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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for stocking a 55g with dwarf mbuna.

So far, I have seen the Rusty/Maingano/Saulosi suggestion, which I think would look nice, but I was wondering if anyone had any other thoughts. I've considered Demasoni too, but having to get 12 of them would limit my other species significantly. I have been looking at some of the more obscure dwarf mbuna (e.g., Chewere) but the females for a lot of species just don't have much color. I was also planning on purchasing them as young as possible (because I like watching them grow), so specifying male or female would be pretty much impossible.

Are there any other dwarf species that you think might look good together, or make for an interesting tank?

Thanks for the help!
 

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But those guys are not dwarf. :) Well, the cynotilapia sp. hara aren't anyway!

cichlidaholic says she has not had success combining dwarf species. I've only had one dwarf in my mix at a time, so I can't testify.

I think I have seen Demasoni and Maingano together and they are supposed to do well.

Just a thought.

Don't put two blue barred species in one tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
DJRansome said:
Don't put two blue barred species in one tank.
Thanks for the feedback. I had heard that rule before, but I had also heard that blue barred species that looked significantly different can work. I thought the bars and body shape of the Maingano and Saulosi might be enough that they wouldn't kill each other (the Maingano look longer and thinner in pictures - but maybe its just their bars that make them look like that).

Anyway, thanks again for the advice.
 

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For some reason, IME, dwarf species seem to be more easily intimidated by other dwarf species. When this happens, they don't colour up as nicely as you want them to, and it kind of defeats the purpose.

I tried all different combinations with Ps. demasoni, Ps. polit, Rusties, and several different Cynotilapia variants...(All of these different combos were in 55G tanks, as well.)

The only way I could keep my dwarf species looking like they should look is by keeping them as a singlel dwarf species, in a tank with other regular sized mbuna.

I do think the Maingano and saulosi might stand a better chance. Their body types are different, and the saulosi have barring (vertical) where the maingano have stripes (horizontal). :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
cichlidaholic said:
For some reason, IME, dwarf species seem to be more easily intimidated by other dwarf species.
I wonder if this is because they are smaller and have to be a little more aggressive in the wild. It probably helps them just hold their own with larger species.

Afra Cobue are a good candidate.
Do you think the Cobue would have to replace the Saulosi because of the vertical blue stripes?
 

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emptyhead said:
S4surf said:
Afra Cobue are a good candidate. I cannot speak for a 55 gal but I bet they would work fine. I had 20 of them in a 75 with no issues. I always had three males colored up at any given time. And they are dwarfs :)



Steve
I want some.
Those are beautiful!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was thinking about starting out with 18 in the tank (all dwarf). Do you think this is too many, too few, just right? I was anticipating losing a couple early, to either disease from the tank adjustment or aggression.
 

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It depends on the species. If you are talking about the original 3 species, then I'd try 18 with six of each 1m:5f.
 

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The Cynotilapia Afra types and the White Top Hara seem to do fine in large groups with 3 males or more showing good color. They have a "live and let live" attitude while still being quite active and staying small. Then have a group of Yellow Labs or another non blue barred male species, would make a nice 55g.

Maingano still seem to have some Melanochromis attitude, and the adults seem less attractive overall than juveniles. Also can be hard to find pure fish. But could still be done, I would want a larger group, I think all Melanochromis should be kept in larger groups.

I'd aim to start out with 20 or so fish (unless the tank is new), even if none die you may want to weed out an uglier male or so, and want to make sure you have some healthy females.
 

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I have 7 saulosi, 10 afra Cobue, and 5 lab perlmutt in a 55. I have 2 male saulosi, 3 male Cobue and 1 male perlmutt. They all stay somewhat colored up with the dominate male of each group always looking the best. Tank has been set up like this going on 8 months with NO deaths or injuries. Even though the Cobue and saulosi males look a little alike I think their females look so different they don't see each other as threats.
 

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My cynotilapia sp. hara (a.k.a. white top hara) are not dwarf and multiple males do fight, there is no cyno breeding in my 75G tank. Not sure if it is the multiple cyno males or the Demasoni intimidate them. Labs and Dems breeding fine.

Maybe there are other afra cyno's known as white tops as well.
 

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I have 7 saulosi, 10 afra Cobue, and 5 lab perlmutt in a 55. I have 2 male saulosi, 3 male Cobue and 1 male perlmutt. They all stay somewhat colored up with the dominate male of each group always looking the best. Tank has been set up like this going on 8 months with NO deaths or injuries. Even though the Cobue and saulosi males look a little alike I think their females look so different they don't see each other as threats.
A bit of thread necromancy going on here I realize, but this is kinda where I am looking to get to, figured someone had asked the question before. Only difference is it's a 46gal bowfront. I want Saulosi, but no one has them right now due to reasons I won't go into explaining here as they won't be relevant in a few months from what I am hearing.

The Cobue/Cobwe are awesome looking fish... males anyway. Are any of the Cynotilapia zebroides variants significantly different, or would they be interchangeable in this setup?
The Labs, I'm open to yellow or perlmutt, I've had yellows, but the saulosi would be another yellow, I like the perlmutt coloring for a change.

Do you think I could substitute in Mosobo for the saulosi?

I also like the OB fish.... basically what I'm looking for is Dwarf Mbuna, color, compatibility. lol. I'm open to suggestions. I'd like a couple options that aren't basic Petco level fish, something a little more rare. I've got this water going round in circles in this monochromed tank that needs some color and activity in there!
 

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A 46G bowfront is a 36" tank so it really limits your options. A single species of a mbuna like saulosi is your best shot.

You could do Cynotilapia zebroides Cobue but I would do only 1m:4f in your tank size and females are drab. Some of the other Cynotilapia are more aggressive so I would stick with the Cobue.

You could also do a single species 1m:4f of yellow labs OR white labs OR you might get away with rusties.

OBs are hybrids thus more aggressive. You want a 48" tank for them.

Msobo are Metriaclima thus more aggressive. You want a 48" tank for them. Definitely not a substitute for saulosi.

You could also do some haps or peacocks in the single species idea with 1m:4f. Because of the 36" length choose haps or peacocks that don't do well in tanks with other species. Lethrinops. Kandeense.
 

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A bit of thread necromancy going on here I realize, but this is kinda where I am looking to get to, figured someone had asked the question before. Only difference is it's a 46gal bowfront. I want Saulosi, but no one has them right now due to reasons I won't go into explaining here as they won't be relevant in a few months from what I am hearing.
I am curious what information you have about Saulosi becoming more available in a few months. When I was looking a couple months ago I was hearing all sorts of reasons for their shortage, such as they produce too many males, they are endangered in the wild, they are too popular, and even something about a flash freeze in Florida that killed a bunch of them off.

I would like the option to get maybe 4 more at some point if I need to even out my m:f ratio, but looking online right now they are basically non-existent in the US.
 

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Call The Wet Spot in Portland on the phone.... Like an actual call... I have found them there in person multiple times when they weren't listed on the website. I believe this is because they have an employee who breeds them. They ship.

Thoughts on getting the fish you want also - I went through the same thing with Cobue. When I wanted them, it seems like the whole country was out of them. Calls and emails to multiple online vendors all led to "Dave" who seems to run multiple sites. If Dave doesn't have them, it was harder to get. I waited about 3 months before a batch of fry finally came available, and then I got some pretty small fish. Good luck
 

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All that is true, yet they appear fairly often. If the Florida thing is true then wait six weeks, LOL.

Please send vendor recommendations via PM, thanks!
 
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