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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! I'm a newbie & I need a little help with compatibility. I have a 55 gal. tank that I did a fishless cycle on. I royally screwed it up in the beginning but amazingly it cycled in 8 DAYS...needless to say, I was completely blown away! But that should be a different post entirely. I'm so excited to get some fish in there. I'd like a colorful tank but I've noticed with a lot of fish the females are dull looking. So, here's what I'm thinking:

Lamidochromis caeruleus (Lions Cove)
Pseudotropheus Sp. acei (Msuli)
Metraclima Estherae (Red) - If I choose this one, I'd like to try to get the male in the bright powder blue instead of the orange.

or

the top two plus
Metriaclima lombardoi (Kenyi) - which I really like but don't know if it's gonna be too aggressive.

or I'm open to any other suggestions?

Also, can I stock 1 male to 4 females of each, for a total of 15 fish...or is that too many?
And should I stock them all at once? or what is the time frame?

Sorry for so many questions. Thanks for any help you can give me! :-?
 

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As far as metriaclima Have you looked at the msobo. Males have a very cool color pattern and females are bright yellow. One of my favorite cichlids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just checked out the msobo...they're really pretty fish. Besides possible crossbreeding, wouldn't there be a problem with how aggressive they are compared to the yellow lab & the sp. acei?
 

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If you are going to have careuleus, I would not mix msobo in there for the fear of crossbreeding since the females are also yellow. Couple of reasons I like the msobo, males as you have seen are very colorful and females give the yellow look to a tank. Since you are looking for the 1 male to 4 females, the species in a way gives you the "two birds with one stone" since females are colorful too. If you decide to put a kenyi in there, be cautious, they are mean. I have never had a problem with my msobos. Just don't mix them with other metriaclimas
 

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To put your overall stocklist in perspective, this is how I would rate the aggressiveness of the species you've mentioned:
(Most aggressive) Met. Lombardoi > Met. Estherae > Met. Msobo > Ps. Acei > Yellow labs (Least)

Met Lombardoi I'd say are too aggressive for a good chance of success in a 55 gallon tank. The other two metriaclima are definitely a notch above the acei and yellow labs, but should be doable.

Species with a moderate to high risk for crossbreeding:
Yellow labs x red zebra
red zebra x msobo
msobo x yellow labs (I've kept these two together for about 6 months and didn't witness any crossbreeding, but this was also in a 125 gallon tank, and I've since moved my labs out just to be sure)

Thus, I'd probably pick one of the above - although if you don't plan to collect fry, you'd probably ok housing msobos with yellow labs. The two metriaclima on the other hand, might fight.

A male and 4 females of each sounds about perfect.
Other species you might consider are Metriaclima Caillanos and Cynotilapia sp. Hara - both have nice blue females.
 
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