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My 4'x18"x20" Malawi Tank


Scarecrow
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Just thought id post up my new 4ft tank. Specs are as follows:

Tank Dimensions: 4' x 18" x 20"

Filtration: Eheim Ecco 2236 + Fluval 305

Lighting: 4ft Triple T5, 2 White + 1 Blue Tubes

Heating: Eheim Jager 150W

Substrate: 2:1 mix Coral Sand:Marble Chip

Rocks: 80-100kg of "Black" River Rock

Plants: 4x Java Fern

Fish

  • 4x Iodotropheus sprengerae (2m, 2f i think)
  • 6x Metriaclima kingsizei 'Lupingu' (2m, 4f - will remove 1m and 1f later)
  • 5x Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos (2m, 3f - 1m to be removed)
  • 4x Metriaclima pulpican (1m, 3f)
  • 6x Metriaclima estherae (2m, 4f)
  • 3x Protomelas taeniolatus (1m @ 9-10cm, 2f - females to be removed)
  • 1x Placidochromis Phenocillus sp "Tanzania" Male @ 12+cm
  • 2x Random Peacocks (1m - looks like a "Benga", 1f albino)
  • 3x Synodontis petriacola (unsure of sex)
I also still want to add some Labidochromis sp. "Perlmutt", and maybe some Metriaclima estherae. Im also thinking about getting a Xystichromis sp. "Kyoga Flameback" male (Kyoga Flameback Profile)if i can find one, and i may replace the peacocks down the track with pure strains...

Here are some pics of the tank and some of the inhabitants.

IPB Image

IPB Image

IPB Image

IPB Image

IPB Image

Edited by Scarecrow
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The rock is just stacked up. I was very careful when place it, and made sure by putting a bit of weight on it to make sure it wouldnt collapse. So far so good, but the fish are small, and cant really knock the rocks yet. Just hope all is good once they grow up some.

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That is the right amount of rock for a mbuna tank though. I would consider from an aesthetic perspective to lower the height of the rock wall in the centre (the 5 in the centre) and make a lower rock formation coming right to the front of the tank. Like a natural rock formation that had collapsed. But over all it looks awesome.

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Tank looks good but I wouldn't stack them too high. Also you displace a lot of water with those rocks! That's the biggest issue and try and avoid leaning the rocks on the glass.

Like Mattrox said, I too would look to remove most of the rock from the centre and perhaps organise two nice piles instead!

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thanks for the advice. I like the amount of rock i have in the tank, and in terms of volume it takes up about 90L. The Mbuna love it, and i have had zero aggression so far in the tank even though it is pretty stocked, but i like the idea of trying to male two piles. Might allow me to see the cats a bit more, as they are active, but all behind the rocks, and its hard to see them.

I did end up getting 6 metriaclima estherae, which will be culled to only 4 down the track, and i picked up a 12+cm Star Sapphire. That will definately be it for the fish now, and ill let them grow out now, and see how things go. Might have to remove some down the track when they get a bit bigger, but ill cross that bridge when i come to it.

As for cleaning, well its a breeze, and i dont need to remove the rocks really. I use my own version of this:

It allows me to get into the caves in the rocks, and around the bases of the rocks to suck up all the fish poo. Then just do a separate water change, one a week/fortnight, and all is good.

Edited by Scarecrow
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