Help African Cichlid Guide? (75 gallon)

Molasses

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Hello everybody,

I put up a thread earlier today in regards to the fact I'm looking to redo my 75 gallon tank. One of the options I had there was an African Cichlid setup. I wanted to see what people with experience had to say about keeping them as I've never done so before.

I'm primarily interested in keeping peacocks. I would like to mix haps and mbunas in there if it isn't too complicated but it isn't necessary. I was also interested in growing out a Frontosa but I don't know their compatibility with MalawI cichlids. My LFS loves taking in bigger Frontosa so that's why I'm open to the idea.

So, I guess, ideally I would like peacocks, haps, mbunas, and a frontosa in my 75 gallon if possible. What should I be prepared for? I know they need consistent water changes (though an estimate of how much and how often would be nice) and I know you overstock to reduce aggression, and that they like hard water with just a small hardscape/no plants, but that's about it. How many of each could I get for the mixture, or how many peacocks in there alone can I get? And is there anything I should know that may be a deal breaker?

Thanks
 

Islandvic

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I keep mostly all male Mbuna with a couple of male Peacocks on a 55g.

I had 5 Peacocks but they were meaner than the Mbuna and 3 were killed by other Peacocks. Now down to 2 Peacocks w/ 15 Mbuna. There is very minimal Peacock on Mbuna aggression though in my tank.

I personally would go for an all-male Mbuna tank, with an all-male Peacock as 2nd choice. If mine were in a 75g, I don't the 5 peacocks would have been so rowdy with each other.

Attempt to keep only one of each type of fish you get.

Check out the Quinn's Fins website. They sell what they breed and have great pricing on medium 2"-3" fish and large 3"-4" fish. Usually a large selection also.

I would recommend to cycle the tank first. Then add the majority of your Africans at once.

Haps take longer to color up and most get over 6". I think Haps would do better in a 125g 6ft tank in my opinion.
 
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Molasses

Molasses

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Islandvic said:
I keep mostly all male Mbuna with a couple of male Peacocks on a 55 gallon.

I had 5 Peacocks but they were meaner than the Mbuna and 3 were killed by other Peacocks. Now down to 2 Peacocks w/ 15 Mbuna. There is very minimal Peacock on Mbuna aggression though in my tank.

I personally would go for an all-male Mbuna tank, with an all-male Peacock as 2nd choice. If mine were in a 75 gallon, I don't the 5 peacocks would have been so rowdy with each other.

Attempt to keep only one of each type of fish you get.

Check out the Quinn's Fins website. They sell what they breed and have great pricing on medium 2"-3" fish and large 3"-4" fish. Usually a large selection also.

I would recommend to cycle the tank first. Then add the majority of your Africans at once.

Haps take longer to color up and most get over 6". I think Haps would do better in a 125 gallon 6ft tank in my opinion.
Thanks. The tank is already cycled, I'm moving fish out potentially. What do you mean by "one of each type"? Is each colored fish a different kind?

Good point on the haps, I might pass on them. As far as the mbuna/peacock goes, I would prefer more peacocks over mbunas if that's possible. I was under the impression the mbunas were more aggressive than peacocks.
 

Sanderguy777

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Molasses said:
Thanks. The tank is already cycled, I'm moving fish out potentially. What do you mean by "one of each type"? Is each colored fish a different kind?

Good point on the haps, I might pass on them. As far as the mbuna/peacock goes, I would prefer more peacocks over mbunas if that's possible. I was under the impression the mbunas were more aggressive than peacocks.
It really depends on the fish. I have seen people claI'm their SA cichlids were more aggressive than their mbuna....

Mostly different colors mean different species, but there are exceptions. Just go to your store and ask what they have. Once you decide on the ones you like, then google that species to make sure they work together.

Unless you really are set on a mixed species tank, think about keeping a single species tank. Then you could breed them too. (Up to you, but I wish I had thought of that before I committed to my mixed African tank)

As for water changes, I don't notice that they need MORE WCs than other fish, but you do need a decent filter.
 
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Molasses

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Sanderguy777 said:
It really depends on the fish. I have seen people claI'm their SA cichlids were more aggressive than their mbuna....

Mostly different colors mean different species, but there are exceptions. Just go to your store and ask what they have. Once you decide on the ones you like, then google that species to make sure they work together.

