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Jim's 125 gallon Mbuna - Stocking advice

Postby JimSparks » Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:37 pm

I am transitioning from a 75-gallon mbuna tank to a 125-gallon tank. I have built the stand for the tank. I am currently working on the 3d background for the tank. I am taking this slow in order to do this right.

I have a group each of Rusties, Yellow labs and Mainganos. I am looking to add some more fish/species when I move up.

My questions for you fine folks...

1. Can I put other Labidochromis species in there with the yellow labs or will they all cross breed? There are currently 2 females holding.
2. I am looking for groups of fish that have attractive males AND females. They don't have to look the same but I don't think I could go with 4 females that are completely drab and boring. Unless the male is TOTALLY worth it.
3. I would like something that is a little larger.
4. Not a huge fan of the overly aggressive. I get it. Mbuna. But I am getting at is this: I love the look of Pseudotropheus sp. "Perspicax Orange Cap", but all the research I have found is this is the devil in disguise.
5. I am getting rid of the synos in there because I just don't enjoy them as much as I thought I would. I will deal with pulling fry out if that happens. I can rehome any survivors around here pretty easily. Unless you have suggestions for other fish that would do the same job.
6. I am wid reopen to suggestions of species, numbers, breeders I can get them from. PM me if you want.

Here is what I have preliminarily come up with. Looking for 3 species. Feel free to add others that you think will work well. And please add feedback on the fish I have listed below. But PRETTY please add the 'whys' to your feedback so that I can learn and understand as I go.

Metriaclima sp. "Zebra Chilumba" (Maison Reef) - Love this fish. Concerned about aggression and the female appearance
Pseudotropheus sp. "Williamsi North"
Metriaclima estherae (Red)
Cynotilapia sp. "hara"

Thank you
Jim
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Re: Jim's 125 gallon Mbuna - Stocking advice

Postby DJRansome » Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:49 pm

I like 5 species with 1m:4f each of mbuna in a 125G. The reason for 5 species instead of six is min stocking to allow max natural behavior in a glass box while still overstocking enough to manage aggression. You will go over that a little with extra females on the maingano and williamsi in any case.

Given that you already have labs, rusties and maingano...I would add williamsi and hara.
1-I would not for cross breeding risk.
2-Maison reef is out for drab females.
3-Williamsi are larger.
4-maingano are reasonable aggressive, as are williamsi. I would do 1m:7f of these...and assume you have 1m:7f of the maingano.
5-removing the synodontis does not allow more cichlids, so IDK why you would want to pull fry instead, but your tank.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Jim's 125 gallon Mbuna - Stocking advice

Postby JimSparks » Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:01 pm

DJRansome - Yes. RIght now the mainganos are 1:7. THe mainganos have not been very bad in my tank so far. They seem to fit in well with the other 2 species. I'm not overly concerned about keeping fry. It would be easier to not have to pull them out. But the synos basically just hide and I just don't enjoy them as much as I thought I would. Not looking to replace them with more cichlids. Just maybe reduce the bioload by a smidge.

Would you say that the females of the Hara and the Willimasi are similar to the males? Or at least look nice in their own right? I'm struggling to find decent pics of adult females.
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Re: Jim's 125 gallon Mbuna - Stocking advice

Postby james1983 » Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:30 pm

I've always like acei for a larger, peaceful species. Both the white tail and yellow tail have males and females that are the same color.
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Re: Jim's 125 gallon Mbuna - Stocking advice

Postby JimSparks » Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:26 pm

Thank you. I really love the Acei. They are definitely a consideration. My only concern is with the bluish/purplish coloration. I have the purplish color already with the Rusties. I want to try to mix it up a little if I can.
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Re: Jim's 125 gallon Mbuna - Stocking advice

Postby JimSparks » Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:27 pm

Speaking of mixing it up a little, are there any Mbuna that you know of that kind of bring in the red or orange coloration? Preferably in the males AND females?
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Re: Jim's 125 gallon Mbuna - Stocking advice

Postby DJRansome » Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:41 pm

The estherae comes closest. You could swap out your labs.

The female hara look similar to the males with no bars (or subdued bars). Female williamsi are drab.
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Re: Jim's 125 gallon Mbuna - Stocking advice

Postby JimSparks » Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:55 am

When you say 'swap out the labs' is that because the two will crossbreed? Will the estherae crossbreed with other Labidochromis species? There are a few that I like but have stayed away from due to the yellow labs. But if I am swapping those out.... :-)
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Re: Jim's 125 gallon Mbuna - Stocking advice

Postby Fogelhund » Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:14 am

JimSparks wrote:When you say 'swap out the labs' is that because the two will crossbreed? Will the estherae crossbreed with other Labidochromis species? There are a few that I like but have stayed away from due to the yellow labs. But if I am swapping those out.... :-)


Yes, red zebras and yellow labs hybridize quite easily.
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Re: Jim's 125 gallon Mbuna - Stocking advice

Postby JimSparks » Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:15 am

Thank you. I have read that before I think. So that makes sense. What about other Labidochromis species?
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Re: Jim's 125 gallon Mbuna - Stocking advice

Postby Fogelhund » Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:28 am

JimSparks wrote:Thank you. I have read that before I think. So that makes sense. What about other Labidochromis species?


Could you be more specific with your question... other Labidochromis mixed with estherae, or with other Labidochromis?
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Re: Jim's 125 gallon Mbuna - Stocking advice

Postby JimSparks » Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:24 pm

Sorry. Other Labidochromis species mixed with the estherae.
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Re: Jim's 125 gallon Mbuna - Stocking advice

Postby SenorStrum » Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:33 pm

JimSparks wrote:Thank you. I really love the Acei. They are definitely a consideration. My only concern is with the bluish/purplish coloration. I have the purplish color already with the Rusties. I want to try to mix it up a little if I can.


I don't see them as being too similar myself. I have them together, and they seem like quite different fish. Color wise, the acei that I have are a dominant blue color with very yellow fins and whitish bellies. Don't overlook them. I was going to originally, but I'm glad they're in there.
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