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I'm getting back into the hobby after several years away and am interested in stocking my 125 with wild mbuma. I'm interested in the more aggressive varieties. I used to be knowlegeable about the compatibilty of species but am a bit rusty.

Below are my initial thoughts...

Melochromis Auratus
Cynotilapia Afra Hai Reef
Labidochromis sp Hongi (only males available)
Labeotropheus Trewavasae
Pseudotropheus Lombardoi
Pseudotrepheus Tropheops (exact species tbd)

A couple of questions...
1) There are a couple of other pseudotropheus and melonochromis species i like. Would it be safe to add a couple of others such as pseudo msobo or pseudo elongatus or melanachromis parallelus?

2) I'm not interested in breeding. I want a nice community tank for my office with a lot of color. Having said that, what's the ratio of male/female for each species you would suggest?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

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As a general rule, the more aggressive the species, the more females per male. Whereas 3 or 4 females per male is usually sufficient, some of the species you're considering would be better of with 6-8 females per male.

A potential issue I see with doing this kind of tank as wild caught (WC) would be the heightened intolerance of adults. A group of fish that age together often show less interspecific aggression. Going WC means you will be adding adults a little bit at a time as they become available. You would certainly need a "time out" tank to house abused or overly-nasty fish - you will have to add and return over a fairly long period to get this right.

M. auratus one of the most aggressive mbuna around - you probably knew that.
I don't know anything about Cyno. afra Hai Reef.
L. Hongi should be able to hold its own.
Labeo. trewavasae is big enough for this tank although they're not particularly aggressive.
Ps. lombardoi is Metriaclima (or Maylandia) lombardoi - another beast of the mbuna world. They and the auratus can fight over tank dominance!
Ps. tropheops has its own genus: Tropheops (T. tropheops and T. sp. "red cheek" being the most available) A very tough mbuna that would be fine in this tank.
Petrotilapia are absolute giants if you were looking for another aggressive genus.
Ps. crabro are aggressive too.

Many species within the Pseudotropheus genus are barely related, so Ps. sp. "msobo" would work with most other Ps. species...many from the elongatus complex for example.

But I think two Melanochromis species in one tank is really asking for trouble. Unless you tried M. cyaneorhabdos which is now classified as Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos.

Hope that helps.

kevin
 

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The best advice I ever saw for stocking aggressive fish like auratus was three species max in a 6 foot tank and really an 8 foot tank is preferable.
 

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jjwex
why would you spend extra on wild caught fish if breeding isn't desired? Very intriguing.
:)
 

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Do you want "wild" as in active, mean, rough? Not wild caught fish?

If you want Auratus, get a dozen or more. Auratus males are not always that great looking thou.
My favorite large mean Melanochromis is M. chipokae males, a nice male is really cool. Get 6-7" and will dominate.


You could try a larger Zebra mix tank. They will make hybrids but can have lots of color, and get pretty big. Choose from Chilumba BB Zebra, Greshakei (pure Greshakei are getting harder to find unfortunately) Red Zebra, Cobalt Zebra, OB Zebra, Pearl Zebra.
Msobo are a similar fish that are very colorful. Include a Labeotropheus species like Red Top Trewavasae or a Fuelleborni.
Add Yellow Labs for yellow color.
 

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ridley25 wrote " But I think two Melanochromis species in one tank is really asking for trouble. Unless you tried M. cyaneorhabdos which is now classified as Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos."

Hope that helps.

kevin

Has anyone told the( M.) cyaneorhabdos yet? :lol:
Msobo is met. now, as well as some that used to be in the elongatus complex .
 
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