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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all!

My parent's family friend is giving us his old tank! It's about 50-60 gallons-HUGE! (by my standards :-D) and I'm thinking of turning it into a kind of African cichlid kind of tank. I like the Calvus, the Julies, the Labidochromis, and some other fish. I also like the Peacock Cichlid, even though it's from Lake Malawi. How should I stock these and is there any other rather colorful fish i could add to the tank? Also, a fish site recommended Honeycomb limestone/Texas Holey Rock, but it's just so darn expensive! :BIGcha-ching: How do i get these stuff a bit cheaper? (without going to Texas ;-))
 

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First of all...for a 55g tank you can keep maximum 12 fish.

Calvus is ok but any of the julies are NOT- they are too aggressive for a beginner.

You do not really want to mix the calvus with yellow labs as yellow labs cannot eat the high protein diet needed of a calvus, it will kill them, in fact any mbuna cannot be kept with a calvus unless you are experienced and can spot feed...something I would not recommend on a beginner to cichlids.

Peacocks are the most colorful but it can cause problems as they are peaceful and will get intimidated by mbuna and the calvus.

With regards to rocks, you can pretty much use anything as long as it contains no metals....lava rock is a cheap alternative, some people even DIY there own rocks...I will not go into how to wash rocks here as there are threads on the forum about it.

For a Lake Tanganyika setup in a 55g you can consider something along the lines of these...

Cyprichromis leptosoma - Group of 12.
2 Pairs of Altolamprologus calvus or compressiceps
Neolamprologus leleupi or Chalinochromis or brichardi
 

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I respectfully disagree. I have kept Julidochromis (when I was a beginner) without any aggression problems. If I were going to keep a Tanganyika tank I would go with a group of shell dwellers (pick your favorite), a pair of Julies, 8-12 Cyprichromis. I personally would not keep calvus unless they were a species tank because they are so pretty I would want them to breed.

I would agree that tangs and malawi cichlids should not be kept together.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I would agree that tangs and malawi cichlids should not be kept together.
I'm not sure i even know what tangs are. always thought they were salt water...:| So, because I really want to house Calvus and Peacocks, I'll go with Lorax84. No offense Tazman! :lol: As for the rocks, I googled lava rock. The holes are so darn small! How do the fish hide in it? And plus, I kinda like the holey rock appearance. Do you two know anyplace i could get them?
 

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Tangs are basically a shortened version of Lake Tanganyikan and NOT to be confused with their saltwater name sake.

Calvus and Peacocks are not the best mix as they require different water parameters. pH level of 8.6-9.1 will only stress any peacocks. Peacocks need 7.8-8.6

The Lake chemistry is completely different and should not be mixed.

You can buy Holey Rock here
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Tangs are basically a shortened version of Lake Tanganyikan and NOT to be confused with their saltwater name sake.
Oh. Well that makes sense.

darn it! :evil: i thought both were pretty cool. Do you think I could make a Lake Malawi tank instead? I think peacocks are just too awesome for me not to have them. :lol: Could you inform me on what i could do with a lake Malawi tank instead? (sorry for this sudden change in opinion. I haven't had much time to think or do my research about it, because our friend just informed us he would give the tank on Sunday.)

Thanks so so so much!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh and thanks for the holey rock link, Tazman! It doesn't look too expensive... How can I tell the size of the rock? I don't want it to be too long or too wide.
 

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Oh. Well that makes sense.

darn it! :evil: i thought both were pretty cool. Do you think I could make a Lake Malawi tank instead? I think peacocks are just too awesome for me not to have them. :lol: Could you inform me on what i could do with a lake Malawi tank instead? (sorry for this sudden change in opinion. I haven't had much time to think or do my research about it, because our friend just informed us he would give the tank on Sunday.)

Thanks so so so much!
If you just want really nice colorful fish just do a malawi tank. I prefer Tanganyika cichlids because they have more interesting behaviors in my opinion, but that is more of a personal preference.
 

