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Tips for decor for saulosi only ( other than pleco and synodontis
) I have seen lots of piles rocks or just a few big ones to break up site lines. The tank is a 40 gal breeder. Any thoughts? Aare there any saulosi proof plants possibly annubias I though
 

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Lots of rocks. Mbuna means rock fish. The occasional big rock would be more suited to peacocks and haps.

I have not found any African-proof plant (without CO2) but some have success with annubias and java fern.
 

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I have tried plants with mbuna using every strategy I could think of over the years and never had long term success with any of them. Heavily planted, CO2, only anchored to rocks, fry only, etc. Anubias and java fern seem to pretty much last the longest but it was just a long death. It only takes one fish to like chewing on plants to start the trend in the tank. Anubias are prone to getting algae on the older leaves due to their slow growth. Then they suffer mechanical damage from the mbuna scraping the algae. Vallisneria is native to the hard water of Lake Malawi and looks good in a really deep tank. Its tough to get it established due to mbuna digging and pulling on the leaves. Once established it anchors down and it gets really long (+3') but I found that it doesnt like to be trimmed.
 

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The Mbuna are such a trophically diverse assemblage of fishes that it is difficult to make a blanket statement about all of them. Some Mbuna are tough on plants; others, not so much. Their Tanganyikan homologues, Tropheus, are less diverse as a group, and largely ignore the plants. I have been keeping Anubias in Tropheus tanks for years, and keep the algae under control with low lighting, Crossocheilus siamensis, and Nerite snails. For sure the Anubias grow well in hard, pH9 Tanganyika water, as shown in this pic of one of my featherfin tanks-

IMG_0112.jpg
 

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Good point sir_keith. I have kept quite a few different mbuna species but very very far from all. I have setups absolutely thriving for 6-9months before the destruction started. I personally have been disappointed too many times to ever try mixing plants and mbuna again. Im sure it would be helpful to others if you could list the mbuna species that you have kept with plants successfully long term.
 

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Cosi said:
Good point sir_keith. I have kept quite a few different mbuna species but very very far from all. I have setups absolutely thriving for 6-9months before the destruction started. I personally have been disappointed too many times to ever try mixing plants and mbuna again. Im sure it would be helpful to others if you could list the mbuna species that you have kept with plants successfully long term.
I'll have to give that some thought. It's been more than 20 years since I've kept Malawians, so that's going to tax the memory banks. I do have old fishroom logs here somewhere, but where? In the meantime, I'd suggest that any of the smaller omnivorous Mbuna might be candidates for a planted tank. I had a large species tank with Labidochromis caeruleus years ago, and Anubias flourished in that tank. Iodotropheus sprengerae also worked well, if memory serves.

I must say that I find it confusing that Mbuna are so much harder on live plants than Trophues. My Tropheus colonies get large leaves of Romain lettuce twice a week, which they absolutely demolish in a matter of minutes, but they ignore the Anubias. For sure the Anubias leaves are tougher than lettuce, but still...
 

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Lloydminster said:
Tips for decor for saulosi only ( other than pleco and synodontis
) I have seen lots of piles rocks or just a few big ones to break up site lines. The tank is a 40 gal breeder. Any thoughts? Aare there any saulosi proof plants possibly annubias I though
+1 on rock piles
 

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sir_keith said:
Cosi said:
Good point sir_keith. I have kept quite a few different mbuna species but very very far from all. I have setups absolutely thriving for 6-9months before the destruction started. I personally have been disappointed too many times to ever try mixing plants and mbuna again. Im sure it would be helpful to others if you could list the mbuna species that you have kept with plants successfully long term.
I'll have to give that some thought. It's been more than 20 years since I've kept Malawians, so that's going to tax the memory banks. I do have old fishroom logs here somewhere, but where? In the meantime, I'd suggest that any of the smaller omnivorous Mbuna might be candidates for a planted tank. I had a large species tank with Labidochromis caeruleus years ago, and Anubias flourished in that tank. Iodotropheus sprengerae also worked well, if memory serves.

I must say that I find it confusing that Mbuna are so much harder on live plants than Trophues. My Tropheus colonies get large leaves of Romain lettuce twice a week, which they absolutely demolish in a matter of minutes, but they ignore the Anubias. For sure the Anubias leaves are tougher than lettuce, but still...
Perhaps whatever you are doing with Tropheus would also work with some types of mbuna. Or maybe tropheus are pickier eaters.
 

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Part of your success sir keith may be attributable to Crossocheilus siamensis,

I researched them several times and always came away with the conclusion that the African tank was not ideal and/or the fish size and group size required to keep them did not work for whatever particular tank I had in mind.

Algae on leaves for both anubias and java fern for me kept the plants from flourishing. I did have better success keeping the algae away with CO2.
 

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DJRansome said:
Part of your success sir keith may be attributable to Crossocheilus siamensis,

I researched them several times and always came away with the conclusion that the African tank was not ideal and/or the fish size and group size required to keep them did not work for whatever particular tank I had in mind.

Algae on leaves for both anubias and java fern for me kept the plants from flourishing. I did have better success keeping the algae away with CO2.
You raise an interesting point; certainly there are different ways to accomplish the same goal.

Concerning the C. siamensis, I really don't know what to make of all the conflicting information online about this species. It is said that their maximum size is ~6 inches, but they need a really big tank- even a pond- to reach that size. I have never seen a siamensis even close to 6 inches. It is said that they prefer neutral to slightly acidic water; mine seem to be flourishing in hard water with a pH around 9. It is important to remember that these fishes are cyprinids, which generally live in places where there are large seasonal fluctuations in water chemistry, so perhaps their adaptability is not surprising. Here is a pic I posted earlier showing one of my featherfin tanks; if you look carefully you can see five C. siamensis in the photo.

IMG_0112.jpg


My experience with this species has been as follows. I have C. siamensis in eight of my larger tanks, generally ~6 individuals per tank. I raised these fishes from <1" juveniles, they are now all 4+ years old and ~3" TL. My siamensis appear active and healthy, and I have not lost a single fish in the 4+ years I have been keeping them. All of this is somewhat contrary to conventional online wisdom.

The C. siamensis were an experiment; I had no idea how it would work out, but so far, so good. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this species to any African cichlid keeper as one means of algae control. There are many 'facts' in our hobby that are at best only half-true. :thumb:
 

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Maybe I will try them...and plants...someday in my hap/peacock tank.

Still I hate to give up six of the cichlids...so maybe not.
 
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