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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

This is my first post here. I'm finally looking to get back into cichlids after several years of running reef tanks only. I know I made tons of mistakes my first time around with cichlids. So I thought I'd run my plans by you guys this time around.

The tank is a 54 gallon corner tank. I was originally going to make it a reef tank so I put in an overflow section in the back, so the total volume is now more like 35 gallons or so. This tank is 38" corner to corner though.

I will use the overflow to plumb it to a sump with about 30-40 lbs of reef rock. That should help with water hardness and provide excellent biological filtration. It's also nice to have the surface skimming from the overflow.

The substarit will be a mix of aragonite and play sand. Just because I have about 10 lbs of aragonite from an old reef tank, but will need more, so I'll just use cheap play sand.

I plan on using porous basalt rock stacked almost to the rim of the tank and I will use black spray foam insulation in between some of the rocks to keep them from shifting. I've done this with the white foam in reef tanks with great success. And since cichlids tend to dig and move stuff around so much it seems like a good idea here as well.

I want this to be a Malawi Mbuna tank. I'm thinking of about 4-5 Labidochromis caeruleus (electric yellow cichlids) and the same number of Pseudotropheus lombardoi (Kenyi cichlids). Both groups wold have one male and 3-4 females.

Other than that I don't have much of an idea what I'll do with this tank.

How many fish do you think I can have total in this tank? Keep in mind I'll have 30-40 lbs of rock in the sump and another 40-60 in the tank, so biological filtration won't be a problem.

Are my fish choices going to be good together?

Can Labidochromis caeruleus and Pseudotropheus lombardoi interbreed? I know that the yellow labs can breed with some zebras, so I won't have any of those.

What other fish should I consider with these cichlids?

Is there anything else about my setup that I may have overlooked for a Malawi Mbuna setup?

Thanks!
 

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Welcome to the forum. Good people and great info on here. I'll let the stocking experts chime in, but I know the Kenyi's get very aggressive and in smaller tanks it's worse. (From experience). I do like the look of corner tanks and am looking forward to seeing your finished product. Post some pics up when you do. Good luck!!
 

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The kenyi will kill the yellows, and there is not room for more than 1 male in that tank. You could probably choose a less aggressive species to go with the yellows, or look at the other lake, that tank has a lot of options for a 3 species tanganyika setup
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK, glad I asked then. What do you think wold go well with the yellow labs?

I kind of want the tank to be mostly yellow labs, with a few others as well.

In my last cichlid tank I had 2 female yellows and 1 male, and 2 female kenyi's, along with a single fish from about 4-5 other African species. So a total of somewhere around 9-10 in a 55 gal. When I got the fish I didn't even know the difference between males and female cichlids. I made a lot of mistakes. There was a lot of chasing and fin nipping, but never any all out attacks.

If I stick with a single male yellow lab, and a few females, and just a group of female kenyi's would they still kill the yellows? Or is that mostly a male thing?
 

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I don't know that the tank is large enough for labs let alone another species.
With mbuna, it's all about the footprint and territories. Most males claim at least a square foot, you're 4" shy of 2. Don't count the odd angles, measure it as 12"x20". This is near enough the same footprint as a 10 gallon tank. If I was going to try mbuna in a tank this size, it would probably be Saulosi, 1male(blue), 4females(yellow).
 
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