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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm planning on maybe doing a mbuna tank, and I've done a fair amount of reading and for the most part understand the technical aspects of the aquarium setup and whatever. I'll probably get a 75g tank for various reasons. I have my eye on different pieces of equipment I'll buy.

But... I have no idea how to pick fish. I just want mbunas, I don't have some great need to get another kind of probably incompatible fish. There are a few I like the looks of. But... which ones go together? I read through the different articles on Mongabay, but I was more than a little confused on the stocking guidelines. This fish is aggressive, put it with other aggressive/feisty/robust fish. This fish is less aggressive, what do you put it with? This fish hates its own species, so put it in with lots of other species. Males will fight other males that look like it. Will males fight other species' males if they look dissimilar? Do I want one male plus five (or whatever) females for each species? How many species could I have? How much is over stocking for that size of tank with so much space taken by rock?

I just don't know! So I've come here for help. I'll now list the species I saw on Mongabay that I like, for suggestions of which can go together.

Cynotilapia afra
Labidochromis caeruleus
melanochromis johannii
melanochromis parallelus
melanochromis vermivorus
metriaclima aurora (really like this one)
pseudotropheus elongatus
metriaclima lombardoi (and this one)
pseudotropheus socolofi (and these)
metriaclima zebra

I also saw the African Rift Lake catfish (I can't remember its name) and like the look of it well enough. How hard is it to get one?
 

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The various species of synodontis catfish are what you are looking for, and they're pricey but available. They add a little variety, and are very useful for disposing of unwanted fry. I have s. eupterus, who are always working their way around the tanks upside down, under rocks!

Avoid the melanochromis and lombordoi, they tend to be nasty and need lots of females. 3-4 females to male for the milder species, but it's much cheaper and easier to buy extra unsexed juveniles and return extra males to the store when you can tell who they are. Avoid two groups of the same genus, and l. caeruleus and m. zebra together.

I'm personally a big fan of afra and elongatus. If I were stocking your tank, I would get these (they are different by locality), socolofi, and a more experienced opinion on m. aurora or find a good line of yellow labs (mine are terrible).

Good luck!
 

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Have you looked at the cookie cutter tanks in the Library?

From your list I would choose these:

Cynotilapia sp. hara instead of afra because females are attractive
Labidochromis caeruleus
pseudotropheus socolofi
Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos (maingano) less aggressive than johannii

And not these:

melanochromis parallelus, melanochromis vermivorus, too aggressive
metriaclima aurora (really like this one), too aggressive
pseudotropheus elongatus, blue bars and more aggressive than cynotilapia
metriaclima lombardoi (and this one), too aggressive
metriaclima zebra, not sure exactly what fish this is, blue bars

You got some good advice. One more suggestion is to avoid two blue barred species in a tank. And regarding Synodontis, I'd go with a group of 5-6 Multipunctatus, Petricola or Lucipinnis which are more active in the daytime than eupterus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
DJRansome said:
Have you looked at the cookie cutter tanks in the Library?
I admit I haven't! My brain just isn't wired to think that I should look at a book for this kind of thing... too much of an internet child, I guess. So thank you for the suggestion.

Also, thank you on the rest of the stocking advice!
 

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The Library on the website. On the menu at the top, Library > Quick Reference > 75 gallons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
DJRansome said:
The Library on the website. On the menu at the top, Library > Quick Reference > 75 gallons.
Ohhh. Okay. Yeah, obviously I haven't. I shall do that now. Thank you. xD
 
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