Lake Malawi Species • Cichlid newbie - stocking idea verification

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Cichlid newbie - stocking idea verification

Postby mb86 » Tue Jan 26, 2021 4:51 pm

I'm about to get a 55gal tank from a friend, and I've decided to do an Mbuna tank in it. I'm not a newbie aquarist, as I have an angelfish community tank and an axolotl tank, but I am new to cichlids (I'm not counting the angelfish, even though they're technically cichlids). I've been doing some research on the articles in the forum, and I have some ideas for what I'd like as far as species, but I wanted to verify I'm not making a huge mistake.

My current idea is:
Metriaclima pyrsonotos (x3)
labeotropheus trewavasae (x3)
German Red peacock (x2)
Labidochromis caeruleus Kakusa(x3)

1 male each, rest female

Basically, I modified one of the cookie cutters on this site by adding the peacock and lab. I want the tank to be dramatic and colorful. It's also going to be in a room with a lot of natural light (no way around it) so I was thinking Mbuna would be able to control any algae growth while still looking great.

Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated!
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Re: Cichlid newbie - stocking idea verification

Postby Fogelhund » Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:22 pm

Move up to a 75 gallon in that tank, and drop the peacock, it's going to have a pretty rough time with those guys. I'd also go up to three females of each of the mbuna.
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Re: Cichlid newbie - stocking idea verification

Postby mb86 » Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:40 pm

Unfortunately I'm not going to be getting a 75g. I'm fixed into a 55g, so I'm looking into that specifically.
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Re: Cichlid newbie - stocking idea verification

Postby james1983 » Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:07 pm

As mentioned, drop the peacock and do 1m/4f of the others. The metriaclima may end up to aggressive for a smaller tank. A cynotilapia species may be a more peaceful option with a similar look.
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Re: Cichlid newbie - stocking idea verification

Postby mb86 » Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:56 pm

So since going with 5 of each, would I want to decrease to 2 species or keep yellow lab/cynotilapia/trewavase? Also, would something like a p.johannii work instead of the trewavase?
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Re: Cichlid newbie - stocking idea verification

Postby DJRansome » Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:37 pm

Personally I like three species max in a 55G and I stick to the smaller more peaceful cichlids. Like james1983 I would want a 75G for johannii or trewavasae.

Labidochromis, Cynotilapia sp. hara and and third small, peaceful mbuna would be ideal in a 55G. 1m:4f of each.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Cichlid newbie - stocking idea verification

Postby james1983 » Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:41 pm

mb86 wrote:So since going with 5 of each, would I want to decrease to 2 species or keep yellow lab/cynotilapia/trewavase? Also, would something like a p.johannii work instead of the trewavase?


Sorry I misread your original list, I saw labeotropheus as Iodotropheus. Labeotropheus may benefit from a larger tank also.
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Re: Cichlid newbie - stocking idea verification

Postby mb86 » Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:56 pm

DJRansome wrote:Personally I like three species max in a 55G and I stick to the smaller more peaceful cichlids. Like james1983 I would want a 75G for johannii or trewavasae.

Labidochromis, Cynotilapia sp. hara and and third small, peaceful mbuna would be ideal in a 55G. 1m:4f of each.


Would a saulosi work as a third? Or would the fem be too close in color to the labs? I like the rest of that idea.
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Re: Cichlid newbie - stocking idea verification

Postby DJRansome » Wed Jan 27, 2021 12:11 am

Do white labs and the saulosi would work with them along with the Cynotilapia sp. hara.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Cichlid newbie - stocking idea verification

Postby mb86 » Wed Jan 27, 2021 12:41 am

DJRansome wrote:Do white labs and the saulosi would work with them along with the Cynotilapia sp. hara.


Thanks! I like that combination. Another question would be is there any good way to make sure you're getting the right sexes with these species when they're young? Or is it always a wait and see situation?
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Re: Cichlid newbie - stocking idea verification

Postby DJRansome » Wed Jan 27, 2021 9:50 am

The reputable vendors most often (not always) sell mbuna as unsexed juveniles. Reputable is not just a matter of popular, or in business for years, etc. So we buy 2X as many unsexed juveniles to try to get enough females, and rehome extra males as they mature if they cause problems. With the peaceful species you have chosen, extra males may never cause a problem.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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