Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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fish joey 02-16-2012 01:50 PM

heading off trouble
So many of you know I took over some cichlids (15)

2 x Cobalt Blue Zebra (Metriaclima callainos)
1 x Pseudotropheus Socolofi (Pseudotropheus socolofi)
2 x Melanochromis Auratus (Melanochromis auratus) A PAIR
4 x Red Zebra (Maylandia estherae)
1 x Metriaclima estherae (Maylandia estherae)
2 x Yellow Lab (Labidochromis caeruleus) MALES
3 x Electric Blue Johannii (Melanochromis johanni) FEMALES

I need advise as who should go and who should stay.....I know the Auratus are aggressive, the male is one the top three chasers.. He seems to have it out for the largest fish in the tank (Blue Cobalt.)..should the female Auratus also be rehomed?

#2 chaser is one of the Red Zebras the spotted orange purple one I have been unable to sex these.This one will chase anyone.

# 3 chaser is the Metraclima Estherae prime targets are the blue Johannis that I believe are females they are striped

#4 the Socolofi stays put near a cave basically defending his turf

So its a mess I know but how do I begin to sort this out. I also just plain dont understand the overstocking concept where is the breaking point? How do you figure the Male to female ratio when some of these cant be sexed right away?

Looking for a way to have a PEACEFUL colorful Tank......:-D

redchigh 02-16-2012 01:57 PM

I don't think african cichlids will ever be 'peaceful'...

Tazman 02-16-2012 02:10 PM

what size is the tank (gallons, length and width)?

fish joey 02-16-2012 02:20 PM

the tank is a 75 ..48 long 18 deep 20 high ....I am running 2 Emperor 400's

Tazman 02-16-2012 02:38 PM

Which fish do you like the most out of them? Reason I ask is we can perhaps base the stock around that.

I would be looking at 20 fish roughly.

fish joey 02-16-2012 03:49 PM

I like the yellow labs the best .....I would like to keep as many of the current fish as possible :-D

Tazman 02-16-2012 04:15 PM

OK, I am going to have to be the bearer of bad news.

To keep all / most of the fish listed, you would absolutely need a 125g 72" tank. There is simply too many aggressive fish to work comfortably and not cause you or the fish stress and have deaths.

Am going to crunch some numbers and work out what would be the best options for you...will re post again shortly.

I will however stress now, some of them WILL have to be removed for this to work out for you in a 75g tank and get the correct Male to Female ratios.

Tazman 02-16-2012 05:32 PM

OK, here we go...

Keep the yellow labs, Red Zebra and try and get 1 Male with 4 females..(PLEASE NOTE - the Red Zebra will more than likely crossbreed with the yellow labs, so do not sell, give away any of the fry).

Either the Melanochromis johanni or Melanochromis auratus has to go...I would recommend the auratus as it is the more aggressive. Keeping fish of the same genus is like a mini war primed to go off, they will fight to the death.
Again because of not keeping fish of the same genus, the cobalt zebra also have to go...or the red zebra if you want to keep the cobalts. You would need a ratio of 1 Male to 4 female.

Melanochromis johanni - now this causes is extremely aggressive to other male johannis to the point the dominant male will kill them with no hesitation...if you wanted to keep one, then ABSOLUTE MUST to have 1 Male to 7 females (anymore males and there will be all out fighting once one is old enough to breed)

I said keep the Reb Zebra just on the fact you already have 5 of them. Maylandia estherae does not exist as a genus anymore, it is only Metriaclima estherae.

Melanochromis auratus if you wanted to keep would ABSOLUTELY - NO OPTION HERE, need 1 Male to 7-10 females...any males and you will be picking up bodies from all over the tank, not just other auratus but the rest of the tank as well...they are extremely aggressive to their own and once they turn can easily kill a whole tank in a matter of hours.

I can offer other suggestions for fish that you can add if you wanted to remove everything except the yellow labs and the red zebras.

Malawi cichlids are NOT pairing fish, they are harem breeders, hence why you need 1 male to several female ratios otherwise a single male, once in breeding mode, will harass a lone female to the point of death in most cases. Also male to male aggression is usually on the high, extreme or full on war side once you have several males at breeding age.

Realistically you are looking at keeping 16 fish if they are near fully grown, about 24 if they are juvenile until you can sex them to sort ratios out.

Sorry for the long post but hope it has helped some.

Tazman 02-16-2012 05:48 PM

If you know the sex of the fish.. then there is a possibility of doing an all male tank but you would have to have another tank setup and cycled ready to remove fish if there was any aggression.

Same rule applies though, no fish of the same genus.

fish joey 02-17-2012 01:41 PM

So since I dont see 125 gallon in my future...I am going to start by rehoming the pair of Melanochromis Auratus
. I am also not sure I have all of them identified correctly.
The 3 Melanochromis johanni may not be... I looked them up again and cant find the photo that made me think they were. If you go back to my original posts "name that cichlid" 2 the photo is fish marked #7 (sorry cant access camera right now ) they are the smallest of the lot... peach golden horizonal stripe sometimes has a glint of tourquise with spoted tail and fins .
The two id ed as blue cobolt zebras arent blue they are brown and black but photograph blue weird huh?

I will try to get some pics of the red zebras for sexing this weekend.

just curious do people ever do an all female tank?

I am open to the all male tank if I can keep more Thanks for all your help Tazman

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