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Old 08-30-2006, 01:18 PM   #1
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Cichlid recomendations for a 55gal.

I have a friend who has nothing but cichlids and plecos and its amazing how beautiful his tanks are. I already have some experience under my belt and am willing to try fish that might be a bit more challenging to care for. I am mostly interested in the Lake Malawi, but I'm open to suggestions. I originally wanted oscars but having only 2 fish in that tank seemed like a waste to me. Thanks in advance for your help :P
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Old 08-30-2006, 01:23 PM   #2
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You can't have two oscars in a 55 anyway so the Afircans are probably a better idea.
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Old 08-30-2006, 01:27 PM   #3
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oh, I guess that helps narrow down my options then ^^; I really like the yellow labs my friend has but he says that the last time he bred that they didnt release the fry from their mouth so he had to force their mouth open
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:19 PM   #4
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If you are interested in labs you will want to stick with other peaceful Mbuna. Have you checked out Acei's or Cobalts? They are both very beautiful fish that have great coloration.
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29 Gallon Lake Malawi Fry
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150 Gallon Lake Malawi Cichlid
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Old 08-30-2006, 11:34 PM   #5
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they look amazing, my friend had a malawi tank that also had fish that had a weird looking spotted pattern but I cant remember what it was called
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Old 08-31-2006, 01:17 AM   #6
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don't mean to butt in, but about how many mbuna's can you fit in a 55g? I am wanting to start one myself in the near future. I know I want yellow labs, and I was thinking about the cobalt zebras to go with them.
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Old 08-31-2006, 06:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
how many mbuna's can you fit in a 55g?
There's no set number. It depends on tank decor, fish aggression and "luck of the draw." Some fish, regardless if they are more peaceful in general, will not tolerate certain other fish or will simply decide the whole tank is theirs.

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weird looking spotted pattern
Like a giraffe?

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I really like the yellow labs my friend has but he says that the last time he bred that they didnt release the fry from their mouth so he had to force their mouth open
From what I understand, mouth brooding is a learned behavior and with more breeders stripping the fry from the mother, the resulting adults don't do well brooding. However, if the fry are big enough, they will get out. Do you know how long the mother was holding before your friend felt compelled to force the mouth open?
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Old 08-31-2006, 08:49 AM   #8
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As Menagerie said, "luck of the draw" is a big part of any Malawi mbuna setup. How uch filtration you have is also a factor when it comes to stocking levels, since these are pretty messy fish. My 55G plan is as follows:

6 Yellow Labs (2M/4F)
4 Maingano (1M/3F)
4 Albino Socolofi (1M/3F)
4 Red Zebras (1M/3F)

I have everything but the Labs in QT right now. The tank should be up by the weekend, at which time I will start introducing the fish. I'd like to put the labs in first since they are the least aggressive. I have a male Maingano that is an absolute beast and he is only 2.5" long right now. I will obviouly put him in last in hopes that he will chill a little. Somehow I doubt that will be the case...

Initial filtration will be 2 Fluval 304's and a Ehiem 2217. Fluvals are seeded so I will run them both for a couple of weeks and then remove one and replace it with a AC70 for mechanical filtration. I also have 2 AC30 powerheads to help with circulation.
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Old 08-31-2006, 10:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Menagerie
Like a giraffe?
it looks most like a Fuelleborni Cichlid but I dont think thats what it was

Quote:
From what I understand, mouth brooding is a learned behavior and with more breeders stripping the fry from the mother, the resulting adults don't do well brooding. However, if the fry are big enough, they will get out. Do you know how long the mother was holding before your friend felt compelled to force the mouth open?
I think he said it was over a month and even when he forced her mouth open 2 were still in there. She finally let those go a few days later
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:12 AM   #10
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there's some debate about stripping females when they are holding, with some strong reasons from both sides of the camp.
but stripping is indeed necessary when the mother might starve herself to death.
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