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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will be restocking by 70GL tank later this week due to being an idiot and listening to advice from a LFS during the initial stocking. My first stocking attempt was a disaster because I listened to my LFS and took their recommendations (pick some fish out of the assorted Cichlid tank and everything will be fine...).. Needless to say wound up with too much aggression and a few dead fish. I also encountered a few hybrids. I have since found this Forum and read the different posts concerning the Malawi species and am learning quite a bit (still need to learn a lot more). I’ve also looked at the cookie cutter stocking recommendations for a 75GL tank. I have an idea on which fish I would like to try with the next stocking attempt but I’m looking for advice to make sure I don’t make any mistakes. The bottom line is I was happy and healthy fish.

The tank is a 70 Gallon corner tank - 48L X 22W X 25H
Filter â€" Fluval 405
Emperor 280 HOB
AquaClear 70 powerhead
Substrates â€" C.Sea Cichlid live 80lb (sand)
Lots of Rocks and Driftwood for hiding

Current stock list â€" ALL fish will be returned to the LFS (except the Labidochromis caeruleus and the Synodontis Brichardi cats)

1 â€" Lions Cove ( 5 inches)
1 â€" Cynotiapia Afra (2 inches)
1 - Estherae (blue) or Maylandia callainos (male)
1 - Sciaenchromis fryeri hybrid
2 - Melanochromis johannii (male)

I am looking for advice on what the new stocking list will be. From the 75GL cookie cutter I like the following species.

Labidochromis caeruleus
Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei"
Pseudotropheus socolofi

Can I go with 3 different species or should I stick with 2? I have no plans on breeding any of these fish (need to learn more about Cichlids in general before I attempt that). All of the new stock will be purchased from a reputable breeder. I’d also like to stock the tank with adult fish instead of juveniles to ensure proper sexing (the breeder will vent them). This is a dumb question but does a proper ratio of M/F fish reduce aggression in a Malawi tank? Is it possible to go with an all male tank?

Once I have the final stocking plans in place, the new fish will be ordered from the breeder. When the new stock arrives the old stock will be removed from the tank, bagged and returned to the LFS the same day

I am looking for everyone’s input (please!). I am looking for a peaceful Malawi (as close to peaceful as I can get) tank, with healthy and happy fish.

Any additional information and recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Mike
 

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Since it is a corner tank, I would not stock using a 75G cookie cutter. Maybe the 55G? Corner tanks do not provide as much ability to have a great deal of separation between the territories as rectangular tanks.

If you want peaceful I would skip the Socolofi and choose Rusties instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
DJRansome said:
Since it is a corner tank, I would not stock using a 75G cookie cutter. Maybe the 55G? Corner tanks do not provide as much ability to have a great deal of separation between the territories as rectangular tanks.

If you want peaceful I would skip the Socolofi and choose Rusties instead.
Thanks for the reply DJRansome â€" the Rusties are Iodotropheus sprengerae correct?

I took a look at the 55GL cookie cutter like you suggested and it states “Select any 3 species (max 12 fishes)â€
 

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With the labs, rustys and acei, sex ratios is not as important as it is with the more aggressive species like zebras and afra. A group of 5-6 of each should be fine, even without having them vented.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Would it be possible to go with an all male tank or would that cause additional aggression in a peaceful tank of Labs and Rusties (or Acei’s)? I’m not really interested in breeding (yet).
I think I’m going to go with just 2 species to start with since I’m new to the hobby (good / bad?). I already have an adult male Lab in the tank (definitely the boss, likes to push everyone around). I’m thinking of getting 4 more Labs to make a total of 5. If an all male tank won’t work should I get 4 females?
The second species will be either the Rusties or Acei’s (kind of leaning towards Acei’s since my tank is tall). I’m thinking of going with 5 of those as well (1 m / 4 F)?
The final count will be:
5 - Labs
5 â€" Acei’s
2 â€" Synodontis Brichardi cats

Thoughts or concerns?

Thanks again for all the help with my newbie questions!

Mike
 

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If you go with all male, then it really has to be all male. A single females of any species can cuse big problems as all the male vie for her attention. Less so with acei, labs and rusties, but still not something I would suggest. If you do go with all male, the best way is one male per species, and not mixing species that look similar.

There is great l;ittle article in the Library section about an all male Mbuna tank.
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/all-male_malawi.php

You don't have to interested in breeding to keep males and females in the same tank. If you just leave any holding females in the tank to spit, nature will take its course and most if not all of the fry will get eaten by the adults. Some of the most interesting and entertaining behavior centers around breeding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There is great l;ittle article in the Library section about an all male Mbuna tank.
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/a ... malawi.php
MalawiLover â€" thanks for the great article, very interesting reading. After reading through the article I saw this “A second tank is a must as well. You will constantly be removing fish (apparent females and sub-dominant males) and you’ll need a second tank to house them in until you can return them to your local fish store or sell them.â€
 

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With a corner tank, you really don't have a 4ft long tank as far as space is concerned. The 70gallons is deceiving in a corner tank.

I would stay away from Acei due to their size & need for open water swimming space, they can get 6"+. I would advise sticking to yellow labs, ps solcolofi, rusties, afra species, or other dwarf mbuna.

Also- I noticed you have driftwood in the tank, I would ditch that. Wood in the tank drops the pH, which needs to remain high for Malawians. It also can darken the water when it seeps tannins.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks F â€" this is the kind of input I’m looking for. I was thinking about Acei’s because they like to swim at the top of the tank but I agree with your comments concerning the space. As far as the driftwood, I copied that from a prior post (when the tank was initially setup). I removed the driftwood last month; it just didn’t look right in the tank. I have well water (not city) and the PH is 8.2 from the tap, never noticed a drop when the driftwood was there but the water did appear a little darker.

DJRansome also suggested the Rusties, I’ll give those some more thought. The Rusties appear to have some red in them? I’m Red/Brown color blind so I think I’m having some issues seeing the actual color.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
MalawiLover said:
You don't have to interested in breeding to keep males and females in the same tank. If you just leave any holding females in the tank to spit, nature will take its course and most if not all of the fry will get eaten by the adults. Some of the most interesting and entertaining behavior centers around breeding.
MalawiLover â€" I just wanted to follow-up on one of your previous posts concerning breeding â€" you were right! Shortly after the original post I ordered a trio of Pseudotropheus saulosi from a reputable breeder and you guessed it, my female saulosi is already holding! You were correct in saying, “Some of the most interesting and entertaining behavior centers around breedingâ€
 
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