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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,

This is my 2nd go at a cichlid tank (the first was done years ago and in hindsight the poor buggers had no chance)...i won’t go into that right now.

im setting up what i think is a great tank. the specs are as follows

Size: 80g (although i have lost space due to the backgrounds)
Filters: 1 x Ehiem 2222; 1 x Eheim 2213; and 2 sponge filters (hidden) which are connected to under gravel pipe work.
Then the obvious lighting, heating and air pumps.
i made the backgrounds from scratch so there is plenty of hiding space, caves etc for the fish to call home.

So - my questions are:-

1. Please help with my stocking list (your thoughts, ideas or substitute fish are welcomed) The list i have complied so far is
i. 3 (2m 1f -Aulonocara Stuartgranti (flavescent Peacock)
ii. 3 (2m 1f – Frontosa)
iii. 2 Clown Loach
iv. 2 Plecos (either the zebra or clown)
v. 4 Electric Yellows 3f 1m
vi. 4 Blue Dolphins 3f 1m
vii. What else can i add?
viii. How many fish would you recommend? Would 30 be too many?

2. Gender Identification
How can i determine if the LFS is selling me what i want? I have noticed the colour difference between males and females of the same species but for example i cannot tell the difference between male and female when it come to the electric yellows. Is there some website someone can point me towards for more information?

3. Water cycling
I have been told to run the tank without fish for 2 weeks before stocking. But how can i tell (even after 2 weeks) if the tank is ready? What levels of ammonia, nitrate, nitrite etc should i be targeting?

4. Additional stocking
If i do not stock all the fish at the same time, is there a proper way of introducing the fish? I have heard about moving rocks/ territory around but in my case the bulk of the backgrounds will be fixed to the tank and thus non-movable. Any suggestions?

I know i have asked for a lot here, but i really want to succeed at having a great Malawi tank and hopefully one day seeing the fish breed. And from what i have read on this forum thus far it is definitely the place to ask for help.

Thanks for your help

Danny
 

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Well I will cover the cycling side of your question

This is a good link to find more detailed info

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/f ... ycling.php

However, the main concern is that you want GOOD bacteria in your filter media prior to overloading the filters with fish poop.

You can do that either Fishless cycling or fish cycling, Many if not all will reccomend Fishless.

You can tell you have successfully cycled your tank with a Water Chemistry Test kit, most LFS's will also test your water for you for free or a small charge.

As far as stocking what I do know is put the plecos in first for them to have the best chance. I know Peacocks, and Esp Mbunas can be bad with plecos sometimes.
 

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What are the dimensions of the 80G and is it a rectangle or a bowfront? For a bowfront, measure the sides, not the middle.

I'd go with a bristlenose pleco if you are looking for algae control. They seem to have the best survival rate with Malawi and even then it is 60/40 IME.

I'd do Synodontis rather then plecos or loaches if you are going for appearance.

I'd have at least four females for each species. With 5 labs you don't have to worry too much about gender as they will often be fine with multiple males. And...it's nearly impossible to sex them so that's a good thing. Venting is a sure way, but the fish have to be older and the person venting has to be experienced. Fish stores may not be willing to vent your fish.

Agree with the recommendation of no frontosa.

Adding the most peaceful fish first is a good idea, but yours are all on the peaceful side so it probably does not make a huge difference.
 

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63" x 35"?

Maybe that is the outside of the L?

Pretend it is two rectangles...what is the measurement of each?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ok the first one is 160cm x 35cm x 47 and the second is 56cm x 35cm x 47cm

or in inches

63 x 14 x 18.5 and the second is 22 x 14 x 18.5

what are you trying to figure out?
 

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I'd try for five species. But since your moorii are large I'll let someone else chime in to verify and which ones would be good tankmates. I know some haps can hybridize and some are safer to combine, but I don't know which ones.
 

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If you have syno cats it won't matter if your fish cross breed. The fry and eggs would get eaten. Your C. Moorii blue dolphins will grow very slowely. I would recommend getting juvis due to their cost. Around here even a 4 inch juvi is $40. One of my favourite fish though. Have you considered some Taiwan reef? Great looking fish and should work well in the tank. I have some of both in my tank growing up. Another great looking hap are the sp. 44 red fin or thick skin, females and males are pretty colorful like a lime green and arnt very aggressive unless breeding. Definately drop the frontosa, great fish but will eventually get too big for your tank. I would consider Siamese algea eaters over plecos. If you do get a pleco get a bristle nose or a species which stays small. Clown loaches are great but they can be very tricky to keep. They require very specific water chemistry, they also get very big. I would consider Burmese or yo yos if you plan to get blue dolphins. Otherwise sounds awesome. Which side will be the front? The pointed side or concave?
 

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I still have survivor fry in my tanks, even with synos. Avoiding the need to hunt/remove hybrid survivor fry makes the tank more enjoyable IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks for the info guys!

you can check out the tank at this link...almost complete and ready for cycling.

http://s1141.photobucket.com/albums/n592/dlop750/

Does anyone have any ideas about how to correct water refraction issues? once filled the refraction of light almost completely ruins the view of the tree trunk. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
 
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