Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

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Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by flukekiller on Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:21 am

Hello all,,,

Thanks in advance for any help and advice given.

I am starting a Lake Malawi tank. i have never had this species before.
I am not new to the hobby.. i have had aquariums for roughly 15yrs.
they range from community fish to discus(my favorite) to aggressive
(florida gar, peacock bass,datnoids) and i even dabbled into saltwater
for a bit.

for now i have a 55gal tank i have been researching online for about a month now
and i would like some info on stocking. How many fish max? and maybe some stocking
ideas like what type of fish and how many on each?

Thanks again
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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by Micheal on Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:30 am

Do you have an idea of what type you would like to keep such as mbuna, haps or peacock. You have many options for a 55 gallon but will find a few that will be to aggressive or to large for this size tank. If your going to try mbuna the recommended number of species max would be 3 different species. A total number of fish at an average size of 5 inches would be around 17 fish. Over filtering is a huge difference in keeping healthy fish in the opinion of the hobby and I try to have at least 10 times turnover in my tanks at a minimum.
Try to look around for some fish you like and post back which ones you come up with and we will be happy to try to help you get your tank stocked with a mix that will work. Hope this helps get you started.
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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by flukekiller on Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:55 am

i am looking to do a Mbuna tank... i have looked at :
c.afra
i. sprengerae
L. caeruleus
m. estherae
these are the main types that caught my eye. any others that i should consider
let me know.
as for structure, can i use slate to build caves and such or should i go more with some type of holey rock or round rocks? would mix and match be best for rocks?
Thanks
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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by poolmako on Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:59 am

i agree with micheal and would add only this with a small tank like a 55 i would look into the dwarf mbuna and the smaller haps or peacocks, its a fact im not much on mbuna but i find the smaller ones to have great color and with haps i would check out the copads and protomelas or lithobates these fish have nice color and most dont get very big and if peacocks are fish you fancy you might want to think about an all male tank, i would say the number one key would be to get whatever fish you choose small because it will be easier for them to get along young and grow up together, just my opinion.
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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by Aura on Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:38 am

I think the afra, sprengerae, and caeruleus would be a good-looking combination and probably do okay in a 55. My sprengerae are pretty aggressive toward each other, but most of the info and profiles that I've read on them say they aren't too bad as far as aggression goes .

Any rocks will work -- it's what you think looks nice that should determine what you use. I will say that I think tanks that use all of one type look nicer than mixed types of rock.

Welcome to the forum. Very Happy
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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by theswede on Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:40 pm

Welcome aboard! I would probably stock a tank this size with a group of Pseudotropheus saulosi and add one more species to it. Saulosi is a stunning dwarf mbuna that will take care of two colors for you. Male looks similar to demasoni and female yellow.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ee/Pseudotropheus_saulosi.jpg
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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by Micheal on Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:46 pm

I have afra cobue and sprengerae in a 55 along with z-rock lithobates. As far as numbers for each species you will want to have a ratio of 3 females to one male for each species. I have also had it work with 2 males to 4 females.
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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by flukekiller on Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:01 am

thanks for all the info... im gonna do some more researching
still need to get the tank cycled and do some aquascaping..
ill be back soon
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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by ovyaker75 on Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:38 pm

I have some ob zebras about an inch to inch and a half long if you want some, I work in the kiln creek area during the weekend....trying to make more room for other fish.
Ray

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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by flukekiller on Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:26 pm

Thanks but im not looking for ob zebras right now plus im not even close to getting fish yet. still gathering rocks
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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by flukekiller on Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:02 pm

aquascaping so far. what do you think.? do i need to go higher?

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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by Aura on Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:24 pm

No, I don't think you need to go higher. It looks fine as far as making hiding spots and areas to explore, but I think it would look better if you worked with one type of rock and had sand across the entire tank. I like the light brown rocks you have in there. Smile

Are you planning on adding a background?
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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by flukekiller on Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:32 pm

for the background i think im just gonna get the rocky picture or possibly paint it black.

i was thinking of taking the slate out or atleast taking the slate from the right side out

it just doesnt look right . for now im gonna stick with the substrate the way i have it

eventually changing over to all pebble or all sand. possibly when i decide to upgrade

the tank, im gonna go with black sand.

depending on if im gonna paint or not im almost ready to start my fishless cycle.

cant add water if im gonna paint, made that mistake once,,takes forever to dry.
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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by Aura on Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:36 am

A black background would look nice. thumbs up
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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by flukekiller on Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:19 am

well everything is set up and i just started my fishless cycle today...
if all goes well it should be done in 10-14 days and ready for some fish
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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by flukekiller on Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:42 am

i am looking into getting the food i will need and i was thinking of getting these
2 foods. what are your thoughts ?? should i get something different?
HBH 8 Veggie Flake Fish Food and
Hagen Nutrafin Max Spirulina Fish Food Flakes
i will be adding the following fish:
first will be i. sprengerae(rusty)
then yellow labs then red zebras and afra

i will be getting 4 of each probably about 2 weeks apart from each other
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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by Aura on Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:43 am

Those foods should be fine.

I use New Life Spectrum pellets for all of my fish. I don't know how the fish feel about it, but I prefer the pellets over flake. Smile

Have fun with that cycling!
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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by flukekiller on Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:29 am

i wasnt sure if i should go with pellets or flake.. i havent used flake in years.

im gonna look into some pellets... do you use pellets just as a preference

or do they not foul up the water as bad?
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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by flukekiller on Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:50 am

btw ,,, is there a difference between new life spectrum and

new life international spectrum?
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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by Aura on Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:22 pm

It's the same ...

It's just a personal preference, but I like the pellets because the flake is so messy. I also seem to go through flake much more quickly than the NLS pellets. I'm pretty sure that my fish poop less when they eat the NLS.

But there are plenty of good brands of food to chose from -- NLS is just what I've been mainly using for years, for all of my fish.
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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by cichlidman on Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:47 pm

I love mbuna's. Just be sure they have lots of hiding places.. They can be aggressive.

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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by flukekiller on Mon May 02, 2011 9:47 am

the cycling is going well already have nitrites peaked past 5 ppm and ammonia dropping

now im just waiting for the nitrites to start dropping.. the cycling is going better(faster)

than expected. so i might have to maintain the cycling process until i can get the fish

but that all depends on how quickly the nitrites drop and balance out with the

ammonia
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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by flukekiller on Fri May 06, 2011 10:42 am

well the has been fully cycled for 2 days now ammonia and nitrites @ 0 after 12hrs

just cant get fish until Wednesday so i will have to keep the fishless cycle going to

keep the bacteria alive.

my question is do i do a water change now to get the nitrates down or wait

until i am ready to get the fish
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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by ovyaker75 on Fri May 06, 2011 10:39 pm

I would wait a few weeks after you get your fish
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Re: Need some advice on starting a Lake Malawi tank....

Post by flukekiller on Sat May 07, 2011 8:01 am

i cant wait until after i get the fish,, i need to do atleast one water change before

i get them,, the nitrates are gonna be through the roof.
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