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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Very simple. I would be intrigued to hear why you keep the type of fish that you do.

Are you a Hap, Peacock or Mbuna person? Or a mixture?

More importantly, why do you keep those types over the other options out there.

You read lots about Malawi vs Tangs. How about some views on which Malawis and why.
 

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Mbuna. They are feisty, full of personality, huge assortment of colors/patterns/sizes, and most max out at less than 6" in size.
 

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gafish said it well. there also easy when it comes to being hardy compared to always having the suprise of a tetra or a barb floating when you come home. in my experience the only time *** ever lost a cichllid is because another one killed it.. and thats what its like having cichlids, alot of risk and reward. (more the knowledge the better) in my opinion you cant go wrong with an african cichlid tank. and its the next best thing to a saltwater tank. i have a mbuna tank and the next will be haps/peacocks. color for a pcasso, personality for you, and hardyness for them and you...
also the difference between a mbuna and a haps/peacocks tank is in my opinion
you would want a bigger tank for a hap/peacock tank because they are not rock dwellers like mbunas and need open space to swim. and get a lil more sizier as well. also haps/peacocks arent Near as aggressive.
and a mbuna tank you will have more of them, which means more variety in colors, because more the better to keep the aggression down. (but also need to have overkill filtration)

left alot out but this is off the top of my head.. lol hope i helped
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm just intrigued to hear opinions really. Not after suggestions for myself. I just thought it would be interesting to hear why people keep what they do, if they keep Mbuna, why they don't keep Haps etc.

Thanks for both of your inputs!
 

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I keep Mbuna because I have a history of rushing into hobbies and new things without going slow. Mbuna are hardy, cheap(er), and available most everywhere because I didn't want to spend a whole lot on shipping and other incidentals and had a bunch of fish to trade and the shop that will trade with me only has Mbuna. Then I fell in love with their personality and mannerisms.

I want to try Haps/Peacocks and even venture into tangs and Tropheus but for now I am happy with my Mbunas!
 

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I absolutely love the look of them. Otopharynx litobates and Placidochromis electra are two good examples off the top of my head. I really love the deep solid royal blues you can get with them, they aren't available in any Mbuna.

I want to try tropheus because of Tropheus ilangi is one of the most beautiful fish I've ever seen. I know this is about Malawi but there's my two cents on tropheus as well!
 

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It stresses me out when my fish fight, bully and chase each other. I tried keeping Mbuna first but they were just too ruff for me to watch and relax plus they were skittish. After the Mbuna I tried an all male peacock tank and I enjoyed that for about two years until I got the itch for raising some fry. Now I'm keeping a couple breeding groups of haps and I'm loving how peacefully they can coexist together. I guess I've discovered that I get the most enjoyment from keeping the slower and calmer fish.
 

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I love my all male Hap/peacock tank. It is all Malawi except one peacock bass, and a bala shark which both were rescues from tiny tanks.

The reason I like this setup is the fish get bigger than most mbuna and with a 265g tank the mbuna look so small. I have little to no bulling or territorial problems. The coloration is amazing and my tank is basically zero maintenance now with my drip system.

here's a few pics.









 

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TommyMagic said:
I'm just intrigued to hear opinions really. Not after suggestions for myself. I just thought it would be interesting to hear why people keep what they do, if they keep Mbuna, why they don't keep Haps etc.

Thanks for both of your inputs!
I prefer to keep peacocks and haps. I've always been intrigued by the larger cichlids and the colors are a bonus. :thumb:

I have kept mbuna before and although they were more exciting to watch, IMO, they didn't have the flashy appearance as the some of the butterfly peacocks.

TommyMagic, what are you keeping (or are thinking of keeping)? Would like to hear your opinion as well... :wink:
 

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wow if that tank didn't sell you nothing will... i sold out 12 tanks of other fish good job dark sside
 

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i'd say you don't have to choose between anything. it's not hard to get a mix of haps/peacocks/mbuna. just choose the right mbuna. yellow labs and acei work well in a large tank with haps/peacocks that way you have it all. movement, size, and color if you do it right you could probably even keep fry with such a setup. in that situation it's best to have a 6' tank though.
 

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I'd agree with Deftones5...

A properly setup mbuna tank (stocking numbers, m/f ratio, rockwork, sufficient filtration, water movement, etc) that has reached maturity (1-2 years) can be as easy to look after as pet rocks..... :p

Well, not quite that easy, but very easy indeed. They're extremely forgiving when it comes to feeding, water changes/fluctuations, and other mishaps. And if they've been raised together from post-fry ages, and the above mentioned ratio is done right, you will have little to no deaths due to aggression (besides the fry you chose not to extract from carrying females and get eaten faster then you can say "where's the fr...."). The only death I've had recently is an old male that had cataracts since birth, and that was the first death in about 8-10 months.

My pseudotropheus saulosi tank is a dream to look after, and I'm sure other mbuna keepers would agree theirs is too. Haps seem to be more delicate in demeanour or at least less forgiving in their tolerance of the environment and surroundings.

