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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I are looking to setup our 90g tank with cichlids and could use some advice. We are looking to have a good variety of colourful fish but starting our first large tank we're not sure if we should introduce one species at a time or how we should cycle the tank initially.

Looking at the cookie cutter builds we do like the look of:
Pseudotropheus saulosi
Red Zebra
Yellow Labs
Yellow Tail Acei
Rusty Cichlid

would the Cobalt Zebra fit in well with this mix?
 

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I think these should work out well!

I would personally skip the yellow labs as they seem to be known for hybridizing with the red zebras, and you already have a yellow fish with the female saulosi.

The cobalt zebras and red zebras are both metriaclima, not sure if that would be a problem. I have both in my tank together. Also I have OB zebra females, which are the same species as my red zebra male, so they could be kept together for more variety. There is also a blue variant of the red zebra, but I've never seen them for sale.

You are going to buy juvies I assume?
 

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dielikemoviestars said:
Drop the RZ and labs, in my opinion.

Rusties, acei, saulosi, cobalts.
Plus one. Four species works well in a 48" tank. Stock 1m:4f of each. If you are starting with unsexed juveniles buy extras and weed out extra males as they mature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input, I should have mentioned we already have one Red Zebra, we bought 3 for our small tank before we really knew too much about them and only have one left (probably female about 2").

For the rest of the tank I see talk of pool filter sand, is that the normal substrate for these fish? And is there a particular kind of rock that works better or just find some decent sizes to make piles for the fish to hide in?
 

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For mbuna (rock fish) you want to fill the tank to the waterline with rocks. Or try to get at least half full. No particular kind...just lots.

Sand is the substrate of choice and pool filter sand is cheap, clean and has a larger grain that is easier to vacuum compared to some finer sands.

With the red zebra in the tank then eliminate any other metriaclima (cobalts) and also yellow labs from consideration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Would an Electric Blue hap compete with the male Saulosi? I found a breeder in my area with the Hap, Acei, Saulosi and RZ.

Or how about Acei, Saulosi, RZ and Rusty; any issue there?

Hereis what the breeder has.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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I'm no mbuna expert, but that seems like a lot of blue-barred Pseudotropheus for one tank. They may fight a bunch and/or interbreed. The last two seem especially similar to me.
 

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I think your first choice of fish would make for a more peaceful tank.
 

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Malvos said:
My wife and I are looking to setup our 90g tank with cichlids and could use some advice. We are looking to have a good variety of colourful fish but starting our first large tank we're not sure if we should introduce one species at a time or how we should cycle the tank initially.

Looking at the cookie cutter builds we do like the look of:
Pseudotropheus saulosi
Red Zebra
Yellow Labs
Yellow Tail Acei
Rusty Cichlid

would the Cobalt Zebra fit in well with this mix?
In my 4ft 55 gallon which, if I'm not mistaken, is the same width as your 90 I have Rusty, Yellow Tail Acei, and Yellow Labs and so far I love it. They are among the most peaceful of the Mbuna's and their colors look awesome together. The acei's like swimming in the top part of the aquarium which is rare for Mbuna so they add another dimension to the tank. When I was deciding my stock list I looked at getting some more aggressive fish, like Demasoni, but having to constantly be removing rejected fish and worrying about my other fish getting sick from the stress led me to choosing the more docile species. You have to choose the fish you will be happy with but in my opinion you can't go wrong with those 3 species. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
mokujin22 said:
I'm no mbuna expert, but that seems like a lot of blue-barred Pseudotropheus for one tank. They may fight a bunch and/or interbreed. The last two seem especially similar to me.
Yeah, I did think there might be too much blue, what if in my original plan I just substitute the Flavus for the Saulosi, since the Saulosi and Yellow Tails are both barred and blue? Is there a problem with the Flavus also being barred even though they are yellow? I would also make sure the Zebra males are red/orange instead of blue.

It was also suggested substituting Chilumbas for the Rusties, but they look to be more aggressive.

Red Zebra, Yellow Tail, Rusty, Flavus

Thanks for everyone's input, a peaceful, colourful tank is my goal and I appreciate the experience to be found in these forums.
 

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I wouldn't sub flavus for saulosi. Female flavus are pretty plain jane and female saulosi are nice and yellow. From my experience saulosi males stay colored more than flavus males. My flavus would only turn on his intense yellow occasionally. Most times he was just kind of yellow. Also my flavus had a really bad temperament compared to my saulosi.

Out of the fish you have listed and with the goal of peaceful (as far as mbuna are concerned) and colorful fish i would choose:

yellow tail acei
yellow Lab
rusty
cobalt zebra

Cobalts can get pretty mean and rusty dont have that nice of females but its all a balancing act. If only color was concerned i would say drop the rusty from my list and add red zebras but they would clash with the cobalts and from past experience the labs too.

Another option i would consider is

saulosi
red zebra
acei
rusty
 

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DJRansome said:
For mbuna (rock fish) you want to fill the tank to the waterline with rocks. Or try to get at least half full. No particular kind...just lots.
I've never understood this..

I have never seen pictures or video of malawi with rocks piled to the surface of the water... So why would you do it in your tank?
You're already placing the fish in a confined space, don't they atleast deserve a little room to swim?
 

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limpert said:
DJRansome said:
For mbuna (rock fish) you want to fill the tank to the waterline with rocks. Or try to get at least half full. No particular kind...just lots.
I've never understood this..

I have never seen pictures or video of malawi with rocks piled to the surface of the water... So why would you do it in your tank?
You're already placing the fish in a confined space, don't they atleast deserve a little room to swim?
With the limited amount of space you would want to utilize the space you do have. Since mbuna typically stay near the lower half of tanks, by stacking to the top the fish are more likely to use that height space. If you didnt stack to the top, your actually leaving less territory which could cause increased aggression. You dont need to literally go to the top, but having that rock wall really benefits your fish
 

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limpert said:
DJRansome said:
For mbuna (rock fish) you want to fill the tank to the waterline with rocks. Or try to get at least half full. No particular kind...just lots.
I've never understood this..

I have never seen pictures or video of malawi with rocks piled to the surface of the water... So why would you do it in your tank?
You're already placing the fish in a confined space, don't they atleast deserve a little room to swim?
Good point and I've never really thought about it that way. But now that you mention it I had the impression that the rocks on the bottom of Lake Malawi where the mbuna hang are several layers deep and the fish dart in and out.
 
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