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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey!

I have a Fluval Roma 240 with two canister filters running combining to about 11x the tank volume filtered per hour. One of these filters is running with a spray bar and I also have a powerhead and airstones to ensure high aeration.

I want a Mbuna tank with less aggressive species as I'm a beginner cichlid keeper. I definitely want yellow labs and am thinking Pseudotropheus Acei (thinking ngara) and a Cynotilapia species to contrast with the yellow and blue. Does this stocking sound appropriate for what I want? Any other suggestions would be welcomed!

Also, how many of each species should I get and in what order should I introduce them as I can only get one at a time at the moment?

Thanks!
 

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Because the footprint of the tank is on the small side for mbuna I would skip the acei. But the yellow labs and Cynotilapia would work well.

I would get 1m:6f of each and stock the labs first.
 

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I wonder why P. acei seem to be on the wish list of so many people who are just starting out with Mbuna, especially those with relatively small tanks. I kept P. acei many years ago, and they were attractive enough, but with all the new species that have entered the hobby since then, P. acei wouldn't be on my top 10 stocking list today, perhaps not even on my top 20. Curious. :eek: .
 

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Thank you both!! I chose Acei because (Ngara) have good looking males and females and they're relatively peaceful. I know that in a few years time, I may need a bigger tank but I think as juveniles and for the next couple years, they should be fine. Please do correct me if I'm wrong as I'm new to cichlids!
 

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You would want to put them in a larger tank in maybe six months. Socolofi work for a smaller tank (for their lifetimes) and males/females are colorful. They are not as peaceful as acei but really not a problem if you have the right tank size and ratio. Another blue option to sub for acei or socolofi would be Metriaclima callainos.
 

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DJRansome said:
Because the footprint of the tank is on the small side for mbuna I would skip the acei. But the yellow labs and Cynotilapia would work well.

I would get 1m:6f of each and stock the labs first.
I'm wondering why 48 x 16 x 21 is on the small side ? I thought 48 inches wide was what we were looking for, at least ?
 

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sir_keith said:
I wonder why P. acei seem to be on the wish list of so many people who are just starting out with Mbuna, especially those with relatively small tanks. I kept P. acei many years ago, and they were attractive enough, but with all the new species that have entered the hobby since then, P. acei wouldn't be on my top 10 stocking list today, perhaps not even on my top 20. Curious. :eek: .
Because they are said to be more peaceful and they are absolutely stunning fish. They also school, which is definitely rare in Mbunas. Availability also has a lot to do with it.

To the OP, I'm just starting with Mbunas myself (with lots of experience with fishkeeping). I have a 46 gallons tank but quickly realized it wouldn't be enough so will upgrade to 75 gallons (48 x 18 x 20).

I bought 4 yellow labs, 4 demasonis and 4 pseudotropheus acei (Ngara). I bought 4 at a time and waited 7 days to add 4 more. So after 2-3 weeks the tank was complete. I bought juveniles. I will probably have to adjust my ratios as luck probably didn't give me 1m/3f as I was hoping. I know this is not the preferred set-up on this forum but this is what was recommended to me by my cichlid store. So far so good but I won't hesitate to make changes if needed as like you, I want a peaceful tank (as much as possible with Mbunas).
 

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Idech said:
Because they are said to be more peaceful and they are absolutely stunning fish. They also school, which is definitely rare in Mbunas. Availability also has a lot to do with it.
I thought this too when I first bought acei, but I was disappointed with them. I did not find them to school, even in a 72" aquarium. They can be stunning when the light hits them just right but most of the time they appear to be an unremarkable mid-blue in person. They are not THAT much less aggressive."

Acei was the first species I replaced...I kept the socolofi.

It is always a good idea to buy online so that availability is not a problem and you have a good variety to choose from.

Another fish that substitutes well for Acei in a 48" aquarium that is less than 18" from front to back is Cynotilapia sp. hara. The hara is one of the only Cynotilapia that has colorful females.
 

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DJRansome said:
Idech said:
Because they are said to be more peaceful and they are absolutely stunning fish. They also school, which is definitely rare in Mbunas. Availability also has a lot to do with it.
I thought this too when I first bought acei, but I was disappointed with them. I did not find them to school, even in a 72" aquarium. They can be stunning when the light hits them just right but most of the time they appear to be an unremarkable mid-blue in person. They are not THAT much less aggressive."

Acei was the first species I replaced...I kept the socolofi.
I like socolofi a lot, they're beautiful fish. I've only had the acei 3 days, so it's too early to know if this is their long term behavior, but for now they school together beautifully. At least three of them. There is one that seems to like to do his thing. And not only do they school together, but sometimes others will follow them. It's not rare to see one or two demasoni tagging along. Since they like to swim a lot, they often are on the top part of the aquarium. And since they've been here, the yellow labs and the demasoni have started also swimming in the open areas. As if they are bolder because they are following the « big » guys.

I don't know how long this will last, but since adding them the dynamic has changed. Everyone is more « friendly » it seems. :)
 

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I think pictures like this plus the fact they arent territorial, supposedly one of the more peaceful mbuna and said to "shoal" or at least be more active and occupy the upper regions are the reasons why we see so many asking about or keeping them. I have 9 juveniles growing out right now and at the size of 1.5- 2 inches they do seem to hang out together. From what I have read on here it doesn't sound like that will continue as they mature. I get what DJ says: when the light hits them a certain way they are beautiful while at other times they are fairly plain.
 

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Yes a pic just like that is why I chose them. But they don't look like that very often.
 

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fishboy75 said:
I think pictures like this plus the fact they arent territorial, supposedly one of the more peaceful mbuna and said to "shoal" or at least be more active and occupy the upper regions are the reasons why we see so many asking about or keeping them. I have 9 juveniles growing out right now and at the size of 1.5- 2 inches they do seem to hang out together. From what I have read on here it doesn't sound like that will continue as they mature. I get what DJ says: when the light hits them a certain way they are beautiful while at other times they are fairly plain.
Beautiful yellow tail acei if I'm not mistaken ! Not an Ngara.
 
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