Kenyi Cichlid Tank Mates.


Hello all, I have a question.
What are some kenyi cichlid tank mates? There will be 1 male kenyi and 4 female kenyis.
Tank size: 75 gallons
Temperature: 78-79 degrees
PH: 8.2
GH: Not sure of exact numbers, but hard.
Substrate: Sand

Any tank mate ideas?


Hey Queen,

Great size tank and awesome choice. Both the males and female Kenyi's look amazing. I believe you would be okay with just about any type of mbuna as tank mates. You may have to get rid of a few when they begin to show overly aggressive behavior, but if you play your cards right, eventually you will create a stock that seems to tolerate each other. Kenyi's grow to around 5 inches, which most mbuna will be in that range, but research before you buy. With a 75 gallon (depending on size) I think getting 15 at one time from a reputable seller would be a good starting number.

For example, Afra Cobue's are one of my favorites, rusty's, yellow labs, yellow top mbaba, perlmutts, red top hongis, demasoni. All of these I have had at some point with Kenyi's before. For the most part, Kenyi are fairly aggressive like all mbuna. In my experience more thanIodotropheus or labidochromis, such as rustys and labs. I would stay away from melanochromis, specifically auratus. They are pound for pound some of the evilest fish to cross into the fish keeping hobby IMO.

As for fish outside the mbuna family, youre pretty limited due mbuna aggression and such high PH, but mbuna will leave plecos and a good amount of catfish alone since they are not really a threat to them. Maybe something like a green phantom pleco, bristlenose, or otto cats? Just check with PH restrictions. Most importantly, is stable PH than exact necessities IMO. Best of luck to you, and if you need any other help message me. I would be glad to help!


Check out the synodontis dwarf petricola. Imperial Topicals website has them. I have one from there and I'm wanting to buy 3-4 more soon. They like to be in groups and do not grow over 4".

As for other Mbuna, maybe stick to ones that dont look too similar to the Kenyi.

Check out the:

Green Mbweca Afra
Red Top Ndumbi
Purple Lupingu Afra
Cobalt Blue Zebra
Lions Cove Afra

Quinn's Fins has a very good selection of Mbuna for reasonable prices. They sell what they breed


Some different colored fish include,
SRT Hongi, Auratus, Kingsizei and Venustus.
  • Thread Starter


Thanks for the replies everyone!
So would 6 kenyis and maybe 6 labs work? Could I also do a rubber lip pleco?
Also, do I have to add all of the kenyis at once?


AquaticQueen said:
Thanks for the replies everyone!
So would 6 kenyis and maybe 6 labs work? Could I also do a rubber lip pleco?
Also, do I have to add all of the kenyis at once?
I would add them all together at once if possible. In my experience, when I added multiple fish at once, they did a lot better than when I only added one or two to the gang. Mbuna quickly create a social hierarchy amongst themselves. When they get thrown in together they will get comfortable with their surroundings and then quickly establish that social hierarchy.

If you're thinking labs and kenyi with a 75 gallon. I would go with:
1-2 male Kenyi / 4 female kenyi
1-2 male labs / 4 female labs
Feel free to throw in another group of this break down as well. You have the room and having them slightly overstocked will work to your benefit. Just make sure you have enough filtration.

Just a reminder: Do yourself and your fish a favor by staying away from Auratus. I noticed the comment above with Venustus as well. They are waaaaaay too large, more carnivorous than mbuna, and have a totally different level of aggression = not compatible with your fish.

The rubber lip pleco I think is a really good option for your setup. Just keep the water around 78 and the ph stable around 8.0 and you will be good.

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