Lake Malawi Species • Help Selecting Stock: 125 gallon (6')

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Help Selecting Stock: 125 gallon (6')

Postby Jonesab7 » Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:55 pm

I have a 125 gallon tank that is 6' long. Currently houses Frontosa, Tropheus, and Synodontis Multipunctatus. My wife always complains about the fish because they all hide and she liked my all male Hap tank better. I really wanted a breeding tank, but the Frontosa due tend to only hide and I've had them 3 years or so and no luck on breeding.

Currently looking on recommendations for a breeding tank of a few species of Haps, Tangs, or Mbuna. Looking for colorful species that will hang out in the open more. As I understand it Haps are typically more free swimming and spend less time hiding in caves. Not sure on whether to get rid of the synodontis given that I am trying to have babies (not to sell or anything, just for fun, so don't need super high survival rate necessarily).

Any recommendations are appreciated.
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Re: Help Selecting Stock: 125 gallon (6')

Postby DJRansome » Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:18 pm

If you had either the frontosa or the tropheus the fish probably would not hide and would likely spawn.

However if you want a change and color and spawning, a mbuna tank could fit the bill.

No need to get rid of the Synodontis...you need a separate tank for the mom's before they spit and to raise the babies anyway.

Think in terms of 5 species with 1m:4f of each:
Labidochromis caeruleus Nkhata Bay
Cynotilapia sp hara
Iodotropheus sprengerae
Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos Maingano. Do 1m:7f of these.
Metriaclima estherae Cherry Red
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Help Selecting Stock: 125 gallon (6')

Postby jcover » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:25 pm

You are correct that most haps are open water swimmers. Unfortunately with haps, you will end up with only a few coloured individuals, unless you go all male.

Mbunas would be the most colourful option, and breeding can occur easily in a mixed mbuna species tank. Haps I feel get more territorial over the entire tank, when breeding.
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Re: Help Selecting Stock: 125 gallon (6')

Postby Whatyonameizz » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:32 pm

Me personally if your gonna breed some fish I would go with some kande Island lethrinops they are absolutely gorgeous. And they breed like crazy they are and will do best when there is 1 male and 3 to 5 females. But any of the lethrinops are spectacular fish you wont be disappointed and either will your girlfriend.
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Re: Help Selecting Stock: 125 gallon (6')

Postby Jonesab7 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:20 am

DJRansome wrote:If you had either the frontosa or the tropheus the fish probably would not hide and would likely spawn.

However if you want a change and color and spawning, a mbuna tank could fit the bill.

No need to get rid of the Synodontis...you need a separate tank for the mom's before they spit and to raise the babies anyway.

Think in terms of 5 species with 1m:4f of each:
Labidochromis caeruleus Nkhata Bay
Cynotilapia sp hara
Iodotropheus sprengerae
Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos Maingano. Do 1m:7f of these.
Metriaclima estherae Cherry Red


I was able to find a buyer for my Frontosa and I think I will give your stock list a shot. I had a couple questions for you (or anyone):

*How easy these Mbuna are to sex as juveniles? I would much rather buy the M/F ratio, than have to hunt out males periodically.
*Is there any chance of cross-breeding from the Hara and Maingano given their color similarities?
*These fish don't appear to get too large, is this stock list large enough for a 6' 125g?
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Re: Help Selecting Stock: 125 gallon (6')

Postby DJRansome » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:34 pm

You cannot sex them as juveniles and reliable vendors rarely sell the as males or females.

Hara is pale blue with skinny bars and maingano is dark blue with thick stripes. Not similar at all.

25 mbuna is just the right level of overcrowding for a 72" tank to manage aggression without ending up with something that looks and acts like a goldfish feeder tank. Don't forget you will fill the tank with rocks.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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