75 gallon African cichlid tank with 3D background

Coreyg93

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Hey everyone! Finally decided what to do with my 75 with the concrete 3D background which made the ph high, steady in the 8.4 range. Going to do African cichlids. Pics are below of the current setup but ideas are appreciated! Currently I have 2 synodontis eupterus (featherfins). Do they like a lot of water current? Do I need a power head? I heard it’s best to put the catfish in the tank first, plus they’re heartier and can handle any fluctuations in water quality. Even though this tank IS cycled and ready to go.

My fiancé has a black lab and really wants yellow labs, for obvious reasons lol. What other fish are good as tank mates for yellow labs and the synodontis? I saw a 8” regal peacock at my LFS and they’re gorgeous! But want to put all the cichlids in around the same juvenile size. I heard peacocks will work, was hoping for something more interested in the caves that stay at the bottom and a few other species to swim higher up. Also to add I have thoughts of moving some if not all of them into my 90 gallon drilled with a sump eventually. Maybe separating the 2 featherfins once they get to adult size as I heard some don't get along.

I also plan to add some vals and Anubias wedged between the rocks. I know the Africans are going to love nipping at the vals but I’m not worried about them as I know I can grow them like weeds and doesn’t hurt there herbivore diet.

I will continue to update the build as I progress!
 

A201

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Look at the noted Yellow Labs, Red & Blue Zebras, Red Top Trewavasae, Zebra Chilumba, Kenyi, Powder Blue Socolofi. HongI & Afras. I've successfully kept varying combinations of the listed Mbuna. All would likely do fine in your tank.
Btw, it's looking good.
 
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Coreyg93

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A201 said:
Look at the noted Yellow Labs, Red & Blue Zebras, Red Top Trewavasae, Zebra Chilumba, Kenyi, Powder Blue Socolofi. HongI & Afras. I've successfully kept varying combinations of the listed Mbuna. All would likely do fine in your tank.
Btw, it's looking good.
Thank you!!! Love the Kenyi. Zebras I wasn’t sure on because the juvies weren’t too colorful. Thoughts on blue regal peacock?
 

A201

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Here's a pic of my Blue Regal Peacock.
He is pretty tough & durable.
20200228_183819.jpg
 
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Coreyg93

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A201 said:
Here's a pic of my Blue Regal Peacock.
He is pretty tough & durable.
20200228_183819.jpg
Beautiful! Can they go with labs and synodontis?
 

A201

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Yes, they are tough for Aulonacara. Mine lives just fine with some fairly aggessive Mbuna & Predator Haps.
 
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Coreyg93

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A201 said:
Yes, they are tough for Aulonacara. Mine lives just fine with some fairly aggessive Mbuna & Predator Haps.
Awesome. So much for me to learn with the Africans. I learned so much on plants, community fish, South American cichlids etc. even oddballs and crazy fish. But never done an African tank before.
 

Islandvic

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I would recommend a tank full of Mbuna or full of Aulonocara. If got a 55 gallon full of Africans, but I wish our 75 gallon was though!

Off the top of my head, our 55 gallon has the following.....

Maingano, Yellow top Mbamba, Yellow Tail Acei, Red Top Ndumbi, Cobalt Zebra, Ice Blue Zebra, Green Afra Mbweca, Purple Afra Lupingu, Red Exasperatus, Yellow Lab x2, Rusty x2, 2x female Zebra Obliquidens (rolled dice on unsexed and got 2x Females), and another Mbuna I can't remember the name... originally there were 5 peacocks, but now down to 2, I think a Rubin Red and an Otter Point Jake? The Peacocks were from PetSmart assorted Peacock tanks.

A201 is a ton more knowledgeable than me, he made some good suggestions that even I want ! Zebra Chilumba, more Afras, Red HongI etc etc... all awesome fish !

All of my Africans were bought at the same time ranging in 1.5" - 2.5" at the time. So far the 2x Zebras have grown the fastest!

Take a look at the website Quinn's Fins. They have an excellent selection of medium sized Mbuna and Peacocks in the 2"-3" range that are offered in male/female/unsexed options. They have small juvie sized 1.5"-2", but are only offered as unsexed.

Their prices are excellent and they breed what they sell.

Also check out the Imperial Tropicals and Live Fish Direct websites.

I can also add that our African cichlids in my experience have all been very hardy. Maybe I was lucky and got good strains, but really I've had no health issues with them at all. So far they stay active and always appear hungry. I think they even recognize me and want to be fed. It's hilarious.
 
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Coreyg93

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Islandvic said:
I can also add that our African cichlids in my experience have all been very hardy. Maybe I was lucky and got good strains, but really I've had no health issues with them at all. So far they stay active and always appear hungry. I think they even recognize me and want to be fed. It's hilarious.
Man that’s a lot of info. How many inches of fish can I do in a 75 with heavy filtration? I know There are 2 schools of thought on how heavily stocked African cichlid tanks should be. I plan to atleast control what I can which is the water quality and filtration etc
 

A201

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Depending on what variety of Mbuna you choose, keeping 30 - 40 of them in a 75 gal. would be within reason.
 
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Coreyg93

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So odd that a species so aggressive is a herbivore. Is it okay if they eat meat from time to time while feeding the synodontis?
 

A201

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Great looking community Islandvic
Your Ruby Red Peacock looks like a twin of mine.
You've got to get a Zebra Chilumba. Mine is the absolute tank boss, even meaner than the Fusco. Only one male per tank.
I also want more Afras. Only have one Afra - Purple.
20191231_174254.jpg


The Synodontis will stay quite healthy just eating any quality cichlid pellet. No real need to supplement meaty foods.
Most Mbuna can stomach meaty foods every once in a while.
You'll find that if a death occurs in your tank, the Mbuna will quickly begin eating the corpse.
 
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Coreyg93

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A201 said:
The Synodontis will stay quite healthy just eating any quality cichlid pellet. No real need to supplement meaty foods.
Most Mbuna can stomach meaty foods every once in a while.
You'll find that if a death occurs in your tank, the Mbuna will quickly begin eating the corpse.
I sent a PM A201

Added some jungle Val and water sprite. Might wedge some Anubias in the dragon rock but nothing else being done for another week! Added a tropheus duboisi, cynotilapia afra, and a yellow-finned Acei. Thoughts?
 

A201

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I like your choices. Eventually you'll need to elevate & expand the rock pile.
It will help defuse some of the aggression that's sure to develope. Here's a pic of my rock pile.
20200229_135130.jpg
 
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Coreyg93

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A201 said:
I like your choices. Eventually you'll need to elevate & expand the rock pile.
It will help defuse some of the aggression that's sure to develope. Here's a pic of my rock pile.
20200229_135130.jpg
Added more rocks today as seen in the pic below. Need some larger long ones to get more height yet still look natural

60470245527__FEFA88E8-40AB-4D05-A6A5-6CC8964CCD12.JPG
 

A201

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I found my rocks at a local rock yard company. Most are limestone w/ flat bottoms. It as very inexpensive & a lot of fun rock hunting.
 
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Coreyg93

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Is there a reason I can’t find any juvenile blue regals? Love them but only ones I can find are adults 5”+.
 

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