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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings everyone. I recently acquired a 75gal, 4ft aquarium and I am interested in the idea of doing an Mbuna tank. I've read the cookie cutter thread, dozens of other threads, watched many YouTube videos and now I am confused. I would like to have a blueprint before I dive in. Please suggest any changes I should make.

1m,4f Labidochromis sp. "Perlmutt"
1m 4f pseudotropheus saulosi
1m, 4f Labidochromis caeruleus
And either...
1m, 4f Pseudotropheus sp. "Msobo"
Or
1m, 4f Iodotropheus sprengerae

Or can I do all 5 species?
What ratio of each do I need to overstock the 75g, to curb agression.

If I wanted 2 males, how many females do I need? Or is that not recommended?

Do I add them all at once or least aggressive to more aggressive?
 

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All at once is ideal for managing aggression. Also means you don't need to devote a tank to quarantine new additions for half the year.

I would do 4 species or less in a 75G. You want 1m:4f to manage aggression. Two males usually fight since they focus 100% on each other. If you wanted to do 3m:12f of the saulosi that would work because they are peaceful. Note that 3m:12f takes up three of your stocking slots. So maybe the saulosi and 1m:4f of the perlmutt. No guarantee all three males will color so may defeat the purpose. I would not do multiple males on a fish like msobo...it may work on the labs and possibly work on the rusties.

Your other species have a LOT of yellow so maybe the rusties instead of the msobo for your 4th species.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
All at once is ideal for managing aggression. Also means you don't need to devote a tank to quarantine new additions for half the year.

I would do 4 species or less in a 75G. You want 1m:4f to manage aggression. Two males usually fight since they focus 100% on each other. If you wanted to do 3m:12f of the saulosi that would work because they are peaceful. Note that 3m:12f takes up three of your stocking slots. So maybe the saulosi and 1m:4f of the perlmutt. No guarantee all three males will color so may defeat the purpose. I would not do multiple males on a fish like msobo...it may work on the labs and possibly work on the rusties.

Your other species have a LOT of yellow so maybe the rusties instead of the msobo for your 4th species.
Thank you so much! Yes, I agree, too much yellow.

Do you think this is a better balance of colors?

1m,4f Labidochromis sp. "Perlmutt"
1m 4f pseudotropheus saulosi
1m, 4f Pseudotropheus sp. "Msobo"
1m, 4f Iodotropheus sprengerae
 

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You still only have two blue fish and 12 yellow or yellowish fish. What about Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos Maingano instead of the msobo or rusties? 1m:7f of those.
 

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Hi! 😃 nice to meet you!😃
As for males and females...of any breed, I would do 1 male and whatever the rest females and you won't have aggression and I would place them all into your tank at once then they will become used to each other as they grow!😃
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you and nice to meet you too. I will do that as soon as the online retailers have them back in stock. Where do people in the hobby get their fish? Online, lfs or local groups?
 

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Thank you and nice to meet you too. I will do that as soon as the online retailers have them back in stock. Where do people in the hobby get their fish? Online, lfs or local groups?
Hi, hon, again!😃
Well...we, my husband and I, have found that we like to order our babies because they are much more healthier being them from the actual breeders!😃 our favorite gentleman we purchase from is at (Vendor review prohibited), they are awesome! Anddd, soooo inexpensive. They have like this way of ordering that you can pick: small- insexed or you can choose medium (which is the case we did with the Blue Moori/Dolphins because we wanted a harem to be able to breed them, and you can order "large". This is what we like about him plus the babies have always been healthy for us. I don't know where you are but when he ships to us it's only $17 which it's terribly expensive to get some folks shipping to you; you know? Oh$😳 and he's very quick!!
 

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I've always gotten fish from a local fish store that specializes in cichlids or from my local aquarium clubs or during their semi-annual auctions. I've never bought fish online though a lot of members have great results doing so. You can Private Message (PM) members that have bought online and that have fish that you are looking to buy and ask where they bought them. Vendor reviews in the various forums is prohibited.

The forum used to have a Retailer section but it got lost in the software upgrade within the last couple years. Hopefully we can get it back again as it was a good resource.

