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Peace Lilly’s came today and there were loads in the pots so got most in here but put some in my other tanks too looks great - might spread them out in this tank at some point. Also may put some wood at the surface to mask the roots a little as it looks a bit stark at the moment.

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Peace Lilly’s came today and there were loads in the pots so got most in here but put some in my other tanks too looks great - might spread them out in this tank at some point. Also may put some wood at the surface to mask the roots a little as it looks a bit stark at the moment.

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Any updates Wills? Id thought this tank would of been cycled by now lol

Are you struggling to find the fish you want
 
I was thinking today that I've not updated this in a long time and its funny to see that I've missed quite a lot!

I added the first fish, a group of 6 Chindongo Socolofi from Wharf Aquatics in early November and then a group of 8 Metriclima Msobo Magunga from Kevs Rifts. At the time I sort of didnt pay attention to genders too much as they were all quite small and the Socolofi are tough to sex at the best of times, the Msobo from Kev were a group he had, and anyone that knows of Kev will know he is unfortunately shutting down so I felt I needed to take the full group.

The Socolofi have generally been fine aggression wise, when I added the Msobo I did lose one Socolofi overnight but I'm not sure from who. I still can't decide on the genders I have with the Socolofi I change my mind every day but with the Msobo when I got them home I knew I had 2 definite females 1 I was 50/50 on and 5 males... far from perfect.

The Msobo seemed to settle in pretty well and until 2 weeks ago I thought I had a definite alpha and the others were just slotting in behind him, I was hoping that too many males might actually benefit me but then one of the smaller males started to develop his male colours faster than the original alpha and was soon fully black and blue, the original alpha got to about 75% of the full male colours and then I woke up to him dead one morning which was a real shame but part of the journey with these fish.

I then noticed last night that one of the 2 definite females was hanging near the surface at the back which I thought was odd but then this morning I found her and one of the sub-dominant males dead and I knew I needed to do something. I rang around quite a few places and found that the only place that had more Msobo in was Wharf Aquatics but they were all reserved until the end of today! I still decided to take a trip down as I felt adding more Mbuna in generally would be a good idea to help spread any aggression out.

When I got there the Msobo tank did not have the reservation on so I asked and they were available! And the amazing news was I am quite confident the 5 I got are all female! Along with these I got 3 more Socolofi, again trying to get females but not 100% and I also got 6 Rusty Cichlids.

For a third species in here I had a few choices, White Labs and some Red Labeotropheus were very tempting but the Rusties won!

I've been trying and trying to get some good pictures of these fish and the tank for a while but I never seem to do them justice. I think its because when I get near the tank the fish come right to the front and end up back lit meaning the camera doesnt always pick up the depth of their colours. So I've taken the plunge and finally uploaded a video to Youtube - hope you like it!


Wills
 
I was thinking today that I've not updated this in a long time and its funny to see that I've missed quite a lot!

I added the first fish, a group of 6 Chindongo Socolofi from Wharf Aquatics in early November and then a group of 8 Metriclima Msobo Magunga from Kevs Rifts. At the time I sort of didnt pay attention to genders too much as they were all quite small and the Socolofi are tough to sex at the best of times, the Msobo from Kev were a group he had, and anyone that knows of Kev will know he is unfortunately shutting down so I felt I needed to take the full group.

The Socolofi have generally been fine aggression wise, when I added the Msobo I did lose one Socolofi overnight but I'm not sure from who. I still can't decide on the genders I have with the Socolofi I change my mind every day but with the Msobo when I got them home I knew I had 2 definite females 1 I was 50/50 on and 5 males... far from perfect.

The Msobo seemed to settle in pretty well and until 2 weeks ago I thought I had a definite alpha and the others were just slotting in behind him, I was hoping that too many males might actually benefit me but then one of the smaller males started to develop his male colours faster than the original alpha and was soon fully black and blue, the original alpha got to about 75% of the full male colours and then I woke up to him dead one morning which was a real shame but part of the journey with these fish.

I then noticed last night that one of the 2 definite females was hanging near the surface at the back which I thought was odd but then this morning I found her and one of the sub-dominant males dead and I knew I needed to do something. I rang around quite a few places and found that the only place that had more Msobo in was Wharf Aquatics but they were all reserved until the end of today! I still decided to take a trip down as I felt adding more Mbuna in generally would be a good idea to help spread any aggression out.

When I got there the Msobo tank did not have the reservation on so I asked and they were available! And the amazing news was I am quite confident the 5 I got are all female! Along with these I got 3 more Socolofi, again trying to get females but not 100% and I also got 6 Rusty Cichlids.

For a third species in here I had a few choices, White Labs and some Red Labeotropheus were very tempting but the Rusties won!

