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plow
01-26-2008, 09:49 PM
Hi guys..

I thought I'd report on my mbuna project.. post a few photos on the way, get told what to do and what not to do, make a few mistakes and hopefully with a bit of help I'll have a nice tank finished in a few weeks time.

I have a 55 gal, with a background I dont like, I liked it when I bought it but after having it set up as a community tank for a couple of months I have decided I didn't like the colour.. it was too light and there wasn't any contrast to bring out the colours of fish or plants.

So I am painting it black/blue using a 2 part epoxy paint...

here is the work in progress photo

plow
01-26-2008, 09:54 PM
when the paint has dried (not sure how long that will take) the next stage will be to get the substrate in and the tank cycling..

but I have a question..

To put in some big rocks like I want to I have read that people use egg crate as a support under the rocks..

What exactly is egg crate? Is it the cardboard packets that eggs are sold in?

Do ya cruch it up or just put it in or what? The rocks I want to use are made of granite and would guess some would weigh around 10 kg's..

are there any other suggestions to protect the glass bottom from rock damage?

cheers in advance to anyone who wants to play...thumbs2:

plow
01-27-2008, 09:49 PM
oh well egg crate smegg plate I went to the shop today and bought some rubber door mats about an inch thick and cut them to shape gave them a wash and plonked them in the bottom of the tank. It had the same sort of build as egg crate so should do the trick.

ive finished painting the background and have moved the tank into place in the house.

I placed some sand in the bottom that I had left over form another tank so was able to begin with the substrate...

Ive been washing rocks and setting them up.. this stage must be one of the coolest parts of setting up the aquarium... aquascaping. Got a bit more of aquascaping to go but its a start and ya dont wanna eat all ya candy at once.

here is the latest photo...

any opinions?

Lady Hobbs
01-27-2008, 09:51 PM
Plow, the egg crates are those plastic light covers that have all those square holes in them.

plow
01-28-2008, 10:19 AM
thanks hobbs, i found the rubber mats in the hardware store yesterday so i bought them instead.. they are formed the same way as egg crate only they are made of rubber

I assume that it is ok to put rubber in a fish tank? anyone know?

plow
01-28-2008, 10:36 AM
I think my backgrounds too shiny... damn.

toddnbecka
01-29-2008, 06:46 AM
As for the shiny background, algae and diatoms will cover that soon enough. My suggestion would be more cover. If weight is a concern, a friend who owns an lfs uses damaged "critter keepers", roughly 1 gallon size clear plastic boxes, to create terraces in a couple larger tanks. Covered with flat stones and/or gravel, the plastic isn't seen, and makes great caves.

plow
01-29-2008, 08:06 PM
ok Ive got the water and substrate in now, and got the cycle going with some ammonia, and to my suprise the background looks fine, I've got no issues with it at all.

the photo makes the background look a bit murky since it is totally covered in little bubbles form filling it up with water..

I think i'll leave the decorating how it is, Im pretty happy how it is, its simple and I dont want to overcrowd it.

Theres lots of hiding spaces for fish that get bullied or wanna breed...

now its just to wait until the cycle is complete and fill it up with fish!

seamajor
02-02-2008, 09:10 AM
The tank looks good. I didn't know you could paint inside the tank!
Looking forward to seeing the tank with fish.thumbs2:

Drumachine09
02-02-2008, 09:15 AM
Looking great so far.

That is one sturdy looking tank. Is the frame stainless steel?





Also, if you are worried about your background being too shiny, wait until you get water in the tank. That will diffuse a lot of the straying light.



If you still think its too bright, you can take it out, let it dry, and give it 3 thin coats of Krylon Fusion in Flat or Matte black.



I like your rock structure. Very unique.

sailor
02-02-2008, 12:35 PM
I think your back ground looks great and it will only get better with age and algea.

Pr0eve
02-03-2008, 03:33 PM
I think it is looking great!! keep the photos coming...

jbeining75
02-03-2008, 08:59 PM
looking good man keep the pics coming.....

plow
02-03-2008, 09:38 PM
hey, cool guys thanks for the positive feedback..

Im actually really happy with it so far, the water has settled better and the colours and contrasts are looking nice..

Ive got the cycle going at the moment with ammonia and when that has done its thing I'll be looking to stock it up..

A bit more rock work to do and I might have a couple of plants in there somewhere.. not much though..

plow
02-03-2008, 09:41 PM
Looking great so far.

That is one sturdy looking tank. Is the frame stainless steel?



Nah its just an aluminium frame around it..

Its juts a simple L section thats siliconed at the corners...

not sure if it helps much.

Lady Hobbs
02-03-2008, 10:41 PM
Plow.......I LOVE IT and the background looks perfect........the rocks are awesome, the sand looks great, too.

