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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Setting up a new 5', 120 gallon strictly Mbuna tank. Need your help picking the most awesome barred fish out there.

Tank mates will be...

Red Top Thumbi West 1m:7f
Maingano 1m:7f
Elongatus Chewere 1m:7f

What barred mbuna would YOU add to this mix?

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:thumb: The elongatus are barred. You are done.

Pseudotropheus sp. "Perspicax Orange Cap" ? You are going aggressive this time?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
DJRansome said:
:thumb: The elongatus are barred. You are done.

Pseudotropheus sp. "Perspicax Orange Cap" ? You are going aggressive this time?
DJ, I don't consider Chewere as barred. I want to add a fourth species with nicely defined barring.
This is for a new 5' 120 gallon project for the basement. I've switched over to haps and peacocks probably over a decade ago and now I'm itching for a mbuna tank, I miss it.

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I did not find the mix of heavy bars and light bars to work. But Cynotilapia sp. hara is the most opposite of the chewere that you will find.

For me the hara survived but did not show their best colors in the tank with a barred fish.

The fish consider each other barred, even if you don't.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
DJRansome said:
I did not find the mix of heavy bars and light bars to work. But Cynotilapia sp. hara is the most opposite of the chewere that you will find.

For me the hara survived but did not show their best colors in the tank with a barred fish.

The fish consider each other barred, even if you don't.

https://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpbb/vie ... 9&t=256964
DJ, on my list it's the Labeotropheus Trewavasae Red Top, not the Persipax.

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Oh nice! I never heard them called Red Tops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
DJRansome said:
Oh nice! I never heard them called Red Tops.
DJ please feel free to suggest a 4 species mix. The only MUST HAVE for me is the Labeotropheus Trewavasae Thumbi West.
With that group we will have the light blue and the pale orange.

What I don't want...
Labidochromis (any)
Red Zebra
Acei
Rusty

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Cynotilapia species are nice... males are anyways..
Pseudotropheus demasoni are very beautiful, but present unique challenges.
Saulosi are amazing fish to keep. Very colourful males and females. Or Pseudotropheus msobo?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
jcover said:
Cynotilapia species are nice... males are anyways..
Pseudotropheus demasoni are very beautiful, but present unique challenges.
Saulosi are amazing fish to keep. Very colourful males and females. Or Pseudotropheus msobo?
Demasoni I don't want to go there too much of a headache.
Saulosi may be an option actually.

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If you want a blue barred fish I would do the hara.

I think they will do better with the elongatus than any other blue barred fish. They have colorful females. You don't have any other mid-blue fish.

The yellow-orange saulosi would not be a huge contrast with the pale orange labeotropheus females. IMO you need more blue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
DJRansome said:
If you want a blue barred fish I would do the hara.

I think they will do better with the elongatus than any other blue barred fish. They have colorful females. You don't have any other mid-blue fish.

The yellow-orange saulosi would not be a huge contrast with the pale orange labeotropheus females. IMO you need more blue.
So...
Labeotropheus Trewavasae
Maingano
Chewere
Hara

Too much blue maybe?

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If you want bars but are willing to skip the blue, consider the Victorian astatotilapia? Black/white bars and males also have the red and yellow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
DJRansome said:
If you want bars but are willing to skip the blue, consider the Victorian astatotilapia? Black/white bars and males also have the red and yellow.
Nah, I don't want to mix lakes.
I think that the Hara will fit the bill for bars so I'll try Trewavasae Thumbi, Maingano, Chewere and Hara. I plan to have lots of Trewavasae female so the color mix should be quite even.
OR
Trewavasae Thumbi, Maingano, Elongatus Mpanga, and a very red strain of Estherae.

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Cynotilapia "afra" types have the best barring IMO, and it is fun to watch the males color up from dull to full dominant BB color, often very quickly.
Hara might be very good, since they are the light opposite of the dark Chewere, and you get some blue in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So we've made a change to our list. We decided to go with Demasoni instead of Maingano. I've never kept Demasoni so some advice would be appreciated.

Labeotropheus Trewavasae Thumbi
Demasoni
White Top Hara
Red Zebra (still not sure)

Will aim for 1m: 8f for all groups.

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I have 1m:9f Kenyi & Trewavasae Chilumba, plus 1m;2f ob peacocks in my (6') 180gal and even now it's getting too crowded for my tastes. I have one half filled to the top with rocks, the other half partially filled/broken rockwork. This is my first all-mbuna tank. Won't 36 mbuna in the 120gal be a little crowded?

RE: Demasoni: I've had these in mixed malawi tanks and they are pretty but they all eventually died for reasons I couldn't identify. I've heard they're 'delicate' and best kept in species-only tanks.
 

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ken31cay said:
IRE: Demasoni: I've had these in mixed malawi tanks and they are pretty but they all eventually died for reasons I couldn't identify. I've heard they're 'delicate' and best kept in species-only tanks.
Maybe mixing with other blue barred fish like kenyi?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So, changed my list again based on what I can actually get my hands on.

Membe Deep 1m:6f
OB Red Zebra 1m:6f
Kenyi 1m:6f

I have orange, yellow, and blue and bars covered.

What do y'all think?

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All metriaclima though. Some solids in each species. OB versus solid is not different enough.

With kenyi you probably want a 72" tank. Very aggressive. 1m:7f at least.

The Membe Deep females and OB females will not have much contrast.

You can get your hands on Membe Deep! Grab them!!
 

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Yes the Kenyi in my tank are so aggressive, even more than the Trewavasae who are themselves maniacs. These were all I could get locally and my africans supplier in the U.S. doesn't do mbuna. If you can get better mbuna (less aggressive, more colorful) then I'd do that in a heartbeat.
 
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