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 » Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:41 pm

Fogelhund wrote:One of the problems with many Yellow Lab strains, is that they've been crossed with red zebras, which tends to make them more aggressive. I don't know if that is the case with yours, or if you've just got a pain in the butt.
Plus one.

Between the Cynotilapia and the maingano, I am always going to go with the more brilliant blue on both males and females of the maingano.
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75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Looking for 3rd mbuna species recommendation (75g)

Postby Smeagol » Thu Jan 28, 2021 1:20 am

I keep coming back to these three species for the 75g I'll be setting up soon:

Pseudotropheus acei
Labidochromis caeruleus
Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos (maingano)


How many of each of these would you recommend for a 75g? (I haven't decided on filtration yet, but I will definitely be over-filtering.)

Thanks!
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 Ice Man » Thu Jan 28, 2021 3:51 am

Fogelhund wrote:
Idech wrote:
Smeagol wrote:What m:f ratio would you recommend for the P. acei and the L. caeruleus? Or doesn't it matter with those species because they're more peaceful?


I’m new to Mbunas but I just want to warn you that just because a specie is said to be less aggressive, it doesn’t mean all the individual fish are. My most aggressive fish is a labidochromis caeruleus. He is the boss tank and a total tyrant. He is absolutely beautiful but I almost regret having chosen that specie.

My aceis (white tail) on the other hand, are exactly as they are described : peaceful, most of the time.


One of the problems with many Yellow Lab strains, is that they've been crossed with red zebras, which tends to make them more aggressive. I don't know if that is the case with yours, or if you've just got a pain in the butt.


Interesting on the yellow labs as I have had a few groups of them now and they have always seemed more aggressive than their reputation, The Acei I have had have all behaved well even with multiple males, caveat being I have never kept them long enough for them to get big, I seem to keep changing my mind when they get about 4” I suspect longer term my experience might be a bit different
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Re: Looking for 3rd mbuna species recommendation (75g)

Postby DJRansome » Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:18 am

Shoot for 20 individuals after any troublesome fish (males?) are removed. I would go 1m:7f on the maingano and divide up the remaining 12 slots between the labs and acei according to your preference.
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75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Looking for 3rd mbuna species recommendation (75g)

Postby Smeagol » Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:48 pm

DJRansome wrote:Shoot for 20 individuals after any troublesome fish (males?) are removed. I would go 1m:7f on the maingano and divide up the remaining 12 slots between the labs and acei according to your preference.

Thanks. That agrees with my own thinking. But how do I get 1m:7f mainganos? If I buy juveniles, they will be unsexed, right? So, are you saying I should buy a lot more than 8 of them to start out, and then plan on removing a bunch of troublesome males?
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 » Thu Jan 28, 2021 11:01 pm

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 (wholesale price which is about 1/3 of the selling price at the store).

There are fewer and fewer brick and mortar LFS that are not chains and are owned by cichlid (or at least fish) fanatics. And with COVID there are not as many fish auctions as before. It's a tough time for the hobby.
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 » Fri Jan 29, 2021 11:48 pm

Should I add one species at a time? Or should I add them all at once? I've read a lot of conflicting views on this question.
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 » Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:45 pm

If you cycle with ammonia before adding fish you can add them all at once. This has advantages in a toxin-free environment for the fish right off the bat, and in not giving any species advantages or disadvantages in finding hiding spots or claiming territories, no one has the home court advantage, and shipping is cheaper on a large order of fish rather than ordering 8 fish 3 times.

Before the cycle was well understood and people cycled with fish, adding a small groups over a period of time made more sense to minimize toxins the fish would have to survive.
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 » Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:31 am

Yep, I always cycle with ammonia. It was that whole "home court advantage" thing that I wasn't sure about. Thanks for all your help!
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 Jan 31, 2021 3:17 pm

In addition, if you add only one group initially, wait a month and add another group, you risk a mini cycle with each group and expose the fish to toxins again. As opposed to no toxins whatsoever if you first cycle with ammonia, and then add all the fish.

You can only use the ammonia method before any fish are in the tank, it does not work between additions because it is toxic to the fish.
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 » Sat Feb 06, 2021 11:16 pm

DJRansome wrote:Shoot for 20 individuals after any troublesome fish (males?) are removed. I would go 1m:7f on the maingano and divide up the remaining 12 slots between the labs and acei according to your preference.

Now that I'm working on my rockscape, something occurred to me.... I imagine that those "troublesome male" manganos will be impossible to catch & remove when they are able to take advantage of all the nooks & crannies in the rock piles. So how do you do it? I don't want to have to remove and re-stack my entire rockscape every week while I sort out the m:f ratio. (Even if I did remove all my rocks, how would I get them back down onto the glass bottom so they're not resting on the sand?) Is this a legitimate concern, or am I making it more complicated than it really is? I kind of had my heart set on getting mangano, but maybe I should reconsider. Any thoughts/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 » Sat Feb 06, 2021 11:25 pm

If you set your expectations that you will have to remove the rocks from your tank from time-to-time, you will find it is really not that big of a chore. Not just extra males, but holding females or sick fish, etc. Two hours and done for a six foot tank. You just swish them back down to the glass.

Quite often you can divide off 1/3 of the tank and just remove rocks in that section. Shoo the fish into that section for netting.

You are not likely to have to remove extra males for six to 12 months, and then it would not be weekly...you might remove one every month or couple of months, and you might find an extra or two might be tolerated.

The same is true for any mbuna and really for any African...get six and remove extras when a pair forms for Tangs, etc.
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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 10:09 am

Smeagol wrote:
DJRansome wrote:Shoot for 20 individuals after any troublesome fish (males?) are removed. I would go 1m:7f on the maingano and divide up the remaining 12 slots between the labs and acei according to your preference.

Now that I'm working on my rockscape, something occurred to me.... I imagine that those "troublesome male" manganos will be impossible to catch & remove when they are able to take advantage of all the nooks & crannies in the rock piles. So how do you do it? I don't want to have to remove and re-stack my entire rockscape every week while I sort out the m:f ratio. (Even if I did remove all my rocks, how would I get them back down onto the glass bottom so they're not resting on the sand?) Is this a legitimate concern, or am I making it more complicated than it really is? I kind of had my heart set on getting mangano, but maybe I should reconsider. Any thoughts/advice?


That’s the exact problem/dilemma I’m having. I have rocks piled up to the surface almost and there is no way I can catch any fish in there without removing everything. So far the best plan I have is to remove the rocks only once, when/if I have way too many fries that survive, and then change the fish to all males so I don’t have that problem anymore. These guys are crazy breeders. All my females were holding eggs in less than a month. I’ll be in big trouble if many of them survive.

Cichlids tanks sure do keep you on your toes, lol !
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Re: Looking for 3rd mbuna species recommendation (75g)

Postby Smeagol » Sun Feb 07, 2021 10:31 am

DJRansome wrote:..... You just swish them back down to the glass ......

That seems contradictory to the standard advice. If it's that easy to just swish the rocks back down on to the glass, then why does everyone make such a big deal about placing them on the glass before adding sand in the first place?
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 10:33 am

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?
75g = Yellow-tail Acei, Yellow Labs, Maingano
20g Planted = Harlequin Rasboras, Lemon Tetras, Amano Shrimp
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