Minimum cichlid stocking

Fallinway21

There are always a ton of questions about how many African cichlids people can stock in their tanks, but I’m kind of leaning towards of only keeping a few. Tank is 65 gallons. (36” wide) and right now I have:

3- electric blue JohannI (I’m not sure of the exact species name but they are the kind that both male and female are blue. Get about 3.5”)
3- yellow labs
3-red zebras

All are still juvenile ranging from about 2-3”. My question is if I would have problems just keeping the 3 blue johannI only? They are all getting along perfectly and have been for the 6 months I’ve had them.
 

A201

There are so many variables that contribute to the stability of a Mbuna community. Tank size, hardscape, species selection, male to female ratios & the personalities of individual Mbuna.
The problem you might eventually experience is the sudden onslaught of aggression between males.
Increasing the population dilutes, but doesn't totally eliminate aggression.
If you choose to keep only nine Mbuna in the 65 gal. an elevated, well planned hardscape will go a long way towards keeping the peace.
 

Fallinway21

I get what you’re saying, but I’m asking if keeping the 3 blue johannis ONLY is a huge problem? Plenty of space/hiding places.

Also I “believe” there’s one male and 2 females but it’s hard to tell.
 

A201

If the 3 JohannI are currently getting along, that's a good thing. Situations can change in short order with African Cichlids. Keeping them is all about adjustments.
Be prepared for the unexpected aggression issues, and be ready to implement the most proven ways to deal with it; increased population & hardscape rearrangement.
 

MacZ

I totally agree with A201.

Over the course of 3 years (of 6 in total) one of my Mbuna tanks had no fixed stocking and it basically changed by 1-2 fish in a month regularly.
 

Fallinway21

Gotcha. I really like all of my fish at the moment, but holy are they messy.. tired of seeing poop floating around. And they are still all so small.. I’m just imagining all 9 as full grown adults and the constant battle with keeping my tank pristine. That’s why I was kinda throwing around the idea of keeping my 3 blue johannI and that’s it.
 

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A201

Here's a pic of my tank. It houses 40 - 50 African Cichlids, I lost count. The tank stays clear & clean. One weekly 50% WC. Don't worry too much about the tank being pristine. Just keep up with maintenence consistency.
20200124_141818.jpg
 

KribensisLover1

Here's a pic of my tank. It houses 40 - 50 African Cichlids, I lost count. The tank stays clear & clean. One weekly 50% WC. Don't worry too much about the tank being pristine. Just keep up with maintenence consistency.View attachment 656156
Wow how large is that
 

A201

It's a 120 gal. Long. Five foot tank.
 

Fallinway21

Nice tank buddy. Wish my wife would allow a bigger one! Haha.
 

Amazoniantanklvr

Gotcha. I really like all of my fish at the moment, but holy **** are they messy.. tired of seeing poop floating around. And they are still all so small.. I’m just imagining all 9 as full grown adults and the constant battle with keeping my tank pristine. That’s why I was kinda throwing around the idea of keeping my 3 blue johannI and that’s it.
Beautiful tank!!
 

Fallinway21

Thanks!
 

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