African Cichlid Compatibility

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by jpmarini3, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. jpmarini3New MemberMember

    Hi All,
    I have a 55 G tank with Aquaclear 70 and
    Emperor 280 hang-on filtration. I would like to have a good
    combination of yellow, blue, and orange in the tank but keep it on the
    "less-aggressive" side of the african cichlids. I was thinking of:

    Labidochromis careulus (yellow lab), Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos
    (maingano), Maylandia estherae (red zebra), Melanochromis parallelus,
    Saulosi, Rusty cichlid, maybe a couple synodontis catfish. I am not sure on the availability of peacocks where I am.
    I don't think i'd be able to keep all these, but what combo could work? And
    how many total fish? Research says 1m to 3f at least, which is my
    plan. However, I would probably enter them into aquarium as I wait and see and trade in/out as they get bigger?
    Also breeding is not overly important to me, would an all-male or all female
    tank spell disaster? Sorry for so many questions but thanks again.

  2. Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    I can only tell you compatibility by what I have:

    1 Peacock Cichlid
    5 Red Zebra
    4 Yellow Labs
    1 Demasoni
    1 Hap - Electric Blue1 Albino Zebra
    1 Chinese Algae Eater
    4 Pseudotrophis Elegans
    1 Red Lobster
    2 Dwarf Tanganyikan Cichlid ~ (Blue-Faced) Duboisi Cichlid

    These fish all get along. I have had them together for over a year and they don't fight, they are not aggressive toward one another, and are healthy and seemingly happy. I have introduced juvenilles into the tank without any problems. The last fish I added were the Peacock and the Duboisi. They were accepted very well.

    Does that help at all?
  3. iZaO JnrWell Known MemberMember

    Im glad to see you are doing research before simply buying the fish. African Cichlids are an amazing species that i personally take great pride in having.

    My 55g currently consists of:

    5 x L Caeruleus
    5 x P. Williamsi
    5 x P. Socolofi Albino
    5. P. Crabro
    1. Pleco

    In your situation i would recommend you stay away from peacocks and the haps and stick to the mbuna.

    I know wendy mentioned the demasoni but i caution these fish over any other mbuna. They are known to have wiped out an entire tank singlehandedly.

    I would recommend 1m:4fm as best, and stock with fish that are from the Psuedotropheus, Melanochromis and Iodotropheus genus'. The labidochromis works but only yellow labs. Have only one species from Labidochromis and iodotropheus.

    A good idea for your tank would to be to invest in a canister filter, and maybe a powerhead. Mbuna are herbivores hence they are constantly wasting in the tank. Your filtration and tank capacity must be able to handle this.

    I would suggest the following:

    5 L Caeruleus

    5 P Socolofi / 5 P Crabro / 5 P Williamsi / 5 Acei / 5 P Elongatus (Any 2 of these)

    5 Synodontis (seeing as you want them)

    The above should work well.

    Please research setting up African Tanks because i believe it must be done properly from the start, not halfway through.

    Get them all the same size and put them in together (all at once) to alleviate territorial issues. This means you will have to cycle fishlessly with ammonia, and preferrably more than usual.
  4. Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    iZaO - I am glad you came along and answered this one.... you have so much knowledge in this area, and in general too. I can only go by the experience that I have had with my tank.:;jaws
  5. iZaO JnrWell Known MemberMember

    We all learn by experience Wendy :):)

    My area of exprtise in only the mbuna, but am setting up a 75g with haps and peacocks soon so hopefully that will expand ;D

    Im glad to hear your fish are still doing well. Please keep an eye on that demasoni though :):)

    I also forgot, please make sure your water parameters match that needed of African Cichlids. They need very hard water with a high pH, minimum 8.0 i would say. If not, investigate ways to raise this. If you have any other questions please dont be afriad to ask. I love helping out those with/planning to keep africans ;D
  6. OP

    jpmarini3New MemberMember

    A lot of great advice thanks all. The yellow labs and red zebras are a definite. Although they might crossbreed, I'm not too worried since the fry wont be around for long if I have catfish. I need to just decide on which blue species I like that will get along with the other two.
    iZaO, you mentioned synodontis for catfish...could they be substituted with Pictus catfish? I've read mixed reviews.

    My water comes from a well and has a high pH, so it should be ok for African cichlids. I have a community tank with pictus, a krib, tiger barbs and flyingfox, they do fine with the high pH. As for a setup, I am in the process of gathering A TON of rocks. I am a little afraid of the heavy rocks on the bottom of the tank...i've heard that putting 'egg crate' on the bottom below gravel works well. Any experience with it?
  7. OP

    jpmarini3New MemberMember

    Also, how are the temperaments of Cynotilapia afra species? I haven't heard much about them, but they have interesting coloration.
  8. iZaO JnrWell Known MemberMember

    They shouldnt cross breed. They dont look alike.

    As for the cats, the pictus could maybe be subbed in, but im not sure. Im not aware of anyone who has or is currently keeping them successfully with africans.

    What is your value of the pH?

    Yes, i wouldnt have a tank without eggcrate on the bottom. It prevents possible cracking from the pressure created by the weight focused on a small surface area. The eggcrate spreads the weight and also just gives me peace of mind. If you are going to use a lot of rocks i would recommend getting some aquarium safe silicon and securing them to each other in the tank. Many people havent and had rocks fall in the tank, destroying the glass.

    The cynotilapia afra is known to be an aggressive species, but also many have accounted of them being quite docile. To me that just says its all dependant on the individual fish and the environment. Personally, i wouldnt try it because it is much like the demasoni i was mentioning earlier.

    Also your maylandia estherae gets larger than most fish in the pseudotropheus and melanochromis genus. It can work with them there, as they are actually quite peaceful, but again beware of territorial issues. Either properly overstock the tank to spread the aggression, or properly understock it so that each fish has its own space.

    As for a blue species of fish, some recommendations i would give you would be:

    P. Socolofi
    P. Williamsi
    P. Elongatus (and all consequent subspecies here)
    P. Acei

    These will all work great and arent overly aggressive but are extremely active.

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