Lake Malawi Species • Noob with overpopulated tank

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Noob with overpopulated tank

Postby caesarino » Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:02 am

Hey there,

Info:
- my tank is 650L, basically a 6foot tank
- it is stocked with ?? Mbunas
- KH is 8
- PH is 7.8
- NO2 is 0
- NO3 is 40-80 (I know it is too high, Im doing 50% water changes every 1-2weeks)
- filtration is 1x fx4 and 1x e1902 jbl

The population rose to a degree that is in my opinion very unhealthy. Every 2-3 months one of my adults dies. The biggest problem is that I cant tell anymore which fry is pure bred and which one is a hybrid. I have read and got told that I should add some synodontis multipunctatus for fry patrol. Is that still a option for me even though most of the fry is already 0.5 inches or bigger? Would it be better for me to add something like 2 oscars to get even the bigger fry?

Cheers,
caesarino
P.S.: Sorry for my bad english
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Re: Noob with overpopulated tank

Postby DJRansome » Wed Mar 10, 2021 9:09 am

Your situation is what we all try to avoid by stock fish that have a low risk of cross breeding. If you don't have spare tanks for the hybrids to live out their 8-year average life spans (which most people don't...at least not enough tanks), you may need to consider euthanasia.

The Synodontis will help you ongoing. Oscars will not work well in a mbuna tank.

If you really want your fry to be feeders, you could get a separate 75G tank for the predator fish and feed him in the separate tank.

I would net all the fish and keep only the pure fish you are sure of. In a six foot tank I would shoot for 5 species with 1m:4f of each.

Ongoing you should also change 50% of water weekly as a minimum and there is nothing wrong with doing 75% weekly (gradually increase from 50% to 75%) so that you can keep your nitrates under 20ppm.
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Re: Noob with overpopulated tank

Postby caesarino » Wed Mar 10, 2021 9:46 am

Thanks for the fast reply and thanks for not judging.

Euthanasia sound horrible to be honest. I don't know if I am built to do that... but what I could do would be the 75g predator tank or trying to get all the females into another tank so that no new fry is born.

75% weekly waterchanges sounds good that shouldnt be a problem.

Just to clarify: I can not introduce any bigger Mbunas or something similar to reduce the ammount of fry in the tank?

Thanks again for the help,

cheers,

caesarino

Edit: I will try to get my hands on the Synodontis multipunctatus
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Re: Noob with overpopulated tank

Postby DJRansome » Wed Mar 10, 2021 9:54 am

Well creating a situation where the juveniles will be eaten alive does not sound a whole lot better than euthansia (still not judging)...at least it would be painless and stress free for the fish and you would get to choose who stays and who goes. I would assume all fry are hybrid because there is really not a good way to know otherwise. Hybrid fry can look pure.

IME Africans and Synodontis will eat fry when they are spit but not so much thereafter. I can't think of a predator that would be compatible in a mbuna tank that will eat half inch fish.
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Re: Noob with overpopulated tank

Postby caesarino » Wed Mar 10, 2021 9:59 am

Could I technically reduce the rockwork to a degree that there is almost no hiding spots for fry just to dwindle their chances of survival? Or would that create too much stress for the adults?
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Re: Noob with overpopulated tank

Postby Auballagh » Wed Mar 10, 2021 11:35 am

PLUS ONE to 'DJRansome'.
Adjust the rockwork. Only pull rockwork out temporarily to net fish, etc... Do not remove the rockwork. Mbuna need structure to swim around, on, under and get behind when being chased or harassed. Without it - there WILL be stress.
- Euthanasia: Okay - I'll speak to it. Net the fish to be removed out and place them into a sturdy, plastic bag. Place the bag with fish into your freezer and let it freeze down rock solid. The fish will go dormant, (asleep) and will just never wake up. It's totally painless for the fish and easy on you. And, when you have sick, diseased or massively injured injured fish... it is the ethical/correct thing to do when something in your care like that is suffering so badly like that.
- Fry Control: Sometimes adding a fresh Mbuna group (1M/4+F) to an existing Mbuna aquarium can result in better results in fry control. More activity. More fish. Less opportunity for new fry to escape. Alternatively, the Synodontis catfish are relentless predators at night. Tiny little fry will definitely 'disappear' in a tank with a group of those social catfish placed in it.
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Re: Noob with overpopulated tank

Postby Fogelhund » Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:47 pm

Large predator Hap additions to a mbuna tank, really depends on the species of mbuna in question. I've certainly kept Haps and mbuna together many times, but not with the more aggressive mbuna. Additionally, despite having a 11-12" Champsochromis caeruleus (and a bunch of 8" females) in a 7ft 270 gallon, I still had some Labidochromis caeruleus fry survive, so it isn't a perfect 100% anyway.

