Cichlid role call, and suitable tankmates?
Ok, after some tips from forumites I've moved the four paradise fish from my main tank into a species tank. This leaves the red zebra, yellow lab, rosy barbs and brochis splendens (green 'cory' cats) in the 28 gallon tank. I took advantage of the territory shake up from moving the paradise fish and some of the gourami friendly decor to add an auratus to the 28 gallon.
I'm thinking that, while trying to overstock to reduce aggression, that three mbuna and TEN rosy barbs all in one tank, never mind the five cats is just way too much, even with the over filtration. (Emperor 200 for up to 50 gallon tanks)
I'm trying to decide which species to reduce, the catfish or the barbs. I feel like the barbs can really hold their own with the mbuna b/c they are just so darn fast, but the mbuna don't even bother the catfish, so maybe they aren't even a problem.
What do you all think?
Updated tank details:
28 gallon bowfront
10 rosy barbs
5 brochis splendens
1 red zebra
At maturity that tanks is going to be borderline if not truly overstocked..
I agree. Hence the population reduction. Any suggestions?
I think it's a tough call either way.
What's the size difference between your mbuna and the Brochis? If you've got small catfish, I say you should drop them. There are plenty of horror stories about bigger fish trying to snack on fish like cories who end up getting a catfish stuck in their throats, killing both fish. Not to mention that your mbuna are going to spend more time near the bottom of the tank and eventually might get more aggressive, making the higher-strata barbs a better choice.
On the other hand, you mentioned that the cichlids seem to completely ignore the brochis, so it might be better to nix the barbs.
Were it me, I would start shopping around for another tank to move both the barbs and the brochis into. This would open doors for more suitable tankmates for these fish as well as allow you to put another mbuna in the 28g. Just putting it out there, in case you needed an excuse to get another tank.
The cichlids are going to hammer each other. The auratus is definitely the most aggressive. They are one of the more aggressive Africans I have ever kept. All will grow to 4" or better. My suggestion would be to get something smaller like trets.
I would nix both the barbs and the brochis', as well as your choice of cichlids, and start over. Stick with a single species tank. 28g does not give you any room at all for heavy stocking, any stocking, for that matter. Maybe some dwarf riverine cichlids from Western Africa, maybe.
I definitely think, after watching the auratus, that the brochis are gonna go to a safer home right away. I've got a bid in on a 20 gallon and another 30 gallon tank on ebay, if I don't win those I'm going to pick up another 20 gallon and get the brochis into it. The auratus isn't big enough yet to fit a brochis in his mouth, but he will be soon.
Right now the Red zebra and the Yellow Lab are about three inches each. The auratus is about two inches and MUCH smaller bodied. (ie, the others are about an inch and a half from dorsal to pectoral fins and the auratus is about half an inch)
herefishy, thank you for your input, I do respectfully disagree about the 28 gallon being insufficient for any stocking at all. Once the barbs and the brochis are relocated that will be a mbuna only tank, and I'll likely be adding one or two more fish. The yellow lab and red zebra that I have are relatively docile for mbuna, I'll be looking for similar qualities in any other fish I might add (note, "relatively docile") The auratus, well, he might end up in a new home. He's a little spitfire already.
I do, however, love your idea of the dwarf riverine cichlids from West Africa. The new 30 (provided the gods of ebay smile on me) may be turning into a river tank.
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