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12-28-2011, 01:43 PM #11
Originally Posted by gm72
Originally Posted by Scrup
You can see my rockwork here:
What do you think? Do I need more rock? I have 60 pounds of rock there.
12-28-2011, 01:46 PM #12
The problem here is that your nitrAtes are getting to a level where they are toxic and are most likely going to cause long-term damage to the fish. Try 50% water changes and see where that gets you but I think you are overstocked to the point where a larger tank is needed now.8 tanks running now:
1x 220 gallon, 2x55 gallon, 1x40 gallon long, 1x29 gallon, 1x20 gallon long, 1x5.5 gallon, 1x2 gallon
Gouramis, barbs, rasboras, plecos, corys, tetras, fancy guppies, swordtails, ottos, rainbow shark, upside-down catfish, snails, and Max and Sparkles the bettas.
12-28-2011, 02:01 PM #13
The Mbuna dont care about the weight of the rocks. It is the hiding places.
I would get something more like this. Stack it high. Mbuna are rock dwellers. The actual translation of Mbuna is "rockfish". They love small hiding places as territory, not open water. They will appreciate more hiding places and a larger tank. Once they start spawning, they are not mean fish. They are the nastiest meanest hellions you will ever encounter. But they are pretty! And worth it if you have the patience and means to provide them with what they require.Who is "General Failure" and why is he reading my hard drive?
12-28-2011, 04:24 PM #14
I agree with gm and scrup, you need to get a bigger tank if you want to keep these fish. I would go for something like a 125, a 75 would be OK, but you would still have problems with fighting.
For now though, with an overstocked tank like that, you want to be doing 50%+ water changes. When i have a mbuna tank, I did around 75% due to the overstocking.
12-28-2011, 05:25 PM #15
It's not necessary to have 4 filters on your tank but to simply have two that are good enough to do the job. Filters are noted to filter about half of what they say but when a tank is overstocked such as yours, it is vital that they be sufficient to handle the stock.
Both your filters combined are enough to handle perhaps a 55 gallon "moderately" stocked, which yours is not.
Also, very dirty filter media also increases nitrates because the water is simply running through all that crud. Clean the filter media in one filter one week and the other filter the following week.
12-28-2011, 06:40 PM #16
Scrup is right, your fish are still juvies. None even look large enough to be considered sub-adult. Juvie mbuna tend to get along well, which is likely why you're not having aggression problems yet. Once they start spawning, which will happen if you have at least one male and at least one female, they will get nasty. You'd be much better off with a larger tank, 75g is a better footprint than the 55g, if you can't swing a 125g.
The fish look like their growth has been slowed as well, likely due to high nitrates and small water changes (resulting in build up of hormones that can slow growth/lead to stunting). If you've really had those fish since 2010, they should be much larger by now. Most mbuna grow fairly rapidly ime.Originally Posted by i_am_511
12-29-2011, 02:28 PM #17
Way overstocked. If you get some sort of disease in there, look out!! It'll spread like the plague!!
12-29-2011, 02:42 PM #18
Here's another question: why would you stock it that heavy 1st & then ask if it's too heavily stocked? You've got 23 fish in a 55, which boils down to 2.40 gallons of water per fish, & that's in a bare tank, so that ratio isn't even accurate.
Last edited by Lady Hobbs; 12-29-2011 at 04:46 PM.
12-29-2011, 04:47 PM #19
12-29-2011, 11:40 PM #20
Overstocking is a common counter-aggression measure when keeping mbuna's and some other rift lake cichlids (such as tropheus). The "X-gallons of water per fish" doesn't typically apply with mbuna's as it would with many other types of fish.
However, a mbuna set-up doesn't necessarily need to be overstocked, it's just an option. On the opposite end of the stocking spectrum, going with too few can lead to amplified aggression.
The video doesn't strike me as an overly crowded tank. However, 23 full grown 4"-6" mbunas in a 55gal falls in the heavily overstocked category.
Any type of overstocking pretty much demands 50+% weekly water changes as has been recommended.
With full matured specimens I'd say 8-12 mbuna's would be a good stocking level, 15-18 would be overstocking and 19+ would be heavily stocked. Going the heavily stock route isn't necessary, even from a counter-aggression standpoint.
Also a significant issue are the selected species when considering the aggression-output of fully matured specimens. The groups of mbuna's in this tank are fairly aggressive (excluding the yellow labs).
Melanochromis auratus are generally an extremely aggressive species. I wouldn't recommend them in any tank smaller than 75-90gal regardless of tank stocking. Metriaclima lombardoi are in the same category. These hyper-dominant species (as full grown specimens) are best kept in larger tanks.
Zebra's are also aggressive and SW Florida Kid has two groups of them. Based on the species involved as well as their numbers, I'd recommend they ultimately be housed in a 90gal-125gal tank (preferably the latter). Omit the auratus, the kenyi, and replace one zebra species with an equivalent-sized group of rusties you could go with a 75-90gal set up.African cichlid and saltwater aquariums