Lake Malawi Species • Mbuna stocking suggestions

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Mbuna stocking suggestions

Postby zimmy » Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:52 pm

I've been keeping cichlids for almost 10 years but have never tried any of the Lake Malawi species. I'm setting up some new tanks and am considering making one of them a mbuna tank. The tank dimensions (LxWxH) will either be 48x24x15 or 48x36x15. Any thoughts on which tank size is better for mbuna along with some stocking suggestions? Based on what's potentially available to me, I'm considering stocking with Metriaclima "Msobo" along with tropheops sp. red cheek and maybe some Iodotropheus sprengerae. Could I do three species and are these good options for a 4 foot tank?
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Re: Mbuna stocking suggestions

Postby nickthefoxtoy » Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:34 pm

I have a 4 foot tank currently, 55 gallon with Mbuna in it. I went with three species and a group of petricola lucipinnis and have not had any issues. The tank is about 4 years old now. I went with 1m/4f of the electric yellow, yellow tail acei, and rusty. Super mellow tank, and I have no bad aggression issues. The 48 inch length is perfect in my opinion for 3 species of Mbuna. As far as the compatibility of the species you suggested, I am sure someone will have good information.
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Re: Mbuna stocking suggestions

Postby DJRansome » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:14 pm

zimmy is the 2nd number the height? Or are they both 15" tall?

The msobo and iodotropheus will be fine. Not sure about the tropheops. Reputation is very aggressive. Worth a try. 1m:7f or even more females.

The females are yellow like the msobo. That could be a concern for look-alikes or not enough contrast for the tank...would that bother you?
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Mbuna stocking suggestions

Postby zimmy » Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:30 am

Thanks for the responses. DJRansome, the second dimension is the width. The tanks will be 15” tall. I’d rather not have a super aggressive species so the tropheops may not be ideal. The lack of contrast is also not a good thing. I’d like variety.

Could I do a third species and would the increased footprint help?
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Re: Mbuna stocking suggestions

Postby DJRansome » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:36 am

You can do 4 species in a 75G but the extra inches front to back does not increase your stocking options. Make sure the tank is WELL covered.

Yellow labs always work. Or if you want a blue barred fish, Cynotilapia zebroides Cobue. Or Cynotilapia sp. hara.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Mbuna stocking suggestions

Postby zimmy » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:14 am

DJRansome wrote:You can do 4 species I a 75G but the extra inches front to back does not increase your stocking options.

Thanks. I understand that mbuna tanks should be overstocked so would I need to get higher numbers of the four species if I go with the 36" width?
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Re: Mbuna stocking suggestions

Postby DJRansome » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:28 am

No. Stocking is same for 48" x 18" even if width is greater.

Length is more important than width. Your low height means an increased jumping risk, thus the comment about covering the tank.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Mbuna stocking suggestions

Postby jcover » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:54 pm

I agree, height doesn't play a huge factor unless you can create a lot of vertical structural diversity in the tank with decor. This can be difficult to do and somewhat risky unless your decor is very light weight.
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Re: Mbuna stocking suggestions

Postby zimmy » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:22 am

jcover wrote:I agree, height doesn't play a huge factor unless you can create a lot of vertical structural diversity in the tank with decor. This can be difficult to do and somewhat risky unless your decor is very light weight.

Just to be clear the height of the tank will be 15" regardless of whether it's 24" or 36" wide so there's no concern about creating a tall structure. The tank is going to be in a rack system with other tanks so I'm limited in how tall I can make it. This will be the largest tank on the rack. The others will be used for my Tanganyikan cichlids.
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