But I will say, that when that "day" comes that my wife let's me get my 250+ gallon tank, it'll probably be a hap tank... :D
 

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A mbuna tank isn't as easy as everyone here claims. My brother in law bought a 55gallon tank from me and filled it with mbuna. After a year he had one big Ps. zebra left that killed everything. He gave me the zebra and I was able to find a mate and breed it and none of the pet stores would even take the babies for free LOL. I tried it again with my 125 with a degree of sucess, all did fine except my Ps. demasoni. They would fight and kill each other or worse, they would pluck both eyes out of a fish and he would still be alive, leaving me to finish the job. These tanks can be dynamic getting new fish, pulling out dead fish, etc. etc. until you learn which fish get along. I stay away from the bumble bees and kenyi and the more aggressive mbuna and stick with the acei, yellow labs, and zebras. I still have four demasoni but in a 125 they seem to be just surviving, all except the big 4" male who is an impressive fish without a scratch.

8)
 

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cchardwick said:
A mbuna tank isn't as easy as everyone here claims. My brother in law bought a 55gallon tank from me and filled it with mbuna. After a year he had one big Ps. zebra left that killed everything.....
I think that would qualify as an "improperly setup" mbuna tank... :p :wink:

cchardwick said:
...These tanks can be dynamic getting new fish, pulling out dead fish, etc. etc. until you learn which fish get along...
... that is really they key to success; either learning from your own mistakes or better yet, asking others what works and what doesn't. I'd agree with the advice that unless placed in a large enough tank with fish who can hold their own, fish like the crabos, auratus, or certain zebras, are trouble makers. BUT.. there are ways to keep those fish successfully.

The problem is that some people have had "success" in taking a 90gal or 125 and stuffing it with a "mix of malawi's" or other fish, and some feel that they can have similar results. The reality is that this success can't really be repeated consistently because of a variety of factors (constantly changing stock, unreported deaths, overfeeding, etc).

Although I know a few people who've been able to keep a mix of mbuna with varying degrees of success, in my experience, mixed mbuna = Highlander movie....... "In the end, there can be only one..." :D
 

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fish keeping = death at some point in any given malawi setup. fish aren't supposed to be kept in small tanks without natural settings. most of us that have ended up at this site is because we either couldn't identify fish or couldn't keep them all alive. the only real way in this hobby is trial and error as sad as it is to say. most people that have success stories have a story that is almost sad to those of us who truely care about our fish. if you can tell me that you havn't had problems in any setup then you would be blessed. all hap/peacock/mbuna seriously it's not impossible it just takes time and loss. suddenly one day you'll be satisfied. then you'll want something else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
DanniGirl said:
TommyMagic said:
I'm just intrigued to hear opinions really. Not after suggestions for myself. I just thought it would be interesting to hear why people keep what they do, if they keep Mbuna, why they don't keep Haps etc.

Thanks for both of your inputs!
I prefer to keep peacocks and haps. I've always been intrigued by the larger cichlids and the colors are a bonus. :thumb:

I have kept mbuna before and although they were more exciting to watch, IMO, they didn't have the flashy appearance as the some of the butterfly peacocks.

TommyMagic, what are you keeping (or are thinking of keeping)? Would like to hear your opinion as well... :wink:
Right now I don't keep anything due to living in an apartment which won't be for long, so it's not worth setting it up to just strip down again soon. I have been out of the hobby for 2 years or so but I will certainly be returning again soon.

In the past I have had a primarily male Mbuna set up with some Syno Multipuncatus in there, I really loved that tank I have to say. I had a Frontosa tank with some lovely F1 Fronts but my Dad has taken that over, I left it there when I moved out 6 or so years ago. I briefly had a Tang community tank - that was my last tank, I lost that when I left an ex-partner and since then I have not really had the space to keep a tank that I would want.

So for my return? It is very likely that I will go for Mbuna again. I just love them - they were the fish that turned me from 'a guy with a fish tank' to a 'fish keeper' - I had tanks from a very young age - Tetras, Guppys, Mollies and the like - tiny little tanks, 10gal if that. I then saw a friends Mbuna tank - I initially thought "they must be marine fish" - I looked into them and that was it, purchased a 45 gallon tank and started with them.

Mbuna are so colourful and so active - that is my personal like with fish. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have a tank with 2 breeding Oscars, a Frontosa tank, a Tropheus tank, a Tang Community, a Ray tank etc etc - I love most things about fish and appreciate what they can all offer. When I return to reality though I realise that it can only be one tank (for the moment at least!!) and out of everything, my choice would be Mbuna.

Having said that, whatever Mbuna I eventually go for, there will be set of Victorian Haplochormis sp. 44 in there because those little guys are up there with my very favorite fish - perhaps not one for the purist, but I did it before and they worked very well together.

I have been intrigued by Haps/Peacocks but I just wouldn't choose them over Mbuna, I love the attitude of Mbuna too much I think.
 

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fish keeping = death at some point in any given malawi setup.
I disagree to some extent. I can give you a recipe for success: A mix of yellow labs, acei, red zebras and ONE demasoni. You'd probably never lose a fish with this mix. I've had to learn this mix the hard way. There are other mixes, just need to ask around what works.
 
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