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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have successfully completed the major renovations of my 75 gallon reef tank into a 75 gallon Lake Malawi tank. My LFS actually took all my reef "stuff" and livestock off my hands for store credit on another 75 gallon tank (that I have yet to bring home).

Here's a picture of the new setup...and I'll get to explaining things on "How I Did That" below.







The first, and obvious thing was that I removed all the saltwater livestock and rock, cleaned out the filters, cleaned the tank, and cleaned the live sand.

I sold the live rock and livestock to the LFS for store credit, but I kept the live sand for the new setup.

I purchased approximately 220 lbs of round peppered Colorado River rock from a local landscaping company at ten cents a pound.

I also utilized lighting grid to place under the rock and in a couple of spots on the side of the tank to even out the weight distribution of the rocks and to protect the sides of the tank from rock falls...even though all the rock seems solid now, it may not be later.

I filled up the tank with regular tap water, put all the proper chemicals in the tank and am now cycling the tank utilizing baby guppies -- which will probably become live food for my mbuna when they come.

On Wednesday of this week, I'll be making a purchase of the following species and quantities from http://bluegrassaquatics.com/:

(6) -- Cynotilapia afra (Cobue)
(6) -- Pseudotropheus sp.red zebra "Albino'
(6) -- Pseudotropheus Sp. (Msuli)
(2) -- Synodontis petricola

Depending on how this project goes - the new 75 gallon tank that I got store credit for may go to Mbuna or it may go to Haps...not sure which yet.

Thanks for the comments and suggestions!!
Bb
 

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1. How many guppies? For that much stock, you'll want to cycle with at least 30-40 if the guppies are less than 1". Well, depending on the size of the stock you're getting. But you want the bioload to be at least close to the same.

2. I wouldn't let your fish eat them afterwards. While the fish you're getting are omnivorous, live food is still kind of a no-no with mbuna. Then again, tank-raised feed might be the best bet. Who knows if they'll go after them, though. My 4" estherae don't go after 1/2" fry, so who knows.

3. The tank looks awesome! :) Good luck!

4. Haps or Tangs is my vote.
 

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when did you start the cycle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I started yesterday - but I do have about 20 gallons of water from one of my other tanks as well as I transferred my filter media from another 75 to this one - so it should speed things up.

Anyone see any concerns about the tankmates?

Cynotilapia afra (Cobue)


Pseudotropheus Sp. (Msuli)


Red Top Albino Zebra
 

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If you added used filter media, you have an instant cycle. No need to wait at all. I hope the guppies add enough ammonia to keep all the bacteria alive until your cichlids get there. I'd advise overfeeding so the extra food creates more ammonia, just to be sure.

Good Luck, it looks great :thumb: [/code]
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just ordered the Cynotilapia afra (Cobue) and Pseudotropheus Sp. (Msuli) today. They should be here Friday by 3:00 p.m.

The guppies are doing fine - I'll probably remove them when my new arrivals arrive...

I also purchased three Synodontis petricola yesterday at the LFS. They are about 1 1/2" - 2" in length. They're in quarantine right now...probably add them on Friday right before the mbuna get here.

I'm making a trip to the landscape store today to pick up some "blue stone"...I've already got a few pieces (about the size of a softball and smaller):



Here's a shot of the tank with the actinic lights on. They are on from 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.

 

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...tank looks good and has a natural decor set-up to it... :) ...just curious...why did you choose to change from marine to cichlids.... 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Currently, I have one 75 gallon SA setup with angelfish, red/blue tetras, flame tetras, cardinal tetras, and bolivian rams, a 38 asian/w. african setup with pearl gouramis, zebra danios, red tailed black shark, and kribensis.

I wanted to get another tank, and the deal I made with my wife was that if I converted the marine tank (a money hog) into freshwater, I could get another 75...

Every tank I've had since I was about 10 has had cichlids in it - but I never really had a lake malawi setup. My wife like the colors of the mbunas, so that was that! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I received my fish this afternoon. Thankfully, they were all alive - although there are two that I'm a bit worried about (sunken stomachs).

Here's a few pics...sorry - my camera is **** and I need to clean the front of the glass...







 

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Your tank looks great mate :thumb:

Looks like you received some really nice fish to :drooling:
 

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:thumb: It does look great! I don't know much about afras. Are the fish in the pics that aren't showing much color female afras? Are you still going to order the red top albino zebras?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
They're still a little small - about 2 inches - but I believe that I have three male afras and five female. The Musli's I think I have four males and four females.

I held off on buying the albino red tops because my second 75 gallon will be ready next week. I'm going to do 6 Pseudotropheus sp.red zebra "cherry red' and 6 Red Top Albino Zebra...so basically will have a blue and yellow tank (the one we're looking at now) and a red, white and blue tank!

:fish:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A few updates... 07-30-2008:
The algae has really started to come in and the mbuna really enjoy grazing on it. I have cut back my feeding to once a day instead of 3 times a day because I want to see them grazing naturally on the algae. I would suspect that in another month the algae will be really going strong.



 

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Nice job ex-reefer :D
+1 to the black background
 
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