Lake Malawi Species • Looking for 3rd mbuna species recommendation (75g)

Discussion regarding only Lake Malawi species.

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Re: Looking for 3rd mbuna species recommendation (75g)

Postby DJRansome » Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:49 pm

Smeagol wrote:why does everyone make such a big deal about placing them on the glass before adding sand in the first place?
One less step and less chance for grains under the rock. The swishing does make a mess to really get to the glass. But if there were no way to do this, you would only be able to set up a tank one time and you would have to leave it for life. :thumb:
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Looking for 3rd mbuna species recommendation (75g)

Postby Idech » Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:14 pm

Smeagol wrote:
Idech wrote:...... These guys are crazy breeders. All my females were holding eggs in less than a month. ......

Which guys are you referring to specifically? Which species?


White tail acei, demasoni, astatotilapia latifasciata (lake Victoria hap). Yellow labs, I’m not sure but one might be holding.
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Re: Looking for 3rd mbuna species recommendation (75g)

Postby Smeagol » Sun Feb 07, 2021 8:00 pm

Idech wrote:
Smeagol wrote:
Idech wrote:...... These guys are crazy breeders. All my females were holding eggs in less than a month. ......

Which guys are you referring to specifically? Which species?


White tail acei, demasoni, astatotilapia latifasciata (lake Victoria hap). Yellow labs, I’m not sure but one might be holding.

You have demasoni in the same tank with acei and yellow labs? :o
75g = Yellow-tail Acei, Yellow Labs, Maingano
20g Planted = Harlequin Rasboras, Lemon Tetras, Amano Shrimp
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Re: Looking for 3rd mbuna species recommendation (75g)

Postby Smeagol » Sun Feb 07, 2021 8:22 pm

DJRansome wrote:Shoot for 20 individuals after any troublesome fish (males?) are removed.... What I do is buy 14 or more and hope to get 7 females. When you work with cichlids long enough, you end up with an extra tank or two and a relationship with a LFS who will take your adults for store credit

Does this approach (i.e., buying many more juveniles than you ultimately want to have in the tank, and then reducing their numbers) apply to all mbuna or just the highly aggressive species? Case in point, the "purple and yellow" cookie cutter setup for 75g, which is supposed to be "great for beginners," suggests the following two options:

8 adult acei and 10 adult yellow labs (total 18)
-OR-
14 juvenile acei and 16 juvenile yellow labs (total 30)

The logic seems to suggest that, even with these relatively "peaceful" species, you should still expect to remove 12 out of 30 fish. That's an attrition rate of 40%! Is this typical? Even for a supposedly easy cookie cutter setup like this one?
75g = Yellow-tail Acei, Yellow Labs, Maingano
20g Planted = Harlequin Rasboras, Lemon Tetras, Amano Shrimp
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Re: Looking for 3rd mbuna species recommendation (75g)

Postby DJRansome » Sun Feb 07, 2021 10:53 pm

If you get 4 species in a 75G and start with 8 unsexed juveniles you might have to rehome 12 problem males. Or with the more peaceful species like labs and acei some of the extra males might well be fine in the tank.

Demasoni is the one that Ad Konings suggested a large number overstocked did better than the smaller numbers they used for other species. Because you want to end up with 12 you could acquire more problem males than a species where you are just want to end up with 5. It is an exception.

In a 75G ending up with 20 fish in a mixed species tank is about right.

Many different Members wrote various articles and prepared various cookie cutter tanks. The one listed worked well for one or more experienced Members. There are some I wouldn't do, but it gives newbies some ideas to start with.

You actually end up breaking even or making money. You buy the fish at $8 and sell them at $10 to the LFS when they are mature.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Looking for 3rd mbuna species recommendation (75g)

Postby Idech » Sun Feb 07, 2021 11:16 pm

Smeagol wrote: You have demasoni in the same tank with acei and yellow labs? :o


Yes, I do. Before I added them I did my research (even though everyone here said it wouldn’t work, and maybe they’re right and it won’t work long term) and found people who had success with that mix. They are doing very well and not overly aggressive. I wasn’t lucky and got 3 males and only 1 female as it wasn’t possible to tell them apart. But there are so many places to hide now with the 75 gallons that males don’t get on each other’s nerves and the female is nowhere to be seen (and not behind the filter, she’s just living her life in the rocks).

Like with any other fish, if it becomes a nightmare I will rehome them if need be. But so far they are a great addition to my tank. Fantastic fish.
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Re: Looking for 3rd mbuna species recommendation (75g)

Postby Smeagol » Mon Feb 08, 2021 12:44 am

DJRansome wrote:Agree on the hara, but when I had both hara and acei I found I was wanting more contrast. I would either bump up the counts or go with the barred Cynotilapia (like Cynotilapia zebroides Cobue) or go with rusties (Iodotropheus sprengerae).

I'm reconsidering this earlier suggestion of yours. But I'm a little bit confused.

