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noddy
03-11-2003, 08:27 AM
Hi everyone
I am looking at setting up an african tank which i am cycling at the moment but i am unsure as to how many africans would be safe to run in my tank. The dimensions are 48x14x17 and i was considering overstocking but i dont know when it would be classed as overstocking a tank. i have heard estimations from 6 to 25 fish for a tank this size. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Rudy
03-11-2003, 08:57 AM
It really depends on a lot of things. What kind of filtration, what fish, deocarations, WHETHER YOU ASK SGYPSIEMERMAID :shock: etc. Do you have any idea of what you would be looking to put in there. I can only offer that with most africans you have to overstock somewhat as you will end up with only one left if you don't.

noddy
03-11-2003, 10:28 AM
I was considering 4 of each (1m/3f) of the following

Psuedotropheus lombardoi
Melanochromis johannii
Hemichromis lifalilli

and 3 or 4 bristlenose catfish to clean up

I am running an Eheim 2217 on the tank at the moment but i could also put a fluval 4+ on it aswell. I have a large amount of rock work around 300mm high running the full length of the tank with many caves and crevises with sand as a substrate. The pH is only around 7.4 at the moment but i will be adding malawi salts and malawi buffer before the cichlids are added to the tank (which I am cycling at the moment).
If more are needed to achieve overstocking how many fish in total should I put in.

jonah
03-11-2003, 10:46 AM
I was considering 4 of each (1m/3f) of the following

Psuedotropheus lombardoi
Melanochromis johannii
Hemichromis lifalilli

and 3 or 4 bristlenose catfish to clean up



Your stocking numbers are probably fine, in fact I think you could probably add one more species of mbuna. The only problem I see is that the Hemi's aren't rift lake and I don't know how they'll do in a rift lake set up. They have different (lower) pH requirements, different social behaviors and they form pair bonds, so you wouldn't need the extra females. They probably wouldn't welcome the extra females either.

The bristlenoses have the same problem pH wise, but I know that many people keep them successfully with mbuna. I prefer Synodontis catfish. Either way, my mbuna seem to ignore the bottom feeders most of the time.

If you do add some other mbuna, make sure they're fairly tough, lombardoi and johanni can be real tough on their tankmates. I'd try Maylandia crabros (bumblebees) or Maylandia estherae (red zebra).

fOx
03-11-2003, 12:12 PM
Jonah's right and you're being smart. Keeping about 10 - 15 fish in a tank that size would be ideal. Just make sure your filters can pull the weight.

good luck

fOx

noddy
03-11-2003, 09:09 PM
Thanks to everyone that replied, but I am slightly concerned now for the well-being of the Hemi's as I know they will handle the water chemistry as the guy I'm getting them off has them at that but will they be able to handle the johanniis, lombardoisand red zebs aggression as when they are all fully grown they hemis are going to be the smallest in the tank with the least aggression. The guy I'm getting them off was worried about the hemis being to agro for the others as he said they are very aggressive not only around spawning. What size would be advisable to grow the hemis to before i add the more aggressive species.
Thanks again

merlyn2221
03-11-2003, 09:23 PM
I currently have a 55g with 17 mbuna (of 8 different species).
I also have 3 Synodontis catfishes. Some of the ones you named, and those Jonah named, are already in my tank.

Just be sure as Fox said, that your filters can handle it. The key is to definately buy filters made for a larger tank than what you have so the gallons per hour filtered are high.

And make sure you are religious about water changes, gravel cleaning, and filter maintenance!

merlyn2221
03-11-2003, 09:27 PM
Oh, I almost forgot...

Think of what you will do with these fish when they are all 4.5-6 inches long and very large. You will probably have to get a larger tank or give the fish you have now away when they no longer fit in the tank!

Oh, yeah, one more thing...forget the Hemi! Stick with the mbuna.

noddy
03-11-2003, 09:30 PM
The filter I have is an Eheim 2217 has a flow rate of around 1000ltrs/hr which I believe should be enough if not I will put on a Fluval 4+ which will do a 4ft tank by itself. But my main concern is about the hemis and aggression. Thanks for your input. Merlyn how do you go with aggression in your tank with your m/f ratios. What ish do you have in the tank. You said you have Synos. What type and i guess you only use them to clean up left over food and not so much cleaning algae from the tank.
Thanks again

merlyn2221
03-12-2003, 08:27 PM
Yes, Noddy, you are right. My Synos are the clean up crew. When I gravel vacuum, there is hardly any waste since they have eaten anything that drops, and in my tank that's not much! I feed the Synos sinking discs to supplement their food intake, just in case.
My filters are an Emperor Biowheel (largest model) and a Fluval 304. Seems to be ok, water is clean with changing, etc. I just recently switched food though, because the algae flakes I was using were clouding the water. What I use now is great, no cloudiness at all.

