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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the early research & planning phase for a new 75-gallon mbuna tank. I'd like to do a slightly modified version of the "purple and yellow" cookie cutter plan:

Pseudotropheus acei (6)
Labidochromis caeruleus (8)
?????? (6)

What would be a good 3rd species to add for a bit more variety and contrast? I don't want anything too aggressive. Thanks for any suggestions!
 

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A barred Cynotilapia would offer contrast with an attractive interesting Mbuna. Females are kinda drab if that offends you.
 

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noki said:
A barred Cynotilapia would offer contrast with an attractive interesting Mbuna. Females are kinda drab if that offends you.
Except for maybe Cynotilapia sp "Hara", where the females can be pretty nice too.
 

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Agree on the hara, but when I had both hara and acei I found I was wanting more contrast. I would either bump up the counts or go with the barred Cynotilapia (like Cynotilapia zebroides Cobue) or go with rusties (Iodotropheus sprengerae).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Aw man, this is a hard decision! I like the rusties for color contrast, but I like Cynotilapia zebroides because none of my other selections are barred. What should I do?!

I'm still open to other ideas.... :-?
 

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I've never liked rusties to be honest. Most aren't that nice, and are more aggressive than most think.

You could always do Hara, Labs and Scieanochromis fryeri. But the females are silver with the fryeri.

A fish that isn't easy to find, but might make a great contrast is sold as Melanochromis parallelus in the hobby, but is actually Melanochromis loriae. I had these a few years back, and they were pretty might, and had great colour and contrast.
http://malawi.si/Malawi/Mbuna/Melanochr ... index.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah, I considered Maingano, but I thought they might be hard to find. Are they commonly available?
 

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Maingano are super, but not what you would call peaceful. Still workable. Try for 1m:7f. Always a good idea to order online (from a reputable vendor) for variety and quality and price.
 

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Another black and blue barred one to consider is Metriaclima sp Dolphin aka Giant Demasoni. I know others have said they are skittish but I haven't really encountered that with mine yet. I have had mine 4 months now. I have 10 of them growing out in a 55 with 9 Yellow tail Acei. They were 1- 1.25 inches long when I got them compared to the Acei which were 1.5 in. They are definitely a more dominant species than the Acei and have outgrown them in this period. My largest are about 3.25 inches now. They are definitely fiestier and more aggressive towards each other than the Acei but I haven't seen any real damage inflicted and there are no fish exhibiting signs of stress. They will retreat to the rocks if I make sudden movements around the tank but come out eagerly to feed and will remain out with me watching. Their patterns and colors have intensified as they've grown and the 3 largest males typically show dominant colors all the time. They are definitely an interesting fish to watch as well, constantly picking the substrate for food and grazing on algae from the rocks and glass. Good luck with whatever you decide!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
DJRansome said:
Maingano are super, but not what you would call peaceful. Still workable. Try for 1m:7f. Always a good idea to order online (from a reputable vendor) for variety and quality and price.
Is there a list of reputable vendors somewhere? What m:f ratio would you recommend for the P. acei and the L. caeruleus? Or doesn't it matter with those species because they're more peaceful?
 

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Members can PM you with suggestions for vendors that may do mail order if that is something you are interested in doing though may be limited by current weather.

Some other options are local fish clubs with members that may have what you are looking for. Unfortunately all clubs are currently not holding in person meetings. Some are on Facebook if you know the club link but you can check the Clubs link at the top of the page to narrow down if they have a website.

I'll PM you with a couple suggestions for NE Ohio.
 

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Smeagol said:
What m:f ratio would you recommend for the P. acei and the L. caeruleus? Or doesn't it matter with those species because they're more peaceful?
I'm new to Mbunas but I just want to warn you that just because a specie is said to be less aggressive, it doesn't mean all the individual fish are. My most aggressive fish is a labidochromis caeruleus. He is the boss tank and a total tyrant. He is absolutely beautiful but I almost regret having chosen that specie.

My aceis (white tail) on the other hand, are exactly as they are described : peaceful, most of the time.
 

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Idech said:
Smeagol said:
What m:f ratio would you recommend for the P. acei and the L. caeruleus? Or doesn't it matter with those species because they're more peaceful?
I'm new to Mbunas but I just want to warn you that just because a specie is said to be less aggressive, it doesn't mean all the individual fish are. My most aggressive fish is a labidochromis caeruleus. He is the boss tank and a total tyrant. He is absolutely beautiful but I almost regret having chosen that specie.

My aceis (white tail) on the other hand, are exactly as they are described : peaceful, most of the time.
One of the problems with many Yellow Lab strains, is that they've been crossed with red zebras, which tends to make them more aggressive. I don't know if that is the case with yours, or if you've just got a pain in the butt.
 

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I think mine is just a severe case of « pain in the butt » as I buy from a cichlid store that sells purebreds only as far as I know.
 

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Fogelhund said:
One of the problems with many Yellow Lab strains, is that they've been crossed with red zebras, which tends to make them more aggressive. I don't know if that is the case with yours, or if you've just got a pain in the butt.
Plus one.

Between the Cynotilapia and the maingano, I am always going to go with the more brilliant blue on both males and females of the maingano.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I keep coming back to these three species for the 75g I'll be setting up soon:

Pseudotropheus acei
Labidochromis caeruleus
Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos (maingano)


How many of each of these would you recommend for a 75g? (I haven't decided on filtration yet, but I will definitely be over-filtering.)

Thanks!
 

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Fogelhund said:
Idech said:
Smeagol said:
What m:f ratio would you recommend for the P. acei and the L. caeruleus? Or doesn't it matter with those species because they're more peaceful?
I'm new to Mbunas but I just want to warn you that just because a specie is said to be less aggressive, it doesn't mean all the individual fish are. My most aggressive fish is a labidochromis caeruleus. He is the boss tank and a total tyrant. He is absolutely beautiful but I almost regret having chosen that specie.

My aceis (white tail) on the other hand, are exactly as they are described : peaceful, most of the time.
One of the problems with many Yellow Lab strains, is that they've been crossed with red zebras, which tends to make them more aggressive. I don't know if that is the case with yours, or if you've just got a pain in the butt.
Interesting on the yellow labs as I have had a few groups of them now and they have always seemed more aggressive than their reputation, The Acei I have had have all behaved well even with multiple males, caveat being I have never kept them long enough for them to get big, I seem to keep changing my mind when they get about 4" I suspect longer term my experience might be a bit different
 

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Shoot for 20 individuals after any troublesome fish (males?) are removed. I would go 1m:7f on the maingano and divide up the remaining 12 slots between the labs and acei according to your preference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
DJRansome said:
Shoot for 20 individuals after any troublesome fish (males?) are removed. I would go 1m:7f on the maingano and divide up the remaining 12 slots between the labs and acei according to your preference.
Thanks. That agrees with my own thinking. But how do I get 1m:7f mainganos? If I buy juveniles, they will be unsexed, right? So, are you saying I should buy a lot more than 8 of them to start out, and then plan on removing a bunch of troublesome males?
 
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