yellow lab and other fish, could I do it?
Hello my name is Lou, this is the first time I have posted on this site (I am usually over with the betta folk) so if this is in the wrong spot feel free to move...
I am very much interested in keeping cichlids Mbuna rock dwellers particularly the electric yellow lab. I have a few questions as I am hard pressed to find reliable information elsewhere.
1) I have a particularly unimpressive fish history mainly goldfish and betta's in cycled tanks how hard are yellow labs? But you must remember that I have been spent most of the last year researching various fish and I feel very confident I could handle the theoreticle side of most freshwater fish keeping.
2) what can I keep with them later on down the track I heard blue peacocks are good but I have also heard they are not for beginners, I would like something similiar in size with varying colours.
3) what is the minimun tank size and what is the minimum number of fish that can be kept together I know they are a bit aggressive and overcrowding may be needed to reduce singling out. Could you give me some more information about that?
I think that's pretty much it for now, really sorry about the length!:-)
1) All African Cichlids are fairly hardy fish. Be sure to cycle your tank for 3 weeks before you introduce your fish. You will probably need a filter with a flow rate of 4 times the actual volume of your tank.
2) I don't know the fish available to you. I live in South Africa so malawi's are like goldfish. Yellow labs live well with:
I guess this is enough for now. It's basically some Mbuna. Don't mix American Cichlids with the African variety.
3) Depending on the size of the fish you plan to keep, five 1 inch malawi's can live happily for 1 year in a 15GAl. Once they grow to 2+ inch they will need at least double the size. Most people just buy a 100L tank and fill it up with 40 malawi's of various sizes. Be sure to compensate space for rock features. I currently have just 5 malawi's in a 40L tank with a rock ornament. Don't do this if you don't have good filtration and aeration.
2) They should be kept with other mbunas but you can keep them with malawi peacocks too. "blue peacock" could be alot of fish. Could you give us a scientific name or atlest a picture of the fish? I disagree with some fish on the poster above list. Crabro are large aggressive mbuna that I wouldn't keep with other mbuna in anything less than a 75 gallon and only with more agressive mbunas. Yellow labs are one of the most peacefull mbuna so keep the with other PEACEFULL mbuna and peacocks. I would suggest either...
8 yellow labs and 12 demasoni
or 8 yellow labs and 8 acei
3)Mbunas need to be kept again in a colony setting with several females to a male to prevent aggression issues. Again if you just wanted labs(and nothing else) you could do 1m and like3-4 females in a 30gallon. To add more mbuna a standard 55 gallon is perfect. The suggested combination above would work great in a 55. But if there are certain fish you like we may be able to work with that. Any more question please ask! You also must overcrowd mbuna so that no one fish is picked on. But, overcrowding means you must also over filter.
thank you for all that both of you it has been very helpful.
I saw one tank that had male and female johanni I am pretty sure and they were in with the y. labs would they be suitable?
I may be mixing johanni and Demasoni but I thought I read that demasoni were particularly bad bullies even of larger fish although I have read quite a lot about lots of different fish and I may be a bit confused
johanni are about semi-aggressive as far as mbunas go. You should be fine with yellow labs and johanni. Johanni should not be kept with demasoni because the males look similar which will cause aggression problems. You do not want to choose mbunas that look too similar. Demasoni are not that aggressive to other mbuna but are EXTREMELY aggressive toward thier own kind which is why it's suggested to keep them in groups of 12 or more. They max out at only about 3in so you can fit alot of them in a tank.
If you are looking for a good mixture of color in a 55 Gal tank you could go with
6 Yellow Labs
6 Ps Acei
Just remember to keep it to 1 male per group to help keep down aggression. These are all peaceful african cichlids, but they are still african cichlids. And remember, you can not over filter a cichlid tank.
I currently have yellow labs mixed with :
Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei"
Labidochromis sp. "Perlmutt"
Amatitlania (Archocentrus) nigrofasciata (Marble Convict**)
It's advisable to keep smaller convicts rather than convicts of similar size to the rest of your fish...
OK Thank you very much for all this information I now have a great starting point but I was wondering is there anything in particular I need to know about these types of cichlid, as in, any illnesses they are susceptable to?
Mbuna cichlids are vegetarians and can get what is called malawi bloat if their diet has too much fat in it. Also, they will over eat so watch how much you are feeding them and let them fast at least one day per week. They have very long intestines and fasting helps them to clean out their system.
Good luck and make sure to post some pictures!
The above poster could not have said it better.
Make sure you have a fine substrate and good filtration! I used to have my HOB and Submersible running simultaneously. I don't compromise on excellent water quality!
Feeding a high protein food can be done just as long as its one serving per day this is like 3 granules of Tetra Bits per fish . Nothing more or they will get Malawi bloat! You don't want that.....
I make my own version of Tetra Bits which is formulated to increase growth, color and fin quality. This food is for omnivorous fish as well as carnivorous. I noticed a size increase in my orandas after a month on the food.
There's many recipes on the net, not all of the good, but you can make a similar food and try and make granules or pellets(Good luck:-D) .Most homemade food is either frozen or a paste it is almost impossible to make pellets without proper DRY ingredients.
It took me long before I figured out the correct ratio of all the ingredients to get the Granule form. Unfortunately the recipe is not available to anyone.
Tetra Bits is an ideal food. Use the serving size I suggested and you will be okay. Feed Cucumber or Zucchini 1 day before the fast.
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