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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 4 foot long aquarium and am looking into switching over to a species tank. I'm looking at sexually dimorphic species but could only find a few where males and females are both an attractive color.

Has anyone here kept either Msobo or Saulosi? Which do you prefer and why? I've read articles and species profiles, but would rather hear from people who have owned them. Or if you have any other suggestions on other mbuna species that would be great too.
 

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I'd say Saulosi. IME, saulosi breed constantly & you can have a more than 1 male colored up. I have not kept msobo ,so don't know; but I've heard they get a little larger than saulosi & slightly more aggressive. I have met." membe deep"(a little harder to find) which are kinda similar to msobo - mine aren't very aggressive.
 

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In a spieces tank 4 feet I would go with Saulosi. They are smaller in size and their territory is smaller. If I am correct I think both have yellow females so color isnt an issue. Saulosi are more active and aggressive but you have less chance of a male becoming hyperdominant with them because he wont demand as much space.
 

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If it is a species tank, it really won't matter too much which one you choose, they both would work. If you find a nice strain of the msobos, the dominant male will be nicer than a good strain of saulosi, in my opinion. The females are usually a bit nicer too, when you can get the deep orange ones. Ps. msobo are larger, and quite a bit more aggressive than saulosi. While you could keep multiple males in a 4 foot aquarium, only one is likely to be at it's best. With saulosi, you are likely to get two or three fully coloured males. I would start with 15 msobo, or 20 saulosi, but this is really dependent on what you want out of this.
 

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I think Fogelhund summed it up nicely.

Every dominant Msobo male will look a little bit different. I find that aspect of them intriguing.
You'll get more saulosi males colored up in a 4-foot tank, so this route would give you better contrasting colors.

Whichever option you choose should be a great looking tank!
 

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I pretty much agree with the others although my experience has been slightly different.

I had a very large colony of msobo in a 180 gallon tank. All the males colored up but there was territory for only 3 males and the others were killed off. They are better looking (to me) but like others mentioned they are a little larger and meaner.

I had a smallish colony of saulosi in a 55 gallon tank on two separate occasions and only one male ever colored up in those tanks.

So my personal preference would be saulosi in a 55 gallon tank and msobo if it's a 75 gallon tank. But they are both great choices.

Kevin
 

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could also consider mel johanni.

I have them & like them very much.
 

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Minos Reef Red Zebras aka Metricalima Estherae have Blue males, orange females. I've always wanted to try a species tank with them! They are also sexable when young, because the males obtain a blue color early.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the suggestions!!

The reason I want a species tank is to see if I can create a nice breeding school. I've had Rustys spawn in my community tank, but I think it would be nice to just concentrate my efforts on one species. I would prefer a more mild mannered species so maybe Msobo would be too aggressive with each other? Another attribute I'm looking for is a species that after spawning, males and females can stay in the same tank without too much trouble.

So easy to breed, dimorphic and mild mannered are my criteria. The smaller side is a plus too. Thanks so much guys. I appreciate the input!!!
 

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Midori said:
Thanks for the suggestions!!

The reason I want a species tank is to see if I can create a nice breeding school. I've had Rustys spawn in my community tank, but I think it would be nice to just concentrate my efforts on one species. I would prefer a more mild mannered species so maybe Msobo would be too aggressive with each other? Another attribute I'm looking for is a species that after spawning, males and females can stay in the same tank without too much trouble.

So easy to breed, dimorphic and mild mannered are my criteria. The smaller side is a plus too. Thanks so much guys. I appreciate the input!!!
Not Malawi...but if you want some babies, without the hassle of pulling holding females, and fish that will multiply and stay smaller...maybe you should look into Brichardi (start with 5, form a pair and raise their own young) or a 'Lamprologus', and Julidochromis tank from Tanganyika. They tolerate their young well. Not as bright coloration, but lots of interaction and different shapes.
 

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Males and females can stay in the tank together, but not adults and fry. Adults eat the fry, even the parents.
 

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one thing that has gone unsaid about the Msobo is the variety you will find across females. I have one with 2 egg spots and really light blue stripes on her face, as well as a ice blue beginning to her dorsal fin. I think the variety you get from having a msobo species tank, especially if you pick good and variably colored males, is really cool. Their aggression isn't so bad, from what I've seen it's on par with how my male rusty treats his females.
 
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