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Author Topic: Prettiest mix of Mbuna in a 75 gallon  (Read 1357 times)

Offline Koldaar

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Prettiest mix of Mbuna in a 75 gallon
« on: July 22, 2016, 05:58:35 AM »
Hey everyone,
This is my first post so bear with me. I picked up a 75 gallon aquarium with stand, emperor 400 hob, python water changer, and some rock for $100. I'm looking at adding a Fluval FX6 for filtration. I've kept planted tanks with fish in the past but want to get into cichlids. What is the prettiest mix of Mbuna I could safely put in this tank? I've been reading cichlid info nonstop for about a month straight now and it's hard to figure out which species can safely mix with each other. Any stocking suggestions would be most helpful. Sorry if my question is a bit amateurish. We all gotta start somewhere right?

Offline Koldaar

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Re: Prettiest mix of Mbuna in a 75 gallon
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2016, 08:16:54 PM »
And yes, I have been using the search function extensively. :)


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Offline Yanks15

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Re: Prettiest mix of Mbuna in a 75 gallon
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2016, 02:48:50 PM »
Welcome to ACH :thumbup  If you wouldn't mind, please stop over at the New Members section and tell us a bit more about yourself and your tank. Now....... to answer your question. "Pretty" is in the eye of the beholder :nod: We all have different tastes and it's usually reflected in our choices in fish. Most will keep certain staple fish simply due to their availability- Yellow Labs, Red Zebras, Rustys, Demasoni, etc. All great fish and very different in coloration and attitude. Would make a "pretty" tank for sure. BUT, the individual fish have their differences and some may not be good. Aggressiveness, cross-breeding, and size difference are a few with this particular group. Without going on too long, compatibility is just as important as "pretty", if not more so. So research as much as you can and check out our members blogs and ASK QUESTIONS. They have kept just about every fish out there and will certainly have an opinion about them. Plus, ALL African Cichlids are "Pretty" to me :nod: Especially MBUNA :thumbup
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Offline Koldaar

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Re: Prettiest mix of Mbuna in a 75 gallon
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2016, 02:57:25 PM »
Yeah, I guess "pretty" is different to everyone. Amateurs. :) Here is the stocking list I am thinking about now.

6 Labidochromis sp. "Hongi"
6 Pseudotropheus saulosi
6 Pseudotropheus sp. ''Acei''
6 Iodotropheus sprengerae ''Rusty''
3 Synodontis Multipunctatus
1 bn plecos


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Offline Yanks15

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Re: Prettiest mix of Mbuna in a 75 gallon
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2016, 03:17:00 PM »
I assume you would be getting these as juvies. From an adult size perspective, the Hongi and Acei should top out at 6" and the Rusty and Saulosi around 4". No real problem with that as far as I'm concerned. 75 gallons may prove a bit small in time if they do reach full size though. Some would suggest that Saulosi are better served as a "species only" fish and seeing as I've never kept them personally, I couldn't say for sure if there is an issue keeping them in such small numbers. At best you need 1 male to the 5 females and with juvies that's probably impossible to get. Usually folks will get 15-20 and par them back as they mature to get a 1-6 or more male to female ratio. Others who keep them hopefully will chime in. Otherwise. I would get the Ngara White Tail Acei to go with the Rusty and Hongi. Better coloration. Yellow Labs would look good with them too. Add the yellow back in that the Saulosi females would have if you chose not to get them.
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Offline Kingston1

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Re: Prettiest mix of Mbuna in a 75 gallon
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2016, 05:54:22 PM »
I have had all these fishes before, so from my experience

1) The Hongis will grow big, mine did not, but are very mean and also the females are "not pretty".
2) The Saulosi is a nice choice.  Nice Blue male and very pretty yellow females, but the ratio for a 75gal would best be 3 males and about 9 females (or if you only want 1male then about 4-5 females)
3) The Acei was one of my most peaceful and most active fishes.  The males and females look alike (another plus).
But they do grow big, I would only shoot for 4 total.
4) Rustys, there is no other fish with this color and generally peaceful (One of my males was not).  The females are not bad, but OK in color.   

PS---I do not like plecos in an African tank, but some people have had some success.   I never tried.
75gal   W/T Haras, Met. Membe Deep, and Kawanga Golds
60gal   Ps. Saulosi (1M and 9F) and 1 lonely OB Peacock.

Offline gdjewett

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Re: Prettiest mix of Mbuna in a 75 gallon
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2016, 07:30:13 PM »
No need for catfish, my mbuna never leave food uneaten. If there is, you have really overfed and could be asking for Bloat. A hungry mbuna is more entertaining and come up begging for food. (I have to keep an eye on my Wife, she tends to feed too much). I do have one common pleco to clean my glass.

