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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to cichlids, but I have 2 salt water tanks (5 yr old 12 gal and a 2 yr old. 6 gal) I also have had a 100 gal fish pond for the past 10 years. I have inherited a 33 gal long which I will be making into a cichlid tank with the Lake Malawi fish.

Right now I have a fine natural looking aquarium gravel. I am thinking of switching to the cichlid sand that looks like a black and white mix.

The PH that comes from my tap is 7.8. So I don't know if I should go for a stone that will help raise that or not. I was just reading about using rocks from your yard and I do have some nice looking stones around here. So I'm not quite set on my stone work yet.

I have a list of fish I am going to bring to my LFS and see what he can order from it:
1.cynotilapia afra (lumbila)
2. metriaclima estherae (red)
3. labidochromis caeruleus (lion's cove I)
4. cynotilapia afra (cobue)

I have read that the best ration is 1 male to 3 females, but I don't want to add them all at once, so I'm having a tricky time figuring the best way to do this.

Anyway, hello, and any advice would be great.

Oh yea and food, they are all omnivores, any suggestion for diet woud be great. :)
 

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33gal long won't be suitable for the RZs, really. The labs will be okay in it. Afras might - never kept them.

How would you rather add the fish? 1 at a time?
 

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This is a four foot long tank?

If so, I would go with the Labidochromis caeruleus and the afra Cobue, 1 male 3-4 females of each, plenty of rocks.
 

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Personally, I would be willing to try 2, 3, & 4 together. Otherwise, what Fogel said, 3 & 4.

I would say your tap pH is fine. You may want to add some baking soda to raise the KH.

Hmm.. what's the females of the Cobue look like?
 

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welcome :)

+1 on labidochromis caeruleus and cobue.
I tried quads (1M and 3F) but with my yellow Labs after a month the dames were looking a bit stressed. The fourth one has them calmer and breeding. Hence +1 also on 1M to 4F.
 

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we're all speaking a bit prematurely, though. The footprint of your tank matters a lot. What is your tank dimensions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
dielikemoviestars said:
33gal long won't be suitable for the RZs, really. The labs will be okay in it. Afras might - never kept them.

How would you rather add the fish? 1 at a time?
I know that normally when adding fish you have to go slow or you can stress out the tank. I also know that cichlids break the rules sometimes. So, I don't know how to add them, that's why I asked. :wink: It doesn't seem right to add 8 fish all at once, if I EVER wrote that on my SW fish forum they would be like :eek: and give me what for. So I was wondering what the best way to add them is. Do I pick a specific breed and put the least aggressive in first, the most aggressine in first, 4 at a time, two at a time?

What's the best weay to do this without stressing the tank?
 

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I put'em all in at once, as long as your fishless cycle is up to 1-2ppm gone in 24 hours.

Never had an issue dropping a bunch of fish in at once on a cycled tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nina_b said:
we're all speaking a bit prematurely, though. The footprint of your tank matters a lot. What is your tank dimensions?
The dimentions of the tank are 4'x1'x1'.
 

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25 gallon... odd shape. Good for shellies/small mbuna though.

I would do 1 species of mbuna (saulosi) OR 1 shell-dweller species + 1 smaller tangyanikan species
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I just used the calculator and it came to 28.94 gal.

It is odd because we had it custom made to fit under my mother-in-laws kitchen cabinets, but they tole me it was a 33 gal.

:( now I have even less room.

well, I had a back up list of fish and one of them was Labidochromis caeruleus (Nkhata Bay)

By the way I got all these names from this site :)

So could I do the Lion's Cove and the Nkhata Bay?
 

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I just used the aquarium calculator here. Could be wrong of course :)

Labs will get kinda big for that tank, I would expect aggression.

Check out the Saulosi, probably your best bet for a malawi cichlids in that tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Glaneon said:
25 gallon... odd shape. Good for shellies/small mbuna though.

I would do 1 species of mbuna (saulosi) OR 1 shell-dweller species + 1 smaller tangyanikan species
I will go check out the saulosi and the others you mention. I would rather have more than one species, unless I could find a male/female that were both different and bright.

wow, you can add them all at once? That's kinda crazy. I guess I shouldn't assume anything with these guys.

Thanks. :)
 

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saulosi are dimorphic - males are dark blue/light blue & females are yellow.

Adding them all at once is fully dependent on using established media or completing a fishless cycle (how much ammonia PPM you can process in 24 hours will help determine that, though there's no hard & fast rule).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Glaneon said:
saulosi are dimorphic - males are dark blue/light blue & females are yellow.

Adding them all at once is fully dependent on using established media or completing a fishless cycle (how much ammonia PPM you can process in 24 hours will help determine that, though there's no hard & fast rule).
The saulosi are really pretty, but I could only have 1 pair, or do you mean 1 male with 3 females?
 

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You could probably do a colony of Ps. saulosi - about 3 males with 10-12 females.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Kanorin said:
You could probably do a colony of Ps. saulosi - about 3 males with 10-12 females.
That sounds good. :) I have been looking at some of the shell dwellers and they aren't all that pretty. I wish I could just get a 200 gal tank :) That's all I need. :wink:

I guess I will plan on that then. When they are little are the male and females still different colors, or will have to order a bunch and weed some out?
 

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zoie said:
When they are little are the male and females still different colors, or will have to order a bunch and weed some out?
Pull extra males as they color, sometimes they will retain female coloring if there's a dominant male already in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
GTZ said:
zoie said:
When they are little are the male and females still different colors, or will have to order a bunch and weed some out?
Pull extra males as they color, sometimes they will retain female coloring if there's a dominant male already in the tank.
So how many total should I order to get 3 males and 10 females? (or would 12 females be better?)
 

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1:4 or 2:8 in your 30'ish... I might be willing to try 3:12.
 
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