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  1. #1

    Default 50 gallon stocking mbunas

    0 Not allowed!
    Hey. most of you have probably seen my other topics about stocking my 50 gallon bowfront tank but my dad and uncle that are into african cichlids have made me change my mind about a SA tank and going with african instead.

    I have just finished setting up the tank and it looks wonder full i'm so proud of my self.

    The tank is setup with just a few rocks but big ones so there is almost no open area at the bottom but a lot a few " higher.

    Now i am at the hard part what species to get.

    I have decided for the small mbunas that gets to around 4" since the caves are quite small for the larger ones.

    How many fishes combined can i have in a tank this size?

    I'm going to have 3 species

    i have been thinking of Melanochromis auratus , Metriaclima aurora and Pseudotropheus sp. 'acei'
    These are easy to get where i live but any tips are welcomed.

    the perfect colors would be 2 or more colors per male
    i can also go for 6 diffrent colors in the tank.
    Last edited by Kazumi; 07-03-2013 at 01:11 AM.

  2. #2

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    Jacksonville, FL

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    0 Not allowed!
    Stay away from Auratus and sub in yellow labs. They are a better fit personality wise. If it was a 75gal or larger the Auratus would be better... Each species should be 1m/3-4f.

    The other way to do this tank though is to go for all male peacock cichlids.

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    is yellow labs cearulus or something like that?

    I really don't want males and females to look alike like Golden are (golden are our name for Cearulus)

    peakcock is something i thought of but quite rare where i live have to travel several hours just to get any.

  4. #4

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    Longmont, Co

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    0 Not allowed!
    Yes, yellow labs are Cearulus. Speaking from experience, you will have your hands full keeping this tank stable. Stay away from Auratus (Melanochromis period for that matter) unless you are ok with just having Auratus and lots of other dead fish. Acei are usually pretty mellow. Auratus you want to up the ration to 1male to 5 females, the other guys you can probably get away with 1 male to 3 females.

    Have you done much reading on Mbuna? They are the single most frustrating fish I have ever kept and are not by any means suitable for someone who is not willing to do their homework or take some fish back when they are not a good fit. Also, caves make ALL the difference between a functional, yet semi safe Mbuna battlefield (because honestly, its what they do) and a dead fish every week.

    And whoever told you 4" was wrong. Dwarf species maybe...but not the full fledges hellraisers.

    Have you by chance considered Tangs or are you set on Malawi?
    Who is "General Failure" and why is he reading my hard drive?

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    i have done reading for abit a year i have been thinking about malawi for that long but it never came to going that route i always keept going the SA route.

    I want the small mbunas that reach about 4" the dwarfs ones not the large one.

    i have about 30-40 caves but they are small so thats why i want the dwarfs ones they are the only ones small enough to use them when they are adults, also the tank is quite small for the large ones IMO.

    I have just named the 3 mbunas i think look cool that are close to me i also like the afra but havn't seen anyone selling any in my area. There are hundreds of mbunas to go though so im asking here for what species are reaching just 4" in lenght, i wasn't saying these are the ones im going to get. If i would i wouldn't ask here for tips on other mbunas would i?

    I don't think you have really read anything that i wrote uptop. I have no problem returning fish or doing homework.

    Ill do the questions again so you maybe see them.

    I want tips on mbunas that reach about 4"
    I would love to get all 3 species im going to have with 2 colors per male, BUT i can go for like 6 diffrent colors in the whole tank.

    an example:
    Metriaclima estherae, males normaly goes blue and females red thats an ok fish for me
    Labidochromis caeruleus, males gets yellow and so do female, not an ok fish gets to centered on 1 color.

    Do you understand now what i mean?

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    Double post

  7. #7

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    Sydney australia

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    0 Not allowed!
    what about ps saulosi males blue femalea yellow. And they stay around 4-5"

  8. #8

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    0 Not allowed!
    There are some dimorphic(different colored gender) species. I will follow that by saying that a 50 gallon bowfront is too small for some, if it is a 36" tank, and realistically you should make it either a single or 2 species tank. Mbuna can be a rewarding experience if you stock right. If not they can be a nightmare. I would warn that you should stay away from Auratus. They are nasty and need at least a 1:7 ratio, lest you start removing dead fish. Here are some ideas.
    Psudotropheus Saulosi are a good choice, blue/black striped males, yellow females.

    Metriaclima Estherae(Red Zebras), CAN be dimorphic, but you may have a hard time finding blue males. The orange males get paler with baby blue highlights. Regardless, if they are all orange it's a nice contrast in the tank.

    Pseudotropheus Elegans(formerly Acei) are monomorphic as well, but get too big(up to 6") for a tank that size.

    Iodotropheus Sprengerae(Rusties), also monomorphic, could be a good fit. You need to find a quality strain of these to get the good colors. I've seen way too many in LFS that look nothing like good ones do.

    Pseudotropheus Cyaneorhabdos, again monomorphic, only get to about 4" and generally only get a bit boisterous with their own. A two species tank with them and Yellow Labs makes a nice contrast.

    Pseudotropheus Demasoni are smaller but mean little buggers. They can also be done with yellow labs. But you need to start with AT LEAST 12 if not more to spread the aggression. In more cases than not, if you don't, you will wind up with one left as the dominant ones will systematically eliminate the others.

    If you find a mix you like, you are not limited to what your LFS carries. There are many online places and hobbiests that you can get quality stock from. Mail order is easy and when you buy more and figure in the shipping to the cost per fish, it's not much more(if at all) than buying at a store. If you want suggestions on places to find good quality stock, PM me, I can suggest a few.
    11 tanks, 5.5g up to 125g(2). Mbuna, Haps, Peacocks, Tangs, wild caught to tank raised!

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    I have now intreduced fish i was at probably the biggest cichlid expert in Sweden has had a massive store since -93 and he breeds most of the fish himself and he have been breeding all kinds of cichlids for about 40 years but mostly africans.

    I gave a list of about 10 species that grew to about 4" according to the internet and he said that about 4 of the species would work in my tank.

    Now it's stocked with 3+3 salosi and 3+3 afra jalo reef.

    looks abit empty but they are just about 2.5" big

  10. #10

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    0 Not allowed!
    Good choices IMO based on the tank. Good luck!
    11 tanks, 5.5g up to 125g(2). Mbuna, Haps, Peacocks, Tangs, wild caught to tank raised!

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