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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We generally regard Mbuna as very aggressive and not suitable for keeping with other fish.

But, the question was asked about Mbuna with Aulonocara. Again, we generally regard mbuna as being too aggressive to keep with the more gentle peacocks.
I've now outed myself as doing this in my tank. It seems like it's going well, but it is a particularly non-GAAP approach. (I'm now using the term GAAP as a stand in for Generally Accepted Aquarium Principles. This nomenclature is useful, therefore, you are welcome :) )

In that thread, the pictures will betray other non-GAAP stocking decisions. When they're spied and called out here, I'll be happy to talk through what I've done and how it's going.
After that, I'll admit to another to keep the thread going, but...

What kinds of non-GAAP stocking decisions have you made with your Mbuna in particular, but other cichlids in general?
What did you try against all odds that worked?
What did you try that was a total shot in the dark?
What failed miserably?

I want to know! CONFESS!
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Perhaps this should be in general aquaria discussion...
 

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What is the length of your tank?

My miserable failures were non-GAAP things I tried, so not helpful to this thread.
 

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I used to keep yellow labs in a 210 with O. Nasuta, P. Nigripinnis and Cyp Leptosoma.
Also kept them with C Foai, P. Nigripinnis and Jumbo cyps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What is the length of your tank?
OK OK - Fair point!
Here's what I'm doing in a normal tank: I have a 36 inch 45 gallon tank that was originally a quarantine tank, now it's kind of a permanent overflow. It contains 4 or so female mbuna many fry in various stages of life and 6 Black Ruby Barbs. I was sold a bill of goods on these guys not being like tiger barbs, and all nippy and whatnot. They are supposed to be fine in a gentle community tank, and generally they were, but would NOT leave the fins on the veil tail angel alone, so they got pulled from the forest tank. Moved to the enchanted forest tank, where they were pretty rowdy for the tetras, and the tank owner wasn't fond of them, so they got moved to the overflow, and honestly they are really doing great in there. Who'da thunk?
 

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Was not making a :) point , I just wanted the length of the tank in the pics and stocklist to be specified in this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Was not making a :) point , I just wanted the length of the tank in the pics and stocklist to be specified in this thread.
Also super fair.
The length of the tank in the pictures is 10 feet long or ~3 Meters. The overflow tower takes up about half a foot, so the picture from the end of the tank looks through about 9 1/2 feet of water. I am currently cleaning up the stocking list to make it more accurate. I have not audited it since we have final actuals. I'll do that and then start the full thread on my tank. Some of the folks around here have convinced me to not wait. I'm looking at @DutchAJ .... Stay tuned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I used to keep yellow labs in a 210 with O. Nasuta, P. Nigripinnis and Cyp Leptosoma.
Also kept them with C Foai, P. Nigripinnis and Jumbo cyps.
I wanted to make a joke about "thanks for the research assignment!" but I didn't want to sound snotty ;). The fact is, I seriously had to look all of those up. These appear to all be peaceful Tangs..? For the rest of the class, the idea being they are too quiet of a fish for the boisterous Mbuna... how did it go when you kept them in there? Any stress deaths? Problems?
 

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Yes, all peaceful ( generally speaking) Tangs.
No problem at all with any aggression. To be honest, I kept them all together purely because I didn’t know any better. I actually had to look up whether or not yellow labs were mbuna before I posted : ) I always found them to be very easy going fish.
 

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O. Nasuta you found to be peaceful? I could see them with the cyps and paracyps but I am surprised the foai colored well in the same tank.
 

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Relatively peaceful, compared to mbuna at least. Probably the least peaceful tang I have kept though.
They were never in the same tank as the foai.
 

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Generally, these cichlids tend to ignore other cichlids that are not closely related, and non cichlids, other than territorial defense. The main aggression has to do with pecking order and breeding.
The fun thing with cichlids is that you can get highly variable results, sometimes the different species get along perfectly fine. Sometimes a tank boss can be a real jerk and tries to chase every fish away, beating them up because they won't leave his tank. You have so many possible combinations with African cichlids, many can be unconventional in a large tank.

Will Aulonocara thrive and show FULL color in a tank with Mbuna? Usually not, but you could get lucky. The longer and bigger the tank, makes it much easier.

I used to try to keep a male or two of Aulonocara or Fryeri or some Hap with some Mbuna. It never ended up well. These Peacock/ Hap males always lost good color and looked thin after a few months. They were not beaten up, they were stressed out by the active and more dominant Mbuna.
 

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And yes.....
Here is one I can provide as an old pot stirrer, from your always helpful New World Guy, (That's 'NWG' in Strum World, yo'),

red devil and africans? | Cichlid Fish Forum (cichlid-forum.com)

These (kind of ridiculous) things seem to just keep coming up. In detailed research (over an HOUR of old C-F posts!) my own, informal 'case tracker' reports around an approximate 60 to 70 percent actual success rate of keeping an INDIVIDUAL medium to large growing Central American Cichlid in with a community of (Lake Malawi) African Cichlids. At first blush, this outrageous thing could be looked at thusly,
  • Similar to almost identical water chemistry parameters in native habitats.
  • NONE to less than zero spawning interest exhibited between all of those mouth-brooding Cichlids and that lone substrate spawner.
  • Medium to large growing CA Cichlids have almost always been sort of 'indulgent' or less belligerent at least, towards much smaller growing Cichlid species kept with them in 'community' tanks (provided the smaller growing Cichlids had plenty of secure/safe hiding places to flee into, when Senor' Grumpy was having an off day or something....).
  • A properly set up tank (with a community of African Mbuna at least) is nothing BUT rocks, more rocks and hiding places situated just about everywhere for the smaller growing African Cichlids to flee into if things get gnarly.
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However, lest we start running across that field of daisies (with arms stretched wide!) towards that next, super cool medium to large CA Cichlid we could stock in our community of African Cichlids? My diligent (hour!) of C-F research also reveals a very serious dark side to this idea. When bad things happen? It gets Real Bad - REAL FAST,
  • The 'switch flips' on the once sort of indulgent/relatively calm CA Cichlid. The benevolent tyrant becomes a relentless PREDATOR, and the African Cichlids are hunted down one by one as.... food.
  • The CA reveals (once some size/mass is attained) that it really is a horrible slob. And this now awful roommate begins to systematically destroy (re-decorate) the carefully-built African Cichlid tank. Rocks are knocked down in epic rockfalls! Electric heaters are smashed! Plastic intakes on both canister and HOB filters are ripped off and chewed violently! And the always beautiful effects of carefully placed air stones in the aquarium are totally ruined by a CA Budfy Cichlid who has decided he HATES vinyl tubing! Yikes!
And all of those conditions I suppose, would definitely qualify in Strum World as a 'Miserable Failures'.
And though the odds do seem to be in your favor with attempting to successfully keep a medium to large growing CA Cichlid in your African Cichlid community tank.... the cost of a 'Miserable Failure' is much too steep IMO, to warrant the risk of stocking with one of them.

Others may disagree, and your own mileage may certainly vary! But, that's how I see it at least.
 
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