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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I am just looking for suggestions, currently I have one ice blue Zebra (Dominent fish) he is about 5 inches 3 full grown Yellow Labs two Juvie yellow Labs one OB Zebra One hybread cross between the ice blue and the OB Zebra(no I do not sell any hybreads if the fry live then they live as I do not strip the fry). Two JUvie red zebras and one yellow tail Acei. I am looking to add a couple of mre to the mix so right now I am just looking for suggestions. I know the acei get large that is why I do not think I will get any more of that species.

here is my tank.

Ice blue and OB zebra taken a year ago
 

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The most commonly used recipe for success for mbuna in a 55g is to house 3 different species, with a ratio of 1 male and 4-5 females per species.

In your case, u have 5 yellow labs, allow them to grow up, try to get the adults sexed. I would add 4 females for your cobalt, so u dont end up with him creating tons of hybrids. Again, up the numbers on the red zebras as well. Dont get anymore acei. They get large, prob too large for the 55g. I wont tell u to get rid of it, but as long as its one and u know the possiblility that u need to remove it is there, thats enough for me. Yellow labs and Red Zebra hybidize easily, so dont keep any fry
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the suggestion I was kinda leaning to more zebras. I will probably look for more female Ice blues As for any fry I do not try and keep them if they are crafty enough to survive I let them live in the tank but would never sell them.
 

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Eh, I'd go the other direction with this tank. I'd keep a colony of 5-7 yellow labs, then get 1 male of everything else that you want. The 3 metriaclima species will inevitably crossbreed and that'll create aggression... Then again, I've kept ~7-8 species in a 60g (only a few inches wider than a 55g) with no issues.
 

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i disagree. keeping an all male tank of mbuna is very difficult, with a high degree of failure. also, if he added all those males and had 5 or 6 labs, it wouldnt work due to all those males trying to breed with the female labs. the male labs would not be able to stop more aggresive males of other species. so ud end up with hybrids anyway.

like i said, if u wanna keep the current fish, just up ur numbers on them. yes, they will prob crossbreed, but ur not gonna sell them anyway...just be prepared to cull some if too many survivors show up
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think I am going to get two more ice blues and two more red zebras being that they will be juvies it will be hard to determin the sex unless some knowes were I could order just females. BTW it is cold up here in MI so I worry about ordering online as no one is home during the day. BTW please keep the suggestions coming. One thing in my favor if I end up with more males is that as mbuna go Zebras are not super aggresive.
 

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dont get me wrong, the species u have chosen are not the best mix. 2 metriaclima species are more at risk to hybridize and yellow labs and red zebra are well known to cross... Ideally, a different direction would make things easier, but I doubt u want to start over and get rid of a species or 2...

Ice blue females should be easier to find as they dont show as much color as the males. Much more drab. red zebra are very hard to sex, as the most telling way besides venting is the blue sheen in the fins, but, this doesnt show up on all males at one size. I have had the sheen show up when 3.5-4''... so sexing would be very difficult...

Your info on red zebra not being aggressive is wrong. When they reach sexual maturity and get some size to them, they can be beasts. The ones I keep havent been too bad, but i have heard horror stories
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
no I dont want to start over and as we all know every fish has its own personality. Its like a box of choclates :p My statement on aggresive is relative in comparison to spiecies like Kenyi, bumbelbee or aratus that are hyper aaggresive. I have noticed that the Zebras tend to be more con specific aggresive and mostly leave the labs alone. THis is exactly what the profile in this forum said for the ice blue and other zebras I do see the potential problem between the Zebras as opposed to the Zebras and Labs.
Temperament: Mildly Aggressive
Conspecific Temperament: Aggressive
Time will tell I guess. If I do choose to redo I would probably go with yellow labs and Rustys or just a spiecies only tank of Labs as they are my favorite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
well I decided on three more yellow labs I am done with adding fish now its time to see how it pans out :fish:
 

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justinf67 said:
i disagree. keeping an all male tank of mbuna is very difficult, with a high degree of failure. also, if he added all those males and had 5 or 6 labs, it wouldnt work due to all those males trying to breed with the female labs. the male labs would not be able to stop more aggresive males of other species. so ud end up with hybrids anyway.
Are you speaking from experience when you say "high degree of failure"? I've broken every rule with mbuna and never had problems with aggression leading to deaths. And I've had these tanks for more than 2 years, so all the fish were full-grown and sexually mature. Yes, some males have been aggressive and claimed their territory, but I've never once even had a fish receive a beating.

