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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Thanks for the feedback on lighting in the previous thread. Moving on to stock questions.....

In a 75-gal devoted to Mbuna, I am considering the following:

3-4 Yellow Labs
3-4 Red Zebras
3-4 Yellow Fin Mbambas
3-4 Blue Johannis
3-4 Bumblebees
3-4 Ice Blue Zebras
3-4 Melanochromis baliodigma
3-4 Pseudotropheus socolofi

Please understand that I am not proposing keeping all of these. Just wondering what a good mix of the above would be, temperament-wise and making things nice and colorful.

Thanks
 

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3-4 is not a lot for one species of mbuna. It can be done, but in my experience it makes for a more interesting tank if you keep a larger group of one species. It is closer to how those fish live in the wild, where they live in very large groups, and you will see more of their natural behavior. I know that most beginners think the more species they cram into a tank, the more interesting it will be to watch, but in my experience that's not true.

For a 75G I would pick 2-3 species, and stock a large group of each. Also, it's probably best to stock all comparatively peaceful mbunas, or all of the 'more active' types - to put it mildly :D

My latest mbuna setup was a 75G with a breeding group of yellow labs and a breeding group of M. lanistacola - both very peaceful. I think I started with a dozen yellow labs and six or seven lanistacola. The tank was densely planted, and both groups multiplied prolifically in the setup. A wonderful tank to watch!


A shot of my breeding group of M. lanistacola, including the dominant male.
 

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I agree with fmueller. I have two species in my 75 (6 red zebras and 14 demasoni), and its very interesting to watch the large number of dems interact with each other. I've been considering getting one more species, maybe polits.

As far as your stock list options, I would stay away from all the melanochromis unless your well prepared to deal with their temper. Also note that red zebras and yellow labs have been known to crossbreed.
Also, it's probably best to stock all comparatively peaceful mbunas, or all of the 'more active' types - to put it mildly
I would also agree with this. I tried acei in my 75 and they were constantly bullied.

I would do 8-9 labs, 8-9 socolofi and maybe a cyno afra species.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good advice so far. Regarding C afra, do I need to stick to one variation (not sure if that's the wording) ie, color pattern/location?
 

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ProfBob said:
Good advice so far. Regarding C afra, do I need to stick to one variation (not sure if that's the wording) ie, color pattern/location?
this is suggested because keeping more than one variation together will undoubtedly promote crossbreeding and the males, being very similarly colored, will be very aggresive towards each other. This would most likely result in only one male being fully colored up. Have you considered Saulosi?
 

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I also agree with the advice given so far,I have a 90 with 3 species of mbuna ,but I find the 75 gal. saulosi only tank much more interesting to watch,its still a newly set-up tank , and I,m looking forward to watching them grow(the're all still juveniles but I can see I male starting to colour)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Saulosi seem really interesting, given the contrast in color between m/f.

Could I do 7 Saulosi, 7 C. Afra Jalo Reef, and 7 Red Zebras to start things off (juveniles)?
 

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ProfBob said:
Ok. Regarding the Zebs, I've seen people mix the Reds/Blues. Is this a bad idea?
For some collection points of Metriaclima estherae (red zebra) the blue male/red female is the norm - they're dimorphic. Minos Reef, for example. So in most cases you're not actually mixing them.

Minos Reef M. estherae.

kevin
 

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Saulosi seem really interesting, given the contrast in color between m/f.

Could I do 7 Saulosi, 7 C. Afra Jalo Reef, and 7 Red Zebras to start things off (juveniles)?
The only thing to keep in mind about that is the Red Zebras will look very similar to your saulosi females. How about some Ngara White Tail Acei?

Ok. Regarding the Zebs, I've seen people mix the Reds/Blues. Is this a bad idea?
Let me know if you find some blue males, I've been looking for some for quite a while :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
To my untrained eye, the group at my local petland looks like blue/red zebs kept in the same tank. Next time I go in, I'll snap a photo. In the tank adjacent there are kenyii, so perhaps its the grouping you are speaking of.
 

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RZs look like saulosi females? RZ females are bright orange, males are salmon-pink, while saulosi females are bright yellow with occasional faint barring. Where's the resemblance?
 

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RZs look like saulosi females? RZ females are bright orange, males are salmon-pink, while saulosi females are bright yellow with occasional faint barring. Where's the resemblance?
I was thinking they had more of an orange tint to them but after looking at more pictures, they do appear more yellow than orange.

o my untrained eye, the group at my local petland looks like blue/red zebs kept in the same tank. Next time I go in, I'll snap a photo. In the tank adjacent there are kenyii, so perhaps its the grouping you are speaking of.
My LFS keeps Cobalts in the same tank as the red zebras, so this could also be the case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok, completely going outside of my old thoughts here......

I am thinking about starting with about 25 juvies in the 75G....mixing Red Zebs, Cobalt Zebs, Mainganos, Rustys, Yellow Labs, and perhaps a few odds and ends (maybe an extra male). The reason for this is my LFS guys (actually 2 at 2 different stores) have said that aggression won't be as bad for some species if they are a loner with no female to fight for.

Thoughts? I am really liking the mixed bag idea above.
 

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Fish stores are a business, and that advice sounds like it's coming from people who have business interests ahead of any other.

Having said that, if you tried for an all male tank you might be able to keep about 8-10 mature male mbuna (provided your "odds and ends" aren't predatory haps or something).

You should read this first.

kevin
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Granted, yes, there is a financial interest....but also....it wouldn't be good business to piss off a new customer by giving him bad advice....pretty soon, you're rep would be trashed.

That said, I am not going to mix any Haps in there.....I am really looking at Yellow Labs, Rustys, Blue and Red Zebs, and Mangainos right now......maybe a strikingly colored but "play nice" male or some albinos of some sort to go in there as well.
 

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If you want to maximize colour without engaging Water World Part II, I would consider a group of Yellow labs with 4 or 5 different looking male peacocks.

4+ groups of mbuna could be very tricky in a four foot gallon.

kevin
 
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