Lake Malawi Species • New to Mbuna - STOCKING 50 gal

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New to Mbuna - STOCKING 50 gal

Postby aespo999 » Sat May 08, 2021 11:28 am

Hello, I'm new to mbuna so please have patient.

I have a 36x18x18 (Inches) or 91x45x45 (cm). I previously read that i can put 12 to 25 mbuna in it, but now I was reading the other topics here and it looks like even 12 is pushing it.

I understand that depends on the species and on the water temperature too. Im have set it up at 80F or 25.5 C. I have attached the aquarium pic to see if the rocks are enough,

I would like to put 6 demasoni 1m5f, 6 electric yellow 1m5f and 4 red zebra, but in case that is too much, i can do 4 of each 1m3f

Also the store near me has:

Labidochromis sp. "Hongi" "Kimpuma"
Pseudotropheus socolofi "Mara Point"
Mosobo deep magunga

Maybe those option are better.

Thank you for your help
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Re: New to Mbuna - STOCKING 50 gal

Postby DJRansome » Sat May 08, 2021 3:00 pm

Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

That is too much for a 36" tank. I would do 12 Chindongo saulosi (formerly known as Pseudotropheus saulosi) and no other fish.

The recommendation is unique to saulosi as it is a small, peaceful mbuna unlike other mbuna of similar size or coloration.

I would not put any of the other species that you list as wanted or available in this tank...except if you would rather do just a group of yellow labs and no other fish. But I would do half as many if you are doing yellow labs.

The rocks look good.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: New to Mbuna - STOCKING 50 gal

Postby aespo999 » Sat May 08, 2021 3:54 pm

I was almost going for 4 msobo, 4 electric yellow, 4 mara point and 3 red cherry zebra, with one male for each species. You think that wouldn't work?

If i cant do they mix above, I will probably do the 12 Chindongo saulosi, as you suggested. How many males?
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Re: New to Mbuna - STOCKING 50 gal

Postby aespo999 » Sat May 08, 2021 4:08 pm

Also, do you know where to buy Chindongo saulosi? Everything looks like they are out of stock
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Re: New to Mbuna - STOCKING 50 gal

Postby DJRansome » Sat May 08, 2021 8:23 pm

Most of the fish you are naming (msobo, hongi, socolofi, zebra) are too large/aggressive to keep very successfully in a 36" tank. If your tank was 48" long the answer would be different. The length of your tank limits your options.

PM sent on source for saulosi.
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75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: New to Mbuna - STOCKING 50 gal

Postby Haplochromine guy » Tue May 11, 2021 12:22 pm

aespo999 wrote:I was almost going for 4 msobo, 4 electric yellow, 4 mara point and 3 red cherry zebra, with one male for each species. You think that wouldn't work?

If i cant do they mix above, I will probably do the 12 Chindongo saulosi, as you suggested. How many males?


I'd say these species work. try adding an additional Red Cherry Zebra, and use caution on the Msobo. They get aggressive. I would add an additional female on the Msobo, and if you're doing cichlid breeding, I would actually separate the msobo and Electric Yellow altogether. I would pick some other Blue fish like Mainganos with the Electric Yellow instead of the Msobo. A lot of the Blue male Mbuna, or the Blue Mbuna species will eventually turn yellow, so use caution if breeding them. Or, you can consider replacing the Labs with something not too yellow to confuse with the Msobo females, but if you don't care about inbreeding, these species will all work out in my opinion.
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Re: New to Mbuna - STOCKING 50 gal

Postby shiftyfox » Sat May 15, 2021 3:47 pm

I have tried various combinations in my 36 inch tank and can honestly say the only mbuna that will work is a small group of yellow labs or Salousi.
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Re: New to Mbuna - STOCKING 50 gal

Postby DJRansome » Sat May 15, 2021 4:30 pm

shiftyfox wrote:I have tried various combinations in my 36 inch tank and can honestly say the only mbuna that will work is a small group of yellow labs or Salousi.
Me too.
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