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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Here is the deal. I'm helping a good friend of mine set up his tank and I thought that a mixed malawi tank would be rewarding for a new hobbyist - I prefer central and south american cichlids, but that won't fly...

Anyway, he wants each of his kids to pick a group of fish (3 kids). I thought they could each pick a mbuna species. I would then fill the tank with haps or maybe even a peacock or two.

My hands are tied a bit with the kids picking mbunas - they might not go for the easier mixes, so I'll need advice on groups of mbunas that will work and of course the mixes that won't work. I am aware of the more common mixes like demasoni/lab - my personal fav. Nothing too rare - we'll be going to BA's (labs, demasoni, afras, zebras, socofoli....)

Next which haps will likely work. I know that they are predatory and there is always a risk of mbuna being eaten. I'll try to get larger mbuna and smaller haps at the beginning - besides mbuna breed so easily it will probably just be a pop regulator. I'd like to go with a school of dolphins as I've always like them. Other suggestions are welcome.

I also thought about a small school of cats - mulitis or petricolas.


PS: Plse assume that I'm an experienced hobbyist.

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Why have then choose mbuna? My kids picked out peacocks, granded, they were sunset/hybrids and picked out a pleco. So many cool Haps, and most will work out in your tank. The problem is, finding a place that sells nice Haps/peacocks. Predatory? Well, depends on what you get. Try Protomelas, Copadichromis, Aulanocara and Placidochromis... for example, aren't predatory, but if you get into the larger haps like Buccochromis, Champs, Tyranochromis, Nimbochrmomis, Exochochromis... then you're talking lunch with smaller fish.

This is my 125 list, and I think would be awesome in a 180(I have larger haps in the 180).
list... Note that I do have some mbuna, but wouldn't recommend keeping them. I also have preditors in this tank(but you should see the 180g)

1 Copadichromis Azureus
2 Copadichromis Borleyi Mbeji
3 Hemitilapia Oxyrhynchus
4 Excochochromis Anagenys
5 Placidochromis Electra
6 Placidochromis Johnstoni
7 Placidochromis Milomo
8 Placidochromis Phenochilus
9 Protomelas Ornatus
10 Protomelas Steveni "Taiwan Reef"
11 Protomelas Spolonotus Tanzania
12 Protomelas Taeniolatus "Red Emperess"
13 Sciaenochrmos Fryeri "Iceburg"
14 Tyranochromis Nigriventer
15 'Aequidens' sp. "Goldsaum"
16 Aulonocara Rubescens
17 Aulonocara Rubescens
18 Aulonocara Baenschi
19 Aulonocara Koningsi
20 Aulonocara Mamela "Lemon Jake"
21 Aulonocara "Dragons Blood"
22 Labidochromis Caeruleus
23 Labidochromis Caeruleus
24 Pseudotropheus Demasoni
25 Synodontis Multipunctatus
26 Synodontis Multipunctatus
27 Synodontis Multipunctatus
28 Clown Loach
29 Clown Loach
30 Clown Loach
31 C. Moori

Pesonal recommendations?

P Steveni Taiwan reef
P Phenochilus
p. spilonotus tanz
p. johnstoni
p. electra
a. Stuartgrati Ngara
a stuartgranti flavescent
a rubescens 'ruby red'
a jacobfreibergi "lemon jake'
a jaconfeibergi 'otter point'
a lwanda (the jakes and lwanda may fight)
a baneschi (sunshine peacock
a Huresi 'midnight peacock'
mylochromis latistristraga
protomelas "tangerine tiger"
c. Azureus
a. borleyi (a long ventral variety like Mbenji or Mara Point)
S. freiri
t. intermedius
o. lithobates
c. moori
p. Red Empress

Of the above, none are predatory... the most agressive of these that I've sees have been the Jake peacocks(that may or may not fight each other), the c. moori, the Tawian reef and the Red empress.. and those are 'suppsed' to be peacful. In other words, I think they would all mix pretty well.

I've found that with cover, throwing in 2-3 demasoni can work in this tank. All the haps keep them from killing each other, and they're too small to do damage to anyone. Most mbuna will lose their color in with a large number of haps but Labs and demasoni are exception. But if you do this, make sure you have small caves/places to hide, and I would limit the total number of Mbuna to 3-5 MAX... I keep 3.

Anyway..some photos I've taken for some ideas..

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Yeah, but they're not schooling fish. The closest thing you might get is Acei.... they'll sort of swim together, or at least the three I had did. Mbuna will just fight with each other... especially if they 'choose' the wrong fish.

If you want a cool fish that schools.. check out Rainbowfish, the 'turquoise' is really nice, and the Boesmani is a real winner too. Round it out with a Milleneum or New Guinnea for Red. Congo Tetras are also very nice schooling fish. I had 2 males once that chased each other constantly.. not fighting, just chased. Just a beautiful fish! They were even in with Peacocks for a while and did just fine... they were completely ignored.

In a 125, "Bala Sharks' or tin foil barbs would be something that will school and get BIG.

A pair of Blue rams could exist in this tank and work out really well. Another suggestiong would be P. Pulcher.. or 'Krib'. Get a pair of these fish and they'll not only breed in the tank, but they do an awesome job of parenting young in a community tank.

Seriously, if I had the room, I'd consider a 125 with lots of diftwood and plants, with Rainbowfish, Loaches, Catfish, Congo Tetras, Neon Tetra and a pair of blue rams.. maybe a big rainbow shark! I had a 60g like that once.. I think it's still under 'my tanks'.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've had colonies before and really liked it - specifically demasoni and yellow lab mix.

Anyway, I'm looking for suggestions which are in line with my original post. I know that some variance of what I had suggested will work and I'm fairly confident I'll be able to accomplish this....

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I keep mbuna with haps and peacocks in a 125. The mbuna were acei ngara(reverse trio), m. Callainos(1m/3f), yellow labs, a single males of Hongi/Greshaki/Pyrsonotos/Demasoni...Haps are O. Lithobates (pair), reverse trio Blue Dolphins, 1m/3f Red Empress, 5 P. sp. Taiwan Reef,
1m/2f Al. Stuartgranti Hansbaenschi, and a pair of jacobs.

I'd make a list of acceptable mbuna that are not too aggro...

P. Socolofi
P. Acei
L. sp. Hongi
L. Caureleus
M. Greshaki
C. Afra
P. Blue Dolphin (giant demasoni)

and let them pick only from that list. Absolutely no M. Lombardi/Crabros/Msobo/Elongatus/Zebras or Melanochromis of any time
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