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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello

I have just purchase a 55 gallon tank I wanna go the lake malawi cichlid route.....I have 2 BIO wheels and I am currently making a DIY back ground.....

I want to stock the tank with lake malawi cichlids but I have heard many different response some say you can only stock with 12, some say 15 some even say 20...........

Can someone please answer how many lake malawi cichlids can I stock into a 55 gallon?

Also what do I need to have to run a successful cichlid tank???
 

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What kinds of cichlids do you want to keep? Mostly mbuna or small haps and peacocks? Male only or 3-4 species breeding groups?

All of these factors will dictate how many fish you can keep in there as adults.

The two most crucial factors in a successful African setup are a good starting species selection and clean water.

Beyond that, a mixed sand/crushed coral substrate and loads of rocks will help.
 

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It just depends. Depends on your filtration, the amount of rocks, the species you choose, male only or breeding groups, etc.

If you want to venture towards 20 fish you will have to probably upgrade your filtration or prepare to do a lot of WC's.

The 20 fish number usually just applies to dwarf mbuna and more peaceful species or both. Examples would be cyno afra, labs, Rusty, Saulosi, etc.

Success is a combination of proper cycling at the start, not adding too many fish at one time, being careful in regards to conspecific fish, maintaining proper gender ratios if not doing an all male tank, feeding them food meant for them, providing them a habitat similar to their wild home, water changes, and the final is just a wildcard- the individual fish in your tank. Make sure they play nice, take actions if they don't. If two fish regularly fight to the point of injury, one of them needs to go and the sooner the better.

That said, I think with your existing conditions, 12-15 fish wouldn't be out of the question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
my dream list so far is:

Lake Malawi Species:

3 small mother of pearls
7 small mixed african cichlids
5 small mixed peacocks

Question is this possible for me to raise to adults and for them and for them not to kill eachother?????
 

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What is a mother of pearl? Are you referring to the SA earth-eater? That will not work with Malawian cichlids. Looks like you want all-male. You'll have to go for really tame mbuna and smaller, aggressive peacocks in a 55g. With mbuna, that's yellow labs, acei, rusties (though some people have seen some very aggressive ones), and a few others - limited choices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
mother of pearls are cichlids that are given on a website giving to me by my LFS....So as you guys can see I am confused ????? I just want a nice lively cichlid tank I been doing some reading and I see the Mbuna species are not as aggressive.....So I really want suggestion from the forum whats a good mix for my 55 gallon.........

whats a good website where I can purchase specific mbuna juveniles???
 

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Take a look at the cookie cutter tanks in the Cichlid-forum Library. Match your tank size to the length and width, not the gallons.

Vendor recommendations cannot be made in the forums, but you can find feedback in the Cichlid-forum Reviews section.

Ask the LFS for the continent (Africa, Central America, South America, etc.), scientific name and then you can look it up in the Cichlid-forum Profiles.

The numbers will be different depending on which fish you choose.
 

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The mbuna are generally the most aggressive! Decide between haps/peacocks and mbuna, it's difficult to mix them successfully.

Most Malawi cichlids are territorial, and will not tolerate males of the same species. They also will harass the females, to death if there aren't enough of them.

It's best to keep several groups of 1 male/at least 3 females. The females of some species are not colorful, but there is some very interesting breeding behavior to watch. You need not raise the fry, they'll mostly get eaten. You can buy groups of juveniles, but you will need someone to take the excess males. Some keep all males of different species, but this is risky, especially with mbuna (looks great though).

I'd look at the cookie cutter setups in the library, research the species, and find a dealer that can get those fish.

As far as the tank, they like to dig in sand, they like hard water about 80F, and mbuna like piles of rocks with tight caves. You'll need to cycle the tank, but I cheat and put an established filter on a new tank.

Good luck!
 
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