A+++++++++ Buddy

todaie12
02-03-2008, 11:52 PM
The tank looks great.

Dixie
02-05-2008, 12:33 PM
Oh yeah I like the color of the background much better. It all looks great!

plow
02-10-2008, 03:12 PM
I did a bit more aquascaping last night.. got a few decent sized rocks in there. Im hoping to make an impression with these rocks, create a contrast between the rocks and the fish. Hopefully it will in some sense make the environment look bigger.

I also attached an air pump, Im unsure about this at the moment as its pretty noisy and probably doesn't exist in the mbuna natural environment, but its there to acheive two things;

Firstly to hide the filter sponge thats sitting in the corner, and secondly to provide excess oxygen to the bacteria that live in there. The little bubbles get sucked in to the filter sponge, hopefully generating a greater population of filter bacteria. I have a single powerhead sitting behind the filter sponge and its flow rate is only 1000 litres per hour, which may be on the low side for a 55 mbuna tank, but the theory is to generate a higher efficiency of filter media, and hopefully therefore not requiring such a high flow rate. As it is the powerhead creates quite a current around the tank and I reckon any more flow would turn this tank into grade 5 river rapids, which I'm sure mbuna dont live in. So a single powerhead it is.

You can see the outlet nozzle sticking out of the filter media, that will be cleaned up soon so its not so visible.

My cycle is doing well, im getting some good nitrate production now and the rate of ammonia depletion is speeding up.

I must say the rocks were heavy and I was lying in bed last night wondering how much load the glass can take, it is supported evenly underneath with a polystyrene sheet and flat sheets of chip board, but still, these rocks are granite, its heavy stuff.

Now for my stocking list.

This was my thoughts, I should be able to get all of these:

Ps. Saulosi x 4
Ps Acei x 2 (yellow tail)
Maylandia Callianos x 4 (cobalt blue)
Metriaclima Esterae x 4 (red zebra)
Metriaclima Crabro x 2 (bumblebee)

All of these should be attainable at juvenile size and with a couple of losses I should end up 12 to 14 mbunas..

the plants are kind of experimental, they aren't very good, rejects from my other aquarium, so Im not sure if they will stay, they are not the best looking as they were sitting down in the basement for a week in a bucket of water and very little light.

Here is the latest picture, the water is a bit dirty however but while its in cycle Im not worried...

hope you like....

sailor
02-10-2008, 03:19 PM
Looking very good. Your fish might decide for you that the plants won't stay.
They will either rip it to shreds or they will continuously uproot them as they sift through and move the sand. I gave up on live plants with my africans a long time ago. If there is any members who have a long term success story with africans and live plants, maybe thay will chime in.

Sailor

sailor
02-10-2008, 03:22 PM
Once your fish start to mature you will want to cull them down to 1 male per each of the species in your tank as it will make for a much more harmonious tank.

When you are stocking your tank, ask where you are getting them if you can trade in excess males in for females.

plow
02-10-2008, 04:08 PM
thanks for that sailor, I suspect you are right about the plants..

There must be a whole lot of unwanted males out there.. im not too worried about trading fish, the money to buy fish isn't really a worry for me, it just bothers me that there must be loads of unwanted males.. what happens to them?

sailor
02-10-2008, 04:19 PM
I know with a lot of the male peacocks, people make all male peacock tanks with different species. They can look very impresive. The aggression levels are not to to bad in an all male tank as there is no females to compete for or hassle to breed with.
I myself have 2 possibly 3 too many german ruby red peacocks in my malawi tank, so they are going into my frontosa tank until I find a buyer. They should be fine in there as the fronts are bigger, but not big enough to eat them. And with no female peacocks in the tank they should behave themselves.

sailor
02-10-2008, 04:21 PM
There are quite a few lfs that will take the males in for trade or store credit as the african cichlid males are 99% of the time the more colourfull of the species and are usually easy to sell as people want the so called "pretty blue one" They usually move pretty quickley.

Sailor

RainMan
02-12-2008, 06:21 PM
I agree with Sailor about the plants and the males.

The plants will defnitely not last. At the least... your plants will be floating around your tank more than anything. Unless you can find a way to superglue them down. :)

As for male population... I usually go with pairs of the same species to help limit the possibility of more than one male (This is safe, if they are juvi's and hard to sex).

I am a little concerned about the amount of fish you are planning to start. I hate to be the bearer of bad news... but, I think you are gauranteed some casualties and a lot of work to mainain that population. My immediate prediction is (the bumblebees will be the first to go). But, that's because I never had good luck with them.

I like the 1" of fish per gallon rule. Because it's easy to remember (But, with cichlids... I would double it). They are not your normal fish. So, lets say, 16 x 3 inch of fish = 48g. Mutliply by 2 and you're talking about a 100g tank... not 55g.