I wanted to add that despite the advice by the fish lady about fish growing up together and reduced aggression, that isn't always true with cichlids so be careful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've always gotten fish from a local fish store that specializes in cichlids or from my local aquarium clubs or during their semi-annual auctions. I've never bought fish online though a lot of members have great results doing so. You can Private Message (PM) members that have bought online and that have fish that you are looking to buy and ask where they bought them. Vendor reviews in the various forums is prohibited.

The forum used to have a Retailer section but it got lost in the software upgrade within the last couple years. Hopefully we can get it back again as it was a good resource.

I wanted to add that despite the advice by the fish lady about fish growing up together and reduced aggression, that isn't always true with cichlids so be careful.
My big concern with adding 20 fish at the same time would be the ammonia spike with the new bioload. How do I prepare for that? Dr tim's Ammonium Chloride?
 

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Yes.
Meaning, this will simulate the bio-load you need in the aquarium to establish your filtration - BEFORE - slamming those 20 fish in it at the same time. Oh, and your water?
Testing.
Testing.
Testing....
To ensure that Ammonia (and those Nitrites) are being completely consumed by a vibrant, active and healthy colony of grown out, Beneficial Bacteria.
A measured level of Nitrate production (full conversion) is important to this process.
 
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My big concern with adding 20 fish at the same time would be the ammonia spike with the new bioload. How do I prepare for that? Dr tim's Ammonium Chloride?
Yep.

That's one big advantage of cycling by ammonia-dosing. You can prepare for the entire stocking at once, avoiding ammonia spikes that would be quite normal with say, fish-in cycling where each time more fish is added there can be excess ammonia.

For cichlid tanks, I'd recommend getting it to be able to handle 2ppm ammonia a day, though some people target 4ppm as well just to be sure.

In case you need cycling instructions:
  1. Dose 2ppm ammonia. Or 4ppm, whatever you prefer. You don't have to use Dr. Tim's ammonium chloride, but it is easier since you'd know it is definitely safe and has easy to follow instructions too.
  2. Add nitrifiers ('beneficial bacteria'), such as via established biomedia or bottled bac product. Not all bottled bac work, but the ones that work works very well. I suggest FritzZyme TurboStart 700.
  3. Measure ammonia and nitrite every 24 hours.
  4. When BOTH ammonia and nitrite reads zero (or ammonia reads 0.25ppm, it often throws up a false positive reading), if it was within 24 hours of dosing ammonia, then your tank is cycled. If not, re-dose ammonia and repeat from step 3.
Tada!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yep.

That's one big advantage of cycling by ammonia-dosing. You can prepare for the entire stocking at once, avoiding ammonia spikes that would be quite normal with say, fish-in cycling where each time more fish is added there can be excess ammonia.

For cichlid tanks, I'd recommend getting it to be able to handle 2ppm ammonia a day, though some people target 4ppm as well just to be sure.

In case you need cycling instructions:
  1. Dose 2ppm ammonia. Or 4ppm, whatever you prefer. You don't have to use Dr. Tim's ammonium chloride, but it is easier since you'd know it is definitely safe and has easy to follow instructions too.
  2. Add nitrifiers ('beneficial bacteria'), such as via established biomedia or bottled bac product. Not all bottled bac work, but the ones that work works very well. I suggest FritzZyme TurboStart 700.
  3. Measure ammonia and nitrite every 24 hours.
  4. When BOTH ammonia and nitrite reads zero (or ammonia reads 0.25ppm, it often throws up a false positive reading), if it was within 24 hours of dosing ammonia, then your tank is cycled. If not, re-dose ammonia and repeat from step 3.
Tada!
Thank you so much for that. I was looking for that information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So I have a running list, depending on what a vendor has available. I will go with any combination of any 4 species with the Acei and Saulosi being must haves.

1 male : 4 females yellow tail Acei (must have)
1 male : 4 females Saulosi (must have)
1 male : 4 females Blue dolphin
1 male : 4 females Rusty
1 male : 4 females Yellow lab

It appears that all online vendors are out of stock of mbunas. Is this normal? Do I just wait for a vendor to have an available stock?

Please private message me any vendors in the Los Angeles area or online.
 

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You are looking at the wrong vendors. PM sent. You don't want 5 species in a 75G and you don't want dolphins with saulosi (both have blue bars).
 
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