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Discussion regarding only Lake Malawi species.
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Mixed Mbuna tank

Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:29 am

Starting an Mbuna tank with juveniles. Only a 55G but want to target 4 species and variety of colors.

Any suggestions from these to avoid having together? I believe all are on the smaller size of Mbuna, and only semi-aggressive?

White lab - LABIDOCHROMIS CAERULEUS
Rusty - IODOTROPHEUS SPRENGERAE
Red zebra - MAYLANDIA ESTHERAE
Cobalt blue -MAYLANDIA CALLAINOS
Saulosi. - PSEUDOTROPHEUS SAULOSI

Re: Mixed Mbuna tank

Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:33 am

With a 55G you are better off limiting to three species. You want to end up with 1m:4f of each. The two Maylandia (Metriaclima) are not small and more aggressive than the others. Don't mix them in one tank.

The other three would work, but you would only have the one blue male.

Maybe the callainos and the white labs and saulosi?

Re: Mixed Mbuna tank

Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:19 am

Thanks. As this is my first cichlid tank, what would be the threshold for numbers for overstocked? Assuming 5 of each, is 3 the limit and then 4 species would be overstocked, or is the 4 species the issue?

And if it was overstocked, does it allow for more species? Or would it just be survival of the fittest at that point?

Re: Mixed Mbuna tank

Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:29 pm

I followed the advice from DJ with my tanks and he knows his stuff for sure. I have two 55's and one 75 with Mbunas. One 55 is a Saulosi only tank. The other White Labs and I will also have Saulosi in that one. The 75 has Yellow Labs and Afras. I like all of them but if I were to choose one? Hands down it would be Saulosi. Wonderful color for a species tank. I like Rusty's also but just so much room. Good luck with whatever you choose.

Re: Mixed Mbuna tank

Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:08 pm

15 fish is the proper level of overstocking for a 55G. Since you want 4 females for every male (to manage aggression and prevent crossbreeding) that dictates the 3 species.

If you want 4 species, consider a 75G that is 48" x 18".
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