I also, think your decision on more rocks was a good one... however, that is not nearly enough hiding places for that many fish... Not even 12. You'll need a cave space for almost each one of your fish. However, if you end up with half the amount of fish.. you'll be good.

With all that said... you have a good setup for a year... But, after that, you're gonna need to thin down your stock. Trust me, I have half the fish... and I'm in the same boat right now.

Your tank is looking terrific so far.... dont let me be an achiles heal though. It's your tank.

plow
02-12-2008, 09:55 PM
Thanks for your input rainman.

So you reckon i'll be maxing out around 8 fish? Damn bad news bearer gggrrr.. lol maybe I can push it up to 12 and expect to lose a couple?

My cycle is nearly complete, nitrates are through the roof so I am imagining within a week I'll be set to go.

oooh Im getting excited.

I think I'll remove the plants, they look kind of dumb anyway.

Cant wait to put up some photos of the finshed product, you guys will get to see some blurry fish.. yippeee

RainMan
02-12-2008, 11:04 PM
That's what I did with my last setup... 12 fish exactly. I knew that I was going overboard with a 45g. I figured the same thing... I'll loose a few and won't have to worry about restocking. But, do you know what happened??? Every one of the little buggers lived. And then I had a few fry that survived... and then... well, nature took it's course. They got bigger, the tank was overcrowded, and natural selection dwindled my stock down to 10. But, now I'm contstantly struggling with maintenance... and it looks like my pseu. socofoli isn't going to last much longer under the stress. I'll see if I can snap a shot of my tank... so you can see how crowded it can be after a few years. (I know how to cure all of my problems... but, I don't want to make this all about me). :)

Anyway, would I have done it differently... probably... but, I picked all of the fish I wanted at the time. And I know now which fish are the strongest... and my favorites are still doing good. And it will all sort out in the end.

So, you'll be okay. It will give you a good reason to setup another tank in a year or so. You'll be itching to do that anyway. ;)

plow
02-14-2008, 01:27 PM
ok i just got a curve ball thrown at me.. and I dont know what to do.

The nieghbour came over and saw my aquarium, and mentioned he has 6 mbunas in his aquarium that belonged to his son who has recently moved away from home. So he say to me, "Do you want them"?

So I go and take a look and what do I find..

1 adult red zebra.
1 adult grown demasoni (stunning looking fish.. I want I want)
1 fully grown yellow lab who didn't look too well, stomach pretty caved in, maybe getting old?
1 Hongi reasonably small.

and a few others that I cant remember.

So I have a few questions now..

the caved in stomach didn't look too great on the yellow lab, the fish looked a little bit slow but otherwise healthy.. what causes this?

The demasoni.. If I take the demasoni, is he gonna smash up all the other mbunas I put in the aquarium? I wanted to have some Saulosi, yellow tail acei, and greshakei, cobalt blue perhaps.

Can anyone give some good guidelines for demasoni tank mates?

RainMan
02-14-2008, 05:16 PM
That sunken stomach is usually an internal parasite... I've used products with ??? on my fish with okay results. (I'm not sure 100% if it was metronidazole???) The met sounds familiar though. But, usually it ends up fatal. I have a fish with this problem now. And nothing has worked so far. I just picked up another treatment. so, we'll see if that works. I really need a hospital tank.

I would be worried about starting a tank with a sick fish. However, the good news is... I have never seen it spread rapidly to the other fish. So, they might be okay. But, I would see if you can dose the neighbors tank before introducing them into your clean tank. Make it a hospital tank. But, you'll have to go over there and do water changes a lot and dose it probably more than once.

I'm not one to give up on something like that. So, I would try to save them. But, that's just me. Can you take his tank home? Keep an eye on them at home would be more convenient.

RainMan
02-14-2008, 05:25 PM
^ Or the fish simply isn't eating. Maybe that is it? The other fish aren't allowing it to get it's necessary quota?

plow
02-14-2008, 09:03 PM
yeah I know since the son has been away they haven't been taking care of the fish so well, they did mention not feeding them enough so it could be it.

But,

I dont reckon its worth the risk, if a fish looks sick, I dont reckon its s good idea to start with it. Even if it is just under fed. The other fish look fine but when I quizzed the guy about water changes he looked a bit puzzled...

so I reckon ill "remove" the yellow lab, and keep the rest.

The Demasoni though..

any advice?

RainMan
02-14-2008, 11:04 PM
Is this the demasoni? Pseudotropheus demasoni (http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/p_demasoni.php)

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/photos/art_p_demasoni_01.jpg

I think I had a few of those like 5yrs ago? I had a mix of cichlids (like always)... so, I say it is okay. They say that it is a dwarf mbuna?? I can't recall how big mine got. IIRC they were close to 3" after a could of years.. That was in the same 45g I have now with about 4 other fish. Maybe I didn't have the same... but, it sure looked the same.

