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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am working on setting up a 55 gallon cichlid tank and would like some advice as to the right amount of fish as well as if the species I am looking at would work together or if I might have some issues. I haven't decided if I am going to get a pleco or not yet leaning more towards doing so and I was thinking about getting three of each of the following cichlids what do you guys think?

Pseudotropheus polit
Metriaclima estherae
Labidochromis caeruleus
Cynotilapia afra
Pseudotropheus demasoni
 

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rain87 said:
I am working on setting up a 55 gallon cichlid tank and would like some advice as to the right amount of fish as well as if the species I am looking at would work together or if I might have some issues. I haven't decided if I am going to get a pleco or not yet leaning more towards doing so and I was thinking about getting three of each of the following cichlids what do you guys think?

Pseudotropheus polit
Metriaclima estherae
Labidochromis caeruleus
Cynotilapia afra
Pseudotropheus demasoni
In a 55g with mbuna you're looking at 3 species with 1 male of each to 3-4 females. If purchasing fish as juvies most people will buy more and return extra males as they make themselves known, say 7 of each species.
The exception are demasoni which are best stocked as a lone fish or in excess of 12. In a 55 I would stock 15-18 and again, return extra males and/or others suffering from aggression as they mature. Due to the numbers required, demasoni will take 2 species spots leaving 1 remaining.
A popular combination are Labidochromis caeruleus and Ps. demasoni.
As far as mixing, personally I wouldn't mix afra with demasoni due to their similar barring appearance.
I wouldn't mix L. caeruleus with Metriaclima estherae as they tend to crossbreed.
I would stock additional Ps. polit and strive for 1m:6-7f as their aggression amongst their own tends to be quite high.
Bristlenose plecos are most often recommended for mbuna tanks.
 

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+1 to 3 species & 1m:4f
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay so from what you guys have said I'm thinking my best option would be 6 each of
Pseudotropheus polit
Labidochromis caeruleus
Cynotilapia afra

Plus a brittle nose and then trading out males as they mature so i just have one of each. Do you think that would be a good mix as well as provide some nice color for the tank? Because I do want it to have a nice visual appeal.
 

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If you can, order the polits sexed, 1m and 6 or 7 females. Then there's no need to return males.
These are dimorphic fish, the females are somewhat drab compared to the males, just in case you weren't aware.

Looks good otherwise :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
To get the poilts sexed I would have to pay like three times as much and then they wouldn't be juvies like the rest I will be getting. I do have a LFS I can see fish too so if I need to I can sell males to them. I did understand that polits are dimorphic but thanks for clarifing do you think a tank with those three species would have a nice visual appeal or should I switch the polits out for something else? If so any suggestions?
 

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It's probably more personal preference at this point. I'm somewhat in the same boat with my elongatus, the females are ultra drab, as is the case with most elongatus. I'm looking forward to replacing them with demasoni (if I ever find any), although I will miss the big male.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
GTZ said:
It's probably more personal preference at this point. I'm somewhat in the same boat with my elongatus, the females are ultra drab, as is the case with most elongatus. I'm looking forward to replacing them with demasoni (if I ever find any), although I will miss the big male.
So are you wishing you went with the demasoni instead of the elongatus in the first place? What else do you have in your tank? I am almost leaning towards just doing labs and demasoni but I was looking for a little more variety in color than that plus I really like the male afra and polits but the females would be pretty dull. I also thought about doing labs, red zebras and demasoni but I've heard labs and red zebras have a tendancy to inter breed although I didn't have that problem when I kept them together before.
 

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rain87 said:
So are you wishing you went with the demasoni instead of the elongatus in the first place? What else do you have in your tank? I am almost leaning towards just doing labs and demasoni but I was looking for a little more variety in color than that plus I really like the male afra and polits but the females would be pretty dull. I also thought about doing labs, red zebras and demasoni but I've heard labs and red zebras have a tendancy to inter breed although I didn't have that problem when I kept them together before.
Yes and no, I've enjoyed the elongatus, robust, active and breed easily, definitely a great fish to watch interacting, but not the most eye popping visually, but hey, eye candy isn't everything. Rest of the tank is in my sig. 11 labs and the remaining 2 socolofi, oddly enough both males, the rest were picked off one by one about 6 months ago. The socolofi will be going also.
 

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rain87 said:
To get the poilts sexed I would have to pay like three times as much and then they wouldn't be juvies like the rest I will be getting. I do have a LFS I can see fish too so if I need to I can sell males to them. I did understand that polits are dimorphic but thanks for clarifing do you think a tank with those three species would have a nice visual appeal or should I switch the polits out for something else? If so any suggestions?
I'm on the fence about my polits right now. Granted they haven't colored up yet and I also have 7 juvenile rusties so my tank's inhabitants are about 40% dingy brown color right now.

Be aware it takes a while for the male to color up. I bought juveniles in early January and all fish except my polits are showing decent color now. I've heard the polits need to be 2"+ to show color so for me that's probably another 3 months.

One site I found describes polits along the lines of... "the juvenile females are an attractive brown color" :roll:

A tank of demasoni and labs would be striking and it is a fairly popular mix of fish.
 
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