Offline Bandicoot

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Re: Prettiest mix of Mbuna in a 75 gallon
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2016, 01:04:19 AM »
28 full grown mbuna is pushing it a little in a 75. Especially with some of the species you're interested in. The empower 400 will not be able to keep up. You would have to upgrade filtration considerably in the near future. I can speak first hand on the saulosi. They are aggressive breeding machines. The males are hard on females, and even more so toward rival males. Ime they do well in species tanks in large numbers. I'd say 1 male to every 4 or 5 females. Very interesting species and very beautiful imo. I've no experience with the other fish you've mentioned.

Offline Koldaar

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Re: Prettiest mix of Mbuna in a 75 gallon
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2016, 01:42:46 AM »
28 full grown mbuna is pushing it a little in a 75. Especially with some of the species you're interested in. The empower 400 will not be able to keep up. You would have to upgrade filtration considerably in the near future. I can speak first hand on the saulosi. They are aggressive breeding machines. The males are hard on females, and even more so toward rival males. Ime they do well in species tanks in large numbers. I'd say 1 male to every 4 or 5 females. Very interesting species and very beautiful imo. I've no experience with the other fish you've mentioned.

Yeah, I realize the emperor 400 isn't enough. I'm going to pick up a Fluval FX6 prior to cycling the tank. Should be good to go then. :) I'm going to cut out the saulosi and the Synodontis all together and maybe bump up the others to 8 juvies each. Then I can hopefully cull down to the correct male to female ratios as they mature. Does that sound like a decent plan?


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Offline Bandicoot

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Re: Prettiest mix of Mbuna in a 75 gallon
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2016, 02:17:45 AM »
Getting the proper ratios will be difficult with buying juries. You'll be swapping a lot of fish in and out of the tank. I know you want a visually pleasing tank, I assume your referring to color. One thing to keep in mind some mbuna females are quite drab looking. I would look into getting species that have good looking females Bc they will be the bulk of your stock


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Offline Koldaar

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Prettiest mix of Mbuna in a 75 gallon
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2016, 02:28:30 AM »
Getting the proper ratios will be difficult with buying juries. You'll be swapping a lot of fish in and out of the tank. I know you want a visually pleasing tank, I assume your referring to color. One thing to keep in mind some mbuna females are quite drab looking. I would look into getting species that have good looking females Bc they will be the bulk of your stock


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Good points.  So I assume you would suggest buying them straight out male and female? Also, any suggestions for replacing the hongi since the females are kind of dull? There's so many cichlids out there it makes my head spin.


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« Last Edit: July 24, 2016, 02:34:57 AM by Koldaar »

Offline Bandicoot

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Re: Prettiest mix of Mbuna in a 75 gallon
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2016, 03:28:27 AM »
It's more expensive, but yes buying them sexed insures you get the ratios you want that's what I did. I like saulosi that's what I have. I refuse to keep any drab fish, goes back to my days of keeping an all male peacock/hap tank. Msobo are very nice also. Similar to saulosi(blue and black males with yellow females) red zebra females are bright orange. White top haras are light blue. Not sure on that tho. Others will chime in who are more versed with mbuna than I am. They're still a bit new to me.




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Offline Koldaar

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Re: Prettiest mix of Mbuna in a 75 gallon
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2016, 04:34:45 AM »
Ok, now I'm really having a hard time deciding what I want. Your saulosi look amazing. Now I'm contemplating going with an all saulosi setup. How many would you be able to put in a 75 gallon and what male/female ratio?


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Offline Bandicoot

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Re: Prettiest mix of Mbuna in a 75 gallon
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2016, 04:52:47 AM »
Thanks man. They're a dwarf species so you could fit quite a few in there. I started out with 18. But lost 7 to bloat a while back. So now I have 2 males 9 females. But I have a good balance with the 2 males ruling their halves of the tank. The tank looks very active as well. You can have multiple males but sometimes they won't all color up. Luckily both of mine show full color Bc they are very evenly matched. 20 saulosi would do well in a 75. 2-3 males with a large harem of females makes for a great looking set up imo.

Offline Kingston1

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Re: Prettiest mix of Mbuna in a 75 gallon
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2016, 07:48:41 PM »
Bandi's tank of Saulosi is very nice,  I had a nice one too, till about a month ago (had a case of Bloat). 
Now my tank is all yellow (Females and Juvies) and waiting again for a male to mature. 
Waiting patiently for them to grow.
75gal   W/T Haras, Met. Membe Deep, and Kawanga Golds
60gal   Ps. Saulosi (1M and 9F) and 1 lonely OB Peacock.

Offline chopstick_mike

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Prettiest mix of Mbuna in a 75 gallon
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2016, 10:10:29 AM »
For me I love labeotropheus trewavasae or fuelleborni  as they look very interesting with that nose and colours as males  can be blue with orange sides or ob or blue blotched and the females are on with tints blue

Offline Yanks15

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Re: Prettiest mix of Mbuna in a 75 gallon
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2016, 12:31:13 AM »
I'm with you Mike. Big fan of Labeotropheus :rockon:

@Koldaar- you can also look into Metriaclima sp Msobo if you like a species only setup. They also have blue males and yellow females :nod: And rarely see a species only setup of them.
Steve's the name but Yanks will do!