Anyway, they are really attractive fish. The biggest problem you will have is getting new fish, if you try to find like-sized cichlids. The cost of larger cichlids is crazy around these parts. And sometimes hard to find what you are looking for. I've seen 2" cichlids for $50+ and have seen some common big guys for $150 or more.

However, I have introduced smaller cichlids in my established tanks... just make sure you completely rearrange your rocks.... make some smaller caves for the little guys to hide. But, the idea is to force the older fish to concentrate on finding and establishing new territory instead of bullying the newer little guys.

plow
02-15-2008, 09:05 AM
yeah thats the guy.. Ive heard they can be very aggressive, and have to be careful as they can kill other weaker members of mbunas.

Around here mbunas are not too steep, around 10 US dollars for a 2" and maybe 30 dollars for an adult.

They are pretty popular around these parts, so getting hold of new stock doesn't seem to be an issue..

Compatability is my main concern, dont wanna lose too many fish.

good tip about rock rearranging, think i'll introduce some fish, leave it for a while and then introduce some more fish and new rocks at the same time..

Dixie
02-15-2008, 04:02 PM
Yep, that's the way to do it. Add new rocks or rearrange the ones you have when putting not the first fish but subsequint batches of new fish in. About the stocking...mbuna like an overcrowded tank but you need real good filtration and at LEAST weekly water changes of 50%. I don't have a cave for each fish and they are fine with that. One demasoni might be ok but I'd keep a close eye on it. Are you going for an all male tank? That's what I had intended when I started out (this past Sept.) and was my reason for buying trios, thinking surely I'd get a male in a group of 3 but now I'm not really wanting to get rid of any lol and would kinda like to see a batch of babies. Good luck and your tank is gorgeous. Can't wait to see it with fish.

Ahhhh just went back and saw your want list for stocking. It looks great except for the bumblebees (I think they will get way to mean in a 55g. like my auratus and kenyi probably will) 3 species is all that's really recommended for a 55g. anyway. (not that I paid any attention to that lol) I will have some fish that will have to go eventually or get a bigger tank & I think I've got hubby talked into bigger.

RainMan
02-15-2008, 04:29 PM
^ Isn't that always the case... you get extra fish to be safe... then you can never weed them out.

Dixie has a ton of fish in her tank (which is the same size as yours)... so, maybe I was being overly conservative with my fish capacity suggestions. However, I don't want to do 50% water changes every week. My goal is a virtual self maintaining tank. I don't have safe enough tap water to do those kind of water changes... The only time I usually have to do water changes is when I vac the gravel or have to replace evaperated water. (that's normally every 2weeks or once a month). However, I always do water tests weekly and sometimes daily... and with the fish population I have now... I'm forced to do water changes, vacuuming, and filter cleaning every week. But, that's the price you pay once your fish reach a certain size and require more food... which turns into more waste. My smallest fish is my rusty cichlid (2.5-3").. and the average is around 4".. and largest is my oldest cat (around 6" or about the size of my hand). I guess I was trying to save you from a lot of cleanup.

But, if you are okay with heavy maintenance... I guess you can keep a lot more fish. I never knew people spent so much time on maintenance before. I guess I'm still new to that.

RainMan
02-15-2008, 04:36 PM
Have you seen this on youtube? That's freak'n cool. I would love to get a school like that. Mostly Demasoni (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoKkvUIPt8g)

plow
02-18-2008, 10:44 AM
Yeah rainman I did see that, we must have been watching it at the same time cos when I read your message (a few days ago) I had just gotten off you tube and that clip..lol.

I now have some fish in my tank..

cycle complete (I also borrowed one of my neighbours powerhead filters to make sure)

So off to the fish shop I went, with a strict plan to do a demasoni tank..

and out I walked with 11 fish, not one of them a demasoni. Whats that saying about 'plan ya work and work ya plan'.. well mine went out the window when I saw they were out of demasonis... I needed mbunas and I need them now, Ive waited for around 2 months from when I first decided I wanted mbunas.. I cant wait anymore.


So I ended up with the following, every single one of which I love.

Pseudotropheus Salousi x 4 3f/1m
Metriaclima crabro x 2 1f/1m.. I think (bumble bee)
Maylandia/metriaclima Estherae x 1f (red zebra)
Labidochromis caeruleus x 2 1f/1m I think. (the golden yellow dudes)

and two brown dudes that I cant identify, they are brownish with a yellow band across the tip of the dorsal fin, and dark vertical stripes across the body. One is darker than the other so I am hoping its f/m.

