Anyone kept any of these Mbuna?

LadfromLondon

I’d just like to hear your experiences with them, particularly their temperament, behaviour and colouration.
I ask about colouration because I know certain Mbuna display colour differently on different substrates and I’m hoping to use black diamond blasting sand.
The Mbuna’s in question are: Yellow Labs, Rusty’s, Socolofi Snow White, Cynotilapia Sp Hara, Acei (Yellow & White Tail) & Metriclima Mbweca.

TIA!
 

Fishproblem

White tail acei and yellow labs are the only ones i have experience with on this list. They're in a cichlid tank I help care for on a weekly basis. Colors are phenomenal against the tank's white substrate, with a great deal of varied rockwork and fake plants. The labs are juvenile, about 1-1.5" long, but incredibly vibrant. The acei is dark, almost black with very subtle barring. Since settling in, he's developed really great blue color around his throat and cheeks - utterly beautiful imo, but not the right choice if your aim is a ton of color.

Edit to include info on temperament: as far as the individuals I take care of, the labs are bold for the smallest fish in the tank, but know their place and don't get into trouble. The acei is one of the most peaceful. He's got his corner of territory and keeps to himself, rarely bothering anyone unless its feeding time. The real "tank boss" in that setup is what I believe to be a male Pseudotropheus elegans "Ngara", but I can't be certain of that, as I don't have a ton of experience with them and don't have a definitive ID yet. That fish never rests - he's constantly patrolling the tank and reminding his neighbors who's in charge.
 
Upvote 0

LadfromLondon

White tail acei and yellow labs are the only ones i have experience with on this list. They're in a cichlid tank I help care for on a weekly basis. Colors are phenomenal against the tank's white substrate, with a great deal of varied rockwork and fake plants. The labs are juvenile, about 1-1.5" long, but incredibly vibrant. The acei is dark, almost black with very subtle barring. Since settling in, he's developed really great blue color around his throat and cheeks - utterly beautiful imo, but not the right choice if your aim is a ton of color.

Edit to include info on temperament: as far as the individuals I take care of, the labs are bold for the smallest fish in the tank, but know their place and don't get into trouble. The acei is one of the most peaceful. He's got his corner of territory and keeps to himself, rarely bothering anyone unless its feeding time. The real "tank boss" in that setup is what I believe to be a male Pseudotropheus elegans "Ngara", but I can't be certain of that, as I don't have a ton of experience with them and don't have a definitive ID yet. That fish never rests - he's constantly patrolling the tank and reminding his neighbors who's in charge.
I really appreciate you going into detail, thank you for that

I do think Yellow Labs are a must, they seem to look great no matter the substrate! I really like the Acei Ngara but they do get quite large. However, the subtle hues of blue against the black colouration is to die for.

Can I ask the dimensions of the tank please? I’d also like your thoughts on whether you think the Acei makes the tank look a bit cramped, that’s my concern.

Thank you once again!
 
Upvote 0

Fishproblem

I really appreciate you going into detail, thank you for that

I do think Yellow Labs are a must, they seem to look great no matter the substrate! I really like the Acei Ngara but they do get quite large. However, the subtle hues of blue against the black colouration is to die for.

Can I ask the dimensions of the tank please? I’d also like your thoughts on whether you think the Acei makes the tank look a bit cramped, that’s my concern.

Thank you once again!
Of course!

It's the standard Aqueon 55 (US) gallon. This tank here. It's about 123cm long x 32.5cm wide x 53.5cm high. Honestly, I don't think it's cramped. The tank never looks overcrowded (sometimes it even looks empty) and the fish all appear comfortable. All together there are a dozen cichlids in there - half juvenile and half adult/nearly adult. I don't know the age of the acei, but it's about 5-6 inches long. The owner is considering upgrading to a 75 gallon, though it doesn't seem urgent.
 
Upvote 0

LadfromLondon

Of course!

