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Hi everyone, new member here. I posted this yesterday in the Aquarium Setup Forum, which I now realise was probably not the best place for this topic, so apologies for the double post. Thanks to DJRansome for his help already on the other thread.

Setting up my first Mbuna tank. It's 413 L, 140cm (55 inches) long and 50cm (20 inches) wide. Here's my first attempt at the rock setup using mini landscape rock. I need to add more rock (as confirmed by DJRansome). Any opinions/advice gladly received.

AEA76A24-9945-40AF-B71B-24B71606306B.jpeg


Also what do you think would be best number of fish to put in there? I want to try and keep aggression down without it being ridiculously overstocked. I've been looking at hopefully stocking from the following (mixed gender probably): Pseudotropheus Acei, Labidochromis Caeruleus, Melanochromis Cyaneorhabdos, Pseudotropheus demasoni, and Pseudotropheus Saulosi. I also hope to add other species such as Syndodontis Multipunctatus, Monodactylus Sebae, Flying Fox fish (not all of them).

Thanks!
 

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I would do 4 species and a group of 5 Synodontis multipunctatus and skip the demasoni for sure. I would shoot for 22 cichlids. You may want to choose between yellow labs and saulosi because females are yellow or yellow orange and maybe not enough contrast?

1m:4f Labidochromis caeruleus Nkhata (white labs)
1m:4f Chindongo (new name) saulosi
1m:4f Pseudotropheus acei
1m:7f Pseudotropheus (new name) cyaneorhabdos Maingano
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
DJRansome said:
I would do 4 species and a group of 5 Synodontis multipunctatus and skip the demasoni for sure. I would shoot for 22 cichlids. You may want to choose between yellow labs and saulosi because females are yellow or yellow orange and maybe not enough contrast?

1m:4f Labidochromis caeruleus Nkhata (white labs)
1m:4f Chindongo (new name) saulosi
1m:4f Pseudotropheus acei
1m:7f Pseudotropheus (new name) cyaneorhabdos Maingano
Thanks again DJRansome. How aggressive would the Maingano be in a tank with those other species?
 

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They will be the most aggressive fish in the tank, but if you have plenty of females and the right sized tank they are fine. Aggression is usually more within the species unless that tank/tank mates are problematical.
 

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KJD66 said:
How aggressive would the Maingano be in a tank with those other species?
DJRansome said:
They will be the most aggressive fish in the tank, but if you have plenty of females and the right sized tank they are fine. Aggression is usually more within the species unless that tank/tank mates are problematical.
I just stocked my 48" (75g) tank with Maingano, Yellow Labs, and Yellow-tail Acei. Granted, they are only juveniles, but so far they are defying conventional wisdom. Maingano are the most peaceful fish in the tank, while Acei are the most aggressive.
 

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Wait until after the first year they are in the tank to evaluate aggression. That is a surprise about the Acei however.
 

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DJRansome said:
Wait until after the first year they are in the tank to evaluate aggression. That is a surprise about the Acei however.
Yep. That's why I prefaced my sentence with "Granted, they're only juveniles..." I do appreciate your confidence that I'll be able to keep them alive for more than a year. :D These are my first cichlids, and I'm a bit apprehensive.
 

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They are hardy, and I am sure you are a good fish keeper. Just adding the comment for future readers who might read maingano are the most peaceful fish in the tank and not get all the details.
 

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I've read so many of these over the last 9 months, and we decided to go without Maingano. I like that you added that comment for posterity because it could be confusing.

We kicked this adventure off very sure we'd want Demasoni and Johanni. The Johanni were the first we got and the male (Joe - please remember we can help with naming your fish for a small fee) and they got rehomed. There were a number of mistakes made, but 1:3 johanni with 3 elongatus chewere did NOT work. It was no fun. After that, we decided to find smaller and "more peaceful" (notice the quotes, I understand the implications here) species. No Demasoni either. We wound up going with Saulosi.

To Smeagol's point, I saw exactly the same way when I brought home the Acei. 6 Acei went into a tank with 6 saulosi for quarantining, and the Acei were definitely in charge there for like a week. To the point we wondered whether we had repeated the Johanni problem. Then they calmed down and are acting like Acei are supposed to.
 

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Mbuna heaven!
 

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SenorStrum said:
To Smeagol's point, I saw exactly the same way when I brought home the Acei. 6 Acei went into a tank with 6 saulosi for quarantining, and the Acei were definitely in charge there for like a week. To the point we wondered whether we had repeated the Johanni problem. Then they calmed down and are acting like Acei are supposed to.
That's similar to my experience. For the first couple weeks, my Acei were the most aggressive and bossy fish in the tank. But they eventually calmed down, and now they "are acting like Acei are supposed to," mostly cruising around in the upper section of the tank, above the rock pile. As for my Maingano, they're a little bit chasey, but nothing too bad, just the occasional short chase (so far). And Yellow Labs are too busy being cute to cause any trouble.
 

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KJD66 said:
So I've taken the advice and added a load more rocks to the tank. Looks pretty good now I think.
Magnificent! What kind of rocks are those? Where did you get them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Smeagol said:
KJD66 said:
So I've taken the advice and added a load more rocks to the tank. Looks pretty good now I think.
Magnificent! What kind of rocks are those? Where did you get them?
Thanks!

The rocks are Seiryu Stone or Mini Landscape Rock as it's also called. I got them from Aquarium Gardens in the UK.
 

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KJD66 said:
So I've taken the advice and added a load more rocks to the tank. Looks pretty good now I think.
That looks absolutely wicked! :D

Do bare in mind though you may have to re scape every now and then to break up developing aggression.

I know people will disagree (please don't hate me guys!) but I would literally put like 50 Mbuna in there, and just have a massive filter, or plumb a sump in to maximise water volume, water changes every couple days or maybe a nitrate reactor on there, and feed three times a day.

Good luck! :)
 

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That revised layout looks immense. I would be panicking myself with the weight of that. What store was it? Is it actually called Aquarium Gardens?

I look at my cabinet for tank and wonder how it even holds the tank up with just some end panels and two smallish central posts.
 
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