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Old 06-30-2006, 02:11 PM   #1
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Stocking Malawis - Number of each species/sex ratios?

Am getting ready to set up and stock my new 125g...

Wanting some opinions on the number (how many) of species to get. Is there a general rule of thumb (i.e. one of each, two of each, etc.)? I know there should be more females than males of a certain species...is this for breeding purposes only or is that for the sake of aggression as well?

I'm sure it depends on the individual fish as to whether you should only get one or multiples, etc.

Thanks for your input!
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Old 06-30-2006, 02:49 PM   #2
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I would start off with 4-5 very young ones AFTER YOUR TANK IS READY. Set the tank up how they want it before you even add the fish. Since your going to be sticking with malawis consider a biotope "transition zone between rocky and sandy areas"- Aquarium Fish by Schliewen. I'd go with 4-5 juvenile's per week stocking wise. You can go with a little bit of everything or you can stick with the black and white two or three species. One particular tank I saw had 9 clown loaches and 11 frontosa in it at about the same size at yours and was very nicely put together. To answer the number question is depends on the species and how tempermental they are. It's usually obvious in regard to how much a fish can stand its tankmates- especially in LFS tanks where their parameters are usually overstocked even for juveniles, though it doesn't hurt to research the cichlid also.
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Old 06-30-2006, 06:08 PM   #3
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Which Malawi's are you interested in? Mbuna or Haps? IMO Labs are a staple to all Mbuna tanks. They are beautiful brightly colored Mbunas that love to "school". But really before we can comment on how many fish for the tank we need to know which ones you are interested in.

Tip- Before setting up the tank, put a piece of egg crate in the bottom of the tank. You can buy it at Hardware stores like Lowes and Home Depot back by the lighting section. It keeps them from hitting glass when they dig.
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Old 07-01-2006, 01:01 AM   #4
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Thanks, already have the eggcrate...sized and cut. Am glad I was made aware of that now rather than later!!

As far as Mbunas or Haps, I like some of each. Of course Labs and Zebras, love the deep water hap, and Acei, Ahli, Johanni, Nimbochromis, Moori, Bumble Bee are among favorites.

I do know to start with young fish and let them develop instead of buying fully grown or nearly that.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 07-01-2006, 04:28 PM   #5
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Mbuna and Haps are generally not housed together as they have different behaviors and levels of aggression for territory, food and mates. You have a lot of research ahead of you in order to get the colors/sizes/shapes you really want and limit aggression. No ARL cichlid tank will be free of aggression, but with much research and discussion, you can avoid many pitfalls.
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Old 07-01-2006, 05:12 PM   #6
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Thanks, I'm weeding through info as we speak and reading as much as I can find. Am thinking of probably just going strickly mbuna and making it easier that way.
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Old 07-01-2006, 10:22 PM   #7
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Generally, 1 male w/several females to prevent conspecific aggression taking too much toll on a single female. Different species vary in their overall aggression level as well. Yellow lab's are relatively mild, so are rusties. P. demasoni are holy terrors unless kept in large groups, 12 or more is the best bet for them, any less will result in carnage. Bumblebee's are another very aggresive species, not good to mix with milder ones.
It's also a good idea to keep species of different colors. Similar-looking fish tend to be more interspecific-aggressive.
What size tank are you planning to stock?
There's a 150 gallon bowfront display tank at at lfs, it's been set up for several years now. Over time, many of the mixed mbuna and hap males have killed each other off. The Johanni have been the most successful species, some of the fry have made it to breeding size, none have killed the other adult Johanni.
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Old 07-02-2006, 08:44 PM   #8
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Thanks Todd for your input...it's a 125. I actually got it setup and running today. The second canister filter will be here tomorrow, then I'll just be waiting on the cycle.
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Old 07-02-2006, 09:53 PM   #9
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Take a look here for more specific details on mbuna: cichlid-forum.com
A 125 gives you a good bit of flexibility, but plan on plenty of rocks, regardless of which species you choose.
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