New Member Seeks Advice !

sc0tty

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Hi everyone, I am new to the forums, but I used to keep fish many years ago, so I am a bit rusty.

Basically, I want to set up a new tank, approx 200 litres/4ft wide, and I would really like to keep African cichlids. I am not a fan
of planted aquriums or community fish.

I live in Reading, Berks and the water is fairly hard I would say.

I am looking for some advice on the best fish to keep, and what are the rules for setting up and successfully keeping malawi or tanganika (sp) cichlids?

Sadly, I don't know any of the african fish names, so any advice on the best/easiest fish to keep would be appreciated.

Many thanks

Scotty
 

kj23502

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:hi: to the forum!!

Before you get any fish make sure to properly cycle your tank to reduce that stress on the fish. Ammonia poisoning burns them and nitrite suffocates them, which is what happens if it's not fishless cycled. Here's how to do it:
http://www.fishforums.net/content/New-to-t...shless-Cycling/

Sorry if you already know that, but I'd rather share too much info than not enough.

It'd be a good idea to go to your local fish store and look to see what they carry. If they don't have scientific names posted then ask for them. If they can't/won't give them to you, then go to a different store. If you find some you like write down the names and post them and we'll tell you if we think they are compatable or not. If you see some fish around there that you like that your lfs doesn't have ask them if they might order some for you when you're ready. A good lfs will.

Also, look through the members tank section to get some ideas of fish too.
http://www.fishforums.net/content/Journals...-Cichlid-Tanks/

Here's profiles of some cichlids:
http://www.fishforums.net/category/41/Cichlids-African/

:good:
 
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sc0tty

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This is a great site, I Have just been looking at some of the species guides to the African cichlids. Being a novice I would really like to keep some Yellow Labs, Electric BLue Johanni and Pseudotopheus Socolofi (that's a bit of a mouthful !!).

Can you experts out there advise if this is a good mix for a beginner, and what should the male to female ratios be (assuming the fish shop can sex them?!!)

Sorry for all these questions!
 

kj23502

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I'm not an expert, but here's my opinion :

I think that could work just fine. Keep in mind that melanochromis & psuedotropheus can be pretty aggressive(the Johanni/Socolofi), but it should be alright provided there are enough hiding spots and enough fish to disperse aggression between quite a few different fish.

200 liters=52 usg. I'd recommend 15 fish at the most. I'd do 5 Johanni, 5 Socolofi (1m:4f) and then 4 labs ()1m:3f).

If the fish are over 2.5 or 3 inches, I would think they'd be able to vent them if they know how. If they are under that, it may be anyone's best guess.
 

5teady_2012

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Im not at all clued up on these type of fish, but i do listen a lot and i heard summat about the milkspots they have dtermine sex, but then again i heard both sexes can have milk spots but thought i would gibe it a mention so the experts on here can give you more info about this as well.
 

kj23502

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Both sexes can have egg spots. The only surefire way to sex the fish that have identical markings/patterns on both sexes is to vent them. And thats if the person whose venting knows what they're doing :good:
 
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sc0tty

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What does 'Venting' mean ??!!

Also, is it recommended to have bottom feeding fish in these Mbuna tanks? if so, how many and what are they called?? ( I must say I am not a great fan of plecos etc )
 

fishlover500

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Its when you pick up the fish and look at its anus to determine the gender. Someone on here will
give you a link to a detailed description. I just forget the link.

For your tank I would recommend 1-2 bristle nose plecs. Either that or 3-4 chinese algae eaters, but be warned when
these (chinese) grow up they will llatch on to fish and not eat algae.
 

Rick A

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From personal experience, if you go for Synodontis, I would suggest ONE at first. They are quite boisterous, can become very territorial with their own kind and can become much larger than some people might suggest. I have what was once a tiny cute little Feather Fin, it is now a very boisterous 8" monster. He gets on fine with my Malawis, but I wouldn't want two or three of them in my tank...

When you are arranging the rocks in your tank - you'll need plenty for the Malawis - make sure you provide a decent sized cave for the Synodontis as otherwise it will try squeezing in between small gaps in the rocks and could cause a rock fall, something to be avoided unless your tank glass is 1/2" thick.

