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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all I am new here. Just wanted to say hello and ask a couple questions.

I have two young yellow labs in a 20g tank as a temporary home. They will soon get a new home in a 55g when I retire it from its current community setting. I also plan on getting two or four more when i move up. Which leads to my first question.

What are my stocking options for cichlids in a 55g. I definately want these yellow labs , but im not sure if i want to stay specifically with yellow labs or go with a variety , and with a variety , what?

Also , I would like some kind of bottom feeder , a pleco maybe? What are my options there?

And tank perameters. The yellow labs came into an already well established tank. Ammonia and NitrItes are 0 and Nitrate is between 10 and 20 ppm...I have some Java Ferns in there. I dont add any water additives to the tank other than the Stress Coat when I add water. The pH is between 7.4 and 7.6 (Maxed out on the low range and bottomed out on the high range) The pH naturally sits here from the tap.

I also use play sand for the substrate and the fish seem to like it.

I have been in the hobby for a few years but this is my first round with cichlids.

Again just wanted to say Hello and get some suggestions.

1,757 Posts
Welcome to the forum, you're off to a great start!

Although a pH in the low 7's might shock some wild caught fish, tank raised mbuna will do just fine.

Yellow labs are also a great start because the coexist well with so many other mbuna species.

A nice, rewarding way to start out a 55 is with three species - about 5 of each fish and only one male per species if you can help it - the sex ratio is less important with labs since they're pretty peaceful.

There are more challenging options, but if you bite off too much you might get scared away from cichlids before you even get started.

Have a look at this 55 gallon cookie cutter and see if anything catches your fancy:

Also look here: ... allery.php

If you see any fish you like, just ask if they'll go in a 55 with the others you like!

Your best bet for a pleco is a Bristlenose/Bushynose pleco. They don't get that big and they continue to eat algae for their entire lives, unlike some others. There is no guarantee that your mbuna won't kill or maim it - best to get the pleco settled and add you mbuna afterwards as juveniles, so they grow up used to it.

Good luck,

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