Lake Malawi Species • Help setting up my first mbuna tank

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Help setting up my first mbuna tank

Postby iamV1shnu » Thu May 27, 2021 12:12 pm

Hi everyone,

I’m extending my house so planning to add a new tank to my 50 and 10 gal planted tanks. I wanted to have African Cichlids (Mbunas in particular, I like to have groups). Decided to get a 48*18*18 tank. For filtration sunsun 304 and 302.
My Ph is high in low range and low in high range API test kit (7.4 ?), haven’t checked on hardness but i get white deposits in taps and bathroom floors ( assuming it’s a bit hard ), I can use seachem buffers but rather not. My temperature stays at 31C during hot days and get down to 26C during winters, currently its around 30-31C.
Now I would like to have 4 species

8 - Labidochromis caeruleus (Yellow lab)
12 - Pseudotropheus Demasoni
4 - Iodotropheus sprengerae (Rusties)
4 - Pseudotropheus socolofi “Albino” (Snow White)
The last two species might be subject to availability. If it’s not available i can replace them with any species you guys suggest.

I will be able to do water changes weekly once , about 25-30%.

My questions are :

1. Will my parameters and temperature work ?
2. How is my stocking list and will it be okay for my setup ?

Thanks
iamV1shnu
 
Joined: Thu May 27, 2021 10:54 am
Location: India

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Re: Help setting up my first mbuna tank

Postby DJRansome » Thu May 27, 2021 12:52 pm

40ppm nitrates is borderline safe. I would shoot for 20ppm max and then change 50% to get down to 10ppm. From the other thread it appears this may not be possible for you?

I would shoot for 78 degrees...will this be possible for you?

With demasoni, I would stock 15 and only three species. Would you prefer that or would you prefer to eliminate the demasoni?

Normally (not demasoni) I like the groups to be 1m:4f...I have never had luck with quads.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Help setting up my first mbuna tank

Postby iamV1shnu » Thu May 27, 2021 1:58 pm

40ppm was said as a max guideline , I would not wait till it reach 40ppm, 50% is doable to me but I heard there might be ph fluctuations as I will be buffering using aragonite substrate.

78 may not be possible during summers but very much doable in winters, I can try having it at 80-82 realistically during summers.

I would ideally want a yellow and blue combo as my main fishes. I looked into saulosi (not many brighter blue males) , cobalt blue ( not having that dark blue contrast with yellow), Miangano ( aggressive and hard to keep than demasoni ). So decided to go with labs and dems ( I like that they are bit small ) and both these are readily available.

If I upgrade (if these filter can handle a bigger tank) to a 75 or a 85(48x24x18) will I be able to have the species I listed ?

If the tank upgrade won’t let me squeeze in that 4th species I can stick with 3 species ( lab 8, 12dems and 5 rusties possibly ) . If u have a better stocking option for me I would be very interested in hearing that.
iamV1shnu
 
Joined: Thu May 27, 2021 10:54 am
Location: India

Re: Help setting up my first mbuna tank

Postby DJRansome » Thu May 27, 2021 6:37 pm

The problem with demasoni...aside from the fact that they can be delicate healthwise...is that a large group helps manage aggression.

Maingano are absolutely not more difficult than demasoni...much easier and a good substitute if you are looking for bright blue like demasoni.

1m:7f maingano
1m:4f yellow labs
1m:4f rusties
1m:4f socolofi

You are a couple of fish over the max I like for a 75G with the above, but it should be a workable mix. A filter change does not enable more fish.

Agrees 40ppm is max. That means 40.05 is unsafe. Why not shoot for between 10ppm and 20ppm for the ideal?

If you can keep the temp under 80 that should work.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Help setting up my first mbuna tank

Postby iamV1shnu » Fri May 28, 2021 1:38 am

Thanks ,

The problem with maingano’s is getting them is I wouldn’t know if they sold johannis to me and the sex ratio of 1:8 which might be very hard especially when bought as juveniles. That’s also a reason i went with demasoni. If I find a trusted seller selling Maingano I’ll definitely buy them over demasoni. How much would you recommend buying ( considering the difficulty gender identification ) ?.

If I can’t get Mainganos can 15dems, 8labs and 5rusties work too ?
iamV1shnu
 
Joined: Thu May 27, 2021 10:54 am
Location: India

Re: Help setting up my first mbuna tank

Postby DJRansome » Fri May 28, 2021 8:55 am

Shoot for 20 fish in a 75G, allowing a couple more if one species is demasoni to accomodate the extra demasoni required. The gender mix matters for demasoni as well, I usually buy 2X as many unsexed juveniles based on the number of females I want to end up with, and then rehome extra fish as problem males mature. For a demasoni tank this could work:
3m:12f demasoni
1m:4f yellow labs
1m:4f rusties

Keep a close eye on the high nitrates and high heat with the demasoni...they get bloat easily enough if both of those are perfect and it cannot help to have those additional problems to deal with.

Regarding maingano...could you buy juveniles and as long as they are not orange, you know they are not johannii?
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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DJRansome
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Re: Help setting up my first mbuna tank

Postby iamV1shnu » Fri May 28, 2021 1:54 pm

Thanks for your help , I will see what I can find and stock accordingly ( well after lockdown, that is ).
iamV1shnu
 
Joined: Thu May 27, 2021 10:54 am
Location: India

Re: Help setting up my first mbuna tank

Postby iamV1shnu » Wed Jun 02, 2021 4:54 am

@DJRansome , I received my gh kh test kit from API today. My Gh is at 16 and my Kh is at 16 but my ph is only around 7.5
Why is my Ph low when I have high Kh ?
Do I need to add aragonite/crushed corals to buffer my water or the readings are just fine for the fishes ?.
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2021 10:54 am
Location: India

Re: Help setting up my first mbuna tank

Postby DJRansome » Wed Jun 02, 2021 9:31 am

I think 7.5 will be OK. You don't have any water softeners on your tap water correct?

The aragonite/crushed coral would be for the purpose of boosting your KH so you are good for that parameter.
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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Re: Help setting up my first mbuna tank

Postby iamV1shnu » Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:09 am

Yes water don’t have any water softener or other additives, it’s straight ground water.
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2021 10:54 am
Location: India


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