40 Gallon Stocking - Electric Yellow Cichlids

ThePuzzleMaker

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Hey guys, I am currently setting up a 40 gallon breeder. It's fully cycled and ready for fish. My plan was to keep 6 leleupi's in it. But it seems like my LFS doesn't have them available anymore. The only cichlid they have available is Electric Yellows.
I don't know much about them so my question is:

How many could I keep in my tank?

Suggestions are greatly appreciated
 

Demeter

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They are both Africans and while yellow labs are a mouth brooder and the leleupi are cave spawners both require the same set up. Lots of rocks, high pH and both species will reach about 5 or so inches, the leleupi might be a bit smaller though.

If you are set on the leleupi then I'd wait till they get more in. Otherwise you can add a group of 6 yellow labs but I would aim for 10 or so to start, this way you can get the correct ratio of males to females. As the young ones mature you will be able to sex them and remove extra males. I'd have only one male in a 40gal.
 
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ThePuzzleMaker

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I think i'll do exactly that Thank you
Follow-up question: As adults how many will I be able to keep? What is the female to male ratio?
I'm really not familiar with Mbuna stocking
 

Demeter

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I'd either have 5 or 6 with only one (maybe 2) males. For mouth brooding Africans you want to have 2-3 female per male but the more the better. Yellow labs are considered the more docile of mbuna but I've had a big male kill 2 females by constantly trying to spawn with them. After the second death he had to go. I haven't had a yellow lab since but I do have his half peacock children


They will breed once they reach maturity, each female can spawn every month and carry 30ish fry each time. I would bet if you just let them spit their fry in the tank you will eventually end up with several generation of juveniles. You should be able to easily sell off the young once they are a couple inches long.
 
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ThePuzzleMaker

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If I plan to raise/sell fry eventually, will I need to move the fry to a grow-out tank? :emoji_fish:
 

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You would have a higher survival rate but I think with enough rock piles you will have a decent amount survive in the main tank too. If you want to raise the fry you will need several other tanks as mixing differently sized fry the smaller ones will usually get bullied/eaten. I have a 10, 20, and 29gal dedicated to fry.
 

Demeter

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Ehhh I'd get something a bit more efficient. While sponge filters are great for things like fry, bettas, shrimp and other fragile species I think you should have at least a hang on back or even better, canister filter. Cichlids are messy, not as bad as plecos and goldfish but they eat a lot and poo quite a bit. Good water flow will suck up any debris and keep the tank much cleaner. It is better to over filter a cichid tank than under filter. You may end up keeping some of the fry and adding them to the main tank, and then you will be over stocked (which is good for Africans) and need more filtration.

Maybe if you had two sponges rated for 40 on either end of the tank, it would work.
 
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ThePuzzleMaker

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I have already a fluidized sand filter. With that and a sponge filter I figure I should be fine for the time being. If I notice I am lacking filtration I'll add something more but I don't think i'll need to.
Thank you
 
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