Considering kenyi

Lexi03

Member
So my husband had to run me to the ER a couple weeks ago, while we were In the waiting room, we sat in front of the hospitol's tank and it was full of the most beautiful fish. After much online searching, we belive they were Kenyi. My husband has now agreed to let me set up another tank but he really wants these fish. So my questions are : how many total kenyI would fit in a 55 or 60 gal tank? And of these what should the female: male ratio be? We plan on fully researching them be for we start, but I noticed this fish doesn't have a whole lot of threads on the forum
 

Nutter

Member
Welcome to Fishlore.

Do you want to have the KenyI (Pseudotropheus Lambardoi) in a single species tank or do you want to have other fish with them? If you want a single species tank you could do about 12 of them but I would only have a single male with the rest being female. That will avoid aggression between the males but will leave you with lots of fry to take care of.
 

Landozer18

Member
Hey, I'm not a very experienced fish keeper but I'm trying.
Anyways :

The minimum recommended tank size for these fish is a four foot 75 gallon
Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons

Though the KenyI Cichlid holds its own in a larger aquarium of mixed Mbunas, it is not a community tank specimen with fish other than cichlids.

In a large species tank, keep a group of one male and several females.
Hope that helps!
 

Aquarist

Member
Hello LexI and Welcome to Fish Lore!

I hope you enjoy the site. Best of luck with your new set up.

Ken
 
  • Thread Starter

Lexi03

Member
Oh, wow thanks for the quick responces everyone! Yes we were planning on a spiecies only tank, from what I read on here mixing the different spiecies is a lot of planning and even then, seems to be rather risky, besides that the tank we had seen was quite stunning as a spiecies tank. All the info was really helpful, thanks again everyone!
 

Nutter

Member
Mixing the Mbuna species is not really that difficult to do so long as you do a little research first. There's nothing wrong with a species tank either so if you want to do that then go with 10-12 fish as I mentioned with just a single male. Lots of rock work to create caves is mandatory in Mbuna tanks.

If you do decide to mix in different species then I suggest more aggressive Mbuna such as Labeotropheus Trewavasae, Labeotropheus Fuelleborni, Melanochromis Auratus & Melanochromis Chipokae as suitable tankmates. If you do go with more than one species then you should stick to a ratio of one male to at least 3 females per species you choose.

Here's a website you may find helpfull:
 

mtsguy21

Member
Lexis hubby here. Thanks for the info. I have a few more questions. What would be the best substrate and environment for kenyi. Should we do real rock or can we do fake rock? Should we just start out with one male and three females and let the offspring fill the tank? Thank you in advance for any responses.
 

Nutter

Member
There are a variety of substrate you can use. The best IME is just ordinary pool filter sand, though you can use any sand that is safe to use in the aquarium. You can also buy substrates specifically for the rift lake tank like Caribsea Rift Lake Substrate that contain lots of calciferous materials like shell grit to help buffer the PH. Many people recommend using crushed coral substrates but I have found that the fish tend to scratch quite a lot when it is used, I figure it must irritate their gills somehow.

As for the environment, lots of caves, temp around 78f & ideally the PH would be around 8.0. You can actually have the PH anywhere from 7.5-8.4, as usual stability is the key & so long as your over 7.5 & stable then you shouldn't have any issues. GH & KH are not terribly important so long as there are some minerals present in the water. Live plants are best avoided as Mbuna are vegatarian & will destroy all but the very toughest of live plants. If you want live plants then Anubius, Java Fern & Echinodorus species offer your best chance of success.

Real rock, fake rock, terracotta pots, PVC pipe it doesn't matter so long as there are heaps & heaps of caves for the fish to call home & use to hide from each other. I always think it's best to have at least 2 caves for each fish, so if you have 12 fish, you should have a minimum of 24 caves. With real rock you would normally aI'm to fill the tank to at least halfway with rock & have that rock covering about 75% of the available floor space. I suggest using google to look at s of Mbuna Aquariums to get an idea of what people have in these tanks & how they are laid out. Then you can use these ideas to work out what you want to have in your own tank.
 

RogueAgent94

Member
Crushed coral is like a rough sand that increases the pH value of the tank. KenyI in their natural environment have a very high pH. Real rocks look good IMO. I would actually have a mix of Mbuna instead of just a species tank. If you do only want kenyI then I'd get six females and a male and then they'll fill up the tank with fry. Cichlid fry are amazing hiders and you should get some babies out of each spawn but I wouldn't count on having very many. So it might take a while to fill up the tank. On the plus side, you'll have all sorts of different ages and sizes of fish which, IMO, looks really nice. But you'll have to take out male babies when they begin to show signs of being male. I say six females because that'll really divide up the males attention and you shouldn't have any trouble whatsoever.

Hope this helps!
 

ppate1977

Member
I keep Kenyi. I always believe Nutters's advice, though I would keep 1m:3f. I have a breeding pair only, but I got them like that and keep them in my 40 gal with a male cobalt zebra and 2 African rift jewel cichlids.

