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Hi folks,

Been an active reader of this forum for a while, but now I have reason to join! YAY!

While not a newbie to the hobby, I am a rookie when it comes to Africans. I would like to try a Malawi tank. I have been researching a LOT, on this forum and others, and have most of my tank set up, and fish care type of questions answered.

What I'd like to figure out are your opinions on the differences between an all-male tank, and mixed male / female...other than the obvious breeding issues / territorial aggression... Mostly wondering about stocking.

The tank is a 110 gallon tall (48"x18"x 30" high).

I saw this stocking list for someone else's tank (maybe on this forum, I can't remember...), and it appealed to me:

Cynotilapia Afra (6)
Idotropheus Spengerae (6)
Labidichromis Caereleus (6)
Pseudotropheus Acei (6)

My other question is about water "movement" - how much do they like / need? I will be running a Fluval XP3 as the main filter, and am not sure what additional air pump I may need?

Any opinion, help, advice greatly appreciated!

Rich
 

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110 tall tanks are best for mbuna imo, so you should be fine of you go that route. If you're looking to do all-males, most stick with peacocks or haps because they are more clearly dimorphic. If you go this route, stick with haps that stay under 8".

I used to have a 110 as my main Malawi community setup and had 2 XP3s on it. I would definitely add either another XP3 or an Aquaclear 110 to the mix. Malawi cichlids need to be overcrowded to an extent and the more filtration, the better. A "blower-style" powerhead in the tank would also be appreciated.
 

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If you wanted to do all-male Mbuna, you'd do more species than 4 in a 110 (like 12 as long as they aren't overly aggressive). However, the ones you've currently chosen are fairly peaceful. So, maybe a mixed female/male tank would be better. And it really depends on whether you want to deal with fry. Mbuna breed like crazy...........I have one yellow lab (Lab. caeruleus) who's held 3 times since March. Even if you let the moms spit in the tank, you'll get survivers unless you've got attentive synos. My problem will all-male is that I'm essentially lazy. I want to put my fish in and have it work (I'll course do what's necessary) but sometimes it's a struggle to find the right stocking for all-male--to find the right combination of species so that everyone colors up nice.

I would suggest, like the previous poster, if you're going all-male, perhaps chooses haps/peacocks who have interesting colors and are generally more calm/peaceful than Mbuna.

As far as movement, I believe you want the filter to be able to move the water by 10. So, ten times a day, the water is cycled (people, correct me, it's late and I can't remember the technical). Sorry, it's something like that. It might be in the library under tank set up and then filters.
 

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For water movement alot of people go with the 10x rule like Toume said, but is is 10 x an hour, not per day. This much is not necessary but helps to keep the poo suspended in the water column until the filters can get a chance to suck it up.

I would try and go with at least 5-7 x an hour on the water so like around a 550 to 770 gph as a minimum. I am running closer to the 25 to 30 x per hour mark but alot of my current is spread out by spray bars and hitting the rock piles so it doesnt seem like that much and the fish arent getting blown around so i am sticking with it. HTH's
 

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If you have groups instead of all male, you get to watch the breeding behavior, even if you're not keeping the fry.
 

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I'm liking my 7X turnover right now and prefer filtration to power heads for water movement.
 
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