Right now in my 55g (soon to go to a 120g on order) are:
2 Maylandia estherae or Red Zebras, 1 albino, both males
2 Mel. johanni, 1 male and the other not sure
1 Mel. auratus, male I think, but too soon to tell
1 Ps. saulosi, female
2 Maylandia crabro or Bumblebees, 1 male and 1 female (need at least 2
more females because he chases this one constanly)
1 Ps. socolofi, female I think
2 Ps. lombardoi, 1 male and 1 female (need more females for same
reason as stated above with Bumblebees)
2 Lab. caeruleus, 1 male and 1 female (would like more females)
4 Ps. trewvassae 1 male, 3 females (perfect breeding ratio and keeps him
from picking on just one female)
1 Nimbochromis venustus, female (I don't recommend mixing Haps and
Mbuna, but I do have her and she will be the largest fish in my tank soon)
1 Debawi catfish (not the "true" catfish one thinks of and not a bottom
feeder)
3 Synodontis eupterus or Feather Fins

So far I'm ok because I have a huge amount of rocks in the tank and the fish are all 4" or smaller. I bought the new tank because I don't want aggression. Where I stated that I need more females, I will be getting them so the existing females are not overly harrassed or killed during breeding. Everywhere I read recommends a 1m to 3f ratio. It works great for the trewavassae. No one is constanly bugged, or overly stressed.
When I set up the 120 I am going to add 2 Synodontis decorus that I just won at an auction, and 6 unsexed as yet, Ps. fuelleborni. I will try this with much trepidation because during breeding the fuelleborni will seek out the trewavassae male to kill him according to what I've read, but my husband works nights, and I work days so we will both watch them to make sure there is no violence (hopefully). I am hoping that with the unsexed fuellebornis there will be a 1m, 3f ratio out of the 6. Then I will give away the 2 males left, if they are males. :roll:

noddy
03-14-2003, 10:19 PM
How does this sound to everyone for using overstocking

4 Lombardoi
4 Red Zebras
4 Johannii
4 Red Jewels

and either
2 bristlenose cats and 1 or 2 featherfin cats
or
4 bristlenose cats
Anyones opinion would be great.
Thanks again

SGypsyMermaid
03-15-2003, 12:13 AM
[quote:392e587a4c="noddy"]How does this sound to everyone for using overstocking

4 Lombardoi
4 Red Zebras
4 Johannii
4 Red Jewels

and either
2 bristlenose cats and 1 or 2 featherfin cats
or
4 bristlenose cats
Anyones opinion would be great.
Thanks again[/quote:392e587a4c]

i vote that you leave out the red jewels--they are african, but not lake cichlids--substitute some other aggressive mbuna like labeotropheus fuelleborni or trewavasae(the mpanga reds are fabulous!) my preference is for synodontis cats as opposed to bristle-nosed cats. mbuna like to graze on algae--i only clean it off of the front glass.

noddy
03-15-2003, 10:38 AM
Thanks for the tip. The reason i was getting the jewels is that i can get them cheap and they are apparently very aggressive fish which have been kept at about 8.2 and successfully bred. Do anyone have any other suggestions of a fish that is of different coloration (mainly red if possible) to add to the tank other than the trewavasae and the fuelleborni but they are definately still considerations. Any help would be greatly appreciated as I am yet to find a cichlid from malawi with coloring different to the johanniis, lombardois and red zebs. Once again thanks for your time and opinions as i am new to the hobby they rate very highly with me.
Thanks Noddy

noddy
03-15-2003, 11:29 AM
thanks for the tip. The reason i was looking at getting the jewels ia because they are another colour in my tank and i could get them cheap. I agree that the Labeotropheus trewavasae "mpanga red" looks great but the big question is if i can get them in australia

jonah
03-15-2003, 11:29 AM
Do anyone have any other suggestions of a fish that is of different coloration (mainly red if possible) to add to the tank other than the trewavasae and the fuelleborni but they are definately still considerations.

Look at Lake Victoria cichlids for possible candidates. Their water requirements are similar and many of them have true red coloration, as opposed to the orange color that is usually called red in fish.

noddy
03-15-2003, 06:50 PM
thanks. any suggestions

matt1066
03-17-2003, 06:05 PM
I would forget the jewels as everyone agrees, and get a bristlenose(1) and maybe two Syn Multipunctatus or syn petricola. The bristlenose(Ancistrus) will keep the algae down, and the syn's will be the left over crew.

Regards,

Matt

jonhomemade
06-03-2003, 08:35 PM
Look for Haplochromis nyereri (Flameback) They have alot of red and do well with others from lake malawi.

SGypsyMermaid
06-04-2003, 04:02 AM
haplochromis flameback is from lake victoria, though they can be kept with malawians. pseudotropheus flameback, which is a recently discovered fish, is from lake malawi.