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ryanhayes9
12-13-2006, 05:47 PM
k,

i have an empty 55 gallon sitting around i was going to use for moray eels but i want cichlids instead. can you mix like lake malawai and lake tangynika(sp?) togeather?

How many could I have in a 55 gallon?

Is there anything general i need to know?

RustyNut
12-13-2006, 06:00 PM
Welcome to the Forums!!!

Can you mix the lakes? Yes you can, some people have sucess with doing so....

Should you mix the lakes? Probably not unless your an experience cichlidarist who understands the needs of all the species to be kept. It certianly makes for a more difficult tank to manage, and since species from each lake essentially "speak a different language" they have a hard time communicating between each other which can result in increased aggression.

ryanhayes9
12-13-2006, 06:26 PM
Originally posted by RustyNut
Welcome to the Forums!!!

Can you mix the lakes? Yes you can, some people have sucess with doing so....

Should you mix the lakes? Probably not unless your an experience cichlidarist who understands the needs of all the species to be kept. It certianly makes for a more difficult tank to manage, and since species from each lake essentially "speak a different language" they have a hard time communicating between each other which can result in increased aggression.

k ive decided to go with malawain cichlids. can I have
2 yellow cichlid ( 1 male 1 female)
2 Blue peacock cichlids( 1 male 1 female)
2 acei cichlid( 1 male 1 female)

Can I get more fish than this?

Should i add like 2 fish every two weeks for the bioload to adjust? is it like as sensitive as saltwater?

Should they have some salt in there water? Trace elements?

I have some Instant Ocean salt and some red sea coral pro salt laying around.... could I use that?

could I use some sand as the substrate?

what could I use as far as a clean up crew?
like cherry fire shrimp
http://liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?pCatId=1898
or like freshwater clams
http://liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?pCatId=1642

aharris
12-13-2006, 10:34 PM
The cichlids you mention are maternal mouthbrooders which are polygamous. That means 1m/1f is not a good ratio. The male breeds with the female and then looks for other females to breed with if he doesn't find any, he tries to breed with the same female over and over and she just wants to hold her eggs in peace. If can be very stressful to her and might even kill her.

Generally with this type of fish it is best to have one male to two to three females. That way, when he mate swith one, he can go chase the other ones while the first one holds her eggs.

As far as bioload and the like, do a forum search on the term cycle. That should get you an idea on how to get started and when to add fish and how many to add.

I use regular old play sand as substrate on all my tanks.

Test your tap water first to find out what its like before deciding to muck around with adding stuff. I keep Africans because my tap water comes out in the high 8s pH wise. All I have to do is add de-chlorinator and I'm set.

As far as clean-up, a lot of people use Synodontis catfish for their African tanks. S. petricola and S. multipunctatus are the best being smaller in size. I currently have six S. petricola in with my mixed mbuna/Tang tank and they are thriving.

RustyNut
12-14-2006, 07:23 AM
Yes, usually a quad (1M3F) is best. So in a 55g you have enough floor space for about 3 Males territories which totals about 12 cichlids in the tank total. (Yes, compared to SW that IS crowded, but mbuna like it that way.)

Generally yes, you want to ramp up the bio-load, usually 4-6 juveniles are fine at a time, 2-4 adults depending on tank size. Not as sensitive as SW is... but still sensitive.

If your tap water is within the parameters of your fish (PH above 7.4 and moderate to hard water) then its better NOT to muck around with adding anything. no trace elements will be needed since everything should be present provided your water already fall within those ranges. If it doesn't we have a recipe for mixing to get your water up to snuff, but only if your outside the "safe" ranges... cichlids are highly adaptable and often it is easier to adapt the fish to your water than adapting your water to the fish!

The shrimp won't survive. No freshwater shrimp or crayfish (hammer cobalt FW lobsters) last long with cichlids. If they are big enough to defend themselves, then they get killed when they molt and are defenseless. The above Synos are your best bet, although Clown Loaches (and other botia) do well also.

The FW Clams are something I have been wanting to TRY myself... I've been asking and so far nobody I've found has given them a try with cichlids. I was going to establish them in my sump and see how they do in the water conditions before trying them in a tank. If you give them a try, I would be interested to know how it turns out.

I prefer sand as my substrate. I like watching them sift it through thier gills (some sp.) and I think it looks better.

ryanhayes9
12-14-2006, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by RustyNut
Yes, usually a quad (1M3F) is best. So in a 55g you have enough floor space for about 3 Males territories which totals about 12 cichlids in the tank total. (Yes, compared to SW that IS crowded, but mbuna like it that way.)

Generally yes, you want to ramp up the bio-load, usually 4-6 juveniles are fine at a time, 2-4 adults depending on tank size. Not as sensitive as SW is... but still sensitive.

If your tap water is within the parameters of your fish (PH above 7.4 and moderate to hard water) then its better NOT to muck around with adding anything. no trace elements will be needed since everything should be present provided your water already fall within those ranges. If it doesn't we have a recipe for mixing to get your water up to snuff, but only if your outside the "safe" ranges... cichlids are highly adaptable and often it is easier to adapt the fish to your water than adapting your water to the fish!

The shrimp won't survive. No freshwater shrimp or crayfish (hammer cobalt FW lobsters) last long with cichlids. If they are big enough to defend themselves, then they get killed when they molt and are defenseless. The above Synos are your best bet, although Clown Loaches (and other botia) do well also.

The FW Clams are something I have been wanting to TRY myself... I've been asking and so far nobody I've found has given them a try with cichlids. I was going to establish them in my sump and see how they do in the water conditions before trying them in a tank. If you give them a try, I would be interested to know how it turns out.

I prefer sand as my substrate. I like watching them sift it through thier gills (some sp.) and I think it looks better.

thanks for that! i have done the clam thing with saltwater. yu dont ever see them as they are under the substrate. but they do lower nitrates.

RustyNut
12-14-2006, 04:02 PM
One note, you listed a blue peacock on your stock list, and peacocks are not very good with mbuna (the other species) so I would look at something else....

Rusties (my fav), Afra, Saulosi (good choice), Estherae, and Socolofi all would fit pretty well in the 55g with the other inhabitants.

ryanhayes9
12-14-2006, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by RustyNut
One note, you listed a blue peacock on your stock list, and peacocks are not very good with mbuna (the other species) so I would look at something else....

Rusties (my fav), Afra, Saulosi (good choice), Estherae, and Socolofi all would fit pretty well in the 55g with the other inhabitants.

can you post a link to a website that sells them? thanks

RustyNut
12-14-2006, 08:19 PM
Those are fairly common, I don't have a link for those specific species. Shouldn't be too hard finding them though.

Jeto
12-14-2006, 09:02 PM
@rusty
will give the FW clam a try also..
based on research, they are filter feeders.
hehehehe