The hybrids would probably be eaten or, as the OP said, he won't distribute them, so that doesn't matter.
 

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dielikemoviestars said:
Are you speaking from experience when you say "high degree of failure"? I've broken every rule with mbuna and never had problems with aggression leading to deaths. And I've had these tanks for more than 2 years, so all the fish were full-grown and sexually mature. Yes, some males have been aggressive and claimed their territory, but I've never once even had a fish receive a beating.

The hybrids would probably be eaten or, as the OP said, he won't distribute them, so that doesn't matter.
Yes, I am speaking from experience. When I first started out, I added a random mix match of all the pretty male cichlids and it worked! But, when maturity hit, oh boy, it didnt anymore... I ended up going the better route and picking harems of different species. I do bend the rules of keeping mbuna. I add a centerpiece fish and in my dem tank I have a couple jalo reefs in there as an experiment in how it will work out.

Again, "a high degree of failure" is the exact statement I made. Does it work for some, yes. The majority, "NO" Thus, the statement is correct. Please, make a poll of the % of people that have successful ALL male mbuna tanks. Its few and far, and even the ones that are successful usually mention how the perfect mix is key, which is AGAIN, not something a beginner should be doing... Peacock all males are not easy, but not as challenging as mbuna. The PERFECT mix is needed and a lot of luck...

As far as hybrids, some make it. If enough make it, it can become a problem for the op... so culling would be his best option.

Please give me ur stocklists :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just for the record I am not a beginner I have been keeping mbuna for over ten years and have been on this forum for over five years check out my join date.. The current tank has been set up and running for five years. I lost a few fish do to old age as I transfered them into my current tank five years ago and they were allready a couple of years old. I just was looking for suggestions perhaps something that i have not thought about to bring my numbers back up in the tank. I do apreciate your input and suggestions. On a side note while I was at my LFS today a lady was looking at buying a Bumbelbee that was at least 4 inches long. I told her that they were very aggresive and she said that is what she needed for her tank to work with her blue gill and parrot. I just shook my head and walked away. Now that is bad stocking.
 

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I guess I would redo the stocking too, and since that is not what you want not sure what can be added. If you have some pattern to your stocking that has worked for five years just the way you like it...keep up the good work. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
that was part of my reason to add the 3 more labs. I could remove the zebras and either go with an all lab tank or a two spiecies tank. What would be a good combonation with the labs, I like the look of the labs and Demonsoni (sp) but would that work in a 55? I do not want to worry about sexing the fish. :fish:
 

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I apologize for thinking ur a beginner. Anyway, labs and dems will work amazing in a 55g. u can still add a 3rd species as well... In one of my 55g's i have dems, labs, and albino socolofi. The contrast of colors and movement is amazing. Oh, I also have a couple jalo reefs in there as an experiment, but i will prob be moving them as the male doesnt color as much as i would have hoped... if u are willing to remove other species, ur options are endless :)
 

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Demasoni and labs would work well. In a 55G with only those two species I would do 18 demasoni and 6 labs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
No apology needed :) , just wanted to clarify as most questions about stocking are from beginners and that is great as the collective advice on this site saves un nessasary problems. I am leaning to the Lab Dem mix if I do a change. BTW I have 8 labs should I only go with 16 dems then? I will keep all posted and thanks again for suggestions. and keep them coming. The one thing that is for sure is I want to keep the Labs as they are my favorite Chichlid. :fish:
 

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That should work, just keep an eye on aggression among the Demasoni.
 
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