Lake Malawi Species • Maybe I messed up on my rock placement for Mbuna?

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Maybe I messed up on my rock placement for Mbuna?

Postby MrBelugaBiscuit » Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:51 am

Hello all! Long time lurker, first time poster.

I recently set up a new 60g tank for Mbuna. Filtered by a fluval FX4, in conjunction with a Marineland Magnum internal canister(back up/polisher) and an Eheim surface skimmer. I used Caribsea cichlid substrate and all the caves you see are Underwater Laboratories cichlid caves. My question is the overall placement of the caves... Should I have kept the structures more even throughout the tank? Or will this set up allow territories? Should I add more and stack higher? I will have 4 Labidochromis Caeruleus, 4 Metriaclima Estherae, 4 Pseudothropheus Acei.

Any input would be greatly appreciated! (Full photo if you click on it)

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Re: Maybe I messed up on my rock placement for Mbuna?

Postby After_Shock » Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:05 am

Must admit I've never tried rocks such as you have with them hollowed out, in theory it would allow enough territories as the fish would just pick a rock and stick inside it.

However id be concerned over the number of fish you have, even if you can guarantee 1m and 3females of each id still have more.

Also Acei will outgrow the tank, they need a lot of swimming space to keep happy and also to be kept in much bigger groups than 4 fish.
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Re: Maybe I messed up on my rock placement for Mbuna?

Postby Fogelhund » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:51 am

Just some notes.... those cichlid caves are really designed for substrate cave spawners.... not Malawian mouthbrooders. They are very good for fish that like to have a protected cave, where they go lay their eggs..... but that isn't what mbuna do. The best type of rock work, and caves for mbuna, are ones that they can easily swim through, as they are being chased. If it were my tank... I wouldn't be keeping those cichlid caves at all... at least not for mbuna.

That being said... your picture has a kenyi in it.... is that being kept?

Second point... red zebras, and yellow labs hybridize.... very easily.
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Re: Maybe I messed up on my rock placement for Mbuna?

Postby gillmanjr » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:35 am

I'm not sure that those openings are large enough for most mature Mbuna. They look small.
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Re: Maybe I messed up on my rock placement for Mbuna?

Postby tanker3 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:34 pm

I think the caves are OK for looks, but not as much use for the Mbunas. Your Mbunas like crevices, not caves.
75gal Tank White Labs, White Top Haras, Met. Membe Deep
58gal Tank Ps. Saulosi , Lab. Perlmutt
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Re: Maybe I messed up on my rock placement for Mbuna?

Postby MrBelugaBiscuit » Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:51 pm

That is a Metriaclima Lombardoi. A friend was going to flush him due to the aggressive nature. I will be removing it before I get my fish. I got the stocking recommendation from te cookie cutter section in these very forums for a tank this size. I appreciate all the info. Just want to do it right.
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Re: Maybe I messed up on my rock placement for Mbuna?

Postby MrBelugaBiscuit » Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:53 pm

Maybe I should go for smaller Tanginyikan?
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Re: Maybe I messed up on my rock placement for Mbuna?

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:16 pm

What are the tank dimensions?

Could you link that cookie cookie article? There shouldn't be any scenarios with Estherae and L. Caeruleus together.
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Re: Maybe I messed up on my rock placement for Mbuna?

Postby MrBelugaBiscuit » Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:44 pm

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/c ... er_55g.php

It is under the smaller less aggressive 55.

I was leaning towards Tangs originally... But my significant other thought they were not colorful enough... the tank is 48X12x25
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Re: Maybe I messed up on my rock placement for Mbuna?

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:59 pm

Thanks.

So Estherae and L. Caeruleus Lions Cove(Yellow Lab) have a tendency to hybridize. You don't want that. Some would argue this point, but there's plenty of combos you could choose from to significantly reduce chances of creating hybrids.

There are members who keep Acei in 4' tanks, usually a standard 75. They do grow large, however.

I can't help but notice your proposed stock are some of the commonly available species at the big box stores. I strongly urge you to buy elsewhere. Their fish are generally mislabeled and of poor quality. If this isn't the case, then please disregard.

How close are you to the Chicagoland area?
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Re: Maybe I messed up on my rock placement for Mbuna?

Postby MrBelugaBiscuit » Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:43 pm

I live in Indianapolis. I do not shop for fish in big box places. I am more than likely going to mail order, as the one decent shop wants $30 for a single Brichardi... After doing more research I think I will go with Tangs for this tank. I think the person above is correct that these are too small for Mbuna.
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Re: Maybe I messed up on my rock placement for Mbuna?

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:28 pm

If you really want Mbuna just visit your local landscape yard and buy boulders for dirt cheap. Save the cichlid stones for another day.
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