too big for my 55.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:55 PM   #20
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..and now i added a single Demasoni. I was worried with the Dem, they all beat on it for about 5 minutes, then stopped. I donated my 2 Venustus as well. That was difficult.
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