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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. I'm setting up my first 75g tank and am planning to make it my first African Cichlid tank as well. I've chosen to go with mbuna. I have a big list of mbuna species I like but cannot decide on which ones to go with with regards to compatibility and numbers. Would you guys be able to give me a few combinations of options that may be compatible with the amount of each species?

Here is my desired mbuna list:

• Demasoni
• Electric Yellow
• Hongi
• Acei
• Red Zebra
• Cobue
• Jalo Reef
• Cobalt Blue

Thanks!
 

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Kind of a lot of different species. I would cut out the demasoni and yellow labs and get 4 of each for the rest. The demasoni are harder to keep and the labs will interbreed with some of your list. You might need to pair down even more if you don't want interbreeding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply Cyphro. I don't plan on having all of these species in the tank at once. I'm just try to decide on a few combinations using these species. In the end, it would probably consist of 4-5 of these species with 4-10 of each. I would like a few stocking combinations using some of my desired mbunas from the African Cichlid pros on this forum :) I'm a newbie to African Cichlids, so anything helps! Thanks!
 

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Better to think in terms of 4 species (max) and 1m:4f of each.

If you want 10 of each I would choose only two species.

Some other guidelines to consider:
- don't mix red zebra and yellow labs
- avoid demasoni
- one blue barred fish per tank (so hongi or jalo or cobue but don't mix these)
- one Metriaclima species per tank (so red zebra or cobalt but not both)

From your list I would do:
1m:4f yellow labs
1m:4f acei
1m:4f Jalo Reef
1m:4f Iodotropheus sprengerae (a good beginner fish, and no other choices I like on your list)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
DJRansome said:
Better to think in terms of 4 species (max) and 1m:4f of each.

If you want 10 of each I would choose only two species.

Some other guidelines to consider:
- don't mix red zebra and yellow labs
- avoid demasoni
- one blue barred fish per tank (so hongi or jalo or cobue but don't mix these)
- one Metriaclima species per tank (so red zebra or cobalt but not both)

From your list I would do:
1m:4f yellow labs
1m:4f acei
1m:4f Jalo Reef
1m:4f Iodotropheus sprengerae (a good beginner fish, and no other choices I like on your list)
Thanks for the comment DJRansome! I like your list.
Would 10 Demasoni, 5 Yellow Labs and 5 Acei be another compatible combination?
Also, I forgot to add Hara to my desired list. Would Hara be compatible with Jalo Reef?
 

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For demasoni in a 75G I like 15 to help manage aggression (after removing extra males). Then you could do the labs and acei, yes.

I would not mix hara with other blue barred fish. Even though the barring and body colors are quite different, I tried them with demasoni for several years. The hara did not color up well and the female hara's languished. Once I put the hara in a tank with just yellow labs they were brilliant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
DJRansome said:
For demasoni in a 75G I like 15 to help manage aggression (after removing extra males). Then you could do the labs and acei, yes.
So 1m:14f Demasoni, 1m:4f Yellow Labs and 1m:4f Acei is a compatible combination and not considered too overstocked?

FYI - I will be running 1 AquaTop CF500UV initially and plan on adding a second one in the near future. I also plan on doing at least 30-40% water changes per week. Do you think I'd need some sort of extra oxygen source like an air pump?

Thanks!
 

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I don't use air pumps. Go for 8X to 10X GPH from your filters.

The stocking works with demasoni because they are small and need the large crowd to manage aggression...they are more difficult to keep than some other mbuna. Three males and 12 females have worked for me, but let the fish tell you when to remove someone.

Change 50% or more weekly.
 

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As far as air goes, like DJ said you need to overfilter with mbuna anyway so the filters themselves usually create enough surface breakup. If you want to play it safe and have something extra, I much prefer wavemakers to airstones/bubble walls. To me it's a much better look, and the fish enjoy playing in the current. And if they're burning up extra energy playing around, they got less energy to beat each other up haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thornsja19 said:
As far as air goes, like DJ said you need to overfilter with mbuna anyway so the filters themselves usually create enough surface breakup. If you want to play it safe and have something extra, I much prefer wavemakers to airstones/bubble walls. To me it's a much better look, and the fish enjoy playing in the current. And if they're burning up extra energy playing around, they got less energy to beat each other up haha
Thanks for the comment thornsja19. I just recently setup my AquaTop CF500UV and seems to have a lot of flow. Like I mentioned, I'll be adding a second in the near future. From what I've seen so far, I think with two, I'll have more than enough flow and surface agitation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've recently read that for mbuna, the stocking amount can be determined by dividing the aquarium gallons by half. In my case, with 75 gallons, I get 37. Is this correct? If this is true, would I be able to do 15 demasoni, 5 yellow labs, 5 acei and 5 rusty with no major problems (as long as the male to female ratio is good)?
 

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No. If doing mixed gender, think in terms of 4 species with 1m:4f of each.

If you want demasoni (difficult fish) try 15 of them and 2 other species with 1m:4f of each.
 
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