View Full Version : Mixing the rift lakes

05-12-2007, 12:23 AM
Have people kept e.g. Malawi with Tangs or either or both with Victoria ?

Have people ignored the no Mbuna with Peacocks rule ?

Please share your experience if you have, and tell us what tank size you used and the species involvedl, and the male/female mix if that was/is relevant to your tank. I'd be very grateful and interested :)

05-12-2007, 12:59 AM
I once really screwed up and had a lamp. brichardi, auratus, and krib in the same tank, a 20g.

Never mix biotopes. It guaranteed 98% of the time equals disaster in the end

05-12-2007, 01:14 AM
Thanks Cocoa

Where they the only inhabitants and what exactly happened in the end ?

05-12-2007, 01:21 AM
for a short time there were glowlight tetras.

What happened was the krib mysteriously got bad fin rot and died, so then i moved the auratus and lamp. brichardi to the 20g. The reason i have them still together is they both are acclimated to the same water and they grew up together and accept eachother, even though the lamp. brichardi is 1/4 of the auratus's size

05-12-2007, 02:09 AM
The pH varies from lake to lake, and the concentration of the lake salts is different as well. These supercede any behavioral compatibility issues. A lot of people do it and it works out 'fine', only to end up with one or more having shortened lifespans, being beat up, etc. And since they were 'fine' in the beginning many people assume that it was fine and that some other unknown power was at work against them.

05-12-2007, 03:31 AM
The end of the matter is dont mix them.

You will also get mixed fish coloring from stress. Mbuna are very tolerable with poor conditions, and keep their cool and color in poor water, when peacocks will fade from stress. This gives you mixed interpretations. Mbunas only hurt from poor water at the end of their lives and they die quicker than their average life span.

05-12-2007, 03:52 AM
I read tangs and thought you ment saltwater tangs. I just about freaked out, untill i realized you ment tangiyaka...lol

Reminds me of a story. i was at the LFS and i picked up a yellowtailed damsel (saltwater) and a couple guppies (obvioiulsy freshwater), and the guy who bagged em wanted to play a trick on the lady working the register. He said if she asked if they were going in the same tank, to say yes, and that he said they would be ok. She did, and i said yes, and she FREAKED OUT! I looked back and saw the guy who helped me almost implode trying to hold in the laughter.

05-12-2007, 11:10 AM
ok thanks for the responses...I'm still asking for personal experience of mixing them; anyone else ?

noting the advice; I'm not for a moment suggesting this should be done, simply asking about the experience of people who actually have done it.

05-12-2007, 12:48 PM
I have seen it done in lots of LFSs, mixing in peacocks and open waters with mbunas. This usually ends up with the biggest ones bullying everyone. I have seen display tanks in LFSs do it as well with larger specimens. I think it would be very hard to find the individuals that will go along with this. There are individuals and species that are more or less aggressive and you may find individuals of different species that seem to be more or less aggressive than their species tends to be. When I first setup my 150 I got some ahlis because I thought they were electric blue peacocks. I also added peacocks not too much later. As the male ahli grew (just a little) and colored up, he terrorized everyone in the tank. As soon as I removed him they were all out much more. The other issue is diet. There is only one food I would feed to herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores, and that is NLS. Short of that there is no way they can all get the proper diet.

05-19-2007, 06:07 PM
I guess I am one of those who say you can mix rift lakes and things will be fine.
I stand strong on that because of the years of research I have done.
It's simple.
If your fish were wild caught, then you need to exercise extreme caution when stocking your tank.
If your fish were not wild caught, as most are, they can mix if they are introduced into the same tank very young as I did.
Same goes for cichlid lake salt and buffers.
No LFS uses salts and buffers and neither do breeders for the most part.
If they were not wild caught, they never had salts and don't need them.
So, Lake Malawi and Victoria etc., even though their chemistry is different, it doesn't matter to the African Cichlid who never saw those waters.
I've mixed cichlids for a long time.
I had a tankfull of mixed cichlids that lived 8 years and better. Can't do much better than that.

05-19-2007, 09:34 PM
When I use salts and buffers and do not mix (and all of mine are from assorted African tanks) they do better. They will not outright die because they do not have the salts and buffers (and NLS) so it is true that they do not need them. But they will do much better with them. And I believe that I should do everything I reasonably can to make their lives better. Saving a little money on salts and buffers is not doing that. Using them helps them. The colors on my peacocks show that. Generations of breeding in captivity and being kept in the incorrect waters will simply shift their tolerance ranges, but it will not undo hundreds of thousands of years of evolution that changed them to fit their alkaline, trace element rich native water. If you want good enough, don't use the salts or buffers. But if you want to do the best you reasonably can for them, get the best your fish can give you, and for them to be that much more rewarding, use the salts and buffers and feed nothing but NLS.

05-20-2007, 06:55 PM
thanks for the considered response folks. Very interesting to read of personal experience and success in mixing them.

Hopefully the info is of use to other newbies like myself.

05-28-2007, 04:37 PM
I'm by no means an expert on this, and never really did a ton of research, but I did keep haps and mbunas in my last tank with no problem whatsoever. I only had them in there for about a year - then I had to move so I sold them back to the LFS. It was a 55g with probably about 6 mbunas and 6 haps. I added the haps later than the mbunas, but they were much bigger than the mbunas. This was not necessarily on purpose, I just liked the looks of the haps that just happened to be a little bigger.

This was obviously not a long term thing (with them only being in the tank together for a year) and the mbunas probably weren't even completely mature yet, so I don't know if you could extend my experience out over a longer period of time?

Now I have a completely mbuna tank, just because of what others have suggested and not really wanting to take any chances. It kind of sucks, because I really like the looks of some of the peacocks - we'll see if I can resist the temptation.

06-10-2007, 04:36 AM
what is NLS

06-10-2007, 03:08 PM
New Life Spectrum, hands down the best fish food out there. If your fish will eat this, it is all they should get.

Lady Hobbs
06-10-2007, 03:59 PM
You can read about fish forever and never know how your particular fish will act in mixed company. How they interact as young juvies is not how their behavior is when they are adults and their own personalities are developed.

Fish stores often don't have the room to keep them all separated and since they are young, do OK........for a short while.

08-02-2011, 03:15 AM
I've been keeping them together for well over a year now, in a 30g and a 125g, the 30 being a grow out tank anyways. In the 30 now I'm keeping a baby Zaire frontosa, a Calvus, 3 Mbuna, a lemon jake and sunshine peacock, 1 kribensis, and a small mated pair of Kyoga flamebacks, along with their 12 remaining 3/4" fry (lost 2 in early stages). In the 125 I have a couple of 4" frontosas, a black and a white calvus, a gold face compresceps, a tropheus moori, 8 different Mbuna, 5 Malawi Haps, 3 peacocks, 6 victorians, Pair of Kribs, 1 jewel, 3 synodontis, and 1 10" Tiger Pleco

I've had more problems with frickin snails than I've had aggression in my tank. Remember this, there's a big difference between being aggressive and being territorial. Territorial fish will chase, but aggressive fish will kill