Lake Malawi Species • New 150 gallon mbuna tank

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New 150 gallon mbuna tank

Postby jrkirby » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:12 am

Hey guys,
I'm upgrading from my 40 gallon mbuna tank to a 150 gallon mbuna tank and need some advice on stocking. My current tank contains 2 of each: maingano, red zebra, yellow lab, and auratus. Yes, I know this was a bad stocking list and this is why I'm seeking a better setup for the next tank lol. I'd really like to keep the fish in the new tank that I already have so if I could stock around them that would be ideal. I'm concerned about size so some larger fish that are compatable would be great. I will likely choose a gravel bottom with ingravel filters seeing as I'm not interested in breeding. Any suggestions on rock arrangement would also be appreciated!
Thanks!
James
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Re: New 150 gallon mbuna tank

Postby Kevin in Ky » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:53 am

Most importantly you've got a great size tank to work with! My thoughts would be to move the Maingano and the Yellow Labs to the new tank..and then try to rehome the Auratus and Red Zebra (or leave the Red Zebra in the 40g). Auratus can be extremely aggressive and make thinks much tougher for you to stock your new tank..as they will likely kill anything you try to add unless they are much bigger. Add to the Maingano and the Yellow Labs and then pick 3 (or possibly 4) more species to go with them. Also, I would honestly rethink the gravel with ingravel filter if I were you. Mbuna definitely do best with a sand substrate..and gravel will be a nightmare to try to keep clean with Mbuna and they will constantly be digging down to the ingravel filter. People can recommend filters,.. canister and/or Hang on Back type are what most of us use. For your rockwork, have fun with it. Look at as many pictures as possible of Mbuna tanks on this site or google images etc. and get a feel for what you like. I like to make it as natural looking as possible. Collect various size rocks and make several piles and stacks..with as many tunnels and caves as you can and let the fish do the rest. Painting the back of the tank black always looks good and makes the fishes color really pop. A 150g tank will be a blast to set up and stock. Good luck and keep us posted!
125g Met Msobo - White Labs - Acei (White Tail) - Troph Elong Boadzulu - Cyno Jalo Reef -Petricola Catfish
55g Demasoni - Yellow Labs - Acei
55g Cyno Hara - Met Estherae - Rusty
29g Ps Saulosi - Rusty
20g 'Lamprologus' ocellatus ''Gold''
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Re: New 150 gallon mbuna tank

Postby jrkirby » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:28 pm

Thanks for the reply Kevin! I use a sand substrate now and do like it a lot so I would not mind using that again, the reason I was thinking of using gravel with ingravel filters was because I thought this would help to keep the tank as clean as possible. I do have a canister filter which is adequate so perhaps I'll stay with sand. Which 3 or 4 additional species would you recommend to give me an array of colors while still keeping aggression minimal? Also on another note, I recognize the importance of maintaining the proper male to female ratio but for fish that are more difficult to sex how can this be done correctly?
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Re: New 150 gallon mbuna tank

Postby Kevin in Ky » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:10 pm

This seems to be a slow day on this board. I'm surprised you haven't had more replies yet...but you will. With a 150g you have a ton of possible great options with Mbuna, so take your time and do your research..and take suggestions from some of the folks on this board. Several of them have far more experience than I do.

If you go with what I suggested and move the Maingano and Yellow Labs to the 150g.. I would add 1 group of a Cynotilapia (like Jalo Reef or sp Hara maybe)..1 group of Metriaclima (lots of great options here)..and 1 group of Labeotropheus (like trewavasae maybe). With those 5 a 6th species may not be the best idea...as 3 of them can be pretty aggressive. That would be a great color mix and highly active. I like to add a group of catfish (maybe 6 - 8 ) Synodontis lucipinnis ''Dwarf Petricola'', which do great with Mbuna and help control the fry population. Hope this helps some,..it's just my suggestions based on my tanks and taste.

Btw, what are the dimensions of the tank?
125g Met Msobo - White Labs - Acei (White Tail) - Troph Elong Boadzulu - Cyno Jalo Reef -Petricola Catfish
55g Demasoni - Yellow Labs - Acei
55g Cyno Hara - Met Estherae - Rusty
29g Ps Saulosi - Rusty
20g 'Lamprologus' ocellatus ''Gold''
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Re: New 150 gallon mbuna tank

Postby jrkirby » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:24 pm

I will definitely be adding a school of synos to the tank! The tanks dimensions are 72" x 18" x 28". For this sized tank and 5 species (not including the synos) how many of each species would be appropriate?
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Re: New 150 gallon mbuna tank

Postby Kevin in Ky » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:54 pm

I can give you what I think are the ideal M/FM ratios to end up with of each would be..but getting to those ratios can be the tricky (and expensive) part. The rule of thumb I always see is.. if ordering 'juveniles' order twice as many as the total # of females you want to end up with, for each species. For example when I was stocking my 125g,..I wanted to end up with a 1/7 M/FM ratio for my Metriaclima Msobo,..so I ordered 14. I've lost 4 of them (possible subdom males) and rehomed 1 male and now have what I think is 1 male and 7 females.