Im totally stoked, couldn't go to bed last night and couldn't let them sleep either. They seem to love their new home, swimming in and out of the rocks chasing each other around, taking mouthfuls of sand, and what generally looks like playing. The water is crystal clear, ammonia and nitrites of zero and nitrates around 10 mg/l after I did about 3 large water chnages (one of them 100%) before I put in my fish.

So last night I went to bed and came down this morning and they looked pretty happy but holy smokes the temp has dropped to 22 degrees!! I had forgotten to plug in the heater! Lucky houses here in sweden are well heated and 22 is normal room temp even in the middle of winter. poor little guys.

A few hours later now and temp is at 24.5 and I will slowly take it up to 26 during the course of the day.

I will also be going over to the neighbours soon to pick up his "unwanteds" and place them in. It will be interesting to see how the demasoni goes.. he is an adult and the guys I got yesterday are all semi juveniles.. around 4 to 5 cm long.

oh well, there is nothing like first hand experience when it comes to learning.

here are a couple of pictures.. can someone help me identify the brown fish in the middle of the second picture?

plow
02-18-2008, 10:56 AM
Here is a better picture of the little brown guy in question

TowBoater
02-18-2008, 01:06 PM
Looks good but not trying to be rude and I may be the only one who thinks this but I would be a little stingier on the rocks, the time before this it was perfect to me. Don't get me wrong it looks great but IDK, it's your tank.

plow
02-18-2008, 01:59 PM
Looks good but not trying to be rude and I may be the only one who thinks this but I would be a little stingier on the rocks, the time before this it was perfect to me. Don't get me wrong it looks great but IDK, it's your tank.

no worries you're not being rude at all. Its good to get more opinions..

In the end I decided to go for more rocks to create more hiding places, my wife also thought it looked better before, but Im going for around 16 mbunas and I know the smaller ones are gonna want places to hide. I think healthy fish make a beautiful tank, and thats my end goal. These fish so far are loving it, I may experiment by taking out a few rocks later.. we'll see.

Thanks for popping in and saying hello anyway.. :thumb:

Tolley
02-18-2008, 03:26 PM
sorry i didnt see this thread earlier but the tank looks Awesome! I especially like the slate bit :thumb:

plow
02-18-2008, 03:41 PM
I especially like the slate bit :thumb:

lol, my wife doesn't like the slate bit at all, and I do.

Its my tank so it stays...lol :c7:

Dixie
02-18-2008, 04:34 PM
I love all the rocks and I bet the fish do too. Sorry I can't help ident. that one fish. Maybe Sailor can. I'd keep a close eye on those bumblebees. I think I read that they can get very mean. I'm watching for that with our auratus and kenyi (they're still juvies). I hope that almost 100% water change you did, didn't set back the progress of your tank cycling. Keep an eye on the readings too. Good luck. Your tank is looking awesome.

RainMan
02-18-2008, 07:25 PM
Looks good... I like all of the rocks. IMO... you can't have enough. And your fish... for the most part will think so too. As long as there is room to swim. ;) However, if you want a tip or suggestion... stack the rocks higher on one side. Or higher on both sides... or slope then up in the center. This way you get a slightly more natural appearance.

I'm not sure why you did the 100% water change?? That can cause some un desireable results.... Like PH fluctuation. So, keep your eye on that.


That brownish fish looks familiar... but, nothing I have found online yet. I'll look in my Malawi Cichlid book tonight. It might be a hybrid?

kitten3326
02-18-2008, 09:04 PM
I think your tank looks great, the rocks are great, I personally would prefer them higher on the both sides and sloped in the middle as well, I seen a tank at the LFS a few months ago and that was the way they had their malawi tank set up it was beautiful. Just a thought, but your tank is beautiful.

plow
02-18-2008, 09:27 PM
I'm not sure why you did the 100% water change?? That can cause some un desireable results.... Like PH fluctuation. So, keep your eye on that.


I cycled using ammonia, and probably used too much, over along period of time.. at the time my cycle was nearing completion my nirate readings were around 200mg/l. I never actually checked the concentration of the ammonia I was using, but put it this way, if you opened the lid to the bottle you could smell it 5 metres away within seconds.. It was very potent stuff and I am guessing I probably was using too much, my API ammonia kit went up to 8mg/l and it was often sitting on that, so was probably way above.

To cut a long story short the water was chocker full of nitrate.

I did a 100% water change to reduce the nitrates, water comes out of the tap here at a pH of 8.0, is quite hard, with no ammonia nitrite or nitrate.. swedish water is good stuff, it comes form underground rivers that start up in the arctic, and is basically filtered through gravel for thousands of kilometers. it isn't london water, where it is recycled a million times and treated with every chemical possible just to make it safe to drink. Its quality stuff.

I intend to do large and regular water changes in the future so may aswell get them used to the water straight from the tap. And I know there is nothing added to swedish water other than sodium hydroxide to lift the natural pH from 7.6 to 8... I work at the water works for our local council so I know what its made of... im sure these guys will enjoy it.




