Malawi cichlid help

Malawi1983

New Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2017
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Hello everyone!
I have a 105 litre fish tank with 2 Malawi cichlids, 2 clown loaches and 1 red tail shark. I was sold the Malawi cichlids without being properly informed. I've been land scaling my aquarium to suit the Malawi cichlids because I love them but rdcenmtly learnt that my tank is too small. So I'm wondering can I gave a few more in there or should I give them away and wait till I have a bigger tank in he future?

By the way I had a third cichlid but found it's skeleton one morning.
Thanks
 

Byron

Fish Expert
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
14,813
Reaction score
6,230
Location
CA
Welcome to TFF. :hi:

I am indeed sorry to have to be negative in your first post, but you have some problems just waiting to happen here. First, the tank is not large enough for a proper group of Malawi (rift lake) cichlids, so I would strongly suggest you return these before something happens. Depending uppon the species, they can be very aggressive...a third seems to have been the victim already.

Unfortunately the tank is also not large enough for clown loaches, or the Red Tail Shark. This will take some explaining, I'll come back to this, after mentioning something about water parameters.

Freshwater fish species have evolved to function best in very specific environments, and "environment" includes water parameters. These are the hardness (GH is general or total hardness), carbonate hardness (KH, or Alkalinity) and pH, and the three are related. You need to know the GH, KH and pH of your source water, whether tap or well. If on municipal water, check their website where data is sometimes posted, or contact them.

There are two broad groups of fish, soft water species and hard water species; there are some that function somewhere in the middle, though often leaning one way or the other. It is very important to know the species' requirements and ensure you are providing them. Malawi cichlids are hard water, just about the hardest freshwater species. Loaches are soft water. So right off, no matter what you have, one or both of these is likely to be suffering. I'll leave water now and return to space.

Clown loaches are highly social fiish, and must be kept in a small group. Five is about as few as you should have. But here you have another problem, their size; they attain 12 inches (30 cm). That means a group needs a six-foot tank.

The Red Tail Shark needs at least a 4-foot tank, as he will attain 6 inches (15 cm). This can bee a very nasty fish, depending upon individuals, but in the majority of cases they are aggressive, usually to any similar species (like the loaches), and sometimes to certain upper fish.

Given the tank space, and assuming this is your only tank, I would consider re-homing the loaches and the shark. They may seem "OK" now, but I suspect this is a fairly new aquarium and it can take fish a while to settle in to the point where their true nature begins to emerge. Also, the fact that they are not in what they would consider the ideal environment, they are likely under stress which affects them in different ways, usually unseen, but causing internal damage which is permanent.

Byron.
 
OP
M

Malawi1983

New Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2017
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Thank you very much for your message Byron.
I've had the 2 loaches and shark for 3 years now and have seemed healthy and happy but the cichlids I've had for about 5 months. I'm going to try and re home all of them and start from scratch. The problem is the pet stores I've been useing tell me I can have all these fish without properly informing me. What would you recommend for a 100 litre tank? I have it st up with substrate for plants.
 

Byron

Fish Expert
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
14,813
Reaction score
6,230
Location
CA
Thank you very much for your message Byron.
I've had the 2 loaches and shark for 3 years now and have seemed healthy and happy but the cichlids I've had for about 5 months. I'm going to try and re home all of them and start from scratch. The problem is the pet stores I've been useing tell me I can have all these fish without properly informing me. What would you recommend for a 100 litre tank? I have it st up with substrate for plants.

Bad advice from staff in many pet stores is one of the banes of this hobby. I was fortunate when I became serious about this hobby to have an exceptional local store owned and staffed by aquarists, so I started off on the right foot, and have continued my research over many years. More than 20 now.

The length of time these fish may have been in your charge without obvious problems does not mean they have not been detrimentally affected. This is not always recognizable externally, until it is too late. What's done is done, the aim now is to rectify things and move forward.

Before recommending fish, we need to know the water parameters of your source water. As I previously suggested, you may get this from the website of your water authority (if on municipal water). Post the link if you find it but can't decipher the data.

Byron.
 

terry simmonds

New Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2018
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
Oxted, Surrey
Totally agree !!
Malawi’s need more than your 105 litres!! You will definitely have issues later on,

As you mentioned regime your current fish and start again, go to a LFS that can give you the correct advice, but research before, there is loads of info on the net.
 

Most reactions

Top