Hopefully Easy Question! When To Move Babies Into The Main Tank?

ExpertBeginnerHA

Hello all! Haven’t had any problems in a while so I’ve just been reading here as there.

I have 5 “baby” electric yellow labs that at the biggest is a solid 1.5” and smallest 1.25”. Unfortunately I ended up with 3 males and two females...I was hoping for a group of females to adjust the ratio in the main tank but the breeder I got them from a month or two ago couldn’t really sex them. I can clearly see black on 3, and already can tell the dominant of those 3. Anyway, I put them in a tank with my large angels and 6 very large South American Bolivian rams to grow the labs out a bit.

I’ve attached pictures, but I know without something of scale (haha...scale...fish...get it! ) that it’s hard to see the size of everything but I’ll list out what is in the main tank and sizes. I’m a pretty **** good guess at measurements by eye (seriously, must be my super power!) because I know a square sticky note is 3”x3”, so that gives me 3” and 1.5” estimates, and a dollar bill is 6”, so I do think these are good rough estimates.

I also have two TINY 1/2” baby red zebras that were accidents in the tank and I saved them...they are growing out in breeder tanks in the main tank.

So questions:

1) what size should the 1/2” red zebras be before I release them in the main tank? (No clue on sex yet, and technically there is a 3rd hiding in plants, same size, but he’s been impossible to catch for a month, so he may get eaten)

2) what size should the 5 yellow labs be before I put them in the main tank?

3) roughly how long will it take the zebras and the yellow labs to grow out to the size you think I should put them in the main tank?

I will note some that are very aggressive or not aggressive because I know many people will say take this or that fish out, but everyone has lived together over 8 months and some that I was told to rehome, while I was able to rehome dome, a few I haven’t yet, and you may gasp and tell me to remove them instead of answer my actual questions above. I AM still trying to rehome a few though. Just very busy with work, an Etsy side business, a horse, an older dachshund with a heart condition and a new puppy I got last weekend, so flaky Craigslist people have put me off rehoming attempts for a bit.

Fish Inventory:

Growing out tank:
3 yellow lab males 1.25”-1.5”
2 yellow lab females 1.25” mostly
(And the angels and rams)

Breeder boxes:
2 unsexed red zebras 1/2” (turns out I actually see why they are called zebras now! As babies they DO have stripes... as adults the are solid orange, so I have no clue where the “red” nor “zebra” came from...)

Main Tank (75g dual filters, one 80g HOB, one 60 gallonsubmersible filter, one on each end)

3 (pretty sure) male yellow tail Acei, close if not 4”
1 unsexed yellow tail Acei, 3”
2 unsexed yellow tail Acei, 2” (anyone know how to sex Acei?)
1 unsexed non-aggressive demasoni, 2”
3 unsexed blue socolofis, 3”-3.5”
1 female Snow White socolofi, 3”
1 male moderate+ aggressive dominant electric yellow lab 4”
1 subdominant male electric yellow lab 4”
2 female electric yellow labs 3”
2 male convicts (buddies oddly enough, not aggressive, stay in their zone) 2.75”-3”
1 male tank dominant red zebra, 4+”
1 male subdominant red zebra 3.25”
1 female red zebra (always breeding) 3+”
1 male(?) semi-dominant Kenyi, 3.75”-4” (I say male? Because though it’s a very light yellow, it still has blue vertical bars...maybe 8 months isn’t Lon enough to turn all the way yellow? It was NEVER blue though, always a pretty iridescent purple/blue/yellow, with yellow fins)
And here is where I will definitely get yelled at...
1 male sunshine peakcock, 3” (nobody bothers him, rehomed the other 2, still workin on him)

Ok, so now that you know my main tank inventory and sizes and sexes that I know for sure, and the lab and zebra babies I have...can someone help tell me when to let the loose in th main tank?

I definitely don’t want the labs to get too big or aggressive to start nipping my Bolivian rams and large angels (not cory cats in there)...I keep an eye out for that.

If you think the labs are still too small to put in the main tank, should I leave them with the angels and rams or should I put them in the square net fish separator thing (pictures below, 8”x6”x4”)I have, but in the main tank, just so prevent injury in my Angel/ram tank, but also keeps them separated from the big cichlids if they are still too small to turn loose with the big cichlids?


