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jayttrup
10-05-2016, 07:40 PM
Just got my hands on a 50 gallon tank, and I want to go with African cichlids. This'll be on display in my living room, so I'd like it to be very colorful. I don't know much about stocking a tank with Africans , so I need a good bit of advice. What's a good stock list? Should I add all the fish at once or a few at a time? I've heard you're supposed to slightly overstock Africans to manage aggression, but how much is slightly? Any information here is helpful. Thanks

bluefalcon505
10-05-2016, 07:46 PM
The overstocking is a debatable issue all the time. But if you're going to be doing Cichlids, I don't agree with it. As it more about proper stocking to reduce the aggressive nature of them. As for type of Cichlid your going to be limited to the amount to keep in the tank. If you're new to Cichlid, I recommend doing peacocks. That because they're less aggressive and more fun to keep. I wouldn't keep more then 8-10 if that and no more then 4-5 inches in length.

Tangfan
10-05-2016, 09:44 PM
I agree with what Matt said, although I'd enlarge the species to Peacocks and Haps (Haplochromis) species. As well as keeping it a male only tank. Females will increase the aggression in the tank.

bluefalcon505
10-06-2016, 06:16 PM
Oh and as long as the tank is properly cycled, you can add them all at once. Then just maintain a good water change and proper amount

Demonfish
10-07-2016, 08:46 AM
The two choices are all males or a harem or two with 1 male and many females. All males is more colorful, harems are more aggressive, but you get to watch breeding. For haps some open water its good, but for mbuna fill the tank with rocks. I might do one type of mbuna and one peacock. The tank is on the small side, so get smaller africans, peacocks rather than big fish like venustus, psuedotropheus rather than maylandia or metriaclima (zebras). In either case start with smaller fish and be ready to remove really aggressive fish (ones that make other fish bleed or tank big chunks of tail off) as they get bigger and meaner. If you get 2 different fish with females, get two very different fish to keep them from crossing. At least 6 fish to start with, but over-filter as well as overstock. You want 10 times the gallons of water of the tank through the filters (I like to always have 2) every hours.

I would likely do either one harem of small peacock or fill the tank with "cichlid stones" or pvc pipes and river rock, throw in 10 small P. demasoni and remove extra males one by one when they hide out in the top corner, let them heal in a 10, then sell or trade them to a store or someone with a bachelor tank.

bluefalcon505
10-07-2016, 05:26 PM
I wouldn't mix mbuna with peacocks.

HN1
10-07-2016, 09:56 PM
You said Africans, but didn't specify type... What about a Julii tank or riverine? What fish interest you? I think you have more choices than those being discussed.

joecoulson
11-07-2016, 06:27 PM
Over 2 1/2 years since my last post...but I'll go ahead a weigh in here.
I have had a mixed African tank for a while now (Malawi) and to me they are a great colorful alternative to messing with reef or ocean type tanks. I have had great luck with the following: as much water as you can (gallons). Over filter over filter over filter, can't say that enough (I have a Eheim classic rated for a tank triple the size of my tank) feed good quality food like Spectrum. Provide ALOT of hidy holes (either lava rock, cichlid rocks etc) so that weaker species can get away from overly aggressive ones. And for me, I have found putting a circulation device ( I have had great luck with the Sicce Voyager) help to get the muck moving around and into the filter. Also helps keep them moving around and active.
As far as stocking, I will defer to others for that experience. I have gotten many a fish from many a source and had great luck. Good luck and post some pics when you have stocked!

jayttrup
11-09-2016, 03:41 PM
After doing some research, I've decided on Malawi cichlids from livefishdirect.com If anyone has any better sites, please let me know. My plan is to get a few from the assorted option in the smallest size available (1-1.5"). They can't be sexed (is this a bad idea?). Is it a better idea to go with Mbunas or Peacocks? Haps are out of my price range so not an option. Also what EXACT pH do you recommend. I'd like to get mine as close as possible, and at this pH, what's a safe catfish to add just to eat leftovers and help with keeping the algae minimal? Also, I followed Joe's advice as far as filtration. I have close to triple the gph recommended for a 50 gal, and I added an undergravel filter and a powerhead for the extra circulation. Any advice or opinions are greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance.

joecoulson
11-09-2016, 03:44 PM
http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20161109/1dde885955366bf6cde2d0004d878add.jpg
I know some of the folks come up with their own recipes for buffering and adding salt, I find it easier for me just to go with products that are meant for the type of fish I keep. I really like this brand of products and I use all of them in my tanks and have for many years.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

aXio
11-09-2016, 04:19 PM
After doing some research, I've decided on Malawi cichlids from livefishdirect.com If anyone has any better sites, please let me know. My plan is to get a few from the assorted option in the smallest size available (1-1.5"). They can't be sexed (is this a bad idea?). Is it a better idea to go with Mbunas or Peacocks? Haps are out of my price range so not an option. Also what EXACT pH do you recommend. I'd like to get mine as close as possible, and at this pH, what's a safe catfish to add just to eat leftovers and help with keeping the algae minimal? Also, I followed Joe's advice as far as filtration. I have close to triple the gph recommended for a 50 gal, and I added an undergravel filter and a powerhead for the extra circulation. Any advice or opinions are greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance.

Why are you choosing to order online? Go support a local store! Our hobby depends on it. Also you will get to pick the exact fish you won't instead of hoping the website sends you something nice. Also make sure to check the sites return/replacement policy. Most place will replace the fish BUT they only give you credit towards a new fish not a refund to your credit card. Forcing you to order from again and forcing you to pay shipping a 2nd time to receive that replace fish(s).

Demonfish
11-18-2016, 02:18 PM
Don't ever get "misc" Malawi fish. Small size now doesn't mean you won't get a Venustus that with outgrow the tank in a year. Get fish big enough to sex all males if you don't want fry, or get all one type so they breed true. In only a 50, avoid the larger mbuna like Metriaclima or the aggressive ones like P. Socolofi or M. Auratus (you will end up with one live fish per tank). I agree with buying locally when possible. I saw a forum for sale post on P. demonsoni. They would be a good choice. I've breed them in 33 long. Or P. Saulosi if you must have 2 colors (females are yellow, males blue and white). Fill the with cichlid stones or other hiding places and enjoy the show. Buy fry, take out males hiding out at the water line and rehome them and you will end up with a self-sustaining colony.

UG filters make a decent bottom as they keep the rocks from breaking the tank when dropped, but don't count on them for sole filtration as the fish will move the substrate around and bare the plate.

I would aim for any pH 7.4+ and a TDS around 150-200 ppm. The key is not to let it drop below 7.0, so give yourself a pad above it. Agree with Seachem or Kent products, for only one tank, its likely not worth bothering with DIY. Or use a buffering substrate like dolomite or one of the commercial African cichlid substrate products and you may not need to adjust your water.

I agree with buying locally where possible and only going online if there is something you can't find here. Why pay shipping on asst. fish? That make no sense.