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How many mbuna in a 50 or 75 gallon tank?

Postby Releasethekracken » Thu Feb 04, 2021 2:51 pm

Hi my name is Chris. I am new here. Couple questions... I currently have 2 red zebras, 1 blue zebra, 1 yellow lab, 1 albino socolofi, 1 johanni, and 1 maison reef in a 50 gallon currently... assuming all proper filtration and water changes... how many total mbuna should I keep in a 50 gallon? Assuming all are full size. Also, debating on possibly getting a 75 if the 50 is too small... assuming proper filtration and water changes, how many mbuna should I keep in a 75 gallon. Assuming all are full size. Thank you!
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Re: How many mbuna in a 50 or 75 gallon tank?

Postby sir_keith » Thu Feb 04, 2021 4:13 pm

Depends on the species. Some Mbuna are small, some are large; some Mbuna are very aggressive, others less so. Obviously you will be able to keep more of the small, less aggressive fishes in a tank of any given size than larger, more aggressive species. Decide which way you'd like to go, pick a favorite species or two, and build a community around them. Good luck.
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Re: How many mbuna in a 50 or 75 gallon tank?

Postby Releasethekracken » Thu Feb 04, 2021 4:40 pm

I want to have all different species, 6 inches and smaller
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Re: How many mbuna in a 50 or 75 gallon tank?

Postby Releasethekracken » Thu Feb 04, 2021 6:18 pm

sir_keith wrote:Depends on the species. Some Mbuna are small, some are large; some Mbuna are very aggressive, others less so. Obviously you will be able to keep more of the small, less aggressive fishes in a tank of any given size than larger, more aggressive species. Decide which way you'd like to go, pick a favorite species or two, and build a community around them. Good luck.

^
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Re: How many mbuna in a 50 or 75 gallon tank?

Postby Releasethekracken » Thu Feb 04, 2021 9:30 pm

Can someone please help
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Re: How many mbuna in a 50 or 75 gallon tank?

Postby DJRansome » Thu Feb 04, 2021 9:52 pm

What are the dimensions of the 50G? Usually a 75G 48x18 is the minimum recommended for all male. In addition all male is challenging, especially with mbuna. Mbuna are more aggressive than haps and peacocks and there are not that many mbuna that look nothing alike, with all the blue and yellow/orange varieties.

When you stock all-male you want one of each species and none that look alike. Read the all-male tank article in the Cichlid-forum Library for pros, cons and ideas. Make sure you have one or more extra tanks.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: How many mbuna in a 50 or 75 gallon tank?

Postby Releasethekracken » Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:05 pm

DJRansome wrote:What are the dimensions of the 50G? Usually a 75G 48x18 is the minimum recommended for all male. In addition all male is challenging, especially with mbuna. Mbuna are more aggressive than haps and peacocks and there are not that many mbuna that look nothing alike, with all the blue and yellow/orange varieties.

When you stock all-male you want one of each species and none that look alike. Read the all-male tank article in the Cichlid-forum Library for pros, cons and ideas. Make sure you have one or more extra tanks.


The 50 is a 36L x 18W x 18H. I bought all the mbuna I currently have unsexed as juveniles and they seem to be doing very well with one another. And yes the 75 would be a standard 75 size. How many adult mbuna sized 6 inches and under could I put in the 50 and how many in the 75? Again.... assuming proper filtration and that they’re all adults and with plenty of caves and hides.
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Re: How many mbuna in a 50 or 75 gallon tank?

Postby Releasethekracken » Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:06 pm

Also assuming mixed variety of gender
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Re: How many mbuna in a 50 or 75 gallon tank?

Postby Idech » Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:45 pm

As I always say, I’m a cichlid newbie so I don’t have a lot of experience with them but I can tell you how it went for me. I started last november with a 45 gallons, 36 inches tank and slowly added Mbunas in small groups until I had 12 of them. All juveniles. It didn’t take long for one male to become very aggressive and terrorize his own kind (yellow labs). I had to remove one fish and put it in a hospital tank. His fins were damaged and he was not allowed to eat so he would have died.

I wasn’t having much fun with my tank and it was very stressful to me, let alone the fish. I rapidly moved forward with my plans to move them in a 75 gallons. I added a lot more rocks, almost touching the surface. After a few weeks I also added 12 more fish, making sure they were a medium/small size and not among the most aggressive species. After doing all of that, it didn’t take long before things calmed down in the tank. The fish who were constantly hiding and being attacked slowly started being part of the community. They found their hiding spots in the rocks and were allowed to eat. The beaten up fish went back in and he is doing well.

I did the move about 3 weeks ago and the fish are still adapting but things are really looking up. I wouldn’t put Mbunas in a 36 inch tank again. That’s my experience. Before going through this, I thought people were exaggerating how aggressive these fish are. They’re not. Mbunas will kill each other if not kept in sufficient space with a lot of hiding places.
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Re: How many mbuna in a 50 or 75 gallon tank?

Postby Releasethekracken » Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:51 pm

Thank you for that input! Noted!
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Re: How many mbuna in a 50 or 75 gallon tank?

Postby Fogelhund » Fri Feb 05, 2021 12:24 am

Releasethekracken wrote:
DJRansome wrote:What are the dimensions of the 50G? Usually a 75G 48x18 is the minimum recommended for all male. In addition all male is challenging, especially with mbuna. Mbuna are more aggressive than haps and peacocks and there are not that many mbuna that look nothing alike, with all the blue and yellow/orange varieties.

