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Old 08-14-2012, 10:07 PM   #1
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Mbuna tank

Should I have more large rocks (like the one on the left) for my mbunas? They ALL go in there at night because when I turn the light on to feed them in the morning it's like a swarm of bees coming out of their nest lol. I'm just wondering if I should have more like it and take out some smaller ones instead? Thinking maybe getting lots of lace rock or shale to make a tall structure on the right?
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:09 PM   #2
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Sorry, here's the pic

(it's a 90 gallon with 18 mbunas, will be adding 3 more this weekend)
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:12 PM   #3
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IMO I would add more. More hiding places the better. There rock dwellers and like to have places to hide and calm there own. I'll let Andy add is expertise on this as he has helped me out a lot.

Here's a shot of my 76g.



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Notice all the hiding places and how I try to break the line of sight.
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:18 PM   #4
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I like that! I have a very limited selection for shopping where I live. I'll have to order most all online unless I go with some rock.
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishyBusiness
I like that! I have a very limited selection for shopping where I live. I'll have to order most all online unless I go with some rock.
Rock will work just fine! Go out and find yourself some nice rock and wash it real good, soak it in a bucket of hot water and your good. You could stake them and make little caves.

Just make sure you stack them well or silicon them so they don't fall. When those fish get bigger they will dig and move stuff around. My guys always dig huge holes right down to the glass.
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:26 PM   #6
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Yeah these lil ones already do lol. I could just imagine what it'll be looking like in there when their full grown! I do have silicone I got when I got the fish. I'll be using that. Would the weight of so much rock in there be okay for a tank?
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishyBusiness
Yeah these lil ones already do lol. I could just imagine what it'll be looking like in there when their full grown! I do have silicone I got when I got the fish. I'll be using that. Would the weight of so much rock in there be okay for a tank?
As long as it doesn't fall it should be good.
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew McFadden

As long as it doesn't fall it should be good.
^^^^ and there's the man you wanna talk to....
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:00 PM   #9
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I guess I should say I'm always scared to stack rocks more then a couple high. Even then when they start digging around those rocks I'm a nervous wreck. If you can go with cichlid stones use them you'll feel much better about the weight and them falling. O ya and if you can deal with seeing the holes (I couldn't) so I took mine out. If you live in Ohio and willing to pick them up ill sell some or all that I have to you if ya want.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:20 PM   #10
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Darn, one state away Andrew! I'm in Michigan and if you were selling em cheap I'd buy them off ya :/
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:25 PM   #11
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I'm in MN. Kind of long drive lol! I love the look of real rock in the tank but yeah the falling over but again if I use silicone I can't rearrange them either Petsmart has one more tall rock similar to the one I have (I don't want identical pieces) but its a bubbler. I just won't use it as one. The fish use rock I have now to bury under too so I might not have to take some out. I love decorating but this is stressful too lol!
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:27 PM   #12
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Ideally should each fish have its own "hole" to hide in, plus a few extra?
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Ideally should each fish have its own "hole" to hide in, plus a few extra?
That's what I shoot for
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:00 AM   #14
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I struggled with the Rock thing too In my Mbuna tank, I finally placed some foundation rock darn near the very glass and made a serious stable foundation from ground up, then I used Tahitian black moon sand and it looks great the Mbuna move it around as they please but im still protected if they fall. Like Andrew, I got some cichlid rocks and do use them some but I kinda shield the hole with fake plant or put it within the middle of real rock.
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:28 AM   #15
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Here is an easy low-cost DIY option. Forgive me for drifting a bit in the thread, I was learning while I was doing it. The end-results worked great though.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...to-204219.html
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:42 PM   #16
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Great DIY tip thanks Labenator, I may work on something like that.
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Old 08-16-2012, 04:55 PM   #17
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If you use rocks from a stream or found In the woods you will need to do a bit more than just soak them. I like to soak in a bleach/water mixture for 24 hours. Followed by just water for 24 and then sit in the air for 24 hours. If you can't smell bleach they are good. It's always good to take them out and scrub a bit during the bleach phase and I always follow up with boiling them. Many people on here don't recommend it but I have boiled over 100 rocks and never had an issue. The fear is they might explode. I would boil for 40 minutes, scrub, boil again, scrub and possibly boil again. Warning - your house will stink during this for that night.


You definitely need more rocks in that tank. They will be fine now but when they mature it will be a fight for territory.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:47 PM   #18
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I included in the thread that I referenced my own technique for cleaning rocks from the wild. Perhaps overkill, but better safe than sorry.
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:04 PM   #19
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This is what I do and how I do it. Won't be much of a help now that your tank is full of fish and water but for future reference.
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/3d-fre...m-backgrounds/
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:12 PM   #20
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Andy that looks great. Did you really seal the whole thing with silicone? Doesn't it look glossy?
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