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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted over at cichlid-forum but I am waiting for a response so I figure I would post here also.

Anyways, I have a 55g tank. It has play sand, rock caves, and some anubias. pH of around 8.3-8.4 out of tap. I have never kept Malawi cichlids before and have only kept a few shellies.

There are a couple of species I am considering getting.

One is Metriaclima, estherae "Red Zebra"
The other is Iodotropheus sprengerae "Rusty"

Can I get a trio of each of these? Would that work well?


I am on a pretty limited budget. I hope to breed these maybe...just for fun. So a species that breed's REALLY EASY would be nice. Just tell me what would be best.

Some other option's that the store has and are in my price range:

Melanochromis, auratus (too aggressive for my taste)
Labeotropheus fuelleborni
Labeotropheus trewavasae
Labidochromis caeruleus
Melanochromis chipokae
Nimbochromis livingstoni,
Nimbochromis polystigma
Nimbochromis venustus
Otopharynx lithobates "Yellow Blaze"
Petrotilapia microgalana "Nkhata Orange"

My budget is going to be around $30-$35 (small, I know) and most these cichlids are $5ea. So I can only get around 6-7 fish. My nearest LFS is 3 hours away, thus why I want a fish that will breed easily so I can get colorful fish. I have a few 10g's and 20g's for fry tanks, so keeping the babies won't be an issue.

What would be a good beginner stock list, that is colorful, and can somewhat tolerate other fish being in the tank if I decide to add more fish later on?

Please lemme know!

-Caton
 

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Here's what I dug up

Metriaclima, estherae "Red Zebra"
"If the specimens are well taken care of, they become brilliantly colored and make quite the display. But care is another sector. These wonderful fish require a good sized tank with minimum of 180 L with, or without other inhabitants. Like all other Mbunas, they have the typical behavior of being aggressive, territorial (especially these ones), and active.


Iodotropheus sprengerae "Rusty"
Realatively peaceful mbuna that will not dig. Due to this it might be harrassed by other, more aggressive species. Iodotropheus sprengerae was one of the earliest cichlids exported from the lake.


In a 55, with a WHOLE bunch of rocks and tunnels maybe. Stuff to distract them.

GL...I would love to have a Cichlid tank (tang)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Jason! I read that article on Aquahobby too.

Can I keep both species AND have them breed?
 

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According to this "cookie cutter" recipe for 55 gallons, they can be kept together:

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/cookie_cutter_55g.php
Select any 3 species (max 12 fishes):
• Metriaclima estherae
• Pseudotropheus saulosi
• Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei"
• Labidochromis sp. "Hongi"
• Labidochromis caeruleus
• Labidochromis sp. "Perlmutt"
• Labidochromis chisimulae
• Iodotropheus sprengerae
• Cynotilapia afra
Do not mix any Labidochromis species.
 

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oops - hit "post" too soon. Yes, there could be some fry-eating issues. But both of them are maternal mouthbrooders so you can learn to "strip" the fry and grow them out separately. Also, if you leave them in the tank for the mother to rear, plenty of hiding places will allow some survival. My own 125-gallon cichlid tank has been left to run nature's course and yet some fry always manage to survive with hiding spots! In fact, they're over-populating the tank and I wish they'd stop reproducing!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Alright, sounds good. I was just looking at that cookie cutter. Thanks guys!
 

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Lucky you to have liquid rock from the tap. As long as you provide plenty of caves, I think they should be okay. I've a "few" of mela and lab in my 240g tank.
 

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I would go with rusty. 1 male 4 female. Look for yellow labs, they breed like rabbits and I have 12 fry right now growing out. So 1 male 4 female yellow lab and pic another fish that is white or backlist purple to compliment the others. Use river rock for deco and get Pfs since play sand isn't good.
 
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