Lake Malawi Species • New to African cichlids / cichlid shuffle questions

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New to African cichlids / cichlid shuffle questions

Postby TNChris » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:18 am

Hi - just moved to a locale that has super hard / basic water which is ideal for Africans so I'm setting up old Angel and discus equipt for Africans. I like the Mbuna so far and want to just stick with them at this point - I have a 92g corner tank with them in it now and a 100g long (72 x 18 footprint) that will be even better for Mbuna.

My LFS is limited in Africans (I live in the boondocks) but have a good club that is about an hour away that has meetings regularly for swaps etc

I set up with what I could get just to see how I liked these fish and am enjoying them. Right now I have Cobalt blue zebras, yellow labs, and red zebras. Going to shuffle and end up ordering new fish to fill these tanks out.

I like the look of this tank now with the mix orange/yellow/blue coloration, but want to separate the red zebras and yellow labs. Thinking of adding Metriaclima Msobo to the red zebras for the yellow of the females and moving the labs to the 100g, or adding Daktari to replace the yellow labs - some photos of these are really yellow others aren't so not sure on those any opinions on that would help.

So I'm left with

Red Zebra, Cobalt Blue Zebra (metriaclima callainos), Metriaclima Msobo in the 92g - this tank is deep (2 ft deep) more so than wide, has a deep rock stock in the center to the top of the water column so the fish are distributed throughout the depth, white sand, black background, looking for one more species (thinking total of 4 species with 6 or 7 of each) here and consider yellow tail acei as they are rumored to like the deeper tanks though they may enjoy my wider tank better. Any issue with the 2 metriaclima species together or do I need to move the cobalts? I could do the opposite and keep the cobalts and yellow labs and move the red zebras to the other tank as well, any stocking suggestions for this tank would be helpful.

Plan is Cobalt Blue, Red Zebra, Metriaclima Msobo, Yellow tail acei (maybe), and maybe 1 more? Tose 4 may be enough though.

For the 100g - black background/black sand, rock stack on Left/Right with open area in center I like the Cynotilapia Hara, will have the Yellow labs assuming you guys like that plan, I'm thinking 6 species should be ok in this long of a tank. The only thing I don't really like that I see recommended often are Rusty cichlids - they seem hit or miss from photos and I'll be ordering fish site unseen. My daughter likes male Auratus but I want to avoid those - I like the look of the Maingano and it will look similar enough in shape to those that I think she'll be happy. I think that I'll go with those. I like Metriaclima Greshakei or Red Top Trewavasae, possibly Red Top Ndumbi or Hongi, and open to other suggestions. I like some photos of Metriaclima Aurora I've seen - haven't seen too any people talking about this fish - looks similar to the Red Zebra though so I'm assuming some cross could occur? I would like something that is actual red but have only seen peacocks that get true red. How are red textilis? I've seen a photo on the cichlid express website but that's about it.

Plan is Yellow Lab, Cynotilapia Hara, Greshaeki or Trewavasae, Red top hongi or Ndumbi (leaning toward Ndumbi), and 2 others. Will a blue/black barred species get along with the Hara in this tank? Maybe blue dolphin Manda?

I've searched this forum for a while and read but in the end looking for a little guidance on some of these species and coloration/etc because I can't go to a store and actually look at them.

My deep tank would probably be a great hap/peacock tank but I'm having info overload as is and I like all the activity of the Mbuna so far.

Thanks
Chris
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Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:25 pm
Location: Watertown, NY

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Re: New to African cichlids / cichlid shuffle questions

Postby DJRansome » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:28 pm

Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

The standard 92G corner has sides that are 34" so that creates a problem for mbuna that are better in 48" tanks. I'd do the labs and hara in that tank and nothing else.

For the 72" tank you can fit six species, although I like 5.

Avoid ndumbi even more than auratus. Aurora as well. I would not mix red and blue zebras, and the female msobo are very similar in color to red zebras so I would do cobalts (or acei, which are similar to the cobalt color) and msobo.

1m:4f Msobo,
1m:7f Trewavasae,
1m:4f blue dolphin Manda,
1m:7f maingano and
1m:4f of either cobalts or acei

Nothing gets true red IMO. Some peacocks look true red in flash pictures, but not so much in person. My borleyi get pretty red but I would not mix them with the mbuna.
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 to African cichlids / cichlid shuffle questions

Postby TNChris » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:58 am

Ok. I do have a standard 55g as well i might use instead of the 92. The 92 is an interesting tank and has a lot more room than it seems like it might with the 34" sides. It is a great angelfish tank...which is what i bought it for...
TNChris
 
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:25 pm
Location: Watertown, NY

Re: New to African cichlids / cichlid shuffle questions

Postby Bernese » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:41 pm

I really like the Cobalt (Metriaclima callainos) as well but I also have the Pearl White variety too! I have both which do very well together & having a male of one color & females of both colors you can get a bonus of three colors! I personally like all three colors. Just wiating on mine to spawn & see if I get any of the OB this time! The OB variety can be unique in it's markings of Blue & White Mixed! Definately worth considering especially since you already have the Cobalt & seem to like it? Plus a White will always stand out against the Black Sand & Background which is what I have too.
30g Metriaclima callainos (Pearl & Blue), Jalo Reef Afra, Maingano, Lace Synodontis & Yoyo Loach
55g All Male Mbuna/Hap/Peacock, Lucipinnis, RN Pleco & Red Tail Shark
5g Male Betta & Otocinclus
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Re: New to African cichlids / cichlid shuffle questions

Postby DJRansome » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:44 pm

To avoid cross breeding, if you like the solid white fish you might consider albino socolofi instead of mixing two solid-color Metriaclimas.
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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