09-07-2006, 06:25 PM
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Yellow labs reach about 3-4 inches, Kenyi 4-6, venestus I have seen up pin the area of 8 inches. Ideally, these fish should be slightly overstocked, but should also be kept in a tank large enough so that the fish donot outgrow the tank. 55 Gallon is minimum for most Malawi Cichlids, though a 20 gallon will house a fair number of fish for about a 9 months to a year before they will need to be rehomed. If i might make a suggestion, i would consider a species tank of yellow labs in the 20 gallon, with plenty of baseball sized and smaller rocks, and a few artificial plants. 3 females and 1 male. With labs, it's a bit of a craps shoot as far as selecting sexes, but a good guideline is, males are generally brighter yellow with sharper contrasting blacks. Males generally have a diagonal black line across their eyes, females have been known to have less,if any, black on their anal and pectoral fins. As with most mbuna cichlids, the number of egg spots are reported to be an additional identifier, but i have found this method to be highly unreliable. Anyways, with this setup, you would begin to see the females holding (appearance of swollen jowels and gills) as the females reach about 6-9 months of age. they will stop eating and within a few days, you will see eyes peeking out from the mothers mouths. the labs will hold the fry for 2-4 weeks before letting them venture from the safety of her mouth. anyways, it truly is amazing to watch these fish going through this process, and watching the little fish grow up. and once grown, they can be sold to a LFS.
Originally Posted by Deefish
I really am enjoying these fish. Thanks for the info SK. The Venestus will get a lot bigger than I had thought from researching last night. Currently everyone is the same size. I reseached pleco L 46 for my tank and WOW
I had no idea a little fish could cost that much ($250-I can get a whole outfit for that
! Common pleco is looking better... Maybe even the candy stiped pleco I could justify. Do you think that my tank is too small for all these fish, honestly. I would like a bigger tank but I would want to do it right and really invest in something nice. Would it be reasonable to wait a year or so? I was thinking 5 gallons for each inch of mature fish and I thought that my fish would mature to about 5 inches or so (maybe bigger for the Venestus)? What do you think and thanks for your time. Dee