Synodontis tend to spend a lot of their time rummaging around the bottom of the tank picking out any scraps of food that the Malawis have missed (yeah right!) so they do help with the 'housework'. They're also very capable of looking after themselves and mine is the ONLY fish in my tank that hasn't suffered from nipped fins at some time or other. They don't eat algae, but as long as you do your weekly water changes (20% - 30%) then you should only end up with the green stuff on the rocks, which is fine, and the Malawis will nibble at it from time to time. Also, Malawis and Synodonts LOVE cucumber every couple of days - make sure you don't leave any scraps of cucumber in the tank for more than two days as it will decompose and make a real mess. :sick: Cut a 1" slice and weigh it down with a piece of lead - its also a good way to observe your tanks 'pecking order', just watch them que up for a turn. :)
 

kj23502

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From personal experience, if you go for Synodontis, I would suggest ONE at first. They are quite boisterous, can become very territorial with their own kind and can become much larger than some people might suggest. I have what was once a tiny cute little Feather Fin, it is now a very boisterous 8" monster. He gets on fine with my Malawis, but I wouldn't want two or three of them in my tank...
Don't discourage him. If you read up on them before you purchased one you would've seen that Feather Fins (Synodontis eupterus I'm assuming) are supposed to hit 8", maybe 9. The ones I suggested to scotty don't get bigger than 6" atm. Also, they are schooling fish. It's good idea to get the right size to keep 3 in the tank. The smallest species I've checked up on is Synodontis lucipinnis, which grow to 4".

When you are arranging the rocks in your tank - you'll need plenty for the Malawis - make sure you provide a decent sized cave for the Synodontis as otherwise it will try squeezing in between small gaps in the rocks and could cause a rock fall, something to be avoided unless your tank glass is 1/2" thick.

Synodontis tend to spend a lot of their time rummaging around the bottom of the tank picking out any scraps of food that the Malawis have missed (yeah right!) so they do help with the 'housework'. They're also very capable of looking after themselves and mine is the ONLY fish in my tank that hasn't suffered from nipped fins at some time or other. They don't eat algae, but as long as you do your weekly water changes (20% - 30%) then you should only end up with the green stuff on the rocks, which is fine, and the Malawis will nibble at it from time to time. Also, Malawis and Synodonts LOVE cucumber every couple of days - make sure you don't leave any scraps of cucumber in the tank for more than two days as it will decompose and make a real mess. :sick: Cut a 1" slice and weigh it down with a piece of lead - its also a good way to observe your tanks 'pecking order', just watch them que up for a turn. :)
You can also get a clamp that is used for Nori in saltwater tanks. Clip the cucumber to that. I believe Nori can be fed to mbuna as well. It's an algea.
 

Ace Of Spades

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From personal experience, if you go for Synodontis, I would suggest ONE at first. They are quite boisterous, can become very territorial with their own kind and can become much larger than some people might suggest. I have what was once a tiny cute little Feather Fin, it is now a very boisterous 8" monster. He gets on fine with my Malawis, but I wouldn't want two or three of them in my tank...
Don't discourage him. If you read up on them before you purchased one you would've seen that Feather Fins (Synodontis eupterus I'm assuming) are supposed to hit 8", maybe 9. The ones I suggested to scotty don't get bigger than 6" atm. Also, they are schooling fish. It's good idea to get the right size to keep 3 in the tank. The smallest species I've checked up on is Synodontis lucipinnis, which grow to 4".

When you are arranging the rocks in your tank - you'll need plenty for the Malawis - make sure you provide a decent sized cave for the Synodontis as otherwise it will try squeezing in between small gaps in the rocks and could cause a rock fall, something to be avoided unless your tank glass is 1/2" thick.

Synodontis tend to spend a lot of their time rummaging around the bottom of the tank picking out any scraps of food that the Malawis have missed (yeah right!) so they do help with the 'housework'. They're also very capable of looking after themselves and mine is the ONLY fish in my tank that hasn't suffered from nipped fins at some time or other. They don't eat algae, but as long as you do your weekly water changes (20% - 30%) then you should only end up with the green stuff on the rocks, which is fine, and the Malawis will nibble at it from time to time. Also, Malawis and Synodonts LOVE cucumber every couple of days - make sure you don't leave any scraps of cucumber in the tank for more than two days as it will decompose and make a real mess. :sick: Cut a 1" slice and weigh it down with a piece of lead - its also a good way to observe your tanks 'pecking order', just watch them que up for a turn. :)
You can also get a clamp that is used for Nori in saltwater tanks. Clip the cucumber to that. I believe Nori can be fed to mbuna as well. It's an algea.
Good advice from KJ there, Id recommend the smaller syno's also like Multi and Petricola which like to be in groups and stay really small. Id get 3 at first.
 
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