Switch to full site
Discussion regarding only Lake Malawi species.
Post a reply

Mbuna Stocking - Newbie

Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:04 am

Hey all! I had kept a 30 gallon planted aquarium for a few years, a decade ago. Always wanted Cichlids and now is the time! I have a 55 gallon tank cycling, ~600 gph with 2 canister filters and good amount of rocks/caves.

I'm thinking about getting three groups of unsexed juveniles. Should this be manageable for a newbie to cichlids? Otherwise, would it be better experiance paying more to ensure more are females?

Tell me your thoughts on this potential stocking selection:
- Labeotropheus Trewavasae
- Labidochromis Chisumulae
- Cynotilapia Afra

Will these be good tankmates? How many should I get of each? 8 of each group? I don't plan to go larger than the 55 gallon.


Re: Mbuna Stocking - Newbie

Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:06 am

I would skip the labeotropheus in a 55G. Choose either chisumulae or afra (now zebroides) since they are both blue barred fish.

You will need 1m:4f of each and this should work in a 55G with three small/peaceful species like the zebroides.

Mbuna are not often sold sexed...if your vendor is selling them sexed at less than three inches I would allow for mistakes.

Re: Mbuna Stocking - Newbie

Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:29 pm

Is the Labidochromis Perlmutt different enough to likely go well with the Zebroides?

Is there a mostly orange mbuna that would go well as 3rd species? I love the look of Red Zebras (regular but also O.B.) however what I find online seems split between them being good for beginners or not.

Re: Mbuna Stocking - Newbie

Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:44 pm

Yes and yes. The zebra is more aggressive than labs and cobue, but they are fine for a beginner and fine in a 55G.

Re: Mbuna Stocking - Newbie

Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:55 am

My tank is cycled and I finally got the cichlids in tonight! Found a fish store that had three Mbuna groups in stock that I'm very happy with. They are very active swimming up and down the sides but have not eaten yet, hopefully tomorrow. I have 5 cichlid foods to try a little at a time, all but one are vegetarian/herbavore cichlid foods and other is tetra cichlid flakes.

I got 7 of each if these, about 1-1.5 inch:
- Cherry Red Zebra
- White Lab
- Cynotilapia Afra Purple Lupingu (Zebrodies)

After getting them home, I see 2-3 small black spots on one side gills of one Red Zebra, and a few small black spots on top and back fins of another Red Zebra, no small black spots on other Red Zebras. Hopefully thats just some OB trait.

Let me know if any advice for first days with them. Will try each food in very small amounts in morning hoping for them to eat!

Re: Mbuna Stocking - Newbie

Fri Aug 30, 2019 8:21 am

Actually they're closer to 2", I'm not good at judging.

The species profiles for all 3 groups says Omnivore. Does this mean I should not feed "Herbavore Cichlid" food, and should feed regular Cichlid food that isn't higher vegetation content? Or is it good to stick with herbavore foods as main staple?


Re: Mbuna Stocking - Newbie

Fri Aug 30, 2019 8:43 am

Regular cichlid food with protein about 37% like New Life Spectrum Cichlid Formula 1mm sinking pellets. See ingredients below. Northfin is good too.

Whole Antarctic Krill, Squid, Whole Wheat Flour, Ulva Seaweed, Chlorella Algae, Beta Carotene, Spirulina, Kelp, Garlic, Alfalfa, Scallops, Omega-3 Fish Oil, Wakame Seaweed, Spinosum Seaweed, Ginger, Garlic, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, L-Ascorby-2-Polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Choline Chloride, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide, Cobalt Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate And Manganese Sulfate.

Re: Mbuna Stocking - Newbie

Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:53 pm

Here's a pic of my tank. Have granite rocks and cichlid substrate, background picture has rocks with branches. Love fish, thanks for the help!

Re: Mbuna Stocking - Newbie

Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:00 am

Love the rocks!

Re: Mbuna Stocking - Newbie

Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:03 pm

The tank is doing great.
My dominant Cherry Red Zebra gets so pale, and when the light hits him right he looks like a white lab!

Will Red Zebras possibly bread with White Labs, like I hear they do with Yellow Labs? Still may happen since they're still a lab?
Pale Cherry Red Zebra

Re: Mbuna Stocking - Newbie

Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:30 pm

Any two mouthbrooders can spawn, especially if there are not enough females for each male in the tank.

Male cherry red zebras most often turn a peach color created by the natural blue sheen over the orange scales and fins.
Post a reply