It's the standard Aqueon 55 (US) gallon. This tank here. It's about 123cm long x 32.5cm wide x 53.5cm high. Honestly, I don't think it's cramped. The tank never looks overcrowded (sometimes it even looks empty) and the fish all appear comfortable. All together there are a dozen cichlids in there - half juvenile and half adult/nearly adult. I don't know the age of the acei, but it's about 5-6 inches long. The owner is considering upgrading to a 75 gallon, though it doesn't seem urgent.
Sweet! Is the tank stocked with just Acei’s and Labs, or is there others?

Thank you, your insight has genuinely helped me
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

The Mbuna’s in question are: Yellow Labs, Rusty’s, Socolofi Snow White, Cynotilapia Sp Hara, Acei (Yellow & White Tail) & Metriclima Mbweca.

TIA!

While usually the coloration can vary with darker or lighter background and depending on the stress level, the Snow White and Yellow Labs show no difference depending on either. Rusties show brighter colours when kept in bright environment, but they are usually quite dark anyway. Acei might be the same. About the others I can't say anything, as I haven't kept these (or knew them under different names perhaps).
 
Upvote 0

LadfromLondon

While usually the coloration can vary with darker or lighter background and depending on the stress level, the Snow White and Yellow Labs show no difference depending on either. Rusties show brighter colours when kept in bright environment, but they are usually quite dark anyway. Acei might be the same. About the others I can't say anything, as I haven't kept these (or knew them under different names perhaps).
Thank you. Do you have any pictures/experience of Rusties on a dark substrate/background? I’m not sure if they’d be worth it knowing they won’t show the bright purple hue they display on lighter substrate.

Thank you for your insight
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

No, sorry, no pictures. Last time I kept rusties was about 1999. I have no digital images from back then. :/
 
Upvote 0

LadfromLondon

No, sorry, no pictures. Last time I kept rusties was about 1999. I have no digital images from back then. :/
No worries. Would you recommend them, even in a black set up?
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

Let's put it this way: They are pretty docile for Mbuna, so if you want the tanks >relatively< peacefull they are a good choice. Hope the tank has 200l+, cause that's the least size necessary for Mbuna.
 
Upvote 0

Fishproblem

Sweet! Is the tank stocked with just Acei’s and Labs, or is there others?

Thank you, your insight has genuinely helped me
There are a few others in there as well. The adults are peacocks and acei, and the juveniles are labs, auratus, and johanni.
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

auratus, and johanni.

I retract my statement about tanksize of 200 liters and correct myself: Make that 400 or at least 1.5m long, before these are fully grown. Males? Females? To early to tell?

Oh, wait, who has the Melanochromis now?
 
Upvote 0

Fishproblem

I retract my statement about tanksize of 200 liters and correct myself: Make that 400 or at least 1.5m long, before these are fully grown. Males? Females? To early to tell?
Too early to tell, for me at least. The fish owner is definitely open to removing individuals that aren't going to work long term, and he does seem pretty set on a larger tank, which is encouraging. I don't know anything about mbuna, so I've just cleaned the tank and kept my mouth shut so far.
 
Upvote 0

A201

Here's a pic of my best male Rusty.
The substrate is a mixture of dark brown river gravel & white quartz.
IMO, one of the best species of Mbuna to keep. Relatively mellow.

20201214_081414.jpg
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

Too early to tell, for me at least. The fish owner is definitely open to removing individuals that aren't going to work long term, and he does seem pretty set on a larger tank, which is encouraging. I don't know anything about mbuna, so I've just cleaned the tank and kept my mouth shut so far.

I see. Well... Melanochromis are said to be among the most aggressive Mbuna, and while I can agree to that for the auratus, I can't for the johanni. If there's more than one male auratus, this is going to go downhill for one of the two.
 
Upvote 0

Fishproblem

I retract my statement about tanksize of 200 liters and correct myself: Make that 400 or at least 1.5m long, before these are fully grown. Males? Females? To early to tell?

