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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello cichlid owners,

I am interested in starting my own Lake Malawi Mbuna tank. Is it possible to have one of about 20-25 species in one tank? Assume all of these species prefer the same diet, pH, GH and temperature. There will be many rocks and caves. There are so many stunning mbunas, I cannot choose only a few

Thanks!
 

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The problem is with a lot of species you want one of each, all one gender and no look-alikes. With mbuna, once you have blue, yellow, blue bars and blue stripes you run out of fish that don't look alike.

Also with 20 species you would want a six foot tank or even an eight foot tank. My favorite number for a six foot all-male tank is 18 adults.

Finally, know that mbuna are more aggressive among Lake Malawi fish so the already challenging all-male tank just gets an extra layer of challenge if you go mbuna as opposed to haps and peacocks.

Try one stocking for 2 years and then swap out every 2 years. Eventually you will own all your favorites.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am looking for a lot of variety in color and pattern. My tank is a 75 and I heard it can fit about 20-25 mbunas. Breeding is not really my priority. I am more looking for a tank that just have a great look
 

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A 75G is good for 20 mbuna if they are 4 species mixed gender with 1m:4f of each. It is not a breeding issue, it is an aggression issue.

If you want maximum species in a 75G I would do 12 males and I would do haps and peacocks. Read the all-male article in the Cichlid-forum Library to be sure you are OK with the hassles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
LFS suggested that I do the same thing.

For my 75 gallon tank, I was thinking about getting a Marineland Penguin 350 in addition to a canister filter. Which one do you suggest? I am looking for a quality filter that wont leak.
 

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You can have different species mixed together but most find it a sloppy way to keep them. Not all of the fish will look that good, you still end up with a few males that shine and the lower males that don't look that good. If females mixed in you need to make sure you have a good number of females so they don't get harassed to death, and ALL fry must be assumed hybrids. Having a bunch of unknown hybrids is considered undesirable, so you would not want to save or give away any fry. You don't have to have a tank where you save fry, but any Malawi tank has to be balanced to some extent, Mbuna are not as easy as a Tetra, Barb, and Livebearer tank.

All male Mbuna tanks probably end up with a bunch of males getting beat up and looking bad (or dead). All male "Peacocks" are considered easier but you still can have lots of problems, and a 75gallon really isn't big enough to have a variety of males to get a good mix.
 

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For an HOB I suggest Aqua Clear. For a canister I like the Rena Filstar XP filters.
 
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