(1) Are Cynotilapia zebroides and Cynotilapia afra the same thing? When I try to find more information about "zebroides," the search results keep showing me "afra."
(2) All the different Cynotilapia zebroides listed in the profiles are essentially the same, right? They just have slightly different coloration?
(3) What m:f ratio for the zebroides?
(4) Are zebroides commonly available to buy or are they hard to find?

Sorry for all the questions. Thanks for your advice!
75g = Yellow-tail Acei, Yellow Labs, Maingano
20g Planted = Harlequin Rasboras, Lemon Tetras, Amano Shrimp
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Re: Looking for 3rd mbuna species recommendation (75g)

Postby DJRansome » Mon Feb 08, 2021 9:34 am

1-afra is the old name and zebroides is the new name.
2-I would not say they are the same...some are more aggressive than others but none are as aggressive as auratus. Cobue is among the most peaceful and Jalo Reef is an example of a more assertive zebroides.
3-1m:4f works for all the Cynotilapia of which I am aware. Sometimes additional males are safe but may not color in a group. Note that females are drab.
4-I have not shopped in a LFS in years, they are always available online but maybe only a couple of species at any one time. I see 4 cynotilapia and 2 zebroides on one of the lists right now.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Looking for 3rd mbuna species recommendation (75g)

Postby Smeagol » Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:01 pm

DJRansome wrote:1-afra is the old name and zebroides is the new name.
2-I would not say they are the same...some are more aggressive than others but none are as aggressive as auratus. Cobue is among the most peaceful and Jalo Reef is an example of a more assertive zebroides.
3-1m:4f works for all the Cynotilapia of which I am aware. Sometimes additional males are safe but may not color in a group. Note that females are drab.
4-I have not shopped in a LFS in years, they are always available online but maybe only a couple of species at any one time. I see 4 cynotilapia and 2 zebroides on one of the lists right now.

So, in your opinion would zebroides be a better choice than maingano to be tank-mates with acei and yellow labs, considering that this is my first mbuna tank?

What are your thoughts on the all-male variety packs that some online vendors offer? Obviously they won't breed, but I'm not in any hurry for breeding.

Can you tell me in a DM which list has the 2 zebroides?
75g = Yellow-tail Acei, Yellow Labs, Maingano
20g Planted = Harlequin Rasboras, Lemon Tetras, Amano Shrimp
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Re: Looking for 3rd mbuna species recommendation (75g)

Postby DJRansome » Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:26 pm

I would choose the maingano for the color and in a 75G you should not have trouble with them as a beginner.

I don't think much of vendors that sell variety packs, let alone what you might get in one. Seems to me you would just get leftovers without regard to compatibility and reports from Members who have bought these supports the theory. Even starting with a perfect mix, all-male is a more challenging tank than mixed gender mbuna, and you would need at least one extra tank and plan on tinkering with the mix over a period of up to two years to get the max fish to color.

PM sent.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Looking for 3rd mbuna species recommendation (75g)

Postby Smeagol » Mon Feb 08, 2021 11:14 pm

Agreed. I wouldn't consider getting a variety pack, but I was curious what your thoughts were about them. I expect the males wouldn't color up nicely without any females around. Besides, I want to pick my own species. Thanks for all the tips!
75g = Yellow-tail Acei, Yellow Labs, Maingano
20g Planted = Harlequin Rasboras, Lemon Tetras, Amano Shrimp
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Re: Looking for 3rd mbuna species recommendation (75g)

Postby DJRansome » Mon Feb 08, 2021 11:23 pm

Carefully select males from Lake Malawi (not so much Lake Victoria) will color in the presence of other males and without females. The competition between them keeps the color up. With a good stable mix having 80% of the males colorful would be a good result.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Looking for 3rd mbuna species recommendation (75g)

Postby Smeagol » Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:30 pm

I'm having a heck of a time making up my mind! Fortunately, I have time to think about it, because I haven't even filled my tank and started cycling yet. I want:

Acei (definitely)
Yellow labs (definitely)
Maingano or zebroides cobue or rusties (I can't decide!)

Is there any way I can do a combination of 4 of the above species in a 75g?

:fish:
75g = Yellow-tail Acei, Yellow Labs, Maingano
20g Planted = Harlequin Rasboras, Lemon Tetras, Amano Shrimp
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Re: Looking for 3rd mbuna species recommendation (75g)

Postby DJRansome » Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:46 pm

Yes. 1m:4f of everything but the maingano. You will be over the 20 a little, but not excessive.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Looking for 3rd mbuna species recommendation (75g)

Postby Smeagol » Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:16 am

DJRansome wrote:Yes. 1m:4f of everything but the maingano. You will be over the 20 a little, but not excessive.

But you're talking about adult numbers, right? How many should I buy as juveniles?
75g = Yellow-tail Acei, Yellow Labs, Maingano
20g Planted = Harlequin Rasboras, Lemon Tetras, Amano Shrimp
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Smeagol
 
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