Discussion regarding only Lake Malawi species.
Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:26 am
So I have 5 ft 140 gallon Mbuna tank. Lots of rock work all juvenile Mbuna with some synos and Plecos. I don’t have any aggression issues right now. I bought them all as juveniles not really knowing for sure what gender they would be and added as best I could. What changes could I make to my stock? ( I know the lab ratio is bad but I’ve heard m-f ratio isn’t as critical for them. Btw I don’t care abt fry
Red Zebra- 3 m 6 f
Yellow Lab - 3m 2 f
Blue zebra- 1 m 4 f
Kenyi- 2 m 9 f
Jalo Afra- 4 unsexed
4 Snow White socolofi - unsexed
4 syno petricola
Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:44 am
I would rehome the kenyi and red zebras even if only to manage aggression because they are Metriaclima like the Blue zebra. Also 4 species in a five foot tank is the right level of overstocking to manage aggression once you have a good mix of genera and males to females.
If you can sex them they probably are not juveniles any longer.
The ratio may not matter much for the labs but I never heard ratio does not matter for mbuna overall.
For the blue zebra and afra and socolofi I would shoot for 1m:4f. Even if you don't mind dealing with hybrids and there is no aggression, you will still find that the colors are better without extra males.
Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:42 pm
So 20 fish total?
Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:55 pm
That sounds about right. You could go up one species if you want to push the envelope and choose a small, peaceful species.
Which blue zebra are you considering? I was thinking Metriaclima callainos, but maybe it is a blue-barred species? If so you may not want to have the blue barred Cynotilapia like the Jalo Reef as well.
Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:15 pm
Cobalt blue, the Jalo Afra are orange back variety. I thought the idea was to overstock to keep aggression down. 20 seems fairly low from what I’ve heard about Mbuna in 140 gallons. Can’t I keep either the Kenyi or the red zebra? I don’t really want to return 250$ worth of fish...
Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:37 pm
It's not the gallons, it is the length because the fish are territorial.
Oh I thought that was what you were asking, about stocking modification. I would choose one Metriaclima, either kenyi or estherae or callainos. The kenyi are better in a 72" tank with only 3 species and all aggressive like the kenyi.
20 fish is overstocked in 48" and 25 fish is overstocked in 72" when doing mixed gender mbuna that mature <= six inches.
It is always helpful to have rehoming options when working with African Rift Lake cichlids.
All male would be a lower number for overstocking to manage aggression.
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