General African Cichlid Discussion • Adding Frontosa to Mbuna Tank?

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Adding Frontosa to Mbuna Tank?

Postby gillmanjr » Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:55 am

Hi guys. I've had my Mbuna tank running for about 2 years now. Its a 75 gallon with 16 fish total, mixed Mbunas. The tank has been stable for most of the last two years with no injuries or illnesses. I love the Mbunas and don't want to get rid of them all, but I have had my eye on Frontosas for a while now. Can they be mixed with Mbunas and is a 75 gallon tank big enough for them? I won't consider it if a lot of people think a 75 gal is too small. But if I were to upgrade to a 125 gal (which I may do this winter) how would you suggest I proceed if its possible? What Mbunas should I get rid of and what should I keep to make room? Here is my current stock:

1m, 1f yellow lab
1f white lab
1m, 3f Rusty
1m, 2f Afra
4f Socolofi
2f Red Zebra
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:40 am
Location: NY

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Re: Adding Frontosa to Mbuna Tank?

Postby james1983 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:38 am

The 75 would be too small. Even in a larger tank I believe the frontosa would be out competed for food and harassed to death by the much quick mbuna.
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 1:42 pm
Location: savannah, ga

Re: Adding Frontosa to Mbuna Tank?

Postby noddy » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:22 pm

Far to small a tank and shouldn't be mixed with mbuna.
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:54 pm
Location: toronto

Re: Adding Frontosa to Mbuna Tank?

Postby gillmanjr » Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:52 pm

Is a 125 sufficient for Frontosa? There are no Mbuna species that are docile enough to be kept with them?
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:40 am
Location: NY

Re: Adding Frontosa to Mbuna Tank?

Postby ken31cay » Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:07 pm

My tank is very different from what you're considering but here's my feedback for what it's worth; in my 450gal (8' x 3') I have 38 male peacocks & haps (all 3.5"-4.5") and 4 Frontosa 4"-5". The Frontosa swim around with the others 90% of the time and are right there competing for food during feeding times. There's noticeable aggression between some of the peacocks but it's nothing compared to the same setup (minus the Frontosa) in my 180gal where several deaths due to aggression have occurred. I believe the larger space in the 450gal makes a big difference.

My cichlid supplier said that as long as the Frontosa don't hide most of the time and are out & about, then they should be fine. If they're hiding alot then it means they're not comfortable enough in that setup and will probably not do well there. He also said juvenile Frontosa are more active and do better with peacocks/haps/mbuna.

With my limited experience with mbuna I kind of cringe to think of keeping Frontosa with them, even in a very large tank.

Hope this helps.
450gal Frontosa (blue Zaire Moba) & haps
180gal Labeotropheus Trewavasae Chilumba & Kenyi
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:19 pm
Location: Cayman Islands

Re: Adding Frontosa to Mbuna Tank?

Postby gillmanjr » Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:42 pm

Most of the Frontosa tanks I've seen online and on youtube are massive, hundreds of gallons. Even the few 125 gal tanks I've seen with Fronts appear somewhat small for them. Maybe I should just forget about this because I really don't have the space for a 200+ gallon right now... :(
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:40 am
Location: NY

Re: Adding Frontosa to Mbuna Tank?

Postby noki » Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:47 pm

You could have a single Frontosa in a 125 but... this is a question of just surviving versus thriving. Will the Frontosa survive? Probably. Will the Frontosa do well and grow big happily. Unlikely. Not totally a question of size of tank, just that the Frontosa will probably feel uncomfortable and stressed alone with Mbuna in a 4 or even 6 foot long tank.

Can you do it just to have a Frontosa? Yes. The Frontosa is not grow over a foot long in a 75 gallon with Mbuna anytime soon if ever. Is this a good idea? Not really.

In the end is your decision, your standards, and your money, if you know what I mean, it depends on how you weigh things. If you are serious about wanting Frontosa you may want to wait until you can get a group of Fronts in a bigger tank.
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2003 1:38 am
Location: OH

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