Need advice for a 55g Mbuna setup.

Ambie

Jan 2022 I lost all of my tanks during an12-day power outage due to an ice storm, But after almost 6 months I now feel ready to jump back in. And what better way than to build the tank I wanted when I first got into fish keeping, but wanted to get some experience first.
So I'm double-checking my hardscape, equipment and stocking with you guys before I start buying!
Thanks

Hardscape/Equipment for 55G:
1x SunSun 304b & 1x Fluval 307 or 2x SunSun 304b [Which is best?]
Fluval 3.0 Plant
5x 20lbs bags of CaribSea Arag Alive Sand
Black Obsidian Rocks [pic from a landscaping yard included below]
2x Aqueon 200w heaters
Python Water Changer
Prime
I'm looking in to Seachem's line of cichlid water treatments, but not sure if I need them.

Stocking: [it's fine if I can only have 1-2 species]
Yellow Labs
Saulosi Cichlid
Rusty Cichlids
Yoyo Loaches

Tap water parameters:
pH: 7.6
High Range pH: 7.8
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm
GH: 4-5 dgh
KH: 3-4 dkh
Phosphate: 0ppm


271737391_360667332535313_6241782274123926159_n.jpg
 

A201

Looks really good to me. You might add a few chunks of limestone into the hardscape to up & buffer the PH a bit.
YoYo's are awsome scavengers & tough enough to survive with Mbuna. The Mbuna choices were also spot on.
 

MacZ

Stocking: [it's fine if I can only have 1-2 species]
Yellow Labs
Saulosi Cichlid
Rusty Cichlids
Yoyo Loaches
I'd drop two species of cichlids. Especially the Labidochromis. They breed like Guppies and are already massively overbred and hence have a rather bad health.
Of the species you ultimately take, try to get 3 or 5 males and 6 to 10 females.
And replace the loaches with Synodontis lucipinnis catfish.

But frankly, the tank size is too small for Malawi cichlids of any species. That's my only real problem with this plan.
 

Ambie

I'd drop two species of cichlids. Especially the Labidochromis. They breed like Guppies and are already massively overbred and hence have a rather bad health.
Of the species you ultimately take, try to get 3 or 5 males and 6 to 10 females.
And replace the loaches with Synodontis lucipinnis catfish.

But frankly, the tank size is too small for Malawi cichlids of any species. That's my only real problem with this plan.
Would upgrading to 75g be better? That would be the biggest I could upgrade to if I needed to.
As long as I can keep my current equipment and just get a new tank and stand.
 

PseudotropheusKenobi

Would upgrading to 75g be better? That would be the biggest I could upgrade to if I needed to.
As long as I can keep my current equipment and just get a new tank and stand.
75G is a great size for a starter Mbuna tank.

Instead of Labs & Saulosi, do Saulosi. You’ll get 2 colours from 1 fish and female Saulosi may hybridise with Male Labs.

75G:
Saulosi
Rusties
Syndontis Lucipinnis

Keep harems and you’ll have lots of breeding. Makes sure that water is hard before you introduce fish.
 

Ambie

75G is a great size for a starter Mbuna tank.

Instead of Labs & Saulosi, do Saulosi. You’ll get 2 colours from 1 fish and female Saulosi may hybridise with Male Labs.

75G:
Saulosi
Rusties
Syndontis Lucipinnis

Keep harems and you’ll have lots of breeding. Makes sure that water is hard before you introduce fish.
Yeah, I was thinking about having the blue and yellow colors and forgot the m/f Saulosi have both.

What amount of each would be good?
 

PseudotropheusKenobi

Yeah, I was thinking about having the blue and yellow colors and forgot the m/f Saulosi have both.

What amount of each would be good?
8 of each could make a nice harem. 2:6 M:F ratio would be great, once they start breeding you can keep some of the fry and see how your numbers grow.

Don’t overdo it with the fry because you can be overrun real quick.

Also, check out Chindongo Saulosi Coral Red. They are pretty cool fish if you can find them.
 

MacZ

2:6 M:F ratio would be great
I'd do (if possible) an uneven number of males, so they keep each other in check. With 2 males chances are high the dominant one takes it all out on the other one, often ending in an early death.
Otherwise agree, 75 is the least and I would probably still do a species tank.

Don’t overdo it with the fry because you can be overrun real quick.
Absolutely! I go as far as to say: Don't do anything to raise any fry showing up. Let nature do its thing. That way you will "only" end up with a handful of fry per year that make it. And that can be handled.
 

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