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post #1 of 5 Old 03-18-2011, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
Designing & stocking first tank

Hi there,

I'm in the process of determining what would make good companions for my first tank.

I'm planning on a 4x2x2 tank that's fairly minimalistic; little in the way of plants, mostly just hardscaped, so the inhabitants will need to be comfortable with that as well as each other. I'd be very happy with something like this:



I've had quite some difficulty in finding fish that will cohabitate peacefully within this environment, that are available at reasonable prices. So far I've come up with this, but I'm still unsure if they will work together:



How am I going so far? Will these fish work together within such an environment? I'm mostly concerned about the upside down cat and the lack of broad-leaved plants and how the Mainganos will mix with the others.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-19-2011, 12:18 AM
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the yellow labs and mainganos should be fine, I keep both peacefully in my tank. As for the others, it's kind of a hit or miss. Usually plecos and catfish are ok with them, but some people have the cichlids kill them within 24 hours...

50 gallon Malawi Mbuna tank
-5 Electric Yellows
-6 Mainganos
10 gallon fry / QT
-9 Elongatus kanchedza fry
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-19-2011, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by catdawg426 View Post
the yellow labs and mainganos should be fine, I keep both peacefully in my tank. As for the others, it's kind of a hit or miss. Usually plecos and catfish are ok with them, but some people have the cichlids kill them within 24 hours...
Thanks for your input, I appreciate it

Someone else has warned me off the upside down cats as well, much to my other half's dismay, so it's looking like I might give those a miss. I'm hoping still to get away with the plecos, but that's a little concerning. Is there anything that can be done to reduce the chances of problems? Maybe renovating the tank as they're introduced to upset existing territories, and ensuring plenty of hiding spots?
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-19-2011, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by spaces between me View Post
Thanks for your input, I appreciate it

Someone else has warned me off the upside down cats as well, much to my other half's dismay, so it's looking like I might give those a miss. I'm hoping still to get away with the plecos, but that's a little concerning. Is there anything that can be done to reduce the chances of problems? Maybe renovating the tank as they're introduced to upset existing territories, and ensuring plenty of hiding spots?
you could probably get away with it. as far of reducing the chances, I would put the pleco in first, that should help a lot.

50 gallon Malawi Mbuna tank
-5 Electric Yellows
-6 Mainganos
10 gallon fry / QT
-9 Elongatus kanchedza fry
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-21-2011, 08:59 AM
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I do not recomend Bristlenose Pleco with rift lake cichlids. As noted in our profile (second tab from the left in the blue bar at the top, or you can click on shaded names in posts) the BN is peaceful and should not be combined with aggressive tankmates. Some of the tougher pleco species can manage. Also, your water is presumably hard and basic for the cichlids.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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