That brownish fish looks familiar... but, nothing I have found online yet. I'll look in my Malawi Cichlid book tonight. It might be a hybrid?

It is a beautiful fish, I'd nearly say its my pick of the bunch, his colours are very subtle but very beautiful. Quite different to the bright orange you get
form the red zebras and female salousis..

he may be a hybrid, i hope not, but its possible. he looked so beautiful in the shop i just had to have him. Even the guy who scooped him out in the shop who is a cichlid keeper was taken back after having a closer look..

I hope his colours dont change with age... lol

Thanks guys for your comments... all cool :thumb:

Im a bit concerned about loading up this tank with too many more rocks.. I dont want it to break under the weight.... these rocks are heavy fellas...

keep the comments coming.. thumbs2:

RainMan
02-18-2008, 11:03 PM
^ahhh... makes sense on the water change now. I wish the water coming from my tap was like yours. Wow! Mine is so acidic... it doesn't even read on most test kits.

plow
02-19-2008, 05:43 AM
I think your tank looks great, the rocks are great, I personally would prefer them higher on the both sides and sloped in the middle as well, I seen a tank at the LFS a few months ago and that was the way they had their malawi tank set up it was beautiful. Just a thought, but your tank is beautiful.

Yeah its a bit tricky, the rocks are heavy, as I dont want them leaning against the side of the aquarium, at the moment they lean against the background which offers some cushion for the glass.

Ive kind of gone off the focus of making the most beautiful looking arrangement (I guess I failed lol) and trying to focus on making loads of holes for the fish to play in.

At the moment the little guys can swim from one side of the tank to the other through the middle of the rocks. There are so many natural tunnels through the rocks and they can disappear in one hole and can be completely random where they reappear again...

I think they are loving it.

Atleast I am :c5:

plow
02-19-2008, 05:48 AM
I love all the rocks and I bet the fish do too. Sorry I can't help ident. that one fish. Maybe Sailor can. I'd keep a close eye on those bumblebees. I think I read that they can get very mean. I'm watching for that with our auratus and kenyi (they're still juvies). I hope that almost 100% water change you did, didn't set back the progress of your tank cycling. Keep an eye on the readings too. Good luck. Your tank is looking awesome.

I am watching the readings daily, I had a little ammonia spike shortly after a feeding, the value went up to 0.25 mg/l and then 6 hours later it was back to zero.

I'll keep a firm eye on things. I finished my own cycle, and just hours before putting in fish I put in a powerhead filter that was being used by the neighbour for his mbunas. (They had four powerheads in the one aquarium, just to keep them all alive with bacteria.. they had 7 aquariums now they only have one) So I basically borrowed all his bacteria and will keep this going for a month or so while everything gets established.

RainMan
02-19-2008, 03:44 PM
Well... I haven't had any luck finding the name of your brown, striped, and yellow finned fishy. :(

I seen a few that look familiar... but none of them with the brown coloration.

This is as close as I could get:
Labeotropheus trewavasae
http://www.fishprofiles.com/files/profiles/457.htm

Picture variations are all different though... some blotchy... some blue... some red topped... some yellow?

That yellow on it's fin is the strange part... it's like an auratus or something? I'll keep it in mind... and let you know if I ever stumble upon one.

plow
02-19-2008, 08:41 PM
Thanks for your help rainman, I dont think thats him though. Keep looking if you ever see one, buy it!

He's so cool.

Only one problem now, i got the fish from the neighbours today, most of them are pretty scruffy lookin (think chewbacca).. they hadn't done a water change for well over 6 months... so their fins are a bit ragged except for two fish which look beautiful...

One of them is a red zebra, fully grown adult, obviously king of the tank.. and the other is the demasoni..

the damn demasoni..

hes a grumpy little guy, stunning colours, but man he chases everything, I suspect thats one of the reasons the other fish are so scruffy, he cant leave any other fish alone.

He's my biggest problem right now, he's chasing a few of the smaller guys into hiding.. they wont come out as much now... :ssad:

oh well we'll see how they settle down, I also think Im a little overcrowded, 15 mbunas and a pakistan loach.. (he also came from the neighbour)

plow
02-19-2008, 08:43 PM
That yellow on it's fin is the strange part... it's like an auratus or something?

Nah he's definitely not an auratus..

RainMan
02-19-2008, 09:25 PM
LOL.. chewbacca. too funny! That definitely painted a picture for me. Take some pics of the new guys when you get a chance.

