I used to have a male and female bumblebee. Unfortunately a red zebra slipped through my tank divider and killed my female. I've since given the zebra away and now the male bumblebee is the king of my tank. I also have an electric yellow and two blue johanni (juveniles - small) along with a hi-fin synodontis and large pleco and some smaller cory cats. My bumblebee has such character, much more than any other in my tank. He always notices when someone is watching and swims to the front to watch you back. He gets along with all the fish in my tank and rarely, if ever has fought. He will mouth the synodontis to move him away from his cave, but that's about it! If you want a fun fish that has personality, this is it!
I must say that all of the bumblebee cichlids that I hear as being aggressive differ from my experience. Mine is by far the largest in the tank, but it claims no cave as it's own. That seems to be my socolofi's trait. My bumblebee is actualy quite at peace with his tank mates and has never been involved in a scuffle. I even have a green terror (yes I know I mixed S. Americans with Africans) that also is extremely docile. But a bumblebee in my opinion is a great beginner cichlid and I would highly recommend them to any looking into cichlids.
Maybe BumbleBee Cichlids vary greatly in aggression levels. I have read that they aren't very aggressive. Howeverm I have had a bumble bee (named bumblebee guy) and he was a complete terror. There were three or four other Africans in the tank, and he made them all hide in the corners while he swam around ruling the entire tank. He even would bite my finger if I put it anywhere close to the water. He eventually got so big and obnoxious that I sold him back to the pet store. Since then, I have upgraded to a larger tank with eight smaller africans. I bought a baby bumble bee (name yet to be determined) and he hasn't shown too much aggression as of yet. However, there are four others that are currently much larger than he is. I'll check back with an update once he grows uncontrollably and is the largest in the tank.
I've been keeping Mbuna for about 3 years now. I keep a male and a female Crabro in my 215 litre tank, along with a variety of other Mbuna including elongatus, greshekai, fuelleborni, afra, johanni and a syndontis catfish. My male is approximately 16 cm, the female is about 12.5 cm. He nearly always shows his dominant black colouring, whilst the female always retains the bumblebee markings that these fish derive their common name from. I have found that if you have a hood on your tank that will take 2 lights, placing an actinic (blue) light at the back and a sun-glo at the front will bring out the best colours of mbuna. He is not hyper-aggressive, but having a mbuna community that has been established for nearly 3 years now and quite crowded, the fish in the tank know their places in the pecking order and no one fish is harassed too much. He has killed some fish though. I had a Melanochromis interruptus male that was introduced at the same time. This species is also quite aggressive, but they lived together relatively peaceably until earlier this year, when for some reason this fish weakened. The crabro seized its opportunity to rid itself of a dominant rival and killed it. The crabro is a beautiful fish and I would recommend them to other aquarists. Keep them either in a species tank or an overcrowded (with a high level of filtration) Mbuna community tank. Make sure you have a sand substrate and plenty of rocks and caves for them. I would NOT recommend keeping them in a general community tank or even a tank of cichlids that do not come from Malawi. Also avoid mixing Mbuna with rock dwelling Aulonocara as the far more boisterous nature of the Mbuna will stress the other fish.
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