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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I have a 180ltr 39" 16" 16" aquarium which has been stripped from a community set-up to a Mbuna tank.

CaribSea cichlid substrate with slate rock are substrate choices with JBL e1902 as filtration swapped choice from a 406.

Setting up for a fish less cycle then onto stocking:

I have spoken to 2 breeders and this is there choice of stocking for my tank:

-5 species consisting of 20 Mbuna consisting of 2M and 2F
-10 species consisting of 20 Mbuna consisting of 1M 1F

I have species names if that helps at all but can anyone shed any light onto advice is it good/bad? I am ultimately looking for a colourful active tank but fully appreciate that I am confined by my size and health of the fish.

Thank you all for your time and help.

Adam
 

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Kudos on the fishless cycle.

As you pointed out, the tank is limited. Simply too small for the majority of mbuna. Pairs and trios usually do not work out, even in large aquariums. And 2 males can be difficult to keep together in 4, or even 6 foot tanks.

Myself and other members have had success with Chindongo Saulosi(fka Pseudotropheus) in small tanks. I had a colony in a 36x18. Other have done something like Yellow Labs or Rustys in smaller tanks.

You just simply do not have the space for most mbuna, or even multiple species. It would likely end up in a blood bath.
 

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My thoughts exactly just feel regardless of anything else have to many males in both circumstances which will lead to no where near enough space and territories.
 

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I like the look of Salusi would 3M 12F work?

Also is there 2 species I could mix with Yellow Lab love the yellow but would be shame to have only yellow?
 

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I ended up with using only 1 male Saulosi. The others were colored down and added nothing to the tank. But other members have had multiple males hold color.

Kingsizei/Pulpican- no
Cobue(I'm assuming Cynotilapia zebroides Cobue/Cobwe)- maybe? I personally wouldn't do more than a single species. Recently grabbed some Cobwe for a 75. The dominant male killed the 2 other males when breeding started.

Your best bet is Saulosi.
 

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I also would not do 2m:3f of any African Rift Lake fish in any size tank. My labs did better with more females, and the females are just as colorful as the males so no advantage to having 2 males.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Saulosi is a good option with me covers a good amount of colour and gets me into the Cichlid side of the hobby, more likely with an enjoyable outcome.

So I am going to look at 3M and 12F will 3 Syno Multipunctatus my son loves those ever since he saw them and I have read they can do-exist with African Cichlids

Massively appreciate the help
 

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Synodontis Lucipinnis(often labeled as Petricola) would be better suited to your tank. Look very similar and stay smaller. Get 4 or 5.

It's tough to find sexed female Saulosi around here. Maybe the same for you. If you need to buy juveniles, go with 24 fish to have a chance at a bunch of females. Rehome extra males as needed.

This tank will give you great color and loads of activity.
 

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We kept a group of saulosi, 3 males/10 females, 3 synodontis petricola and 1 bristlenose pleco in a 40 gal. breeder (36"x18"x17"). The tank ran for just over 3 years with alot of breeding activity. Started the tank with a group of 1.5" juvis we raised from another breeding group of ours. Had the rocks laid out with good size piles in each end and a little in between,connecting the piles. Two males split the tank and displayed full color while the third partially colored and wondered where ever. We also kept anubias barteri in this tank. This group was sold a few months ago.
This has been one of our experiences with saulosi in a smaller tank.
 

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Iggy Newcastle said:
Synodontis Lucipinnis(often labeled as Petricola) would be better suited to your tank. Look very similar and stay smaller. Get 4 or 5.

It's tough to find sexed female Saulosi around here. Maybe the same for you. If you need to buy juveniles, go with 24 fish to have a chance at a bunch of females. Rehome extra males as needed.

This tank will give you great color and loads of activity.
Do you think Synodontis Lucipinnis/Petricola (4-5) could be added to other fishes than Saulosis in a tank like the OP ? Like maybe in a 36" long Labidochromis Caeruleus specie tank ?

Also, would you reduce the population of the main fish in order to add a few Synodontis ? I mean, let's say the plan was to have 3M Saulosis with 9F, should we remove 5 Saulosis (2m 3f, resulting in 1m 6f) in order to add 5 Synodontis, or you'd keep the original amount and just add them ?
 

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Synos don't count towards the mbuna total - they don't take up a species slot, or fish number in a colony, from what I've read and seen. So add them on top of the mbuna you're planning.

What they do result in is more waste in the water, so you'll need enough filtration and beneficial bacteria to handle that on top of the mbuna waste you're already planning for in the tank.

I have multipunctatus in my larger, mixed mbuna tank, and would love to add lucipinnis/petricola to my Saulosi tank, but they're £32 each around here so getting 5 is a bit on the expensive side. I bought 5 multipunctatus for ~£78 which was a bit more palatable!
 

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For a 36" tank you might consider a trio of Synodontis lucipinnis.
 

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Thanks for the info, Aconite.

And yes, I actually meant Lucipinnis here instead of Petricola - I got mixed up in the names.

Someone earlier said that they're often mislabeled as Petricola, I think the word just stuck in my head.

Thanks again!
 
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