Btw: I have 5 terra cotta pots for my 2 Kenyi, with the other half of my tank set up gore jewels. Driftwood and lots of plants... The kenyI do dig up the plants sometimes.
 
  • Thread Starter

Lexi03

Member
Are there any yellow cichlids that could be kept with them?
 

ppate1977

Member
Male kenyI are yellow. Labs can be kept with them, they are yellow.
 
  • Thread Starter

Lexi03

Member
Ok, I knew the male kenyI where yellow, that's why I asked, I think the tank would look funny with just one yellow fish now that I think about it,but when I googled the fish Nutter suggested, the photos where of blue fish, so I wasn't sure if the yellow labs where ok. Will most likely have many more questions.thanks!
 

ppate1977

Member
Nutter knows a lot about all cichlids... I know quite a bit.
 

RogueAgent94

Member
Hmm... I don't really like to keep Labs with Kenyi. I dunno why but the labs always seem to be the thinnest and most beat up. Red Zebra Cichlids are peachish to reddish so they're pretty. There are also Redtop Colbat Mbuna. And lots of others. I'll have to go dig up the list I had around somewhere! ;D
 
  • Thread Starter

Lexi03

Member
RogueAgent94 said:
Hmm... I don't really like to keep Labs with Kenyi. I dunno why but the labs always seem to be the thinnest and most beat up. Red Zebra Cichlids are peachish to reddish so they're pretty. There are also Redtop Colbat Mbuna. And lots of others. I'll have to go dig up the list I had around somewhere! ;D
Hmmm, well darn that's no good, I was hoping for a pretty even mix of yellow and blue fish... will have to go loking at the store, I know I saw some really dark blue mbuna there that I liked, but I don't remember what they where, so I can't ask if they are compatable...
 

RogueAgent94

Member
Most Mbuna are compatible together as long as you have a m-f ratio of 1:3 at least. Usually its best to have only one male of each type.
 

ppate1977

Member
Also watch out if the other darker blue fish is a sort of hap. They do not go well with KenyI at all.
 
  • Thread Starter

Lexi03

Member
I will probiblly go to the store this wekend and find out what it is, like I said I will probiblly have lots of questions. We get the tank on Sunday, but it will probibly take a couple months before it is all set up and ready. Ok for some more questions, what kind of filter do you recomend? What kinds of rocks could I use to biuld the caves and where could I get them? I was thinking for the filter of doing a canister of some sort and adding a spare Penguin 330 that I have laying around. If it helps answer my questions(now and for future referance) the ph of my tanks is 7.8 to 8.0( I'm not sure which color is closer) I haven't testested my Gh/Kh but I know my water is hard, I'm the one who gets to clean the hardwater stains off the coffeepot, tub, shower and sink fixures. And the ph has never changed or fluxuated, it is 7.8 to 8.0 out of the tap, it didn't bounce around during cycling of any of my tanks andthe ph is still the same in my longest running tanks(7 months)
 

ppate1977

Member
Good news is your ph is pretty much perfect for mbuna. I think your filtration idea is good. It's great you have so much time to research and plan this out! The rocks are really up to you, as far as what you like, I recommend a few flat rocks here and there. I personally use terracotta pots stacked high in the tank with a few big flat rocks (I'll try to get some pics in this thread for you soon). With as much time as you anticipate, I'm sure your tank will turn out amazing.
 

RogueAgent94

Member
What about demasonI cichlids? Do you like those?


I really like lots of big rocks everywhere for Mbuna. Here are pictures of tanks I like.
 

ppate1977

Member
Cool examples Rogue. I agree, that stuffed full tank is WAY to busy... How could you even pay attention to a single fish?lol
 

RogueAgent94

Member
Thank you! Hahaha. I have two terabytes full of fish info ;D
 

ppate1977

Member
Here is my humble 40gal tank and a few of my cichlids. I am going to set up all rocks when I move in a few months.
 

RogueAgent94

Member
Oh I like that! The terracotta pots look nice. I saw one tank that had stacked PVC pipe, kinda like your pots, and the cichlids were zipping in and out of that.
 

ppate1977

Member
There is a fairly large amount of room behind the pots on the bottom as well, though the picture is a bit deceptive since it is a cube shaped tank. They zip all around and behind. Each one has their preferred home.
 

noslen1003

Member
ppate1977 said:
Here is my humble 40gal tank and a few of my cichlids. I am going to set up all rocks when I move in a few months.
pardon me - however please identifythe fishes on the pics - especially the yellow one. Thank you.
 

ppate1977

Member
The yellow fish is a male Kenyi. The blue one that has 2 pics is a female Kenyi. The brighter blue is a cobalt zebra and the fish seen in the background is a jewel cichlid (not a red jewel though, I forget his scientific name). The jewels don't technically belong in this tank but they get along well, for African cichlids, lol.
 

noslen1003

Member
ppate1977 said:
The yellow fish is a male Kenyi. The blue one that has 2 pics is a female Kenyi. The brighter blue is a cobalt zebra and the fish seen in the background is a jewel cichlid (not a red jewel though, I forget his scientific name). The jewels don't technically belong in this tank but they get along well, for African cichlids, lol.
cool looking fishes; colorful !!
 

ppate1977

Member
Thank you noslen!
 