When you stock all-male you want one of each species and none that look alike. Read the all-male tank article in the Cichlid-forum Library for pros, cons and ideas. Make sure you have one or more extra tanks.


The 50 is a 36L x 18W x 18H. I bought all the mbuna I currently have unsexed as juveniles and they seem to be doing very well with one another. And yes the 75 would be a standard 75 size. How many adult mbuna sized 6 inches and under could I put in the 50 and how many in the 75? Again.... assuming proper filtration and that they’re all adults and with plenty of caves and hides.



Juveniles behaviour is not at all, an indicator of what will happen when they mature (especially sexually).

How many adult random unknown mbuna species sized 6 inches or so in a 36L tank. Probably one, or zero. For it to work at all, would require specific fish, and stocking, not random fish.

In a 75 gallon, anywhere from 12-15.
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Re: How many mbuna in a 50 or 75 gallon tank?

Postby DJRansome » Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:42 am

Fogelhund wrote: Probably one, or zero. For it to work at all, would require specific fish, and stocking, not random fish.
Plus one.

You already have six species, one of each. When you keep males and females (recommended) you need large groups of females per male because these fish are harem breeders. The male will harass a lone female possibly to death attempting to spawn, even when she is already holding fry. If you have 4 or more females he can spread the aggression among them and prevent the death of any one fish or the illness of many fish.

You could get a 125G 72" long tank and stock something like this:
1m:4f red zebras, a.k.a. Metriaclima estherae
1m:4f 1 blue zebra, a.k.a. Metriaclima callainos
1m:4f 1 yellow lab, a.k.a. Labidochromis caeruleus
1m:4f 1 albino socolofi, a.k.a. Pseudotropheus socolofi
1m:7f johanni a.k.a. Melanochromis johannii
1m:7f maison reef a.k.a. Metriaclima sp. "Zebra Chilumba" (Maison Reef)

You have a lot of Metriaclima species in the tank, I would eliminate the estherae because they crossbreed easily with yellow labs and hybrid fry can be a problem if you have survivors. Five species in a 72" tank is just right.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: How many mbuna in a 50 or 75 gallon tank?

Postby Fogelhund » Fri Feb 05, 2021 11:30 am

DJRansome wrote:
Fogelhund wrote: Probably one, or zero. For it to work at all, would require specific fish, and stocking, not random fish.
Plus one.

You already have six species, one of each. When you keep males and females (recommended) you need large groups of females per male because these fish are harem breeders. The male will harass a lone female possibly to death attempting to spawn, even when she is already holding fry. If you have 4 or more females he can spread the aggression among them and prevent the death of any one fish or the illness of many fish.

You could get a 125G 72" long tank and stock something like this:
1m:4f red zebras, a.k.a. Metriaclima estherae
1m:4f 1 blue zebra, a.k.a. Metriaclima callainos
1m:4f 1 yellow lab, a.k.a. Labidochromis caeruleus
1m:4f 1 albino socolofi, a.k.a. Pseudotropheus socolofi
1m:7f johanni a.k.a. Melanochromis johannii
1m:7f maison reef a.k.a. Metriaclima sp. "Zebra Chilumba" (Maison Reef)

You have a lot of Metriaclima species in the tank, I would eliminate the estherae because they crossbreed easily with yellow labs and hybrid fry can be a problem if you have survivors. Five species in a 72" tank is just right.


Where did you get the species list they have from? Another thread, am I missing something? I'm also missing where the 125G became an option. I'm so confused, back to bed.
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Re: How many mbuna in a 50 or 75 gallon tank?

Postby Releasethekracken » Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:41 pm

Fogelhund wrote:
DJRansome wrote:
Fogelhund wrote: Probably one, or zero. For it to work at all, would require specific fish, and stocking, not random fish.
Plus one.

You already have six species, one of each. When you keep males and females (recommended) you need large groups of females per male because these fish are harem breeders. The male will harass a lone female possibly to death attempting to spawn, even when she is already holding fry. If you have 4 or more females he can spread the aggression among them and prevent the death of any one fish or the illness of many fish.

You could get a 125G 72" long tank and stock something like this:
1m:4f red zebras, a.k.a. Metriaclima estherae
1m:4f 1 blue zebra, a.k.a. Metriaclima callainos
1m:4f 1 yellow lab, a.k.a. Labidochromis caeruleus
1m:4f 1 albino socolofi, a.k.a. Pseudotropheus socolofi
1m:7f johanni a.k.a. Melanochromis johannii
1m:7f maison reef a.k.a. Metriaclima sp. "Zebra Chilumba" (Maison Reef)

You have a lot of Metriaclima species in the tank, I would eliminate the estherae because they crossbreed easily with yellow labs and hybrid fry can be a problem if you have survivors. Five species in a 72" tank is just right.


Where did you get the species list they have from? Another thread, am I missing something? I'm also missing where the 125G became an option. I'm so confused, back to bed.


125 unfortunately is not an option at the moment financially... going to go with the 75 I believe...
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Re: How many mbuna in a 50 or 75 gallon tank?

Postby DJRansome » Fri Feb 05, 2021 3:31 pm

Then I would do this:
1m:4f blue zebra, a.k.a. Metriaclima callainos
1m:4f yellow lab, a.k.a. Labidochromis caeruleus
1m:4f albino socolofi, a.k.a. Pseudotropheus socolofi
1m:7f johanni a.k.a. Melanochromis johannii
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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