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Old 09-20-2011, 03:37 AM   #1
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Fish Ideas for 55g African Tank?

I'm in the process of cycling my 55g, preparing it to become a Lake Malawi tank. Sand substrate and nice rockwork, and am going to be planting it with hearty "cichlid friendly" plants. My list of ideas on types of fish I'm going for is below, and I'd love to hear any comments on if they are a good mix, and would love to hear suggestions on other nice looking fish.

I'm aiming for between 12-15 fish in the tank.
3 of each:
Moorii Kaiser II - Tropical Fish for Freshwater Aquariums: Moorii (Kaiser II) Cichlid
B.B. Ornatus - B.B. Ornatus Cichlid | African Lake Malawi | PetSolutions
Ruby Red Peacock - 3 AFRICAN CICHLIDS 1.5" SUPER RUBY RED PEACOCK A+++ | eBay
Blue Peacock - Tropical Fish for Freshwater Aquariums: Blue Peacock Cichlid

I'd also like to have 1 of each of these
Buffalo Head - Tropical Fish for Freshwater Aquariums: Buffalo Head Cichlid
Makonde Blue Lips - Pseudotropheus williamsi north Makonde "blue lips"

Would that be too many? They will be added slowly and carefully, one family at a time, throughout many months. My other question is, are groups of 3 generally ok? and would putting the trophy fish in solo by himself be a smart idea or do they prefer more?

Also searching for one more "trophy" if anyone got any ideas!!
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:33 AM   #2
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You have a mix of Malawi Mbuna, Malawi Peacocks and lake Tanganyika fish on there, which won't work out due to differences in diet and agression.
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:29 PM   #3
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Tropheus need at least a 75 gallon species tank.
Crabro are mbuna, will likely eat any live plants in the tank.
Peacocks are best kept in groups of 1m/3f, 2 groups in a 55 would be pushing it. Also eat more protein than mbuna, as well as being less aggressive in general, don't mix well with them.
Buffalo heads are river fish, not rift lake like the others.
Williamsi are mbuna, and grow too big for a 55. I have one adult remaining in a 75 now, and it could really use a larger tank.
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Old 09-20-2011, 06:29 PM   #4
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Hmmmm very interesting, i thank you both very much. this is my first venture into the "cichlid business". Such beautiful fish but there are so many. I guess that list was more of a "wishlist" than anything but oh well, i just got bored and started searching.
What would be a very colorful selection for a 55 gallon tank? I'm looking to get a nice community going and am very interested in taking on this new setup and learning a lot along the way. I like fish with an active personality and love the community cichlid tanks i have seen so far.
I have seen success with planted tanks, but also read many of the cichlids will try eating the plants. I have a friend that has had cichlids for probably two years in a planted tank, and he said with the proper selection of plants its not very difficult.

Any suggestions and tips would be awesome, like i said I'm new in town and willing to learn!
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Old 09-20-2011, 06:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevesPrettyCool
Hmmmm very interesting, i thank you both very much. this is my first venture into the "cichlid business". Such beautiful fish but there are so many. I guess that list was more of a "wishlist" than anything but oh well, i just got bored and started searching.
What would be a very colorful selection for a 55 gallon tank? I'm looking to get a nice community going and am very interested in taking on this new setup and learning a lot along the way. I like fish with an active personality and love the community cichlid tanks i have seen so far.
I have seen success with planted tanks, but also read many of the cichlids will try eating the plants. I have a friend that has had cichlids for probably two years in a planted tank, and he said with the proper selection of plants its not very difficult.

Any suggestions and tips would be awesome, like i said I'm new in town and willing to learn!
There are a handful of plants they will not eat. Described as tasking bitter but mbuna will dig also.
Yellow labs and rustys would be a good start imo. Also synodontis catfish do well with mbuna.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:34 PM   #6
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The yellow labs are very nice, a definite possibility. I'm trying to stay away from rustys because my buddy got a few of them and I see them all the time.

I've been told mbunas are the more active of the family, is that correct?

also, the fish stores around here seems to have a nice selection sometimes, but their tanks look unhealthy and its not uncommon to see a few floaters. I've been looking online and finding many nice types of fish, but am hesitant because the stress the fish must go through during shipping. any experience ordering online or tips if i decide to go that direction? thanks for the info so far, every bit helps when getting started!
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by StevesPrettyCool
The yellow labs are very nice, a definite possibility. I'm trying to stay away from rustys because my buddy got a few of them and I see them all the time.

I've been told mbunas are the more active of the family, is that correct?

also, the fish stores around here seems to have a nice selection sometimes, but their tanks look unhealthy and its not uncommon to see a few floaters. I've been looking online and finding many nice types of fish, but am hesitant because the stress the fish must go through during shipping. any experience ordering online or tips if i decide to go that direction? thanks for the info so far, every bit helps when getting started!
I have 7 labs, I like them alot. I suggested the rusty because they are relatively small and considered more peaceful. Afra cobue are cool and stay about 3 inches, mine are a bit more aggressive toward each other than I would like.
Mbuna are more active than the others, that's why I went with them as well.
Personally I would look for reputable people on aquabid, sometimes even find one relatively close to your location. I have ordered 3 times from as far as California (in Illinois) and a total of 33 fish and never had one die. They were also properly acclimated. I will never buy from lfs again.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:36 PM   #8
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Also I would look into 4+ synodontis petricola. They look awesome, move alot, and act as a clean up crew. Also if you have a blue spectrum light, the white highlights glow. In nature they are egg scatterers, the mbuna will spawn and the catfish will scatter. If your lucky you could get some baby cats.
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:24 AM   #9
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yeah the lfs around here is kinda rough sometimes. I got my first two angel fish and a bunch of barbs there and they are all still alive and happy after 2 1/2 months, oh yeah and every thursday is buy one get one free fish, cant really beat that if their tanks looked healthier, but i have put a lot of money into this tank so far and want to do it right. bogo fish are always tempting tho
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Old 09-21-2011, 06:03 PM   #10
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ok after doing a little bit more research and deciding on going with the mbuna tank, i have come to this possible combination. i was thinking about Yellow Labs, Blue Pindanis, Red Zebra, and OB Fuelleborni. probably 3 or 4 of each. Good selection or no? they are all very good lookin fish from what i've seen. any opinions or tips would be great!

edit: somehow i missed the synodontis petricola post, eventually i would have realized i needed a few janitors so nice suggestion. they say it should be housed in a tanganyika biotype on the site i looked them up, malawi is close enough?

What would be your suggestion on a total amount of fish (including cleaning crew) i should be aimming for? i have heard people say everything from 8 to 20, so i'm just aimming in the middle of that around the 15 mark. Would you think thats too much? i cant imagine it being too little :P
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