mmm..

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Joshm13 created the topic: mmm..

Helloo!! I have a 55 gallon tank and i was thinking about setting up an African Malawi Mbuna tank.. any opinions on that? I also read i could have three sets of five?.. i want something different and beautiful to watch. Ideas?

75 freshwater Malawi Cichlid tank
20 gallon long nano tank
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Big-Ken replied the topic: Re: mmm..

Nina is the one you need to talk too, also you should change your topic title cause mmm doesn't really convey "id like some help setting up an African tank" very well
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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: mmm..

three sets of five of the more peaceful species, yes.

But, the set of five needs to be one male, four females. To get that, you buy 8 juveniles, and rehome extra males as they appear (takes about 8 months or more for this - sometimes you may need to find extra females).

Would you like some species suggestions? :)

If you let me know what's at your LFS, and what you like, I can help from there.

Stay away from Kenyi, bumblebee, and any melanochromis species for this plan.
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Joshm13 replied the topic: Re: mmm..

Okay so i will need two tanks? I only have one spare 55. You doubt i could just get lucky lol.. and there is a need for the male? What role would he play? And i want beautiful colored fish. Something that will be an awesome thing to watch grow over time

75 freshwater Malawi Cichlid tank
20 gallon long nano tank
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Big-Ken replied the topic: Re: mmm..

mbuna are harim fish, they like to be in groups of 1m:4f and the males are typically the most colorful.

I doubt you would get lucky, i tried that and i have never had a tank that stressed me out more cause of the constant fighting. I got to the point i was pulling the rocks and yanking a fish every couple of days cause of the fighting so trust me you want to do it the way nina instructed
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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: mmm..

a hospital tank makes your life much easier, but with a bit of careful watching you can spot and remove your extra males before there is a huge crisis.

For colour, do look at yellow labs, cobalt blue zebras, socolofi (Albinos would make a nice contras, or the blue plain and simple (but not with the blue zebras or death)). Red zebras are nice, or for something truly unusual, labeotropheus fuelleborni (marmalade cat) - these are rare, you'd need to order them.

these are all monomorphic.

rusties are also nice, but sometimes you get grey, grey females.

Acei are active! (Perhaps too much so for a 55).

If you really want something striking, do yellow labs and demasoni. Just the two species, 5 labs, and 20 something demasoni.

Demasoni, due to their aggressive nature, form colonies. So you buy 20, and you remove males that are banished (you'll find them in the upper corners of the tank) until a stable colony forms. The contrast with the yellow labs is extraordinary. The demasoni will give you constant action, and they are often considered the most beautiful of all mbuna.
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Joshm13 replied the topic: Re: mmm..

And what do i do with the exttra males? Will my lfs take them? Thats what i cant figure out..

75 freshwater Malawi Cichlid tank
20 gallon long nano tank
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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: mmm..

Joshm13 wrote: And what do i do with the exttra males? Will my lfs take them? Thats what i cant figure out..


yes. It's best if you speak to them when you buy them - i.e. "if aggression problems appear, can I bring problem fish to you?"

It's even better to befriend an LFS, since you'll need somewhere for the few survivor fry to go to as well.

In my experience, most lfs are happy to take in large, healthy male fish - brightly coloured, and easy to sell (by and large - I get store credit, sometimes I get nothing). They're not so happy to take in bullied fish.

if you have a local aquarium society, they can also help with finding homes for fish.
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Big-Ken replied the topic: Re: mmm..

Nina_W wrote: If you really want something striking, do yellow labs and demasoni. Just the two species, 5 labs, and 20 something demasoni.

X2!!! this is the combo im doing when i try africans again, dont skimp on the demasoni if you go this route anything less then 20 and 1 single male will systematically kill everyone else, no one knows why this is but 20 seems to be the magic number
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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: mmm..

yeah, you see this a lot on older tanks, people describe their stocking list:

XX labs

XX hongi

XX pseudotropheus

and
1 demasoni

definite give away :)

You'll end up with somewhere between 12 and 18 of them, depending on how the colony works out.
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