I know size is hard to tell but, some of the main tank
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More main tank
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More main tank
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Baby yellow labs
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More baby yellow labs
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The net separator thingy
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Baby red zebra #1
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Baby red zebra #2
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Coradee

Lovely tank & fish, hope our Cichlid keepers can help answer your questions today
 

Gypsy13

Sounds awesome! And I’m sorry but did I hear Doxie? Cause I’ve got a super huge soft spot for doxies! And what is the new puppy? Just side questions not derailment.

cichlid4life Dave125g BringKermitBack any thoughts here?
 

Dave125g

I usually grow my fry out 3 months before adding them to the main tank. It's not the same for everyone though. When your sure they can't be eaten by anything in the main tank then its safe to add them.
 

cichlid4life

first off you did mix up mbunas with south american cichlids, danios, and cories. if I were you I would of never done that, because they will bite and maybe even kill the danios and corydoras. the mbunas will beat up the cichlids that are not mbunas, and the peacock will be aggressive towards the mbunas and everyone else. this is too risky, if you want all you fish to live and be in peace and harmony.
 

ExpertBeginnerHA

Lovely tank & fish, hope our Cichlid keepers can help answer your questions today

I hope so!
 

ExpertBeginnerHA

Sounds awesome! And I’m sorry but did I hear Doxie? Cause I’ve got a super huge soft spot for doxies! And what is the new puppy? Just side questions not derailment.

cichlid4life Dave125g BringKermitBack any thoughts here?
Yes, I did mention doxies!
My older girl is a chocolate and and tan 13 year old with a 4 of 6 heart murmur unfortunately. Her name is Reeses.

The new female puppy is a black and silver dapple, 9 weeks, her name is Chloe...and after one week she is making me wonder if I lost my mind by getting her! It’s been 13 years since I had a puppy and I’ve been constantly doing blanket laundry, towel laundry, cleaning rugs, mopping floors, and trying to keep my older DEAF doxie who has never really been socialized because of an autoimmune disease at 2....and she wants to kill the baby half the time. I almost gave the puppy back after breaking down in tears from her backing up, stepping in the poop she just made because I yelled at her, she got scared, backed up, ran through it then tracked it through the entire house as I chased her trying to catch her

Anyway - not that you derailed the fish convo, but it was a good invite as an outlet so I don’t give her away and could vent a little!

To make this fish related, I also mentioned the 16 Siamese cat I have... he LOVES getting on the TV stand, next to the tank, and the cichlids come to him!
 

ExpertBeginnerHA

first off you did mix up mbunas with south american cichlids, danios, and cories. if I were you I would of never done that, because they will bite and maybe even kill the danios and corydoras. the mbunas will beat up the cichlids that are not mbunas, and the peacock will be aggressive towards the mbunas and everyone else. this is too risky, if you want all you fish to live and be in peace and harmony.
You read everything wrong. The mbuna cichlids are in their own tank, the Bolivian rams and angels (and Cory cats are In their own tank). I’m not sure where you got danios, there is one random one leftover from over a year ago that has lived over 6 months with the rams and angels and cory cats, so I just leave him alone. The 5 mbuna cichlids in the ram/angel tank are ONLY in there because when I got them they were too small to put in the cichlid tank, they would get eaten. Now they are all a little over an inch and they are not beating up rams/angels or Cory cats (yet) BUT, I am/was asking what size should they be to move them over to the main tank with 3-4” mbuna cichlids.

I’m VERY well aware of what fish and what regions can be mixed and not mixed.
 

cichlid4life

You read everything wrong. The mbuna cichlids are in their own tank, the Bolivian rams and angels (and Cory cats are In their own tank). I’m not sure where you got danios, there is one random one leftover from over a year ago that has lived over 6 months with the rams and angels and cory cats, so I just leave him alone. The 5 mbuna cichlids in the ram/angel tank are ONLY in there because when I got them they were too small to put in the cichlid tank, they would get eaten. Now they are all a little over an inch and they are not beating up rams/angels or Cory cats (yet) BUT, I am/was asking what size should they be to move them over to the main tank with 3-4” mbuna cichlids.