Maybe post some pictures of your fish, and we can help sort things out for you.
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Re: Noob with overpopulated tank

Postby DJRansome » Wed Mar 10, 2021 5:59 pm

caesarino wrote:Could I technically reduce the rockwork to a degree that there is almost no hiding spots for fry just to dwindle their chances of survival? Or would that create too much stress for the adults?
You could do this by removing the smaller rocks so there are still lots of rocks for the mbuna, but spaces between are larger and adults can fit to get the fry.

But again, this only helps you long term...does not help with fry that are already 1/2 inch.

And a group of Synodontis are more effective IME than removing rocks.
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Re: Noob with overpopulated tank

Postby fishndogs » Thu Mar 11, 2021 1:17 am

Auballagh wrote:- Euthanasia: Okay - I'll speak to it. Net the fish to be removed out and place them into a sturdy, plastic bag. Place the bag with fish into your freezer and let it freeze down rock solid. The fish will go dormant, (asleep) and will just never wake up. It's totally painless for the fish and easy on you. And, when you have sick, diseased or massively injured injured fish... it is the ethical/correct thing to do when something in your care like that is suffering so badly like that.

Personally, I would not recommend this method. I used it once when I had no clove oil on hand. I checked on the fish part way through the process and he was by no means going dormant but was thrashing around violently in obvious distress. Not a pretty sight. Never again. Clove oil, on the other hand, is quick and probably as humane as possible.
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Re: Noob with overpopulated tank

Postby caesarino » Thu Mar 11, 2021 7:00 am

@Auballagh and @Fogelhound @DJRansome: Thanks for your replies. I will most certainly get a group of 5 haps in the near future as well as the synodontis multipunctatus. Looking at the tank right now and being absolutely inexperienced I am not 100% sure if there are hybrids but some of them look like it for me. I will get some pictures later after maintenance! Also there is no 100% way not even euthanasia so im okey with anything that works!

@fishndogs: Thanks for your reply. Euthanasia will be my absolute last option. I will try anything else first. Maybe I am lucky and find someone that wants the hybrids if there are any which I can not confirm
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Re: Noob with overpopulated tank

Postby DJRansome » Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:12 am

Read this article about hybrids. Please think about ways you can address the issue within your walls.
https://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/ ... em_pt1.php

Remember you cannot always or even often identify hybrids by visual exam. If the fry were born in the tank and you have a cross breeding risk, assume they are all hybrids. IMO there is no way to be sure they are pure.
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Re: Noob with overpopulated tank

Postby caesarino » Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:17 am

I have read the article it was very interesting and very informing.
If you were refering to the aquarium club I mentioned, I already stated that it can not be excluded that there could be hybrids among them.

Also I can understand your and probably the concern of a lot of hobbyists. I will try to avoid spreading those fish to breeders or businesses. Here in germany I can not sell them to stores anyway so private selling is the only thing I could do.

Edit: Would it be okey if I post some pictures of the tank, including the fishes of course, to maybe get some suggestions about the design of the rockwork itself, or should I adress that in another thread?
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Re: Noob with overpopulated tank

Postby DJRansome » Thu Mar 11, 2021 3:55 pm

You are welcome to post pictures so Members can advise on aquascape.
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Re: Noob with overpopulated tank

Postby caesarino » Tue Mar 16, 2021 4:28 am

Hello there,

sorry for the delay in posting those images! I got sick and totally forgot about uploading the pictures!

Here there are:
So my question is. Is my aquascape suitable or not? What can I change/should I change?

Cheers,

caesarino
Attachments
Malawi6.jpg
Malawi1.jpg
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Re: Noob with overpopulated tank

Postby caesarino » Tue Mar 16, 2021 4:31 am

I do have more pictures if necessary!
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