Best Combo for 55G? (Single Mbuna But Variety of Species In Tank?)

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Registered Member
Sep 21, 2022
I was wondering if it was a bad idea to but singles in a tank setup?

I really like the Giant Demasoni (Blue Dolphin Manda) but they're a bit big to put too many in my tank. I thought maybe I could get 1 or 2 since they're apparently so chill.

I also like the Maison Reef Cichlid but the females are super dull. I'm not sure if 2-3 males would be aggressive towards each other, and again they're a bit bigger so don't want to overdo it.

But I also would've liked a mix of Yellow Labs and maybe those rare White Labs that look like pearly white!

I've looked at Rusties and don't like them. I've looked at Acei and they're okay, but not my preferred look.

So I guess the question is for a 55G with about 35lbs of Dry Rock and 40lbs of Aragonite substrate, if I had an AquaClear 70 HOB and let's say a decent Canister (I don't have it yet but was looking at the Eheim Classic 250 or 350 maybe?) for filtration, what could my end game stocking look like realistically and ideally (full size fish of course)?

For example could I do:
4x Yellow Labs
4x White Labs
1-2x Giant Demasoni
1-3x Maison Reef


Registered Member
Nov 10, 2022
love me some yellow labs. for cichlids very mellow ---and stunning looks. in a mixed tank thats very important.

Hobbyist 4 Life

AC Members
Nov 21, 2022
Demasoni should be kept in groups of 8 or more. Don't add them. Add two more of Maison Reef. Please keep it to a ratio of 1 male to four females. Make sure you change out 50% of the water each week. Acei are too big. Don't keep the species of the same males in a tank together. Keep an all male tank if you want to include extra males. In fact, loose any females and keep an all male tank of one fish per species. Go ahead with 1 male to four female ratio though and lose the demasoni, as they require 8 and a 75 gallon tank in my opinion. You can add a Male Maingano instead, but I think you could try just one male Demasoni. It doesn't always work since they will become saddened. Total list recommendation:

1 male 4 females yellow labs
1 male 4 females White labs
1 male 4 females Maison Reef Cichlids


15 all males of different species (Not recommendable)


All single species tank

Never add males of the same species in an African cichlid tank unless you are going for a breeding colony, when 1 male to 5 femals 1 male to 3 females should suffice.


Eheim User
Feb 9, 2005
Medina, Ohio
Real Name
I wouldn't mix yellow labs with white labs personally. Unfortunately the OP hasn't been back after his 1st post.