Lake Malawi Species • Minimum size for breeding tank

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Minimum size for breeding tank

Postby Deftek » Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:05 am

Hello,

Im new here. After many years of breeding Tanganyikans, I felt it was time for something different. I rehomed all of them except my big showtank with Frontosa's for now.

This means i have a rack with 6 empty tanks available.
Each tank measures 90x40x30cm.

Would it be possible to breed smaller mbuna in there? Or is it too small?

1 species per tank with 5 or 6 fish.
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Re: Minimum size for breeding tank

Postby noki » Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:33 am

Rather small, but they will breed if you are just trying to get fry to sell other than having permanent setups. Long term with 5 or 6 fish will end up with a male constantly harassing the other fish. You would want it more crowded than 5 fish, males will be rough on the females. Smaller mbuna and/ or young adults.
...
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Re: Minimum size for breeding tank

Postby DJRansome » Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:48 pm

I have had success with small, peaceful mbuna 1m:4f in a tank that size. Even timid haps like lethrinops. But not most mbuna or even stuartgranti peacocks.
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Re: Minimum size for breeding tank

Postby Deftek » Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:44 am

What would be the best amount of small mbuna for these tanks?

Ill start with all mbuna for now.
I've been searching the local venders stocklists and the following species look interesting to me:

Saulosi
Maigano or johanni
Pseudotropheus Polit
Metriaclima Nigrodorsalis knolongwe
Cynotilapia lion sanga
Melanochromis dialeptos since auratus seems to be too aggressive...

Would these species be ok in these tanks size/agression wise? On some of them its difficult to find information.
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Re: Minimum size for breeding tank

Postby DJRansome » Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:50 am

The saulosi and the Cynotilapia might work from that list.

Other peaceful mbuna (not a long list) include Labidochromis caeruleus and Iodotropheus sprengerae.

I like 1m:4f but as noki says if females are getting harassed you can add females.

I would save 3 of the tanks for holding females and/or fry. The fry cannot be in the tank with the adults.

What will you do with the juveniles to grow them out and home them as adults?
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75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
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Re: Minimum size for breeding tank

Postby Deftek » Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:35 pm

I have a 600L poly indoor pond thing in my storage room. I don't know how to call it in English.
Like a big square 600L bucket with a viewing window.
I'd be using that to grow out fish.
Maybe I need to devide it, since it's huge for those small fry?

I will sell the juvies to my local fishstore where i also sold my tanganyikans to.

It's just for hobby though, not aiming to make profit.

Btw my local store recommended me to get 2M5F of the rarer fish, since it might be difficult to find a replacement male incase he dies.

Would that be possible? Or should i have 1 aquarium with all the spare males?
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Re: Minimum size for breeding tank

Postby DJRansome » Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:49 pm

Wow.

Well IME 2 male mbuna in a 36" tank is unlikely to work. Here we can get replacements.

All spare males will fight so probably not a solution. Also the 36" length for them would increase aggression, making things worse.

Fry of different sizes will eat each other, especially when first spit so I would have each brood in a separate 36" tank and then maybe after they are 1/2 inch you could put them in the pool. Still need separate small tanks for the newborns.
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Re: Minimum size for breeding tank

Postby Fogelhund » Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:21 pm

I've seen three or four males work in 36" tanks, and often take the aggression away from the females. One of the most respected aquarists/breeders/importers breeds most of his mbuna and peacocks in such a manner. These are 90 cm x 45cm x 45cm tanks though. Two males, is likely to end in the death of one male... Perhaps if you had extra tanks, to house backup males or rare species, it might work out better.
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Re: Minimum size for breeding tank

Postby Deftek » Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:41 pm

I was thinking of hanging big external 2L breederboxes on the sides of the tanks for the new born fry.

My idea now is to see if and how i can devide the pond tub the best way.
In there maybe I can find a devided space for the spare males or rare species...

Also ill have a chat with the store and see what species he is most willing to buy.
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Re: Minimum size for breeding tank

Postby Fogelhund » Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:03 pm

Honestly, your best bet is to invest some money into tanks and filtration, that are appropriate for what you are trying to do, than to try and force things to work in less than ideal conditions. Your current tanks would work great to raise fry... go buy additional tank, to breed adults. The bigger the better. Two 180cm long tanks, and you can probably do eight species in total, and have plenty of space to raise fry.

Understand, there are many people breeding cichilds, particularly the rarer ones. But do talk to your local store, and find out what they think they could move best... often the rarer fish, are rarer more out of a lack of demand, than anything else.

Otherwise, maybe rethink this whole plan.
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Re: Minimum size for breeding tank

Postby Deftek » Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:57 pm

Fogelhund wrote:Honestly, your best bet is to invest some money into tanks and filtration, that are appropriate for what you are trying to do, than to try and force things to work in less than ideal conditions. Your current tanks would work great to raise fry... go buy additional tank, to breed adults. The bigger the better. Two 180cm long tanks, and you can probably do eight species in total, and have plenty of space to raise fry.


Any tips on how to convince my wife of that? Haha
The rack is in a alcove in my officeroom and have the big tank in the livingroom. Unfortunately I have no space for more tanks.
I could replace the pond tub in the storage room, but its a place were we generally don't come often, so i wouldn't be able to enjoy them as much.

Since i already have the rack i will just have to do with it.
Filtration is not a problem. The whole rack is on a big pond filter/sump with 75L Glafoam media and foam mats.

I guess i have to compromise on the species, or search for something totally different
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Re: Minimum size for breeding tank

Postby Deftek » Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:00 pm

I have another question.

I was talking to a local hobby breeder and he had a interesting way of breeding his fish.

He has a rack with several small tanks (100cm) and in each tank he has 3 female fish of 3 species (so total 9 fish).
The females of these species all look different enough.

He has a big tank divided with all the males and he is rotating the males into the females tanks each 3 weeks.
When its time to rotate he strips all the females and keeps the fry of the females who's male is in that tank. If there are any female from a different species holding he strips them and they become fish food.

So for example in a tank he has 3 females saulosi, 3 female maingano and 3 female hongi.

First he put a male saulosi in for 3 weeks. After 3 weeks he strips the saulosi fry into a fry tank/tumbler. (if there are any holding maingano or hongi he strips them and the fry becomes fishfood).
Then he takes out the male saulosi and replaces him with a male maingano for the next 3 weeks.
Process repeat and than its the Hongi's turn.

He says that this was it is much less stressfull for the females and he can have multiple species in 1 smaller tank without having hybrids.
Ofcourse this is focussed on the hobby part of breeding and not trying to get as much fry as possible.


Has anyone heard of breeders keeping fish like this? What are your thoughts?
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