General African Cichlid Discussion • 240ltr Stocking - Malawi vs. Tanganyika

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Re: 240ltr Stocking - Malawi vs. Tanganyika

Postby Tom's Tanks » Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:17 pm

fmueller wrote:The rocks look fantastic! If you go for the Brichardi, definitely put in some caves. It looks less natural, but the fish will thank you. They really are cave breeders, and they stress if they don't have caves. Less stress means healthier fish, and who doesn't want that!

I find the Brichardi's breeding behavior more interesting to watch. If you have seen one mouth brooder, you have seen them all. But there aren't many other fish that form colonies quite like Brichardi do. You will be overrun with fry though, but they are usually not so common that LFS won't swap them for food or store credit.

Saulosi have more intense colors. A colored up male can look just as stunning as a Demasoni. And in a tank your size several males will color up.

Regarding plants, I find both species unproblematic with plants. Brichardi won't touch them at all, and I set up a densely planted 200L tank with a colony of Saulosi for my dad some years ago, and they are doing great. He has Cryptocoryne, Anubias, Java Fern, and Bolbitis. Valisneria should be no problem at all! The fry love to hide out in the plants, and do so very successfully. It's a tank that requires very little maintenance. My brother does a water change every couple of months when he visits, and my dad just feeds the fish - done! My Dad is in Germany, my brother is in Switzerland, and I am in New Zealand. My Dad visits me for 2-3 months per year. He sets up an automatic feeder, and has the neighbors refill the feeder every couple of weeks. The tank has been going for years, and the colony is growing very slowly. Mostly any losses are replaced by fry growing up. This is a video I shot of this tank a couple of years ago. It looks virtually identical today.

<snipped video>

This is a Brichardi colony I had at some stage. I love the way so many generations of fry can live peacefully together. The older ones even help the parents defend the colony. It has to be one of the most amazing examples of collaborative behavior among animals.

<snipped video>


Thank you very much for the advice and the videos (those are some beautiful tanks, man those Saulosi were going at it!) - it's really good to hear that the plants seem to be doing well - I'm just so excited to stock the tank, my mind keeps flitting around about what fish to get. I've even considered a mixed mbuna tank to just make it super vibrant.

I thought as everyone has commented on the rocks/layout I'd do a few different shots of the current scape (using a crappy camera). I'm pretty happy with the scape, I'm just thinking about circulation and extra filtration at the moment.

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Re: 240ltr Stocking - Malawi vs. Tanganyika

Postby fmueller » Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:36 am

You have got more caves between those rocks than the initial photo suggested. Very nice.

Everybody does mixed mbuna. I personally find a Saulosi species tank more interesting. I'd probably have one myself, but they are not available in New Zealand.

I don't know if you have seen this. Get's me drooling whenever I look at the picture!

https://www.cichlid-forum.com/tanks/dis ... 8&group=MM
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Re: 240ltr Stocking - Malawi vs. Tanganyika

Postby Tom's Tanks » Sat Sep 01, 2018 4:11 pm

fmueller wrote:You have got more caves between those rocks than the initial photo suggested. Very nice.

Everybody does mixed mbuna. I personally find a Saulosi species tank more interesting. I'd probably have one myself, but they are not available in New Zealand.

I don't know if you have seen this. Get's me drooling whenever I look at the picture!

https://www.cichlid-forum.com/tanks/dis ... 8&group=MM


No I haven't seen that tank before - it does look wonderful, seems he's got some jungle val in there as well! Thanks for the link!

I tested the old Fluval 'M' Series 300W heater that came with my tank over the last couple of days - looks like its working fine - I want to upgrade it to an E series but I'll do that at a later date, probably post-cycle.

So I tested the heater for about 18hrs and it worked fine bringing the tank up to temperature, I put a glass thermometer at the other end of the tank to make sure the heat was being circulated and it was. Then I tuned the heater off to see what the ambient temperature of the tank on its own is 24 degrees Celsius at the moment in my house, which is good because the heaters on its not going to have to have to do too much work to maintain 25 degrees Celsius which is my aim.

I also placed an order for a little sponge filter which I'm going to run as a secondary filter on this tank - mainly because I intend to buy a little nano tank to act as a quarantine tank for sick fish, this way if the filters hidden and running in the main tank when a fish gets sick I can just fill up the nano tank with water from main tank and drop the sponge filter in and we're ready to go! The sponge filter will also act as an aerator at the furthest end of the tank and maybe a feeding zone for fry. (my plan is to stick it in a corner behind a rock and grow a wall of vallisneria around it so you won't be able to see it).
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