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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am slowly turning my SA/CA tank into a mbuna. I am about half done as we speak. I have found a pet store that gives me amazing trades on my stuff because they get in very small fish and all of mine are 5"-10" yesterday I traded 3 fish for 5 mbuna.

In my 75 are as follows: a green Texas, a columbian shark, a common pleco, a bumblebee catfish, two mainganos, a zebra, Kenyi, and Auratus. I took the Kenyi and Auratus because it was a paperless trade and I needed 5 to take home that day.

I know I will be taking the green Texas, the bumblebee, the shark, and the Kenyi and Auratus back, but my question is should I keep the pleco? I know mbuna eat algae off rocks and I have a magfloat scrapper so is he really useful? He's almost a foot long and I bet he alone would get me 5+ africans on the trade.

With the two problem Africans out and only the mainganos and zebra left, what would be a good common stocking list? Every shop here carries assorted so I'm only buying by phenotype. Should I just get more mainganos? Add some labs? They seemed to have mainganos, labs, blue zebras, orange zebras, Auratus, socofoli, OB, some albino labs or zebras, and them some others I'm not really sure. Thanks!
 

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Keeping the pleco may or may not work. The mbuna are known to peck their eyes out - dead pleco. Some people have luck with them. If it's a biggun, and you really, badly want to try keeping it, it very well could work out. If you feel "eh, no matter", I'd take it back, but that's just me.

In terms of algae control, mbunas help with it, but they're not fool-proof. Plecos still make a nice difference, if they live.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'd rather gain a bunch of mbuna and give it a nice home where it won't risk losing its eyes, than try to keep it. It was given to me when a local chain closed their branch. So since I haven't paid for it, I would get more mbuna, and it wouldn't risk blindness- win/win/win if you ask me.
 

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indeed :)
 

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syno petricola to clean up uneatten food. my yellow tail acei were algae nomming machines. i actually used the colony to help rid my discus tank of hair algae.. lolz worked pretty well too. GL but if theres established algae growth they will eat it. sooner or later. nothing like a pleco of course but still
 

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I only have 1 pleco in 12 tanks, and its actually in my mbuna tank. I tried several types of plecos and none of them survived, except for the rhino. bristlenose always ended up dead and i cant remember if i tried a common or not. either way, if i had to do it again, i wouldnt even bother with adding a pleco. its just unnecessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for all the responses. I'm glad it is in the pleco's best interest to be rehomed. I kind of felt bad for keeping him a few years and then just trading him for new fish just because I want new fish. There's really no algae problem to begin with, I had kept him on hikari wafers.

Hopefully he will fetch quite a few fish in the trade. I'm shooting for a final number of cichlids between 15 and 20 and hoping to pay for as few and I have to. Maybe something like: 5 mainganos, 5 labs, and 5 rusty or Hongi SRT (if I can find them around here and if I got SRT I would swap out the yellow labs for a zebra or maybe socofoli). For a fourth, maybe 5 afra, white top hara, a pseudotropheus (acei or William blue lips), ice blue zebra, I've not really thought that far since I'll never find them around here and would only pay to ship demasoni but I do not have a permanent home yet to spend that kind of money.
 

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I'd go 1m:7f on the maingano to manage aggression. If you are not sure you are getting maingano (from a mixed tank they could be johanni) then that would be even more important.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks! Yeah it's pretty slim around here. I assumed they were M. cyanerhabdos because there are no signs of the oranger female that is M. johanni. Since I doubt I can consistently find anything other than labs and maingano it will be 8-10 M. cyan and 7-10 yellow lab. I want rusties and dems bad but I have to order and I'm trying to trade my way without further investment. But in a heart beat I'd trade either one of those groups for an equal number of rusty or Hongi SRT. Dems will have to wait until I have the money and know someone who can help me out on the price. A member here gave me a great deal but shipping always counteracts any savings you have.
 

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shipping should be the easy part. A. its summer and B. USPS flat rate shipping. most of the time its two day shipping. that paired with a breeder who knows what hes doing and wont nickle and dime u. breather bags make fish safe to ship and stay shipped for days. 2 day shipping is a cheap alternative to overnight which isnt really necessary atm. just my two cents.
 
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