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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I am sure this has come up many times, but I am re-starting my malawi cichlid tank after 15 years. I have heard all opinions about how many fish to start with. I am planning on starting with est 2" cichlids in a 55 gallon tank. Some have advised to overstock and some have advised to keep it minimal. What is the correct est number to populate the new tank with? Thanks in advance. Joey
 

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What species and what genders?

If you do mixed gender mbuna think in terms of 3 species of small peaceful mbuna like Labodichromis caeruleus. Shoot for 15 fish after males mature and after you remove any troublesome fish, if any. That is the correct level of overstocking to manage aggression which is what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks! yes mixed mbuna. Demasoni / Zebra / Dolphin / Electric Yellow / Venustus to start. 15 seems reasonable. mostly male. much appreciated.
 

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That is FIVE species.

Demasoni are difficult to keep but would be possible with 15 in the tank and no other species.

Red Zebra and Yellow Labs are best kept separately since they crossbreed and then you would have a problem dealing with hybrid fry.

Mostly male usually does not work because when you have multiple males they fight and with only a few females they are at risk of being killed.

If you want to consider all male, avoid the mbuna and go with haps and peacocks. Chose fish that mature less than or equal to six inches. For all-male you want to shoot for 10 fish.
 
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