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Old 07-19-2011, 11:52 PM   #1
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New Mbuna Tank. Please help

i am wanting to keep mbuna cichlids and synsodontis catfish in this 75 gallon. i was thinking 3 to 4 synsodontis and 12-15 mbuna. i am going to drill the bottom out of all the pots that are not part of the wall. i have 2 emperor 400 filters on it and a blue spectrum light.


Any suggestions on what kind of mbuna and how many i should keep? Also i will take any suggestions on making the tank better and am not opposed to changing things.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:58 AM   #2
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When setting up a mbuna tank the species selection is almost limitless in choices. Start with 4 fish from different genus to reduce the chances of aggression and hybridization between species. Your final stocking number should be around 20 fish after the proper male to female ratio of 1m/4f is followed. Start by purchasing more juvies since sexing young fish is difficult and rehome fish as needed when the extra males are idenified or a hyper aggresive fish is wreaking havoc. Stay away from similar colored fish when choosing like blue barred which will quickly introduce you to how aggressive these fish can be. Here are a couple of links to get started with fish choices. One of my favorite combinations is blue and yellow such as Demasoni and Yellow Labs.


Species Profiles -- Cichlid-Forum

Cookie Cutter - 75-gallons

Synodontis would be a great addition to your mbuna tank as well, my top three would be of fish would be
Synodontis multipunctatus, petricola, or ocellifer.

I've also had great sucess with clown loaches, britslenose plecs, and rainbow sharks with mbuna.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:40 AM   #3
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thanx ill check those links out. You think my tank looks sufficient as far as structure and hiding places go? Im going to get a clown loach and bristlenose for sure. so ideally i should try to get 1 male and 3 females of each genius?
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:47 AM   #4
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I would use rock to create a layout instead of clay pots, slate or limestone can be purchased for pennies on the pound from local landscape supply companies.

The substrate is important with most cichlids since they love to dig and create pits where they will breed. Pool filter sand from local companies can be purchased for $7 per 50lbs which is inexpensive as well, I perfer black sand over the lighter colors since it really brings out the color of these fish and let's face it that's one of the reasons we choose these guys.

Make sure you have some areas of open substrate as well to allow the catfish swimming room since some of these guys can reach 8".

I would not mix the synodontis and clown loaches so that choice would be one or the other since both do well in social groups of 4 or more.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:20 AM   #5
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ok. ideally i would like to get them to spawn, therefor making the synso multi spawn. i saw the pot idea in a couple of frontosa breeding videos, which was my original idea for the tank. Then i decided i would rather have a greater number of more colorful fish. i plan on blacking out the background as well. the base substrate is black argonite. then where the pots are buried are smooth round pebbles and black gravel. im getting a 125gal in about 6 - 8 months. think it will do temporarily?
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:47 PM   #6
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That set up will be fine, most fish purchased will be juvies and they're not terribly aggressive at that size.
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:43 PM   #7
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cool. thanx for all the great advise. With having the pleco and rainbow shark in the mbuna tank what do you keep your ph at?
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:54 PM   #8
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I don't use any buffers and mines naturally at 7.6-7.8.
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