I've been trying and trying to get some good pictures of these fish and the tank for a while but I never seem to do them justice. I think its because when I get near the tank the fish come right to the front and end up back lit meaning the camera doesnt always pick up the depth of their colours. So I've taken the plunge and finally uploaded a video to Youtube - hope you like it!


Wills

I know none of these cichlid species at all yet, but they, and the tank, and the video, are so beautiful! I love just having the peacelily roots, TBH, which is weird for me since I usually love a heavily planted tank, but between this tank and @Seisage 's, I'm starting to see and finally really get the elegant appeal when the fish are the focus, and the decor is the natural wood and stone of their habitat, with perhaps just some emersed or floating plant.

I'm only halfway through the video, is that deep blue and definitely the most bossy fella the smallest but now most alpha male of that group that you mentioned? And the rest are that pretty shimmery white with blue edges to their fins? I'm just trying to work it out based on their behaviours and reactions to each other, rather than looking it up. :D Must be easy to lose hours watching them, the constant little behaviours like grabbing a mouthful of sand, or the way the others duck and cover when Alpha Blue patrols!

Subscribing, and hoping for more videos of this, and the other tanks!! Video is beautifully shot.
 
I know none of these cichlid species at all yet, but they, and the tank, and the video, are so beautiful! I love just having the peacelily roots, TBH, which is weird for me since I usually love a heavily planted tank, but between this tank and @Seisage 's, I'm starting to see and finally really get the elegant appeal when the fish are the focus, and the decor is the natural wood and stone of their habitat, with perhaps just some emersed or floating plant.

I'm only halfway through the video, is that deep blue and definitely the most bossy fella the smallest but now most alpha male of that group that you mentioned? And the rest are that pretty shimmery white with blue edges to their fins? I'm just trying to work it out based on their behaviours and reactions to each other, rather than looking it up. :D Must be easy to lose hours watching them, the constant little behaviours like grabbing a mouthful of sand, or the way the others duck and cover when Alpha Blue patrols!

Subscribing, and hoping for more videos of this, and the other tanks!! Video is beautifully shot.
Thanks!

The black and blue alpha is the make of the orange fish - the sub males get a pale blue shimmer but mainly orange.

The pale blues are Socolofi and males and females look quite similar
 
Screenshot 2024-03-19 at 21.33.26.png


Coming along nicely now - Peace Lily has gone quite nuts, I need to start burying the roots and I think it will really take off then. Fish all doing good after a few weeks together, all 4 of my male Msobo Magunga are trying to colour up now, still one clear alpha but a second definitely black and blue, the other 2 are in a sort of blue/orange haze so interesting to see how it goes. The Rusties are colouring up pretty well now too and should only get better with size.

Its interesting how the rocks and substrate has aged, the sand has dulled quite a bit which is a good thing and I actually like the coating of algae on the rocks, I did flip a few rocks which you can see on the bottom left but I've been choosing not to scrub the rocks as the mbuna are truly algae farmers :)
 
Absolutely stunning fish! I've enjoyed this thread, please keep it updated 😍 can't wait to see these cichlids grow and start showing their real potential. How do you get anything else done apart from staring at these beautys all day??
 
Absolutely stunning fish! I've enjoyed this thread, please keep it updated 😍 can't wait to see these cichlids grow and start showing their real potential. How do you get anything else done apart from staring at these beautys all day??
Thanks :) its really interesting watch them grow. When I first got them they were too small to eat the pellets I bought so had to get a fine powder grain but I realised last night that they are definitely big enough.

It was funny when I got my second batch of Socolofi home too, the first were from the same store and tank so probs all the same shipment but mine were nearly double the size.

I'm fully converted to Malawi now, its really interesting discovering it all and learning it all. The only tough bit is that in the UK the high end trade has nearly gone due to new pet store legislation and post brexit import issues - you start to realise there are some real legends in the hobby all over the UK but when you speak to them they all say the same thing, wrapping up because of Brexit etc.

I'm trying to mainly buy from the quality stores I get all my other fish from but I know all of their Malawi are just farmed so I suspect that they are likely hybrids rather than true species - my socolofi for example should have solid black stripes through the unpaired fins and in my 8 only 2 are like that the rest are all broken or missing which is a sign of a hybrid.

Next plan for this tank is to add a group of Synodontis as I'm starting to get some breeding and I don't want to raise them.

Wills
 
It's a sad reality for us in this country that we're becoming so limited in the hobby, not to mention the price hike on livestock. I don't think the pandemic has helped matters either, it's a real shame.

Which Synodontis have you been looking at? They're about the only catfish that don't freak me out 🫣
 

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