I’m VERY well aware of what fish and what regions can be mixed and not mixed.
The danio will still be killed and probably eaten. you have two tanks with mbunas, one with a doomed danio, and one with a buch of South American fish, I did not read what you typed in a wrong way, but instead it was that you read what I typed in the wrong way. Mbunas are mbunas, never to think that there is an off chance that any mbuna might be a nice little guppy, because they won't. The cories will be attacked for sure, the other fish will be nipped and chased because mbunas are way more aggressive than any South American cichlid.
 

ExpertBeginnerHA

The danio will still be killed and probably eaten. you have two tanks with mbunas, one with a doomed danio, and one with a buch of South American fish, I did not read what you typed in a wrong way, but instead it was that you read what I typed in the wrong way. Mbunas are mbunas, never to think that there is an off chance that any mbuna might be a nice little guppy, because they won't. The cories will be attacked for sure, the other fish will be nipped and chased because mbunas are way more aggressive than any South American cichlid.
Well regardless, I just made the decision tonight to move the 5 mbuna yellow lab “babies” (1”1.5”) into the main tank... that was a few hours ago... I just did a head count and currently they are still all accounted for, none eaten by my large cichlids and they seem to have all found small hiding spaces and crevices to feel secure in, so regardless, the mixed tank is no longer an issue. My South American ram cichlids and angel are now in their own tank again, with the random danio, and my cory cats, and my cichlid tank is all mbuna; hoping to find the 5 “baby” yellow labs still alive and accounted for in the morning.

My point was, as SMALL as the baby labs were, my 2.5” male rams and my 4-5” angels were in no harm of damage from 1” labs, and if I saw a single damaged fin, they would have immediately come out and gone into a separate tank to grow out.
 

ExpertBeginnerHA

The danio will still be killed and probably eaten. you have two tanks with mbunas, one with a doomed danio, and one with a buch of South American fish, I did not read what you typed in a wrong way, but instead it was that you read what I typed in the wrong way. Mbunas are mbunas, never to think that there is an off chance that any mbuna might be a nice little guppy, because they won't. The cories will be attacked for sure, the other fish will be nipped and chased because mbunas are way more aggressive than any South American cichlid.
And as for the “the cories will be attacked for sure”...they are all thriving and I had to move 4 to a separate 20 gallon because they had gotten huge and I needed a cleanup crew for my community tank. There hasn’t been a single nipped fin nor injury with the 1” mbuna cichlids in with the rams, angels, cories and 1 danio. They were simply in that tank until I was certain they wouldn’t be mangled by the cichlids I. The large tank.

So we can simply agree to disagree because the proof is in the pudding. Those 5 baby labs have been in that tank over a month and a half, nothing “certainly attacked” nor damaged fins and now that I’ve moved them, my tanks are back to purely South American cichlids in one tank and African mbuna cichlids in the other.
 

cichlid4life

fry don't attack, but once they are past being a fry, they do attack.
 

ExpertBeginnerHA

fry don't attack, but once they are past being a fry, they do attack.
Well given that I’ve only had them a month and a half and I don’t know at which point a fry stops being a fry, all is well that ends well because I can guarantee my rams, angels, cories and 1 random danio are all unharmed, and the five 1-1.5” labs I decided to put in the main tank last night are all still alive and counted for and openly ate this morning at feeding time. Hopefully they will maintain in the main tank a few more days and then I will feel safe that I made the right decision.

But so far all is well, and I’m sure the rams and angels are happy to have the house guests out of their tank too.
 

cichlid4life

I am still wondering about why your danio is left alive though, It must be extremely fast because if it were only very fast, he would of already of gotten caught by now.
 

Dave125g

Lol danios are very fast.

You can start calling a fry a juvenile at around the 3 month old mark. It's really different for every fish, as some grow faster then others, and diet and temperature also play a big role in that.
If your baby fish are all the same size there safe. The thing is even the same fish at the same age in the same tank can be different sizes.
 

cichlid4life

My lelupeI cihlids breed like rabbits, and all of their fry are always different sizes (enough for me to see but not so much as if they were two weeks apart in age), even directly after birth!
 

Gypsy13

I’m glad all are doing well! And I agree danios are very fast. I love them.
I’m super glad you’re keeping the puppy! You’ll want to start a new thread. With lots of Doxie pictures. Please.
 

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