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Community Malawi Tank


Scienceman

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I am trying to decide what to stock in my first tank in a few weeks time. I am interested in Malawi cichlids with my preference being for

- bright colours

- big size

- low aggression

The tank will be 400L (180X45X50cm) and I plan on final numbers to be on the lower side to reduce stress and aggression. I plan to start with ~20 small fish and hopefully end up in 12 months with a final 10-15 who get on well.

My inital choice is e.blues(5), e.yellows(5), peacocks - two types(7), blue dolphins(3).

Does anybody have any comments on this mix? Or can suggest any alternatives? Any peacock types that are especially recommended?

Which would be the least aggressive to most aggressive so that I stock the tank in that order?

Cheers,

Scienceman thumb.gif

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If you keep the numbers up in your tank then aggresion goes down. Because they dont have the opportunity to mark out a territory.

I have a 4x2x2 with about 20 fish in it. They are all Malawi cichlid ranging in size from 25cm long (venustus) to about 10cm p. saulosi. I haven’t had any problems with aggression.

The down side to higher numbers is that u have to clean it more often. blink.gif

cheers

Wetfish

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Scienceman,

They are all reasonably peaceful fish and the tank is more than big enough for so few fish. I have standard 4' tanks with 10-15 mixed adult malawi ( and a few tangs) and the agression levels are lowish. My only concern is when they get to breeding size they will cross breed so just be aware of that anything that breeds in there is likely to be a cross breed. The blues, peacocks and moorii will cross breed if you give them half a chance.

Also if you just keep the males be aware that with peacocks usually only the dominant males will fully colour up. Although in a tank of that size who knows what would happen. I would look for further discussions in the general discussion part of the forum (if it does not get moved there off course ) for further threads. One last suggestion is to do a fair bit of homework before you decide what to get as I made alot of mistakes early on and have paid the price. There are alot more knowledgable people on this forum than me I am only a novice at best wink.gif

cheers

Rosco

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Thanks Rosco, you have answered a few of my other questions as well.

I guess I dont really know what is considered high or low numbers in a tank this size but your numbers of 10-15 iin a 4' is a guide. By the sound of things, even when fully grown a 6' tank will be understocked with only 10-15 fish. As Wetfish suggests, I will have less aggression with more fish so perhaps I sould be putting in more??

This could get quite expensive!! Especially if I go with quality fish rather than local inbred supplies. If anybody has any good suggestions for quality stock on the Central Coast (NSW) I would be most appreciative.

I wasn't sure if female peacocks would colour up as I know e.blues dont. I was thinking of putting in one of the blue peacock species instead of the e. blues but I guess there is not much difference.

Not thinking of breeding at this stage but then again I do have a pretty addictive type personality and there is a lot of room under the house for extra tanks!!! Is it OK to let them breed and others in the community tank consume the fry?

Cheers,

Scienceman

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Scienceman

Female peacocks don't colour at all. There are some very good breeders up you way the best way to check out who is up there is to apply for access to the classified section of this forum here is a link of how to do it.

how to apply for access to the classified section

The types of fish you are talking about are using only $1-$2 a cm so $3 -$6 for a 3cm fish better than your local fish store.

Not thinking of breeding at this stage but then again I do have a pretty addictive type personality and there is a lot of room under the house for extra tanks!!! Is it OK to let them breed and others in the community tank consume the fry?

I have one of those personalities to I started with one 4' malawi tank and now I have 18 tanks and a fish room within 2 years. LOL.gif

cheers

Rosco

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Rosco,

I'm definitely not going to let my wife know where this can end!

Is there any way to sex young fish to try and end up with mainly males? Will all makes develop colour or only the dominat one?

Cheers,

Scienceman

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Scienceman,

I believe some people can vent fish but other than that you could try selecting the bigger fish in a tank (a better chance they are male) or wait till they start to colour at about 5cm+ (some need to be much bigger). I think that most of males should all colour up but some of them will have a washed out look.

For example I have young colony of Ps.Saulosi (the males are blue with black strips and the females are yellow) that I thought had 1 male and 6 females. I put them into a bigger tank and it turned out I had 3 males and one female. 2 of the males have taken up residence at either end of the tank and are fully coloured and the other male has no blue in him just the black strips. Now if I put the sub-dominant male in another tank with some girls I suspect that he would fully colour up as he would be the dominant male.

I'm definitely not going to let my wife know where this can end!

it is best not to do that they tend to get upset LOL.gif

HTH

Cheers

Rosco thumb.gif

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Thank for the info Rosco. It seems that there is no simple answer but is dependent on species, size/age, companions, diet etc.

For Aulonocara's and and Siaenochromis ahli - at what size can you detect male/female colouration? As I am starting a community tank I really want them on the small side to begin with so I may have to accept the unknown.

I have been told that with Lab. Caeruleus the degree of black on the ventral fins can inidcate sex, and with C. moorii both sexes are powder blue so thats OK.

I dont even have my first tank yet and I am already thinking about where I can put a 4' dwarf or shell dwelling cichlid tank - this is not a good sign! laugh.gif

Cheers,

Scienceman

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