Lake Malawi Species • Msobo or saulosi?

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Msobo or saulosi?

Postby Sinister-Kisses » Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:16 pm

I have a 40 long mbuna tank (48" x 13") that has been set up for a few months now. It's got a group of "albino" yellow labs and white top haras in it. However, I'm not thrilled with the stock. The yellow labs are abnormally aggressive with each other, and while no one is getting any really serious harassment or beatings, most of the group are always hiding because of one or two dominants that seem to be pretty relentless. And the haras - the males are absolutely stunning, but the females are bleh. I went with the haras because the females are blue instead of the standard brown females, but they're a very dull dark brown and with the lighting on my tank (it's not brightly lit, both because I prefer less lighting to more and to help keep algae at a minimum), they kind of just blend in.

So as much as I love the hara males, I'm thinking of selling off both groups and starting fresh. Again, because of the lighting and tone of my tank, it's the yellow labs that really pop so I'd like to stick with a nice yellow fish. Rather than two species though, I'm thinking of just sticking with one species. I'm contemplating either a group of msobo or a group of saulosi, and was hoping for some feedback from people who have kept these species as to which would be a better fit in my tank. I've been keeping mbuna for a long time, but have never actually kept either of these species. I've always heard saulosi are good in smaller tanks due to their size and temperament, but then have also heard that saulosi males can get super aggressive once they've established a territory?

So I'm looking for some input from those with experience keeping these species. In a 40 long, 48L x 13D x 16"H, would saulosi or msobo be a better fit? And rough idea of the number I should aim for if it's a species only tank, for either species? It's got lots of rockwork and is over filtered, an AC70 and a Seachem Tidal 55 on it...and I always lean towards slightly overstocked with Africans lol.
SinisterKisses

135gal 8ft: Hap/peacock all male
40gal long: L. caeruleus and Cynotilapia sp. "hara"
33gal: N. brichardi and N. leleupi grow out
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Re: Msobo or saulosi?

Postby DJRansome » Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:26 pm

Saulosi are more peaceful and overall a smaller fish. The msobo like the other Metriaclima are a blockier fish when mature.

I also think you have a better chance of multiple males coloring with saulosi than with msobo.

Saulosi 3m:12f. Msobo 1m:14f.

Never heard of saulosi getting super aggressive.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Msobo or saulosi?

Postby Sinister-Kisses » Mon Nov 09, 2020 11:29 pm

That's what I thought regarding the saulosi, so good to hear. I was leaning their way because of the smaller size. Thanks!
SinisterKisses

135gal 8ft: Hap/peacock all male
40gal long: L. caeruleus and Cynotilapia sp. "hara"
33gal: N. brichardi and N. leleupi grow out
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Re: Msobo or saulosi?

Postby jcover » Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:13 am

I second the Saulosi. Back when I used to keep them, I never had aggression issues.
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Re: Msobo or saulosi?

Postby Sinister-Kisses » Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:33 am

jcover wrote:I second the Saulosi. Back when I used to keep them, I never had aggression issues.


Excellent. What size of a tank did you have them in, just out of curiosity?
SinisterKisses

135gal 8ft: Hap/peacock all male
40gal long: L. caeruleus and Cynotilapia sp. "hara"
33gal: N. brichardi and N. leleupi grow out
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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: Msobo or saulosi?

Postby TTUhouston » Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:34 pm

I have a 90g with 2 to 3 males colored up daily of the saulosi. I also loved the msobos when I had them. Cant go wrong with either in my opinion.

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150g VC10, Nimbochromis Venustus, Protomelas sp. Hertae, Aulonocara Stuartgranti
90g Chindongo Saulosi, Labidochromis sp. Hongi SRT
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Re: Msobo or saulosi?

Postby jcover » Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:11 pm

Sinister-Kisses wrote:
jcover wrote:I second the Saulosi. Back when I used to keep them, I never had aggression issues.


Excellent. What size of a tank did you have them in, just out of curiosity?


I tried them in both a 135 gallon and a 90 gallon. No issues in either.
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Re: Msobo or saulosi?

Postby aconite » Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:39 am

I guess there's always an exception...

Over the weekend I had to rescue one of my saulosi males, as his tail was badly chewed and he'd started hiding in the pipework and staying at the top of the tank. Hopefully he'll recover - he ate this morning, is swimming around freely, and is getting his colouring back.

He was in a group of 4m:10f, and was one of the two coloured up males. Males 3 and 4 are very pale, almost white with a slight blue tinge. They're still like that, two days after removing the 4th male, so it's just the one that's fully blue and striped at the moment - no doubt the bully. The two more dominant males had co-existed for the last six months, and this aggression happened pretty quickly over a day or two. I know, 4 males is no doubt too many to have in a group. Hopefully being down to 3 will result in more harmony.

Anyway, I'd still recommend them. The females are a rich, bright colour, and stand out better than labs in my opinion.
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Re: Msobo or saulosi?

Postby ken31cay » Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:29 am

aconite wrote:I guess there's always an exception...


What are the dimensions of the tank you have them in?
450gal Frontosa (blue Zaire Moba) & haps
180gal school of Red Rainbowfish
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Re: Msobo or saulosi?

Postby aconite » Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:07 am

ken31cay wrote:What are the dimensions of the tank you have them in?


It's a 55"x16" ~84g. They're in there with 1m:5f P. acei ngara and 5 Synodontis multipunctatus. Up until two months ago they were on their own in a 48"x16" tank. The saulosi are under a year old, so I suspect the dynamics of the group are still being sorted out.
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Re: Msobo or saulosi?

Postby Ralph493 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:58 am

I have four 55g tanks with Saulosi, White Labs and Pearmuts . One tank a Saulosi only tank. I have never had an aggression issue. If you would go with one species tank can't go wrong with Saulosi in my opinion. Several males always colored up in each tank and female nice bright yellow great combo.
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Re: Msobo or saulosi?

Postby Sinister-Kisses » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:58 pm

Thanks all.
SinisterKisses

135gal 8ft: Hap/peacock all male
40gal long: L. caeruleus and Cynotilapia sp. "hara"
33gal: N. brichardi and N. leleupi grow out
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Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:09 pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada


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