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Thoughts and Questions on African Cichlid Setup
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bozistheboss
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Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: 2011.04.16(Sat)19:54    Post subject: Thoughts and Questions on African Cichlid Setup Reply with quote

Hi guys,

I'm considering setting up a 46g bowfront African cichlid tank. As I'm new to African cichlids, I'd appreciate some tips and advice.

I would like the tank to be a species-specific biotope - I'm considering either Johannis (a harem) or Pseudotropheus Acei. For the substrate, I'll use aragonite sand. I'll probably employ a canister filter (probably rated for ~100g tank, I'm a firm believer in never having enough filtration). I'll likely use a pair of heaters.

For the decor, I have access to some well-sized granite stones from a nearby dismantled railroad (though I'd like to run some tests on these stones to confirm that they're granite). These will be placed on top of egg create to help distribute the weight. I'm also debating whether to find a nice large manzanita wood stump to offer additional hiding places (not exactly African, but I think it'll match the stark nature of the typical Mbuna cichlid tank).

How many fish will I be able to stock in this tank? I've heard that overstocking is better to cut down on aggression, but I'm purposely seeking more peaceful (relatively speaking) Mbunas so that this will not be an issue. The health and wellbeing of the fish is most important.

Additionally, are there any biotope-specific tankmates that would go along with these fish? I understand synodontis go well, but I'd prefer the nigriventris and I'm unsure if these will be too small for the acei cichlids. I'm a big catfish fan, though, and I find these little kids really fun to watch. I'd love to get 3-4 as tankmates if they will get along with the other cichlids.

Thanks for your time and any thoughts and opinions would be appreciated.
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Last edited by bozistheboss on 2011.04.17(Sun)20:13; edited 1 time in total
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diademhill
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2011.04.17(Sun)2:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is your tapwater very hard?


If not how about looking at African river cichlids - Steatocranus & Pelvicachromis which mix well with S, Nigriventris.
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bozistheboss
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Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: 2011.04.17(Sun)19:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

My tapwater is not hard at all. I'm trying to make sure I have the appropriate buffers to correct this. Smile

I am prepared to stick with a single species of cichlid for my tank - I just happened to stumble on some info that said that synodontis make good good tankmates and got excited. Smile If it doesn't work out, no big deal. I think featherfins are gorgeous too but apparently they get almost 1 foot long and get highly aggressive! No thanks!! Haha.
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diademhill
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2011.04.18(Mon)2:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

Err, Featherfins (S. eupterus) are gorgeous but where do they come in to this?

If you want one species choose one of the smaller mbuna with sexual dimorphism
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bozistheboss
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Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: 2011.04.18(Mon)9:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
where do they come in to this?


Sorry - was exploring different synodontis and happened to think they're really awesome up until I discovered how big and mean they get, haha.

Quote:
choose one of the smaller mbuna


Yeah, I'm trying to determine which ones remain relatively small. This is why johannis and acei appealed to me. Acei for size and lower aggression, johannis for color and ease of sexing fo a harem setup.

What about yellow labs - and should I also focus on a harem setup for these as well?
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kaybee
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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Location: Tampa, FL

PostPosted: 2011.04.24(Sun)8:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

A smaller dimorphic mbuna species is the pseudotropheus saulosi (males vertically blue/black striped, females solid yellowish). Not as aggressive as many other pseudotropheus species.

Acei's are fairly peaceful by mbuna standards, but max out at lose to 6", you may want to look into Rusty cichlids (Iodotropheus sprengerae) as these mbuna's are relatively mildy aggressive as well.

Yellow labs should also kept in 'harem' type set ups. Mutliple males can be quite feisty when competing for breeding rights.

Synodontis eupterus/euptera max out at 7"-9". Not quite a foot but perhaps too large for a 46gal. Their temperment and size makes them compatible mbuna tank mates.

You may want to consider synodontis petricola, they get about 5" in length.
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