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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All......

I am now an addict as I have just set up my third tank. 90 new acres now adornes the living room (90 gallons rectangle to be exact) and I would like it to be Malawi species. Problem is, I don't know much about them. Anyone have any good resources I could look up to get details on these fish, water conditions, etc.?

Also, any stocking tips for a tank this size? I really wanted lots of color. I inherited an electric yellow / yellow lab with the tank. Yes, he is currently in there even though the tank is cycling. The tank was second hand - sweet deal - but was horribly neglected. I suspect he would be happy in a bucket of water if it were clean. Anyway, he seems to be doing fine right now, but would like to gradually get the water conditions optimal.

I do have a tanganykan (spelling??) setup that is thriving right now. Everyone is mating, fry everywhere etc. (92 gallon corner bow front). Is Malawi similar??

Thanks!
Brandy
 

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Malawi is more flashy and maybe a bit easier than Tangs. Seems like tangs have more compatibility issues. What's the footprint of this tank? Do you want breeding groups or all male?
 

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youngb074 said:
Hello All......

Anyone have any good resources I could look up to get details on these fish, water conditions, etc.?

Thanks!
Brandy
Brandy, you can look in the Library section at some of the general articles about African cichilds and Malawi cichilds specifically. There are also articles about water conditions, etc, in the Library. Also, you can use the "Search" feature on the forum to browse certain topics you're interested in.

-pdub
 

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Welcome to the world of cichlids, Brandy!

That's a good sized tank to work with.

What do you want from the tank?

Do you want one of this and one of that for alot of different species and alot of different colour?

If so, you could go with an all male tank, picking out species that don't look like each other, and keeping one male of each species. The only down side to this is that unless you can sex them or buy adult males, you may have some problems weeding out the females as they mature.

Or, if you would like to have breeding activity, then you can choose 4-5 species and keep groups of each species. Malawi cichlids are harem breeders - they don't pair off like many of the Tanganyikans, so you want 1 male to every 3-4 females of a species.

Since you already have the one yellow lab, you'd definitely want to add more of those. They do better in larger groups.

The only problem with having a breeding tank is that you might have to remove extra males as they mature and replace them with females, and you'll want to choose species that won't be prone to crossbreed. A good rule of thumb is to steer away from housing two species of the same genus together, but all mouthbrooders can and will crossbreed with other mouthbrooders if you don't have adequate male/female ratios of their own species, so it can get a bit tricky.

Either way you go, it's not as hard as it sounds, but it helps to have a good relationship with your LFS or breeder so that you can trade back when necessary.

Your best bet is to find the species you are interested in and post back with them so that we can help you decide what will work long term and what won't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to all of you for the information.

I'm not sure what is meant by a "footprint" of the tank. To me it is really a very basic rectangle tank, around 48" wide, depth of 18", and height of 24". Two aqua clear external filters each containing large block sponges, carbon, and bio cylinders. Tank still cycling and am adding bacteria so no salt added yet. My ph is neutral (7) out of tap. I do very regular water changes so I have never been one to test for everything concerning the water - only PH - and have been very successful. I have lava / grey / white coral type rocks to buffer. Regular aquarium gravel mixed with crushed coral and live sand (may sound funky but looks very cool). Cheapy heater, don't know the make, and two daylight lightbulbs newly replaced. Tank currently at 75 degrees - nudging heater up every couple of days to make transition gradually to upper 70s for the sake of yellow lab. Although he is doing well today is the first time he has attacked his food without hesitation since before 7/4.

Would eventually like to replace filters with fluval 405, add sponge filter, replace heater, but funds are low right now, so will have to do it one thing at a time.

I do know a little about the water conditions / temperature, but am far from feeling as comfortable with Malawi as I do with my Tangs. I am going to do some research Monday as to the types of fish that interest me within this group and will make a list for discussion / suggestion. Thanks again!
 

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The "footprint" are the dimensions of the floor of the tank. With Malawi cichlids, you choose the species you can keep by the "floorspace" you have to offer, since they are highly territorial, some more so than others.

You sound like you're willing to do the research necessary to setting up a successful tank, and that should be commended! It makes life alot easier for your fish and for you when you do that!

We'll help all we can once you let us know the species you are interested in. (In a 48 inch tank, if you want to go with breeding groups, I'd stick with 4 species max...)
 

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I have a great book for beginners with Mbuna. If you want it PM me an address and I'll send it to you for free. Just make sure you pay it forward and give it to someone else down the road when you don't need it anymore :thumb:
 

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tannable75 said:
I have a great book for beginners with Mbuna. If you want it PM me an address and I'll send it to you for free. Just make sure you pay it forward and give it to someone else down the road when you don't need it anymore :thumb:
What a great idea! :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you so much for offering the book - you are very kind. I did PM my address to you, please let me know if you don't receive it. If there is ever anything you need let me know and I will be happy to return the favor. It is so nice to be involved in a hobby that isn't a competition, with so many nice people who share their knowledge, that is so enjoyable.

Will post again soon, once I make up my mind :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So many options......

Think I want to do species instead of all male tank. Can't really justify no possibility of fry :)

So far I am definate on rusties and yellow labs (already have one). I was thinking about acies because they like the upper part of tank unlike most mbuna - anything else that likes the upper part of the tank that I could put with these less aggressive mbuna?

Could I do Pearlmut with this combo?

Also, tannable, I sent you another PM.

Thanks....Brandy
 

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Since it wasn't mentioned yet, you should take some of the active media from your established filter on your other tank. Put that in the new 90 with the yellow lab and you will basically have an instant cycle.
 

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The two labidochromis species are likely to cross and produce unwanted hybrids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That's what I thought, I just wanted to make sure. I would love to have some red in the tank as well, but zebras are too aggressive to go with the labs from what I have read so far. Also have interest in upper aquarium living species and snail eaters if you guys know of anything that would fit that bill.[/quote]
 
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