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For a 55g Lake Malawi mbuna I would do something containing the following with a maximum of 12 fish.

Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei"
Labidochromis caeruleus -
Iodotropheus sprengerae
Cynotilapia afra

If you want peacocks then maximum of 9 fish.

Any of the Peacocks will work except the Aulonocara Jacobfreibergi.

For the mbuna and Peacocks, you want at least one male to several females to help keep aggression levels low and not stress one female out.

Otopharynx lithobates are also nice fish and something to consider also.

Filtration you WILL need at least 10-15 times the tank volume.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So, by "one male to several females" would one male to 2 or 3 females work, or should there be more females? Also, my local petsmart dealer told me that if you put all males, there will be no fighting because there are no females to fight over. This sounds pretty fishy to me (pun not intended :p) , but could that potentially work? I want to have as much males as possible because they're way more colorful but i don't want dead cichlids everywhere. I still don't know exactly how big the tank is, so can you tell me what the rule is for stocking these fish? I don't really know how big they are? That way I can determine how many fish I can put in my tank. Sorry for all the questions because my library account is done, so im using you guys as my library. Thanks a lot!!!! :-D
 

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All males will give you the most color but it is also challenging. When I set my 180 I had 4 extra tanks cycled and ready to go in case I had to remove fish. You will need at least an extra tank or easy access to a LFS that will take any fish back that don't work.

The males if you go that route should include NO FISH of similar color, they are co-specific (same color) aggressive, it is their nature.

If you don't go all male then in a 55g yes 1 male to 2-3 females of about 3 species giving you 12 fish in total.

It really does totally depend on what size tank you get...if you can get a 75g it would be ideal for a male-female group of 4 species or a good size for an all male peacock.

These fish will not do well in anything smaller than 55g and with the ratio I mentioned. In a larger tank it is best to aim for 1 male to 4 females.

Another thing to consider is where you will get the fish from...locally or order online?

The biggest concern at the moment ,is you need to know the tank size before I can really give a definitive answer as to what will work and what will not.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah I am going on sunday to our friend's house to find out its size. I think i'm gonna go with the labidochromis, the cynotilapia, and the peacocks. I'm not sure about the ratio of male to female; ill find out this weekend. thanks!
 

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I would pick either mbuna (labidochromis, cynotilapia) OR the peacocks NOT both.

labidochromi and the cynotilapia are too active for the peacocks and will stress them out, either causing them to not color up at all or at worst be killed. It can work but in a small tank I would not try it.

Labs would probably be the better option as well over the cynotilapia, sometimes the cynos can be on the more aggressive side. If you stock the labs then a group of 1 male to 4 female, if you add the cyno as well, i would go 1 male to 4 female as well... I would add 1x Bristlenose Pleco to keep algae under control.
 

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Find out the tank size and then we can work on the correct stocking level for it.

It will make a big difference if it is smaller or larger than 55g.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
ok will do. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
hi guys,

my friend sprained his back over the weekend, so I didn't go to his house as he was feeling very bad. He says the tank is probably 60 gallons, not 55.
 

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No that much difference so stocking will be for a 55g.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
wait so i cant put the peacocks and the mbunas? darn it. I knew there was a catch. What do you recommend, Tazman? Peacocks or mbunas?
 

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Peacocks are the most colorful and tend to be on the peaceful side compared to mbuna. Males will color up whereas females will remain a drab brownish color. Mbuna are ok, if you went that way, you will have the colors in both male and female but would need the harems (1 male to 3 females)

You can have a maximum of 12 fish in a 55g, look at any of the auloncara except the jacobfreibergi (as this is man made hybrid, commonly called the Eureka Peacock)

If you went with mbuna then I would do (1 MALE to 3 female) of...
Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei"
Labidochromis caeruleus
Cynotilapia afra
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I think i'll check our pet stores nearby... i really like both and i want to see what the local stores have to offer. Meanwhile, could you tell me how to feed the two species?
 
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