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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, So I've been reading a lot of posts about people trying to stock their 55 gal since I'm trying to stock the same size tank, and I've gotten really confused. My goal for the tank is that I want it to look awesome, I don't care about breeding (infact I would rather not have to deal with it). I'm really new to the whole Cichlid scene, I'm actually new to fishkeeping in general (this is my first tank). I have a couple questions:

1) If I want a fairly low-maintenance tank and don't care about breeding should I just go all males?

2)Someone suggested this for a setup, 1 of each of these and all males:
Benga
Ngara Flametail
Cobue
Ruby Red
Yellow Lab

Would this work?

I want to keep this somewhat simple..something I'm not sure is possible with a cichlid tank :D
I'd like to choose fish that I'd be able to find easily, preferably online since I don't know any breeders and I don't trust Petco.
If anyone has any suggestions I would be more than happy to read them. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
A couple more things I wanted to add...

I do have a 20 gallon tank that can be used to put problem fish into to let them chill out for a bit. I really love yellow labs and the cobue (or any blue colored cichlid compatible with the yellow lab).
 

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The problem with all-male is no one can tell you what will work for sure, and it may not be low maintenance to set up or maintain.

If I had to suggest the easiest Malawi tank it would be 3 species of mbuna, 1m:4f of each and 5 Synodontis multipunctatus to handle any survivor fry.

Try yellow labs and Cynotilapia sp. hara. If you want 2 species do 1m:6f of each plus the 5 synos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've really fell in love with Demasoni, is there any way to fit them in? I was looking at your 75g and I like the combo of fish you have in there, basically all the colors I'm looking to have in my tank. How much different is my situation considering I only have a 55gal? Where do you get your cichlids and your catfish? Also, you suggested a specific m:fm ratio but it's my understanding that it's almost impossible to tell between males and females when you buy them, how do you deal with that?
 

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Ah but you said you wanted low maintenance, and Demasoni are not low maintenance.

Maybe take some time to browse through the Library. Each of your questions could take a whole article to answer, LOL.

Do 3 species in a 55G, not 4.

Take a look at the Reviews section and the Trading Post for fish sources, as Reviews and recommendations are not permitted in the forums.

To end up with the correct m:f ratio we usually buy up to twice as many fish as we want to end up with and return extra males to the fish store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your responses, can you tell I'm kinda lost?!? I'll try to not ask 30 questions at once..what do you mean by the Demasoni not being low maintenance? I plan on getting a bunch of limestone rocks from a local guy so there will be plenty of caves/hiding places
 

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treym563 said:
Thanks for your responses, can you tell I'm kinda lost?!? I'll try to not ask 30 questions at once..what do you mean by the Demasoni not being low maintenance? I plan on getting a bunch of limestone rocks from a local guy so there will be plenty of caves/hiding places
Demasoni are one of the hardest Africans to keep from what I have been reading due to their agression levels you will have to keep removing fish rejected fish ect.
 

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tranced said:
DJRansome said:
Synodontis multipunctatus to handle any survivor fry.

T
my synos totally ignore fry????
They might not ignore the at night though. :lol:
You must have serious hiding places for the fry. What type of rock are you using and have you
any pics.

Regarding the Demasoni:
If you are gong to keep an all male tank than one Demasoni would be fine. I have never kept
them personally but the few I know that have kept them all ended up with one fish. I mean they
started out with around 15 Demasoni and ended up with 1. They never went near any other fish.
 

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aw tru, i have holey rock and lava rock with serious holes drilled through it. but i have seen the synos swim past some fry, perhaps 5mm from their mouth??? just ignore them totally. they smash snails though
 

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To get back on track -

+1 on three harems of relatively peaceful Mbuna for a relatively easy, low maintainance tank.

All male will have a lot of juggling. Demasoni will have a lot of juggling.

That said, most Mbuna will need some juggling. Like DJRansome said, people buy double, and take back unwanted males to the LFS.

You can try to avoid this by buying all sexed adult fish on the internet, but that gets really pricey.

+1 on the fish DJR reccomended.

How are you planning on cycling your tank? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the input Nina_b! I'm currently fishless cycling my tank but I have no seeded material to use to it's going to take a while.

As much as I like the demasoni, I've been hearing a lot of negative things and I've come to realize that a 55g is too small for them and other Mbuna's. Someone suggested getting Yellow Labs, Socolofi and Rusty's and so far I like that idea. I'd be looking at a 1:5/6 male/female ratio for all 3, will that work? And when they mate will they stick with the same species or will I get some hybrids in there? I'd rather avoid hybrids so I can get rid of the fry easier.
 

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Demasoni are high maintenance because you pretty much need a spare tank 100% of the time with them, and have to remove rejected fish fairly often. It's not a "set it and forget it" kind of tank.

The rejected fish is likely to have some fin nips and scales missing so he has to live in the hospital tank for a month or so to heal up before you can take him to the LFS.

If you are not quick to remove a rejected fish that is feeling the stress of harassment, he will get sick and infect the tank. So also a good idea to have a medication like metronidazole on hand all the time.

If you don't consider the above high maintenance, then demasoni are easy! But hara and labs are easier...no spare tank, no meds, no injuries, no trips to the LFS.

55G is not too small.

If you are saving fry then you have the high maintenance anyway because you remove all the rocks in your tank (about 100 pounds) monthly and maintain at least one fry tank.

If you are doing 3 species I would stick to 1m:4f and not go higher. If you are doing 2 species then 1m:6f would be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks DJ I really appreciate all the good advice. I think I'm finally narrowing it down! I'm gonna drive myself crazy over the next month or so waiting for my tank to cycle so I can finally get some of these cool little guys.

In your opinion (or anyone else who wants to chime in) would it be best to just have the 2 species, Labs and Hara, or would I be ok adding a group of Rusty's to them as well? Would it be ok if I just started with the Labs and Hara and let them settle in and add the Rusty's later on (re-arranging rock to reduce the aggression at that point)? From what I've read the Rusty is fairly peaceful I just want to make sure there won't be an issue with the Labs or Hara picking on the Rusty's.
 

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my rusties hold their own,I,d add them all at once,mine are with yellow labs,cynotilapia afra cobue, over the critical year and a half mark
 

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Good choice on colours, those three would look really nice :)
I'd still reccomend having a hospital tank. My labs have given me some headaches, and it has helped a looot.
 

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My rusties hold their own in my fairly aggressive tank. Just this morning a rusty was locking jaws with a polit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@Nina, I do have a 20 gallon cycling right now as well I plan to keep that as my quarentine/hospital/timeout tank. When you guys get your fish-say from a reputable source-do you still quarantine them? I have 0 fish in either my 20 gallon or 55 gallon atm and I'm thinking about when my tanks are cycled and I'm ready to go, do I go buy all the fish and put them in together? How have you guys done it when you first start up a Mbuna tank?
 

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The reason for quarantine is to avoid introducing illness into a healthy tank. If no one is in the tank, new fish can go right in. If you add the rusties later, you would want to quarantine them first.

Yes I quarantine regardless of the source.
 
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