Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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mr2god 11-05-2008 06:59 PM

Mbuna tank idea
Hey everyone, this is my first post here, been surfing for a while.

Just had a couple questions. I am planning on setting up a Mbuna tank this winter. I have pretty much decided on a species tank of Ps. Saulosi. I like their coloring and hear they are easy to breed, which I will probably be doing. I will probably go with a single male and 4 or 5 females.

My question is can I put any other tropical fish in with them. For example, I am a very big fan of tiger barbs and think they could hold their own against the saulosi. I would of course get a large group of them so they dont get nippy.

My second question is about pleco's. I have heard this answered both ways and want to get some more input. I was planning on one or two bristlenose pleco's to keep the tank walls clean, plus i think they look really interesting.

All of this will be going into a 40 gallon breeder tank with plenty of rockwork and probably some light planting like java fern and maybe java moss.

Any input is greatly appreciated.

iamntbatman 11-05-2008 10:24 PM

Sounds like a good plan.

I don't think the tiger barbs or plecos would be a good idea. The barbs really do best in softer water with an acidic pH, which is quite opposite the conditions the mbuna will be kept in. The plecos will be more tolerant of the water conditions you will have for the mbuna but these conditions still aren't ideal for them. I'd also be concerned about the mbuna pecking at the plecos. It might be possible to keep a smaller species of Synodontis catfish in the tank. Keeping the glass algae-free will really be up to you, but the mbuna should keep algae growth on the rocks from getting out of control.

mr2god 11-05-2008 10:39 PM

Ok I was afraid about the plecos being harrassed, I have other tanks so mabye i'll one in the tank when it is fresh so the saulosis dont have their territories all marked out already, and if he gets picked on i'll just take him out.

As for the tiger barbs I was under the impression that they could do ph levels anywhere from like 6.0 to 8.0 (8.0 being about what the mbuna tank would be kept at). I'll have to do a little more research on the hardness though, you may be correct that that may be a little out of their range of tolerance.

mr2god 11-05-2008 10:47 PM

Ok well looks like a quick search shows that the tigers do indeed prefer a pretty low hardness, around 5-10 dKH, as opposed to like 20 - 25 for the mbunas.

If anyone has any suggestions to some attractive fish that can live with mbunas let me know.

iamntbatman 11-05-2008 11:11 PM

The only other freshwater fish I can think of that would fit the bill and also tolerate (even appreciate) the same water conditions you'll need for the mbuna to thrive would be livebearers such as platies, swordtails, mollies and even guppies. However, these are pretty passive fish and I think they'd get the snot beaten out of them by the much more aggressive mbuna.

mr2god 11-05-2008 11:39 PM

Yeah I definitely dont want anything like that in there. I'm thinking of maybe not doing just a species tank, but I want to be careful not to crossbreed because I would intend on selling anything that does breed. I'm actually leaning more towards maybe like a three specie tank with the saulosi still being the center piece. I'm thinking maybe 2m 8f saulosi with a few hongi and a few cobue. I could lower the saulosi's to maybe 1m and 5 or 6f because I would like maybe a few spotted catfish too, but I guess I could skip on those.

Does this sound like too much for a 40g breeder? I figure they all look fairly different and are all of a different genus so crossbreeding "shouldn't" be a problem.

I do plan on running a decent amount of filtration for this much fish, like a penguin 350 or even emperor 400 for a HOB for mechanical, and a fluval 205 for bacterial once the fish grow a little, as I will be buying them as juveniles.

If i'm crazy let me know. I'm new in the cichlid world and only have real experience with community tanks.

mr2god 11-06-2008 09:12 AM

oops now that i'm not tired I realized i flip flop the filter systems. It would be more the canister for mechanical and the HOB for bacterial.

mr2god 11-06-2008 07:36 PM

Ok well i've been researching and I have a somewhat new plan. I'm now thinking more of a 2 species tank because I think 3 would have been too much and I would not have been able to get adequate females for the males. So now I am thinking a group of either 1m and 6 or 7f saulosi and a group of 1m and 4f Tangerine Nyererei.

If it isn't too many fish or too much agression I would like to do 2m and 8f saulosi and 2m and maybe 6f tangerines (they're not quite as attractive). The tangerines i'm looking at are these ones : Buy Tangerine Nyererei from Live Fish Direct .

If this is too many much for a 40 breeder someone let me know so I can come up with a new plan. Thanks in advance.

mr2god 11-06-2008 07:38 PM

Oh yeah and every fish will still be bought as the 1-1.5 juvies so they hopeufully wouldn't reach full size for a couple years in which I hope to have a larger tank anway. I'm kind of stuck with something smaller right now because of my apartment (already going 10 gallons over the limit), but I will not be there in a year and a half anyway.

iamntbatman 11-06-2008 10:40 PM

I would stick with the smaller groups as that's really a lot of fish, plus if there was aggression between the males there wouldn't be anywhere for the weaker fish to run. Also, from what I've heard the nyererei are some of the most aggressive African cichlids out there, so you may run into problems. Not only are they aggressive towards other males of their own species, but also any other males. I've also read reports of them killing off conspecific females in their own breeding group.

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