Lake Malawi Species • 75g Stocking - Fishless Cycling

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75g Stocking - Fishless Cycling

Postby Drew31 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 12:47 am

Many helped me previously as I decided upon my next tank... https://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=450501&sid=5f40a335a2c501590d3b18e85e5877b4&start=15

So just got the new 75g set up. Sand substrate, 125lbs THR. I have room for more and may add more eventually. Filstar-L w/ 350gph. Will add a 2nd soon, though will likely wait for cycle to complete to avoid adding any variables. Following the page on this forum. Fishless cycle which just began tonight. Added 1.5tsp Ammonia got it up to 1ppm. Adding another 1.5tsp to try to get close to 2 and calling it a night. I did seed filter with ceramic rings and sponges from one of my other filters. Not sure how fast that speeds things along...

As far as stocking...Here's kind of where my head is at. Originally I was 100% Mbuna, but slight doubt has crept in on a Hap tank, though still pretty sure I go Mbuna. My current 75g has 4 species, so I'm thinking something similar in this one. 1M:4-5F each. Here's what I'm thinking. Again, outside chance I completely change course and go Hap, but have been pretty set on Mbuna since the beginning.

These 3 are my top 3...
- LABEOTROPHEUS TREWAVASAE (CHILUMBA)
- PSEUDOTROPHEUS SAULOSI
- Metriclima Callainos, Pearl Zebra

For my 4th, a few options I've looked of which I'd pick one....
- Cynotilapia zebroides (Jalo Reef)
- Labidochromis sp. "Perlmutt"
- Metriaclima sp. (elongatus usisya)
- Melonochromis auratus
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Re: 75g Stocking - Fishless Cycling

Postby DJRansome » Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:16 am

I would skip the auratus in a 75G with 4 species.

You already have a blue barred fish with the saulosi, so I would skip the Cynotilapia and elongatus. The callainos and perlmutt look alike.

What about acei? Socolofi?

Go 1m:7f on the labeotropheus as they are on the aggressive side.
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Re: 75g Stocking - Fishless Cycling

Postby Drew31 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 3:13 pm

I thought the auratus looked more aggressive than what I'd want but included them just to be thorough on my options. Acei I have in my current 75g along with Cynotilapia zebroides (Metangula),Labidochromis caeruleus, & Iodotropheus sprengerae so that's why I've not included those 4. That said, not totally adjust re-homing between tanks if you think different options may work better.

I had been staying away from other Pseudotropheus since I had already decided on the Saulosi but had not thought about the Socolofi... Which Pseudotropheus should be avoided together? The Socolofi semi-similar to the Callainos or perhaps the pictures I'm looking at aren't doing them justice? I had looked at Metriaclima estherae as well but ruled them out when I decided on the labeotropheus. What about Pseudotropheus Crabro?
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Re: 75g Stocking - Fishless Cycling

Postby DJRansome » Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:12 pm

The pearl callainos is basically white and the solocofi is basically a solid blue. You are fine adding multiple pseudotropheus since that is a holding category and not a final scientific genus.

Crabro is a large, aggressive black/brown fish. Maybe in a 72" tank with the auratus and 1m:7f of each?

The saulosi females are yellow/orange so avoid any other yellows or oranges.

New thought. Maingano?
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Re: 75g Stocking - Fishless Cycling

Postby Drew31 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:21 pm

Ok, that helps. Maingano definitely might be an option... Might be a dumb way to look at it, but I am aiming for more dimorphic species with this tank. With the coloring feels like it gives you a 2 for 1 to a degree. Maybe just me. I do like the look of the Maingano though. Also, the labetropheus I was looking at is this one below. I was looking for something with red, but should I avoid this variation with the saulosi given your comment on orange. Orange/red tends to blend. Perhaps more the red top variety.

[url]]https://www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=1696[/url]
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Re: 75g Stocking - Fishless Cycling

Postby DJRansome » Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:18 pm

Because labeotropheus and saulosi are so different in shape and genus, probably OK to have 2 orange species. But you will have only 1 orange labeotropheus.

Many of the dimorphic mbuna are blue or blue barred with yellow/orange females. So hard to get all dimorphic and have them look nothing alike. Unless you are OK with drab females.

Flavus is a yellow barred male that is dimorphic, but females are drab.
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Re: 75g Stocking - Fishless Cycling

Postby Drew31 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:20 pm

Makes sense.

So current line of thought as I'm sitting here tonight...

1M:7F LABEOTROPHEUS TREWAVASAE (CHILUMBA)
1M:4F PSEUDOTROPHEUS SAULOSI
1M:4F Metriclima Callainos, Pearl Zebra
1M:4F Maingano

5x synodontis petricola
2x BN Plecos (Need these for diatom control...lot of silicates in the tap. I've had 2 do Ok in my current 75g)
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Re: 75g Stocking - Fishless Cycling

Postby Drew31 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:20 pm

Can you clarify the 1 orange labeotropheus? Females remain drab?
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Re: 75g Stocking - Fishless Cycling

Postby DJRansome » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:32 am

Females are less colorful than males. The pic I saw of a female from Chilumba was a dusty blue. Some males are blue as well, the pic I saw of a male from Chilumba was blue with an orange belly.

Do 1m:7f for the maingano...they are on the aggressive side.
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Re: 75g Stocking - Fishless Cycling

Postby Drew31 » Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:17 pm

Ok. Makes sense. Any other trewavasae variations you recommend? Saulosi will give me a blue barred with yellow/orange. I'll have a white with the callainos. Maingano looking at Black/Blue. The trewavasae looking for something along a red/orange but hits of bright blue wouldn't be bad.

I'll do the 1:7 on the maingano.
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Re: 75g Stocking - Fishless Cycling

Postby DJRansome » Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:23 am

All the labeotropheus have the drabber females. They may be blotched, but the background colors I have seen are not comparable to the males.
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