overstocking?

KGajosz

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okay, so I have had my tank set up for a good few years with tropical fish such as sharks ect. however decided to change fish type to African Cichlids. I currently have 4 in there, 1 zebra, 3 malawI bues and I also have a bristlenose pleco and the fish seem very happy, all cichlids have their territory but also swim about and don't really chase eachother. (never bothered the pleco). I know that the fish I have need high gallon tanks but ive been told by my local aquatics that I'm able to keep 8 cichlids in it..
I do a 30% water change every Sunday and a 15% change midweek, I use aquarium salt to raise ph and keep all fish healthy (which they are) and use water conditioners so that all the readings stay perfect in weekly water tests. this is probably because I use the EheI'm 2217 canister filter which has a rate of 264gph so it does a great job and I also have an extra air pump to give the fish extra oxygen access..with all that there is many hiding places.
Now the Question is do I buy more fish like i've been said I'm allowed (don't really trust the place since its a shop so they want to sell as many fish as they can obviously)
I heard that overstocking gives more comfort for the fish, and also makes the tank look better.
Water cleaning will keep water conditions on point, but will it be okay for the fish?
As to the growth of the pleco it grows maximum to 15cm, but I'm still planning on getting a bigger tank by the end of the year.
 

Dom90

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Yep minimum tank size for African cichlids is 55g.


 

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Okay, first, Welcome to Fishlore!

KGajosz said:
okay, so I have had my tank set up for a good few years with tropical fish such as sharks ect. however decided to change fish type to African Cichlids. I currently have 4 in there, 1 zebra, 3 malawI bues and I also have a bristlenose pleco and the fish seem very happy, all cichlids have their territory but also swim about and don't really chase eachother. (never bothered the pleco). I know that the fish I have need high gallon tanks but ive been told by my local aquatics that I'm able to keep 8 cichlids in it..
What size is this tank? Plecos are not recommended for African Cichlid tanks. Therefore I will advise you remove it if you want to keep cichlids.

KGajosz said:
I do a 30% water change every Sunday and a 15% change midweek, I use aquarium salt to raise ph and keep all fish healthy (which they are) and use water conditioners so that all the readings stay perfect in weekly water tests. this is probably because I use the EheI'm 2217 canister filter which has a rate of 264gph so it does a great job and I also have an extra air pump to give the fish extra oxygen access..with all that there is many hiding places.
Okay, I would change your water change schedule to 50-60% once weekly. Do not use aquarium salt to raise the pH. You can do things like using Limestone, Texas Holey Rock, or crushed coral/aragonite based substrates that will naturally buffer your pH to 8.0. Freshwater fish should not be exposed to any form of salt (unless using it as a medication, which I do not advise doing either). Your canister is a decent one, but I think the max size tank it would handle is a 55 gallon.
KGajosz said:
Now the Question is do I buy more fish like i've been said I'm allowed (don't really trust the place since its a shop so they want to sell as many fish as they can obviously)
I heard that overstocking gives more comfort for the fish, and also makes the tank look better.
Water cleaning will keep water conditions on point, but will it be okay for the fish?
As to the growth of the pleco it grows maximum to 15cm, but I'm still planning on getting a bigger tank by the end of the year.
No, do not buy more fish until you tell us the size of your tank, and do a water test (using a liquid test kit like API Freshwater Master Test Kit) and give us the results. Fish store will almost always say you can add more fish, because they want your money, and if the fish die, you will likely come back and get more to replace them. Yes overstocking is recommended for Mbuna cichlids. You say you're planning to get a bigger tank by the end of the year, but all too often something comes up and prevents that from happening. Do not plan your current stocking on your hopes to get a bigger tank. Get fish that will do well in your current tank.

Anders247 said:
Welcome to fishlore!
The tank is overstocked, the cichlids you have need a bigger tank than a 20g.
hmm, I don't see where the OP said it was a 20g..
 
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KGajosz

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According to the filter company its suitable for 150 gallon tanks, I did the water test earlier on today , 0 chlorine, pH 7.9 , no3 at 10, no2 at zero, water hardness 15, kh at 6. I was advised that bristlenose would be the best pleco to have with the cichlids as its spiky and grows to a similar size to them , and again I had him for a month now, has never been picked on by the cichlids. Everyone has to try out what works for their tanks and obviously it works with mine.
 

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Yes it's entirely possible to keep BNs with African cichlids, it's the only cleaner fish I would recommend putting with mbuna. Although I've heard of mbuna killing them also, on another forum. But either way, your tank is way too small to accommodate African cichlids.


 

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Shellies will fit in a 20. Is it a 20 long, or 20 high? If it's a long, you maybe able to get away with a pair of JulI too.
 

Dom90

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BDpups said:
Shellies will fit in a 20. Is it a 20 long, or 20 high? If it's a long, you maybe able to get away with a pair of JulI too.
He needs to rehome his current stock first...


 

alink

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Dom90 said:
He needs to rehome his current stock first...
Or get a new tank asap... 55 gallon minimum.

Sent from my SM-G900R4 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
 
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KGajosz

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okay, I'm looking into buying a new fish tank a bit sooner then can julies live with my current cichlids or will they be aggresive towards eachother? really like the ones I have and id hate to give them away (I name my fish, I'm a bit sad like that) the fish tank that I'm planning on getting is 48x18x15 (212 Litres/56.6G).. How many cihclids can I keep in there?
 

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You should not mix cichlids from the different lakes. If you want to keep JulI then you should set up a Tang tank for them. If your current fish get rehomed, and you have a 20 long, then a pair of JulI and some shellies would work.


 
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So in a 56g how many lake malawI cichlids can I keep ? As I really want to keep the ones I have now
 

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