I would use this ratio for the Labeotropheus and the Maingano.. (somebody correct me if I'm wrong on these)
and then maybe a 1 to 4 or 5 M/FM ratio on the Cynotilapia and the Yellow Labs (I ordered 10 of each on these 2)

Hopefully you plan on ordering your fish, so you will be able to find the variety you want.

Hope this helps! You will get a bunch more great suggestions and advice from others with experience, so keep checking this thread.
125g Met Msobo - White Labs - Acei (White Tail) - Troph Elong Boadzulu - Cyno Jalo Reef -Petricola Catfish
55g Demasoni - Yellow Labs - Acei
55g Cyno Hara - Met Estherae - Rusty
29g Ps Saulosi - Rusty
20g 'Lamprologus' ocellatus ''Gold''
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Re: New 150 gallon mbuna tank

Postby jrkirby » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:19 pm

Great thanks for all your advice! I'll continue to check the thread on a regular basis so if anyone else has any suggestions at all I'd really appreciate your input
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Re: New 150 gallon mbuna tank

Postby Kevin in Ky » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:34 pm

No problem.. I want to see some pictures as you move along with the tank!
125g Met Msobo - White Labs - Acei (White Tail) - Troph Elong Boadzulu - Cyno Jalo Reef -Petricola Catfish
55g Demasoni - Yellow Labs - Acei
55g Cyno Hara - Met Estherae - Rusty
29g Ps Saulosi - Rusty
20g 'Lamprologus' ocellatus ''Gold''
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Re: New 150 gallon mbuna tank

Postby jrkirby » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:46 pm

I'll certainly post pictures as it's coming together. That may be a few months down the road (still have to build the stand into the wall, save a bit of money....etc.) but I'll be sure to share on the forum
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Re: New 150 gallon mbuna tank

Postby DJRansome » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:04 pm

I'm not sure if you still want to keep all the original species after the other Member's posts or are now considering other options. The number of fish and ratios will depend on the species. Have you made any decisions as yet? I'd choose between labs and zebras.

Agree on the under gravel filters...I don't see how that would result in a cleaner tank since the waste stays under the gravel. And you must have to periodically remove the gravel for maintenance. I like canisters to actually remove it.
125G Borleyi, Maleri, Astatotilapia, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Maingano, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Caudopunctatus, Petricola
55G Chrysonotus; 38G Demasoni
33G Hara; 33G Kwanga; 33G Maingano; 33G Cobue
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Re: New 150 gallon mbuna tank

Postby jrkirby » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:42 pm

Thank you for the reply! Yes my plan at this point is to rehome the auratus' and keep the maingano's. As far as the yellow labs and red zebra's, as I said before I will not be breeding so hybridization is not a concern. Is there any other reason as to why these fish should be kept separate? Otherwise I may keep both species. I will certainly stick with sand as a substrate along with the canister filter. Given the species that I'll be starting off with, which 2 or 3 would you recommend adding? Keeping in mind that a variety of color is the primary concern. Lastly, how many total fish (including about 7 syno's) would you keep in a tank of this size?
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Re: New 150 gallon mbuna tank

Postby DJRansome » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:30 pm

I like 5 species with 1m:4f of each depending on the species. With the synodontis (multipunctatus are best at this) you should not have hybrid survivors to deal with...that would be the problem keeping labs and estherae together.

1m:7f on the maingano.

The Cynotilapia sp. hara are a good choice. All you need is white...what about Pseudotropheus socolofi albino?
125G Borleyi, Maleri, Astatotilapia, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Maingano, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Caudopunctatus, Petricola
55G Chrysonotus; 38G Demasoni
33G Hara; 33G Kwanga; 33G Maingano; 33G Cobue
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Re: New 150 gallon mbuna tank

Postby jrkirby » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:10 am

I really like the idea of adding in the socolfi to bring in more color variety. So if I preferred to rehome the labs and keep the red tigers does this stocking list sound good?
1-Socolofi albino. 1m:4f
2-Estherea. 1m:4f
3-Maingano 1m:7f
4-Cynotilapia hara 1m:4f
5-Trewavasea 1m:4f
Syno's
If I doubled all ratio except the maingano would this be a reasonable amount of fish for the tank size?
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Re: New 150 gallon mbuna tank

Postby Fogelhund » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:13 am

jrkirby wrote:I really like the idea of adding in the socolfi to bring in more color variety. So if I preferred to rehome the labs and keep the red tigers does this stocking list sound good?
1-Socolofi albino. 1m:4f
2-Estherea. 1m:4f
3-Maingano 1m:7f
4-Cynotilapia hara 1m:4f
5-Trewavasea 1m:4f
Syno's
If I doubled all ratio except the maingano would this be a reasonable amount of fish for the tank size?



Looks good to me.
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Re: New 150 gallon mbuna tank

Postby jrkirby » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:25 am

Great thanks for your input! I don't think I'll double it as I mentioned in my last post just because of the cost lol. Do any of you guys order order your fish online or do you all shop at a LFS?
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