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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi :)

I have had marine aquariums for 15 years and no changing to Tropical.
I will be using my red sea max s-400 as the tank. 120 gallons (400 litres) with a sump. dimnsions are roughly 3.5x2x2 foot.

I want it to be cichlids. Most likely malawi. I have kept demonosi many years ago.
My plan is to have filrer sponges in the first seciton ofthe sump then lots of siporax in the rest of the sump. I alreayd have this andh ave around 15 litres of it so filtration should be very good :) Maybe also some carbon,

Flow will be the return pump plus 2 pumps in the rear chamber of the tank.

Any suggestions on tank setup? I want to get it right to start with. UV filter of any use in tropical setup? I have one sitting around.

Also what type of stocking could I go for? Planning on manking lots of little rock caves. I am thinking long term once fish grow what my stocking levels could be? Really open ot any ideas currently :)
 

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First, a disclaimer: I have very limited experience with cichlids but I have done considerable research, so my knowledge is theoretical.

Red Sea makes beautiful tanks
 

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Trying again:

The usual recommendation is a minimum length of 48" for the vast majority of Malawi. Since you have 48" on the diagonal you should have a pretty good selection to choose from, provided you stick with reasonably small species.

It sounds like you want mbuna. Since there are so many possibilities it would help if you narrow the field. Check the species profiles (Malawi mbuna) here, watch some YouTube videos, and come up with some species that appeal to you. Once you have a shortlist it will be easier for members here to give recommendations on possible stocking options, in the appropriate section. Tank setup will depend somewhat on what you wish to stock.
 

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Using the diagonal will not work unless you find the diagonal of a 48x12 and use that as your guideline.

It is a 36" tank...stock accordingly. Demasoni or Saulosi.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm new so bare with me. So with ciclids tank length means more than volume of water? Tank is 42 inches long X 24 inches by 24 inches.

You mention only two types. Are you saying only these two types are suitable for my aquarium size?
 

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Yes and yes. Among the Malawi. If you want more than 5 fish.

If you are good with a single species tank and 1m:4f of another species, you could choose Labidochromis caeruleus, Cynotilapia zebroides Cobue or some people have success with Iodotropheus sprengerae in a 36" tank.
 

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DJRansome said:
Using the diagonal will not work unless you find the diagonal of a 48x12 and use that as your guideline.

It is a 36" tank...stock accordingly. Demasoni or Saulosi.
Looking at the diagonals, the 48 x 12 is only 1.1" longer than the 42 x 24, which is why I thought the Red Sea Max could probably be stocked similarly to a standard 55 gallon tank.

That being said, Demasoni/Saulosi have fabulous colour and may well be at the top of your list in any case :D .
 

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Malawi will chase for 36" before giving up so the 48" tank (with a full 12x12 area of refuge) works better for a territorial fish like this.
 

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My experience with demasoni is if I plop 1 in a 6' tank all six foot will be his any fish I add after that he will attack with relentless abandon. Add your stock at the same time, same size, and preferably juveniles lets them grow up together it forms better pecking orders. I also had good outcomes by adding reportedly less aggressive fish first let them relax a week then add the more aggressive fish. Don't take it to the bank but that's been my experience with cichlids in general.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's similar toy experience with marine fish. Adding at the second time or adding the most aggressive last worked most times.

I will have a think. Even adjusted the Scape of the rocks may help.
 
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