Unless you really are set on a mixed species tank, think about keeping a single species tank. Then you could breed them too. (Up to you, but I wish I had thought of that before I committed to my mixed African tank)

As for water changes, I don't notice that they need MORE WCs than other fish, but you do need a decent filter.
My 75 gallon is overfiltrated actually so that's good. I'm not really interested in breeding but I also don't need to mix them either. I've actually been waiting for Josh the guy who runs livefishdirect to give me a template list of mixed cichlids to get, so it wouldn't have an issue with compatibility... I hope. Do you have an opinion on the frontosa growing out in there? Thanks.
 

qldmick

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this is my old tank but it worked. none were overwhelmingly aggressive and none of them were picked on too much.
I have the same tank now but am growing up single species for future possible breeding.
 
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Molasses

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qldmick said:
this is my old tank but it worked. none were overwhelmingly aggressive and none of them were picked on too much.
I have the same tank now but am growing up single species for future possible breeding.
Wow that's amazing. What size tank was it?
 

Sanderguy777

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Molasses said:
My 75 gallon is overfiltrated actually so that's good. I'm not really interested in breeding but I also don't need to mix them either. I've actually been waiting for Josh the guy who runs livefishdirect to give me a template list of mixed cichlids to get, so it wouldn't have an issue with compatibility... I hope. Do you have an opinion on the frontosa growing out in there? Thanks.
Is the live fish direct place the one based in Salt Lake?

I THINK frontosa would do ok in a 75, but I've never had one, so I'm not sure. Also, I think there are DIFFERENT frontosa varieties, so some may be good, while others aren't. If you had just one, maybe it would do well, but I wouldn't do more than 3 (even small ones) unless you plan to upgrade to a 180g or something soon. I think they get 12" or so...

The mixing thing is up to you. I've seen some really cool setups with one species and others with one of each.
I personally like the idea of a species only tank since I've never done one, and I like the idea of breeding them, to at least get more fish from the investment I've made.
 

Islandvic

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For the most part, Mbunas are usually more aggressive than Peacocks. I guess my specific set up caused the Peacocks to be more so.

When I said not more than one type, I meant to attempt to not get 2 male Sulfer Head Peacoks or 3 JacobfrebergI Peacocks. Most people report less problems if there is only one kind of each type of a Peacock or Mbuna.

All Peacocks would good for a 75g.

You will have to decide if you want to get all-male set up, or mixed Female / male.

You mentioned Live Fish Direct. That is where I got our Mbuna from last 4th of July, while they had their 25% off sale. Fish were healthy and had no Ich. One of the fish ordered was supposed to be male, but received a female. Josh gave me credit for thr fish and a % of s&h as credit also.

Before ordering, also take a look at Quinn's Finns. S&H is the same as LFD, but you can get a larger fish for same money with Quinn's. They have a good selection.

Also check out Imperial Tropicals. They only charge $15 for s&h. My friend and I have bought from them before and had no issues either.


Another online vendor is the Cichlids Are Special website. they usually have a good selection with decent prices. They only ship over night air Frieght, so you have to pick up at a cargo pickup at airport.
 
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Molasses

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Islandvic said:
For the most part, Mbunas are usually more aggressive than Peacocks. I guess my specific set up caused the Peacocks to be more so.

When I said not more than one type, I meant to attempt to not get 2 male Sulfer Head Peacoks or 3 JacobfrebergI Peacocks. Most people report less problems if there is only one kind of each type of a Peacock or Mbuna.

All Peacocks would good for a 75 gallon.

You will have to decide if you want to get all-male set up, or mixed Female / male.

You mentioned Live Fish Direct. That is where I got our Mbuna from last 4th of July, while they had their 25% off sale. Fish were healthy and had no Ich. One of the fish ordered was supposed to be male, but received a female. Josh gave me credit for thr fish and a % of s&h as credit also.

Before ordering, also take a look at Quinn's Finns. S&H is the same as LFD, but you can get a larger fish for same money with Quinn's. They have a good selection.

Also check out Imperial Tropicals. They only charge $15 for s&h. My friend and I have bought from them before and had no issues either.


Another online vendor is the Cichlids Are Special website. they usually have a good selection with decent prices. They only ship over night air Frieght, so you have to pick up at a cargo pickup at airport.
I'll check them out, thanks! And yeah, I was thinking of getting one of each anyways. I was thinking of doing all males.
 

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