Looking for recommendations

Medgertor

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I have a 150 gallon tank in which I keep Malawi Cichlids. I have a total of about 25 fish right now, with only 4-5 being larger (3-4") fish. The rest are juveniles ranging from an inch to 2.5 inches. I have mostly male peacocks and haps, with the exception of a yellow lab and a rusty, both of which are well behaved. I have several Ruby reds, and six small star sapphires. The Ruby reds and the star sapphires are my favorite and I can't wait to see them grow into their full potential. I have one blue dolphin.
I mention all of this because about two months ago I lost a good bit of fish to what I believe was bloat, that I think was exaserbated by aggression issues. I removed some larger haps, which I took back to my LFS. I had s red empress male that was an absolute tyrant. A real bully. I also removed all known females. I used a combination of metro flakes from Ken's fish and NLS pellets soaked in Epsom salt (as suggest on this forum). Haven't lost a fish in over a month. Ok now for the question past of this short novel. I would like to have 40ish, maybe 45 fish total. I really don't want to go back through what I went through a few months ago. I realize the idea of a truly peaceful Malawi tank may be a long shot and I know that each fish is an individual. What Malawi Cichlids would you recommend that I get to complete the tank. I am thinking of adding 5-6 blue dolphins, maybe a few more small yellow labs, and adding in another batch of juvenile Ruby reds and some juvenile Lemon Jakes. I forgot to mention I have a lemon Jake that is about 3" and starting to color up. Sorry for the length of this post, I look forward to your responses.

-Matt
 

Medgertor

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By the way if I am making some obvious mistakes I'm my stock list feel free to let me know. I am looking to be set on the right path.
 

RD.

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I have several Ruby reds, and six small star sapphires. The Ruby reds and the star sapphires are my favorite and I can't wait to see them grow into their full potential
In a tank that you suggest, neither will ever grow to their full potential. Way too much going on as the fish all mature. If it was me, I'd keep the two groups that you mentioned above, and maybe a small group of yellow labs. That's it.

P. sp. phenochilus Tanzania are amazing fish, but they need their room, and will take a good 4 years to mature and really appreciate. What you are considering will be chaotic, and when Africans get stressed it triggers bloat and other issues.

As an example, in my 6ft 125 gallon I have a group of 5 adult C. moorii, 8 S. lucipinnis, and 10 juvenile L. caeruleus "Ruarwe", the latter group I just added a couple of weeks ago. When the labs mature, IMO that will be a fully stocked tank. Your 150 is barely larger volume wise, and possibly smaller footprint wise.
 
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james99

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Y'all have to decide if you want groups of fish, normally a male to multiple females, or an all male tank, one male of each species, no duplicates or look alikes. 20-25 fish would be stocked, maybe less is you go with larger haps like buccochromis.
 
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RD.

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I've gotten away with more than 1 male of the same species, but it's a roll of the dice. Sometimes it works, but most times not over the long haul. The more aggressive the genus/species, the less chance of long term success.
 
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Medgertor

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Thank you all for the advice. RD, I was hoping you would chime in. My tank is also a 6 foot tank. I think going forward I'm going to re-home some fish and simplify my stocking list.
 
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RD.

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Sounds like a plan. I know that a lot of people immediately think all African tanks can (or even should) be overstocked, but stocking on the heavy side works best with mbuna set ups, not so much for haps. So while 40 yellow labs and rustys might be fine in your 150, mixing that many haps, along with mbuna, is probably not going to end well. Even in all male hap tanks (which I have also had) there is a fine balance that can be easily upset when ones fish become sexually mature. Good luck!
 

duanes

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I agree with RD, and I have also kept tanks similar in size with multiple male Haps together, but I usually restrict a tank to only 2 species, and often then, two species that are not similar in appearance (as an example both not blue).
In nature, when spawning, a pair of similar sized African cichlids as yours will be when mature, will guard an area of about 250 gallons from all other cichlids, which means in a 150, there won't any place to go for any interlopers.
When my pair of Fossorochromis rostratus spawned in a 150 they killed all others except themselves.
And after spawning, I had to remove the male
Below a couple male Haps living quite well together in a 150, but lots of females and no other blue cichlids.

 

RD.

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And sometimes even with no females present, when two similar males begin to sexually mature, bad things can begin to happen.

upload_2018-10-13_13-58-50.png

upload_2018-10-13_13-59-31.png
 
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RD.

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Lucky for me those two males were able to work out their differences ….

upload_2018-10-13_14-12-38.png
 
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