African Cichlid Compatibility
I have a 55 G tank with Aquaclear 70 and
Emperor 280 hang-on filtration. I would like to have a good
combination of yellow, blue, and orange in the tank but keep it on the
"less-aggressive" side of the african cichlids. I was thinking of:
Labidochromis careulus (yellow lab), Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos
(maingano), Maylandia estherae (red zebra), Melanochromis parallelus,
Saulosi, Rusty cichlid, maybe a couple synodontis catfish. Not sure of the availability of peackocks where I am.
I don't think i'd be able to keep all these, but what combo could work? And
how many total fish? Research says 1m to 3f at least, which is my
plan. However, I would probably enter them into aquarium as
juveniles...do I wait and see and trade in/out as they get bigger?
Also breeding is not overly important to me, would an all-male or all female
tank spell disaster? Sorry for so many questions but thanks again.
3 Species for a maximum of 12 fish with 1 male to 3 female is perfect for a 55g tank.
Salousi are best kept in a species only tank as they can be quite aggressive.
maingano can be aggressive, so I would skip on that option.
I would recommend Yellow Labs, Red Zebra and Rustys with a couple of Synodontis Multipunctus as bottom feeders, or BristleNose plecos, both work.
All male / female is a challenge and absolutely requires you to have a spare tank setup and cycled ready to remove aggressive or bullied fish to. Females can be equally aggressive as most males.
With regards to the Blue, most of the blue cichlids are aggressive in nature and need bigger tanks to be happy. If you can get them locally or are prepared to order online, then look at Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei" (They are purple and would get along fine with yellow labs and Red Zebra).
Aim though is for maximum 12 fish of 3 species.
Peacocks if you can get locally, 1 male to 3 females again, or if you wanted to try all male, NO doubles of similar looking fish and certainly none of the same colors. Again a spare tank is a must to remove fish that are not working out.
Thanks a lot of great advice. The yellow labs and red zebras are definites, I'm trying to decide on a third color/pattern that won't tear them apart with aggression. Hows the attitude of Cynotilapia afra sp? I haven't heard much about them but they have interesting coloration. I've researched only briefly but most do not get too big.
Do you think the maingano would still be aggressive to the labs and zebras even though the colorations and patterns are far apart? They are neat looking fish and tend to be a bit smaller than the other two.
For catfish, could Synodontis be substituted by Pictus catfish? I've read mixed reviews. I have a few right now and they seem fine with my high pH.
And flying foxes...random fish, yes, but I also have one of them, not sure if he would get ripped to shreds in a mbuna setup.
Cynotilapia afra are fine for your tank, they are can sometimes be slightly more aggressive than labs and zebra but generally are fine.
maingano are just aggressive by their nature so it is not really about different coloration.
I personally would stick with synodontis cats as they get along fine with mbuna, I would be very careful about the pictus, as they have been known to be killed by mbuna.
Absolutely NO to flying foxes, they will NOT get along with mbuna at all, to the point they will be dead quick.
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