  • Thread Starter

Lexi03

Member
I like the ones in Rouge's second photo, what are they?
 

Nutter

Member
This is Pseudotropheus Crabro & would work nicely with Kenyi. Yellow Labs are not aggressive enough to be kept with just KenyI IME. They are ok if there's a couple of other species but not with just the Kenyi.
 
  • Thread Starter

Lexi03

Member
Ohh, I like those. Does it have a common name?and if I do stacked rocks where could I get them?
 

Nutter

Member
Common name is Bumblebee Cichlid.

The easiest way to get rocks is usually through a landscape supplier. You can go out & collect them yourself but you need to be sure that the places you collect them from are pollutant free (pesticides, poisons & agricultural/industrial runoff) & that it is legal to collect rocks from your desired area.
 

mtsguy21

Member
The bumblebees get to 8" don't they? If so, would they work in a 55g? Can we put them in the 75 gallon we are getting?
 

Nutter

Member
chrisb4t said:
The bumblebees get to 8" don't they? If so, would they work in a 55g? Can we put them in the 75 gallon we are getting?
Yes they can get up around 8" but more commonly around 6". Yes they are fine for a 55gal tank & they would be fine in your 75gal so long as the other species you have are compatible. Crabro are quite an aggressive fish & shouldn't be housed with the more peacefull Mbuna like Rusty, Yellow Lab & Socolofi. They do better with the mild to aggressive Mbuna like Kenyi, Red Zebras & Maingano.
 

ppate1977

Member
A really cool thing about Bumble bee cichlids is that they can "change color" from pure yellow, to pure black, to the yellow and black in the photo. I used to have one till my power went out for two consecutive days over the winter.... I lost a lot of fish.
 
  • Thread Starter

Lexi03

Member
Ok just to make sure we get this right, if we did 1male kenyI and 5 female kenyi, in the 55gal how many of the bumblebee could we have? Also if I do a Ehiem canister with the pengiun 330 what model canister would we need?
 

RogueAgent94

Member
Fish in the second photo look like kenyI and powder blues. Not exactly sure though.
 
  • Thread Starter

Lexi03

Member
Ok some more questions.
If I do the bumblebees and KenyI which should I add first? Or does it matter?
And if I go for the rock caves how should I position the filters so the rocks don't interfere with the water flow?Thanks for the help so far guys!
 

RogueAgent94

Member
No you want as much flow as possible. They like strong currents. I would put the KenyI in first.
 

ppate1977

Member
If you were doing 5 female KenyI and 1 male, I would do maybe 2 Bumble bees.
 

mtsguy21

Member
We are having trouble finding and deciding on rocks for the tank.> Our lfs has some nice black rock which we love, but it is exspensive, and the rocks are bulky and hard to stack (attempted in store on ground). Can we use concrete stone in the tank? If we can't figure out what to do soon we will just be stacking terra cotta pots. If we do use pots, should we cut a hole in the back of the pot so the fish can swim through? Thanks in advance for responses!
 

RogueAgent94

Member
Hey!

I don't suggest using concrete.. You should look into Texas Holey Rock! It's perfect for cichlids. A member here is selling it, look in the b/s/t forum and you'll see his thread. If you use pots you can either break out the back of the pot or fill the small hole with silicone so the fish don't get stuck in it. Beware of sharp edges though! They sand down easily enough though.
 

mtsguy21

Member
I like the texas holey rock, it seems exspensive too though. I think those rocks for sale have already been claimed. I believe my lfs has it, but doesn't have any peices with holes all the way through, just golf ball sized crevices.
 

RogueAgent94

Member
Oh.. hmm.. You can look on Aquabid and Ebay . Or you could make your own rock with plaster of paris. Or you could go to a local landscaper and buy some rocks off them for cheap.
 

mtsguy21

Member
We have decided for the initial setup we are just gonna do stacked terra cotta. It is gonna be way cheaper, and we will be able to set it up sooner. LexI plans on decorating the outside of the pots with rocks. I can't wait! Gonna have to clean the tank first. It won't be as difficult as the 125g. Just some salt residue, and hard water stains.
 

RogueAgent94

Member
Good idea. If you coat the sides with silicone you can sprinkle them with sand and glue rocks to them ect. It makes them look really natural especially if you do the inside as well.
 
  • Thread Starter

Lexi03

Member
RogueAgent94 said:
Good idea. If you coat the sides with silicone you can sprinkle them with sand and glue rocks to them ect. It makes them look really natural especially if you do the inside as well.
That's what I'm planning on, I found a bag of rocks for ponds at the hardware store for $10, I'm just hoping the way I was planning on doing it will work.
 

RogueAgent94

Member
How are you planning on doing it?
 

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