Information on African Cichlids

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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: Information on African Cichlids

let me know which species you like, I can help with pictures :)

If your tank is fully cycled, buying them all at once is best. If you're unsure of the cycle (or buying them all at once is too pricey), start with the least aggressive species - basically, if you have yellow labs, they go in first, then saulosi, then socolofi, then rusties, then either of the 'zebras' (whichever of the species you prefer :) ). Space them with two weeks or so in between, keeping a good eye on your water parameters. Never introduce only one fish into a tank where there is already a group of fish established - always in groups.

At a higher pH, ammonia is very toxic, so a good cycle is paramount.

Also, they need a good quality low protein food (less than 40%) with lots of vegetable content. Do read the labels on the food you buy. Hikari's veggie pellets are good, ocean nutrition's are also ok, sera's are alright (but a bit high in protein).

It's worth knowing about bloat - like HITH for oscars - this is something malai mbuna are especially susceptible to. Basically, because their intestines are soooo long (to digest algae) they cannot handle high protein, or very much food at any time. Small, small meals (food gone in 30 seconds is almost too much food already) and low protein foods go a long, long way. These guys should not get bloodworms ever, if you ask me. Peas are great, zuccini is good, romaine lettuce, spinach, parsley, cucumber all work well. Just not oscar treats :)
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BRYCEisBOSS replied the topic: Re: Information on African Cichlids

It'll most likely be a month till I even buy these fish because I have to get the ich under control and re cycle the tank. So I will be looking around at pet stores and saving my money. I'm definitely planning on redoing my decor to stone stacking idea. would any stone I buy be safe for the fish or do I have to buy special stone? I went up to Petsmart earlier and saw they had some yellow labs which I really like. I also really like the Rusty Cichlid that you posted but didn't see any there. I saw this one kind of cichlid there that were kind of a darkish blue with horizontal black stripes on them but can't remember what they were called. I was thinking of doing the rock something like this.
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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: Information on African Cichlids

that will work just fine. Pretty much any rock that doesn't contain heavy metals will do. If you can't just pick them up, try landscape supply yards, much cheaper than other places.
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BRYCEisBOSS replied the topic: Re: Information on African Cichlids

Thanks, I really appreciate the help. Who knows, maybe you've gotten me into a lifelong love of African Cichlids. I've been researching a TON for these fish. I will probably have a lot more questions so look out for me on the forums. I will also try to keep pictures updated on how it looks when I'm done "aquascaping" and than the day when I finally get my fish. I'm so excited! lol :woohoo:
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ehall67 replied the topic: Re: Information on African Cichlids

hahaha she got you hooked !! and she will def steer you in the right direction !!

The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals


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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: Information on African Cichlids

BRYCEisBOSS wrote: Thanks, I really appreciate the help. Who knows, maybe you've gotten me into a lifelong love of African Cichlids. I've been researching a TON for these fish. I will probably have a lot more questions so look out for me on the forums. I will also try to keep pictures updated on how it looks when I'm done "aquascaping" and than the day when I finally get my fish. I'm so excited! lol :woohoo:


These fish are awesome! :D

And I'll be here :)
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BRYCEisBOSS replied the topic: Re: Information on African Cichlids

What do you think of some Blue Aceis with some Yellow Labs and Rusty Cichlids (if I can find any)?
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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: Information on African Cichlids

ah, man, sorry, I never saw this.

Aceis will be ok, but they are on the bigger, more active side of Mbuna, so there are some that feel they're better suited to a 75.

Yellow labs, perfect, most excellent choice. And rusties are awesome too.

If you need to introduce one group at a time, do it labs, then acei, then rusties.

The dark blue, horisontal striped ones, are most likely some version of johanni, maingano hybrid. Either way, they count as aggressive fish, so would limit you to one other species with them.
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BRYCEisBOSS replied the topic: Re: Information on African Cichlids

Couldn't find rusties anywhere. Surprisingly the store I found with the best selection of cichlids was Petsmart. I'm for sure going to start with maybe like 6 yellow labs. I saw some electric blue cichlids that were pretty cool. Then aceis....... maybe. That is the group I'm thinking about now. If I got Joviis instead of Aceis, how many could I get? Would the grouping be the same as the others?
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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: Information on African Cichlids

By Joviis - do you mean 'electric blue johanni'? If you want these guys, you need to rethink your plan a bit more. You'd want to get 12 of them, and end up with one male and as many females as possible, 7 or more. They will be too rough for the yellow labs, so your other tankmate should then be something like red zebras, 1 male, four females. Because they need a larger group, and are quite a bit more fiesty, they limit you to two species.

Starting with yellow labs, 6 is a good number, 8 will make it extremely likely that you have a male and four females (they are born at a ratio of 50% male/female - in the wild, males fight and injured/weaker ones get eaten by predators). It also means more rehoming, but getting more females in 8 months time or so is tricky.

Do they have an albino variety? This could round out your colours nicely with yellow labs and acei.
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