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I'm setting up a 225 mbuna tank with a 145 gallon sump. It's possible I may sell the 225 and move up to a Planet Aquariums Mega Matrix 310 but for now, let's assume I'm gonna used the 225.

I have a new Jeabo DCP sine wave 15000 pump that I bought one Black Friday a couple of years ago that I haven't even taken out of the box yet. I may get a second for redundancy and power them down.

I recently bought a couple of hundred pounds of CaribSea aragonite special grade sand for substrate. I have also acquired a couple hundred pounds of base/reef rock that I put through the BRS-method of "curing."

I haven't settled on lighting yet but right now I'm leaning towards a Current USA system of some type. I want the lights to give a crisp, clean look in the tank. My wife is from a gorgeous island in the Philippines and wants the tank to have a real reef feel. Please give suggestions on lighting.

I want this to be a dwarf mbuna only tank. I really like the idea of keeping a large group salosi, but from the little checking I've done recently, they seem like they could be challenging/expensive to get. Demasoni are cool, but some of the stories scare me.

What else could I keep with either salosi or demasoni that are also dwarf mbuna and have similar requirements.

I've attached a couple of pictures of a 160 I had several years ago when we lived in Phoenix. We live in the Southeast now.


Thanks in advance for your advice.
 

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Sounds like you have a good plan. I’d check into some Kessil lighting instead of the Current though. If you like the Shimmer effect, then those Kessils are king. Something a little less costly, then check out Fluval. They have some darn good lights that are really adjustable and easy to setup with a cell phone and app.
 

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Labeotropheus are large aggressive mbuna. The most common pure OB mbuna is Metriaclima (orange with black blotches...not the colorful OB peacocks) and they are not dwarf. Some labeogropheus are OB as well.
 
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Regarding saulosi, it depends on how long you want to wait.

There is no reason (other than your preference) to go with all dwarf mbuna by the way. In a 72" tank you could do a group of OB Metriaclima and OB Labeotropheus.
 
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