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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

I am switching my 125g SA to Africans. I have no experience with African cichlids so I need some stocking advice.
Will the list below work?

Pseudotropheus demasoni - 20 to 24
Iodotropheus sprengerae - 4
Metriaclima estherae - 10
Labidochromis caeruleus 10

I have read that cross-breeding is always possible with Mbuna but that it is unlikely across different genus. I don't want hybridization, is the list good on that flank?
For that reason I eliminated Pseudotropheus acei from the list. Will they cross-breed with demasoni? And if they don't, can I add them to the mix?

Cheers
 

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Are those your starting numbers before whittling down to proper male/female ratios or is that the final number of fish? Since rocks take up so much space in an mbuna tank, even 23 mbuna in my 180gal seems somewhat crowded to me.

Sorry I can't advise on the other questions but I'm sure DJ will see your post hopefully soon and provide some good guidance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Ken, thanks for the reply!

I was thinking about final numbers. I could go down on the sprengerae and the caeruleus a to 5 fish (1:4), but there seems to be an agreement that 20+ demasoni is the way to go.
 

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You want to end up with 20 demasoni but then go 1m:4f on the others.

With mixed gender in a 72" tank I shoot for 25 fish unless you are stocking demasoni.

Don't mix estherae and caeruleus as they hybridize...an exception to the rule that you are OK with fish of different genera and that don't look alike.

With the large number of species, you don't want to add a species. But acei are not likely to hybridize with demasoni if there are enough females/male of each (demasoni are now Chindongo and not Pseudotropheus). You could swap out the labs or the estherae for the acei.

Know that demasoni are more difficult to keep than other mbuna and also require extra work...plan to tear down the tank more often and have a rehoming plan. They are aggressive to each other and get bloat easily if you are not experienced with fish aggression and disease. This is not always a relaxing fish to keep.
 

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Glad to help. Here's the link to the 75gal cookie cutter for recommendation on which species to mix and numbers, scroll about halfway down for the mbuna section. 75gal is the largest cookie cutter but I suppose you can add (6-8?) more fish to bring it from a 4' to a 6' tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nice one, DJ

I am planing on buying from an online store that guarantees the sex of the fish. Should i then buy just 1 male and 19 female demasoni?

So based on your advice:

C. demasoni (20)
I. sprengerae (5)
L. caeruleus (5)
P. acei (5)

Sounds good?

I have read some about the demasoni and i understand that it can be challenging. I have more tanks available in cause they go mental, hopefully not...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ken31cay said:
Glad to help. Here's the link to the 75gal cookie cutter for recommendation on which species to mix and numbers, scroll about halfway down for the mbuna section. 75gal is the largest cookie cutter but I suppose you can add (6-8?) more fish to bring it from a 4' to a 6' tank.
I can't see the link
 

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When a vendor guarantees the sex of the fish they sell, unless the fish are fully adult (virtually non-existent for mbuna in the industry), I look for another vendor.

If they make a mistake, what is your recourse? You don't have any and they know this. Maybe a refund, but that does not solve your stocking problem. Better to have realistic expectations.

In a 72" tank I would be shooting for 5m:15f demasoni. But the fish will tell you who can stay and who cannot after 6 to 12 months.
 

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BTW if you get 5 adult males then you want 15 fully adult females that they can spawn with right away or you may have more aggression issues than starting with a large group of all juveniles.
 
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