I'ld give it a few more days before you get too stressed out about the demasoni. But, you might have to make a decision or the demasoni will make the decisions for you. I guess their reputation proceeds them. Reading a few sites... it says they require to be in schools of 12 or more in-order to deter aggression. wow! That's a crazy fish. :)

Anyway, you have to do what is best for the colony. And you now have a big community to look out for. :) You'll be okay with the number of fish you have for awhile. Water changes will be important... and after a year or so... you'll probably have to think about weeding out... or starting a new tank. But, unfortunately, a lot can happen in a year.

Or get another tank now and load it up with a school of crazy demasoni. :)

plow
02-19-2008, 09:54 PM
Or get another tank now and load it up with a school of crazy demasoni. :)

no no no..

NO.

no......


.. it wasn't my fault, it was rainman, he made me do it.

Honestly honey I had no choice, all of our fish would have died if I hadn't purchased a 150 gal...

todaie12
02-19-2008, 11:55 PM
Your tank looks great. I'm not sure what kind of cichlid the little guy is. He also like a Kenyi, but I know he's not one of them.:1luvu:

RainMan
02-20-2008, 04:33 AM
Hey if that works with your wife... then let me know. I'm gonna tell mine that plow told me I need a 150g tank too. :)

RainMan
02-20-2008, 05:47 AM
Here is a better picture of the little brown guy in question

Wow... this is a close match. But, your fish's fins are are a little different with the black markings. What do you think?

Metriaclima phaeos
http://cichlidae.com/gallery/picture.php?p=1461
http://cichlidae.com/gallery/images/p01461.jpg


Your picture:
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=5562&d=1203332211

plow
02-20-2008, 10:01 AM
close.. very close. It maybe but I dont think so.

if i could paint my photo a little bit browner on the body i would be spot on, in other words my little guy is a bit browner than the photo suggests.

So the phaeos looks a little bit blue/grey.

keep going though you're getting very close. thumbs2:

RainMan
02-20-2008, 02:55 PM
Yeah, I agree... the brown is slightly different. But, the blue might be from the lighting or filters used by photographer??? Or the color might change as they mature too.

I don't know... I'm almost convinced that it is the fish. Same body and fin shape. If you look at the head... it's identical and markings are really similar. Same number of vertical body stripes (5 distinct with the last one fading out)... They both have the same yellow band across the tip of the dorsal and tail fin.

The differences: Slightly different color... and your fish has a darker black band on the dorsal fin. (both of these differences can change on a cichlid with age)

Seems like more concrete similarities then differences. But, maybe I'm just trying to hard to resolve this for you. LOL

plow
02-20-2008, 03:33 PM
Yeah, I agree... the brown is slightly different. But, the blue might be from the lighting or filters used by photographer??? Or the color might change as they mature too.

I don't know... I'm almost convinced that it is the fish. Same body and fin shape. If you look at the head... it's identical and markings are really similar. Same number of vertical body stripes (5 distinct with the last one fading out)... They both have the same yellow band across the tip of the dorsal and tail fin.

The differences: Slightly different color... and your fish has a darker black band on the dorsal fin. (both of these differences can change on a cichlid with age)

Seems like more concrete similarities then differences. But, maybe I'm just trying to hard to resolve this for you. LOL

It is by far the closest I have seen, the yellow band across the dorsal seems quite unique, so must be very closely related if it is not the same species.

I must admit, I am nearly convinced you are right.. give it a bit more time though lol.

plow
02-21-2008, 09:39 AM
apparently he is called a Pseudotropheus Elongatus "Mpanga"

check here..

http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?showtopic=232110&st=0&gopid=1918498&#entry1918498

cool, now I know what he is.

RainMan
02-21-2008, 03:28 PM
I've seen a lot of pictures of those... none of them juvi or otherwise have the same coloring? They sure do come in a lot of different flavors though. I'm not an expert. If you're happen with that id... so am i.

Here's a bunch of variations:
http://malawicichlids.com/mw09006c.htm

plow
02-21-2008, 07:28 PM
I dont know if you read the link but the bloke seemed pretty confident..

oh well my brown fish will turn blue, we'll see.. trust me rainman you'll be the first to know if he's wrong.. lol!

Interseting tho in my tank, the demosani has gone totally passive, he doesn't bully anything anymore... he's just chilled out.

got a bit of brown algae turning up now though.. new tank stuff.. I wonder if it is dying bacteria from the ammonia cycle that causes brown algae in new tanks...:confused:

RainMan
02-21-2008, 08:01 PM
Yup... he seemed pretty sure of himself alright. I love that word bloke... we should start using that more in America. :) Maybe, I'll start the trend? Anyway....

What kind of lighting do you have? I think that brown algae is light sensative (doesn't like light). I've never had it though... so, i'm not going to be much help. I only know what I've had to deal with before. LOL

plow
02-21-2008, 08:10 PM
ive gotten in both tanks cycled using ammonia in recent times, but like i was told its a new tank thing, and it has disappeared from myfirst tank completely.

I read somewhere there is no real answer for it, just wondered if it was starving bacteria after a fishless cycle.

my lighting is two T8 30w on a 55 gal..

my other tank has two T8 18w on a 30 gal.

shouldn't be classified as low lighting i wouldn't reckon..but maybe ?

RainMan
02-21-2008, 09:59 PM
That's 2x more lighting than I have. I've never cycled with ammonia. That's a trick I only recently read about here. I'm extremely sensative to ammonia... It makes my entire face swell up everytime I smell it. So, I'll probably not try it either.

My tanks and filter equipment have been in use for a really long time... Last time I started a fresh tank... I know I waited over a month before I bought any fish.... mainly because I couldn't decide and was broke. ;) But, that was a long time ago. I've had my catfish for over 5-7yrs now... so that tells you how long it's been. :)

RainMan
02-27-2008, 03:33 PM
How are the fish doing? Any progress on the fish from the neighbors? Just curious.

plow
02-28-2008, 10:26 PM
How are the fish doing? Any progress on the fish from the neighbors? Just curious.
all are doing really well, except for one little pseud. Hongi who is being such an aggressive little flocker that if I could catch him he'd be compost.

He's harrassing one of the two little pseud. elnog. mpangas.. the other of the mystery fish that we were trying to identify..

I feel the mpanga is gonna be the first casualty.. I just hope this little Hongi doesn't move onto the other one after that.

Cant really do much actually, as soon as the net comes in the tank they all come out to play except for the hongi who runs away into the rocks... he knows i dont like him I think.

all cool though, so happy I discovered mbunas.

RainMan
02-29-2008, 12:34 AM
That's cool... If that aggressive fish comes to the top of the tank when feeding.... that might be a good trap for him. I've caught a lot of fish that way. put some floating food in... and wait with the net. When they go to eat... swoop 'um up. Doesn't always work. But, worth a shot. Not that I condone composting fish either. LOL

Good luck

Dixie
02-29-2008, 05:18 PM
I've heard that catching them at night after the lights have been off for a while (using a flashlight or small room lamp) works sometimes. I'm sure you are enjoying the mbunas. They are beautiful fish and so interesting to watch. I'm hoping to get a 75g. come spring or at least get our other 55g. up and running so I can divide up our mbuna, decide who goes where and who I might even get rid of.

plow
02-29-2008, 10:34 PM
yeah dixie I am lovng having mbunas..

I have almost lost interest in my 30 gal community tank, well I haven't, but the mbunas are so much cooler. So happy I discovered the little guys.

I almost dont understand why people choose other fish, like bettas.. they seem so boring in comparison now.

Cichlids are where its at.. atleast for me lol. Ive seen a few cichlids from central america which I aslo think are cool.. but for mbunas to have so much variation in colour and species from the same family of fish is great.

I love watching the interaction, the fights, the show offs, the twirly circles they do, the spitting of sand, the nibbling of my fingers when I stick them in the water... its all so cool.

Already I want a 150 gal. In fact I want a massive, built in tank, then build my house around it, that kind of thing.. dreams are free but one day its gonna happen, im gonna get a cubic metre of water, just for mbunas.

woo hoo, im so excited already I think I'll put the house on the market.thumbs2:

plow
02-29-2008, 10:39 PM
That's cool... If that aggressive fish comes to the top of the tank when feeding.... that might be a good trap for him. I've caught a lot of fish that way. put some floating food in... and wait with the net. When they go to eat... swoop 'um up. Doesn't always work. But, worth a shot. Not that I condone composting fish either. LOL

Good luck

I think what i might do is take the little guy thats getting bullied back to the shop and try to exchange him for something else.. he looks like he would be much easier to catch.

that way noone needs to die... the tomatoes outside may suffer from lack of fertiliser but they can't express pain so its easier to ignore... lol.

Dixie
03-01-2008, 04:37 PM
LOl poor tomatoes...give em a shot of miracle grow. I know exactly what you mean about the mbuna. The longest tank I could possibly have in this little house is 58" but they don't come in that size:(. I am seriously thinking about conviencing hubby we need to build on a family room so when our 4 daughters and their families are here for holiday meals, we will have more room to sit everyone = more room for a bigger tank (blush). In the mean time, I'll settle for a 75g in addition the 55g we have running. Or this other 55g. we have sitting empty up and running too if I can't find a good buy on a 75. I love the looks of some of those lake Victoria cichlids too. Would love to have a smaller tank with those Haplochromis ruby greens or those christmas fufu (might not be spelled right). Also would love to have a smaller tank with a breeding group of Neolamprologus brichardi. I've just got the wants big time lol but it's all about cichlids. Until I got this tank I thought fish were kinda boring. How wrong was that!? If anyone thinks fish are boring they've never watched mbuna.