Oh, wait, who has the Melanochromis now?
Hahah, I have a neighbor who pays me to do maintenance on his cichlid tank, 55 gallons with a slew of random species, including two juvenile melanochromis.

I think LadfromLondon is in the planning stages of a cichlid tank right now!
 
Upvote 0

LadfromLondon

Here's a pic of my best male Rusty.
The substrate is a mixture of dark brown river gravel & white quartz.
IMO, one of the best species of Mbuna to keep. Relatively mellow.

20201214_081414.jpg
Thank you & lovely Rusty! I definitely think they are staying on my list! Are the females similar too?
Hahah, I have a neighbor who pays me to do maintenance on his cichlid tank, 55 gallons with a slew of random species, including two juvenile melanochromis.

I think LadfromLondon is in the planning stages of a cichlid tank right now!
Definitely! I’m only trying to keep relatively peaceful ones, like the Acei or Rusty etc. No way near stocking yet!
 
Upvote 0

A201

The female Rusties are nice looking too. They don't display the Neon purple that males do, but are rusty brownish red. The females are much smaller.
If you go with Aceis, male white tails are beautiful. Female White Tails are very bland. Both genders of Yellow tail Acei are colorful, with the male growing bigger & a little more color. Here's pics of the two best Male Aceis I ever kept. One White Tail the other yellow Tail.

20201214_094433.jpg
20201214_094209.jpg
 
Upvote 0

LadfromLondon

The female Rusties are nice looking too. They don't display the Neon purple that males do, but are rusty brownish red. The females are much smaller.
If you go with Aceis, male white tails are beautiful. Female White Tails are very bland. Both genders of Yellow tail Acei are colorful, with the male growing bigger & a little more color. Here's pics of the two best Male Aceis I ever kept. One White Tail the other yellow Tail.

20201214_094433.jpg
20201214_094209.jpg
I do really like both Acei variants, I’m just unsure if the White Tail would turn more black than blue on black sand.

I’m also thinking about Cynotilapia Sp. Hara, I quite like the male and female colours on those too.

Thanks!
 
Upvote 0

Islandvic

You asked about the following....

Yellow Labs: Had 2 males that got along fine, but as they grew older the dominate one killed it's mate
Rusty’s: Had 2 males that got along fine, but as they grew older the dominate one killed it's mate. When my friend gave me some of his Africans last year to add to my African tank, he gave me another Rusty. That one is larger than my other one. They skirmish on occasion, but nothing serious.
Socolofi Snow White: never owned one
Cynotilapia Sp Hara: I dont keep this type of Afra, but I have a purple lupingu afra. I wish I kept more Afra's like the Hara you mentioned, such as the Lion's Cove, Cobue, Jalo Reef, Mara Rock and Chewere for example...
Acei (Yellow & White Tail): I have the yellow tail, it is one of my smaller Mbuna
Metriclima Mbweca: one of my favorites, mine likes to dig in the sand. very cool looking and distinct coloration.

My African cichlids are kept in a 55g tank with pool filter sand and some stacked limestone.

Here are some other Mbuna that I keep, which I would suggest for you to also consider:

Maingano: always has kept great color and not aggressive

Red Top Ndumbi: very nice until it died unfortunately

Yellow Top Mbamba: always has kept good color and not aggressive

Colbalt Blue Zebra: all blue zebra, #2 under the tank boss

Ice Blue Zebra: tank boss and my favorite, excellent colors. nice yellow/orange dorsal fin with a light blue body

Red Exasperatus (Red Textilis): always has kept good color and not aggressive


There are a lot of Mbuna that I have not kept yet, but would eventually like to own.

A201 has fantastic looking cichlids, many of which I also wish I kept!!!
 
Upvote 0

LadfromLondon

You asked about the following....

