Discussion regarding only Lake Malawi species.
Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:59 pm
It's been a long while since I posted on here. My 150 has been running for about 8 months now and for those of you who may have wondered what the outcome has been, well, my tank has been a success.
Final stock list:
12 tropheops chilumba 2M/10F
4 elongatus chewere 1M/3F
5 acei 2M/3F
3 pearl metriaclima callainos 1M/other 2 are too small to positively id. I ordered 5, but 2 died in transit.
5 williamsi blue lips I think 2M/3F still a bit small to be 100%
The first week of introducing fish was the hardest. I let the acei and chewere have the tank for 2 days and then added the tropheops. Within about 2 minutes the one male tropheops went full out alpha and took 3/4 of the tank and bullied the other male to the point where I had to remove it. I thought this would be it, but I tried anyway. After a few days of watching the 1 male terrorize everyone else in the tank, I caught him, pulled him out and put the other one in. The same thing happened, but this male was even worse. I put the second male back in and they both went into a big brawl. I watched them duke it out for 20 minutes straight. There was no damage what so ever, just constant fighting. I couldn't catch either of them so I put the net in the middle of the tank. Each male had a side and neither one would attempt to cross over with the net in there. I left it in there for 24hrs and still, neither would cross over. Both had dug their territories so I removed the net. Believe it or not they have been great ever since. No issues at all over the past 8 months. Now they didn't like the chewere in the tank and would push him to the corner. This went on for over a month. The chewere wouldn't color up and was not aggressive at all. Then one day after a water change he snapped. He colored up stunningly and ripped on the male chewere on the one side of the tank. After a fight, the chewere had his area and the losing tropheops was forced to find a new home. Well, what do you know. He moved in right next door to the other tropheops. They lived peacefully less than 6 inches from each other for months! Actually all of the fish got along well at this point.
The tank had been up for about 10 weeks when I added the zebras. The aggression dropped even more and once the blue lips were added roughly a week later, the tank has actually been peaceful. Yes, I said peaceful. All of the fish get along really well together and there isn't even much of a territory thing going on either. Even if a male of whatever species claims an area, he'll still let others into it. The female tropheops are quite aggressive toward each other, but it generally doesn't last long. The male tropheops will chase the females around when they want to breed and generally they comply fairly readily and are left alone after that.
All in all things have been great so far. Yes, the tank is still relatively "new" and things may change, however, I'm very pleased with my results so far.
If there is anyone out there considering tropheops chilumba (if you can find them) I strongly urge you to. They are incredibly vibrant fish and very active. They breed like rabbits and there is definitely an added cool factor when you realize they are quite uncommon. By far my favorite mbuna.
Lastly, I was going to add some photos, but I'm short on time. Hopefully I can get those up within the next couple days.