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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I've primarily kept a couple of Tanganyikans tanks for around six years but before Christmas decided I fancied a change & wanted to try a Malawi community tank. I'm now set myself up with a 500 litre / 120 US gal 4'x2'x2' tank with a 2000LPH Sunsun HW-204B cannister filter along with a couple of internal filters for polishing the water, all heated by a 300W Eheim Jager. I have a large amount of ocean rock at the rear of the tank, probably covering a 3.5'x1'x1' area so there is plenty of free swimming space above and in front of this.

Everything is set up fine and so far I've stocked the tank with the advice of the advice of the two LFS near me (Fish Inc in Sheffield & Wharf Aquatics in Pinxton). My stocklist up until the weekend was as follows:

1 x Metriaclima msobo "Magunga" (wild, male)
4 x Labidochromis caeruleus - 1 x male, 3 x female
3 x Pseudotropheus Minutus - 1 x male, 2 female
4 x Pseudotropheus crabro - 1 male, 3 female
3 x Labidichromis hongi (red top) - 1 x male, 2 x female
5 x Metriaclima callainos (cobalt blues) - m/f ratio unsure

At the weekend, after discussions with a very helpful member of staff at Wharf I decided to add:

2 x Synodontis hybrids
1 x Aulonocara orange domestic variant (Male)
2 x Aulonocara Rubin Red

I know that Aulonocara aren't normally recommended to be mixed with Mbuna, but the discussions I had suggested I may get away with it because of the tank size & the majority of my Mbuna being less aggressive types.

So far I've been trying to populate it with less aggressive types (or at least what the LFS have advised to be so) on purpose - I have seen Malawi tanks look like a warzone before, but they were generally smaller than what I have now.

So far the Aulonocara are doing fine - they're feeding no problems and are doing plenty of swimming about the tank, they don't seem to look stressed. The majority of my fish are still relatively young though - mainly around 1.5"-2".

My main concern at the moment is that I've made a mistake with the Msobo, he is pretty aggressive and does quite a lot of chasing other fish away. I think the Mbuna would cope with this, but I'm not sure that long term the Aulonocara will. Do you think I should return him to increase the chances of everyone else getting along?

I'm also looking for further stocking advice for this tank - my long term aim is for a colourful & interesting tank rather than to breed hence why I wanted to add the Aulonocara. I like the idea of adding some Pseudotropheus acei as they offer different colours, but also like the idea of adding further Aulonocara should the ones I have do OK.

Any advice on further stocking or opinions on what I have done already would be most appreciated.

Cheers :)
 

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Hmmm. In my experience with those species, I have not found this to be true:
the majority of my Mbuna being less aggressive types
I have had a cynotilapia (less aggressive than all of those) kill stuartgranti peacocks (fairly aggressive for a peacock).

Also for a 48" tank that is a lot of species for the breeding groups. If the peacocks are your favorite, I'd stock with all males and just have one breeding group of labs.
 

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All of the following mbuna are capable of stressing or killing peacocks:
1 x Metriaclima msobo "Magunga" (wild, male)
3 x Pseudotropheus Minutus - 1 x male, 2 female
4 x Pseudotropheus crabro - 1 male, 3 female
3 x Labidichromis hongi (red top) - 1 x male, 2 x female
5 x Metriaclima callainos (cobalt blues) - m/f ratio unsure
I'd bet you a lot of money that if you remove the msobo, another male mbuna will inherit the scepter for king of the tank and become very aggressive.

I know that Aulonocara aren't normally recommended to be mixed with Mbuna, but the discussions I had suggested I may get away with it because of the tank size & the majority of my Mbuna being less aggressive types.
If you look up your species in the profile section of this website, you will find that you got some bad advice. Most of the mbuna you stock (with the exception of yellow labs) are listed as "aggressive." For example: Pseudotropheus Crabro
 

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Yeah, I wouldn't frequent that shop anymore, if they told you that crabros weren't aggressive. And if they sold you just 2 peacocks of the same species for a 48" tank. If you get 2 males, one will likely end up stressed and ugly. If you get 1m/1f, the female will likely end up stressed and/or dead...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies everyone - it appears I've been misadvised.
I will have to look to return some of the fish as they get more aggressive and bring the tank down into one containing less species as suggested.

I suppose the only other option would be to remove all females and turn it into an all male - I have visions of a warzone though.
 

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All male works great. I had a 55g mbuna tank with about 20 males and had no prob for the 3-4 yrs it was going. Actually the first year I had less than 10 and lost a fish about once a month. Overstocking helps a lot.
 
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