Yellow Labs: Had 2 males that got along fine, but as they grew older the dominate one killed it's mate
Rusty’s: Had 2 males that got along fine, but as they grew older the dominate one killed it's mate. When my friend gave me some of his Africans last year to add to my African tank, he gave me another Rusty. That one is larger than my other one. They skirmish on occasion, but nothing serious.
Socolofi Snow White: never owned one
Cynotilapia Sp Hara: I dont keep this type of Afra, but I have a purple lupingu afra. I wish I kept more Afra's like the Hara you mentioned, such as the Lion's Cove, Cobue, Jalo Reef, Mara Rock and Chewere for example...
Acei (Yellow & White Tail): I have the yellow tail, it is one of my smaller Mbuna
Metriclima Mbweca: one of my favorites, mine likes to dig in the sand. very cool looking and distinct coloration.

My African cichlids are kept in a 55g tank with pool filter sand and some stacked limestone.

Here are some other Mbuna that I keep, which I would suggest for you to also consider:

Maingano: always has kept great color and not aggressive

Red Top Ndumbi: very nice until it died unfortunately

Yellow Top Mbamba: always has kept good color and not aggressive

Colbalt Blue Zebra: all blue zebra, #2 under the tank boss

Ice Blue Zebra: tank boss and my favorite, excellent colors. nice yellow/orange dorsal fin with a light blue body

Red Exasperatus (Red Textilis): always has kept good color and not aggressive


There are a lot of Mbuna that I have not kept yet, but would eventually like to own.

A201 has fantastic looking cichlids, many of which I also wish I kept!!!
Firstly, thank you for going into so much detail. I keep chopping and changing which Mbuna to stock. I’m leaning towards Maingano, Socolofi Albino & Yellow Labs.

I think this stocking will provide a nice combination of colours but most importantly, a nice contrast against a very dark tank.I’m shooting for black sand, a black background, dark-coloured slate and even black silicone! So I do want fish which really pop against it. I’d do a lighter substrate but then I feel my Peacock/Hap tank will look too similar.

Thank you for your input
 
Upvote 0

A201

The only Mbuna, that I want more varieties of is the Afra. A colorful, good sized Cichlid w/ moderate aggression.
Recently I saw a male Jalo Reef Afra at my LFS. Was tempted to buy but just couldn't bring myself to pay $25.
Really high price for my area.
 
Upvote 0

LadfromLondon

I
The only Mbuna, that I want more varieties of is the Afra. A colorful, good sized Cichlid w/ moderate aggression.
Recently I saw a male Jalo Reef Afra at my LFS. Was tempted to buy but just couldn't bring myself to pay $25.
Really high price for my area.
I quite like the Afra’s but I feel I’d have to do a Male-only Mbuna tank to avoid the drab females.

Is there any Mbuna in general you would recommend particularly on black sand?
 
Upvote 0

A201

One of these. Zebra Chilumba. He is my tank boss. Doesn't cause any damage to tankmates & disrupts most fights that occur between tankmates.
He hovers over a big central rock & monitors the back & forth traffic.

20201203_090223.jpg
 
Upvote 0

LadfromLondon

One of these. Zebra Chilumba. He is my tank boss. Doesn't cause any damage to tankmates & disrupts most fights that occur between tankmates.
He hovers over a big central rock & monitors the back & forth traffic.

20201203_090223.jpg
That's a sweet Mbuna. Do the females colour up at all or are they drab?
 
Upvote 0

A201

I've never kept a female Zebra Chilumba. My guess is like most Mbuna the females color up, but not as vividly as the males.
Females have either no egg spots or maybe have one or two. Males usually have several.
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

That's a sweet Mbuna. Do the females colour up at all or are they drab?

As A201 said. Sometimes the females have totally different colours. E.g. in Red Zebras (Maylandia estherae) the Male is typically blue with stripes and the orange dorsal (They can have other colours like red-orange or completely blue), the females are uniform orange. In one colour morph the only way to separate them is size. (and perhaps eggspots, those are not as reliable as one might think).
 
Upvote 0

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Question
Replies
22
Views
223
iamV1shnu
Replies
6
Views
11K
Mims

New Cichlid Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom