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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

My name is Bobby, I live in Europe, Romania and I have started to keep fishes last year in the spring. I have 3 tanks: 25 liter with one betta male planted, 54 liter planted with 2 gourami and a small pack of 4 tiger barbs and 180 liters with african cichlids - mbuna.
I am going to refer to my small mbuna tank as they are a continuous challenge to me and need advice.

Bobby
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
This tank started as a trade in August last year. I was interested more on the equipment at that time. A trade from which I have found myself with 43 juvenile fishies - 6 diferrent species african fish. I have donated more than half and have grown the others left here. The remaining fish are 6 elongatus mpanga (yellow tail), 5 labidochromis caeruleus (yellow labs) and 5 iodotropheus sprengerae (rusties).
The tank is so @#@$ small for these amazing fish. It is 1 meter long, 40 cm wide and 45 cm tall. 180 liters of water.
The space is running low. I gotta do something fast. Those 130 liters of usable water (got sand, rocks and 3d background) are not enough for my 16 mbuna. I am already overfiltering on it.

The thing is that I was unfortunate and also I was at the begining of this hobby, and the result is 5m+1f elongatus - which is so bad, and 3m+2 female on rusties.
The yellow labs seem to be the only ones having most of the fun (2m+3f) and feeling quite well here.
I have 3 yellow lab females holding and today I have just found out that the one of the iodotropheus (rusty) females is holding as well.

Also considering to get a larger tank, but still need couple of months to gather the finance for all equipment. This time I want a 5 star tank 600 liters or even more.

Therefore I need a couple of months solution to keep fish happy until the new tank is made. The elongatus mpanga are hiding all the time except when feeding except their dominant male which ********* on everybody, the tank boss.
On the other hand there are 2 rusty males fighting a lot too, and I started to see fighting marks on their mouths and scales due to locking and running around.

I was thinking to do one of the following:

1. Quit this hobby..... just kidding, I want a bigger tank!!! :p :lol:

2. Keep the elongatus tank boss along with the only female of its kind, give back to the LFS the other 4 males and get 3 females instead. Plus giving to the LFS one of those big rusty males and second subdominant male. The yellow labs are to remain untouched, they are doing okay.

3. Keep the labs, 1m+2 female rusties, give all elongatus except the tank boss, and get another 2 males of other mbuna species different in colors and mildly aggressive (could this work?!).

I am more inclined to the option 2.

I have attached below the actual state of my small tank (100cm x 40cm x 45cm). Water parameters are fine, though Nitrates are maintained at 15-20 with 2 weekly WC, one of 30% and another 40-50%. I have a canister filter in teh cabinet below which turns 4 times the water in an hour, plus an internal for mechanical filtering and 2 powerheads to move the surface.


All pieces of advice are more than welcomed. I`m still at the beginning of this hobby after all.
 

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Hi bobesku,

First, let me say that your English is much better than what you can see in the "People in socal..." thread!

You seem to have figured out the right path all by yourself - a 600 litre tank will solve almost all of your problems.

If it were up to me I would try alternative #2. Three species in a tank that size is definitely a problem, but it's worth a shot. If it doesn't work and you feel your fish will kill each other you may have to thin down to just the labs until your new tank is ready.

I don't think #3 is a good idea. All males will turn their attentions to whichever females are available if they can't find any of their own species.

kevin
 

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I think option #2 is a good choice :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello, long time no posts :D

I have started 2 months ago my bigger tank project. It is almost done, just need to finish the cover and add the rest of the fish, which is going to happen this weekend.

The tank is 6ft long x 2ft wide x 1.6ft tall. The gross water volume should be around 142 gallons.
The fish are still doing fine. Most part of them have been transfered in the bigger tank at the same time with one cycled canister filter, after one week of water changes and water declorination.

I have chosen to keep the dominant elongatus male along with 2 females, 2 iodotropehus males along with 2 females and 5 caeruleus females + 1 male. The future stock will include 15 Acei Msuli, Labeotropheus Trewawasae Chilumba Red 3 females and one male and 2 pairs of Cyrtocara Moori.

I will post in a new thread with the final setup soon. Until then here goes a pic with the hardscape (the internal filters are there just temporary - the water was a bit cloudy caused by the sand).

 

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Wow, looks great! I used limestone in my tank but I have to admit your setup looks much more like what is actually in Lake Malawi and I'm pretty jealous :p Once you have all your fish in there and everything settles down that's going to be an awesome setup.
 
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