Lake Malawi Species • New to Africans... I have some questions.

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New to Africans... I have some questions.

Postby angry-admin » Sun May 24, 2020 8:47 pm

Hi All,

I've been keeping tropical fish for years but trying my hand at african cichlids and have a few questions/concerns I was hoping to get some input on.

First, I have a 75g tank that is 48" long with a Seachem Tidal 110 HOB. I'm considering a canister too, but mechanical filtration seems to ok for now. It is sufficiently outfitted with rocks and enough hides. Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates are at 0, 0, 20 ppm respectively. Ph is at 8 and Gh at 10. I've been doing one 30% water change a week at the moment. I'll prob up it to two a week once/if I add a third species.

It is currently stocked with 5 juvenile Yellow Labs and 6 juvenile P. acei. There is very little aggression that I've noticed so far. I am planning on adding 10 P. demasoni soon. All are juveniles currently. I've been reading about sexing them and it seems the only true way to do it is by venting...

My biggest concern is around mixed breeding and hybrid fry. With the three species I mentioned, do I need to worry a lot about getting hybrid fry? I'd like to eventually sell/trade some of the fry, and I certainly would not try to pass a hybrid off as pure. But I'm wondering how large the possibility of getting hybrids, or will they stick to their own if given the proper M/F ratio.

Also, are there any other good species you'd recommend in addition to or instead of the demasoni? I'm trying to get lots of color while keeping my chances of hybrid fry down as much as possible. I'd like to stick with mbuna only at this point. No Haps or Peacocks. Is the only way to completely avoid hybrids to keep a species only tank?

Thanks for taking the time to read this.
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Re: New to Africans... I have some questions.

Postby DJRansome » Sun May 24, 2020 9:10 pm

Welcome to Cichlid-forum!!

angry-admin? Sounds ominous!

I would skip the demasoni, but if you add them plan on 15 individuals after removing extra males. And don't add a fourth species. Given 1m:4f of each risk of cross breeding is low.

For one or even two more species consider 1m:7f of Pseudotroheus cyaneorhabdos Maingano for the same blue as demasoni.

You could up the other species to 1m:5f if you are good with three species. Or you could add Iodotropheus sprengerae 1m:4f as your fourth species with the Maingano.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: New to Africans... I have some questions.

Postby angry-admin » Mon May 25, 2020 9:30 pm

Thanks DJ,

Any particular reason why you are suggesting to not do demasoni. I had been reading about the maingano and it seems like they are more aggressive than the demasoni. Is that not the case?

I saw the rustys and I do like them. They might make their way into my tank too.

If I could, I have a question about food. It seems most species I'm looking at are more herbivorous than omnivorous. Or, at least they need a good amount of vegetable in their diet to prevent bloat. I have been feeding Hikari Sinking Cichlid gold pellets. They list a minimum of 40% protein. Is this a decent food based on the stock for my tank? Should I be using something more vegetable based with spirulina in it? Thanks.
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Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 8:12 pm
Location: USA

Re: New to Africans... I have some questions.

Postby DJRansome » Tue May 26, 2020 8:46 am

Maingano are not more aggressive than demasoni. Keep them in the right sized tank and the right ratio and group size.

Maingano seem to be more robust than demasoni. Demasoni are a challenging fish, and you have to want them no matter what to do the extra work involved.

They are aggressive among themselves if the ratio or group size is wrong...and even then just to amuse themselves. They need the big group which not everyone wants to do, and therefore more males may have to be rehomed which most people find inconvenient.

They are more susceptible to "bloat".

Every time you have to rehome a male or net a sick fish or remove a sub-dominant male that has been rejected by the group (or the dominant male if you choose) it ends up being easiest to remove all the rocks.

I would switch over to NLS Cichlid Formula or Northfin Cichlid Formula when you run out of Hikari. The ingredients are of a higher quality with NLS and Northfin and both have spirulina and the right balance of protein and plant foods.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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DJRansome
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Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 8:30 am
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