Practical Mbuna stocking tips?
Been a while.:-D I am doing a make over on my tank and have decided to simplify (ha ha ha) and go with an Mbuna set up. I've got the crushed coral sand, I'm acquiring rocks, and have upgraded my filtration. I'm moving the tank further from the window, have a power back up and proper lighting.
My question is about stocking. Guides and professionals are no replacement for practical experience. According to the guides I should overcrowd, and introduce large groups, if not all of the fish at one time into a pre-cycled tank.
I have picked three types I would like to introduce with five of each. Theoretically I'd have three males in the tank and 12 females.
I have picked the Kenyi Cichlid, Yellow Lab, Electric Blue Johannii. AqAdvisor says I have adequate filtration and has no flags for the blend, but do ya'll?
Also, I've seen it suggested to use egg crate or styrofoam on the bottom of the tank prior to placing the rocks to protect the glass and disburse weight. Which types are they talking about?
Thank you. It feels good to be back.
Sounds like you have done your research for the most part.
First off how large is the tank and what kind of filters exactly do you have on it?
Your stock sounds fine except for kenyi. So many people keep these fish but they really are not ideal for your typical mbuna setup especially with the milder fish you currently want. Replace kenyi with something else. Some suggestions are acei, hongi, rusty cichlids, and callianos of the top of my head.
Yes egg crate is great to put on the bottom because it prevents the rocks from scratching up your tank and helps keep rocks in place. In a hardware stores they are called light diffusers.
I have a 55 Gallon tank and a Marineland 360 Canister filter. If need be I can add a second canister filter. I have Rena XP1 just in case. I figure the displacement from the rock will make the Marineland sufficient.
I like the Rusty Cichlids, I hadn't seen those yet. And thanks for the light diffuser thing. I would have been using that foam stuff they sound proof rooms with.
The filter you have is ok but I would defiantly add another filter. What I would suggest is invest in a good HOB(hang on back) filter. The aquaclear 110 is what I use and recommend. Fill the HOB with mechanical media and the canister with mostly bio media. That way when maintaining the tank the HOB will move most of the water and catch the debri and it will be much easier to clean than taking apart the canister. Plus aquaclear 110's are rated for 500gph. The canister is only rated for 360gph.
I am planning on creating a slight current, just enough to keep an even flow throughout the tank.
What kind of HOB is it? I do water changes once a week and that is enough to top off the tank. My AC110 are not that loud. There isn't a trickling sound it is just a rush of water you shouldn't have too much of a problem wiht it unless your water is really low.
Had a great time at Lowe's today. While pointing at a light fixture ten feet above this woman's head describing what she was seeing. "on that light fixture is a diffuser, that's the thing with all the squares that the light is shining through. Do ya'll sell those." She told me where to find FUSES. I asked if she could see the thing with all the squares and she said she wasn't really sure she understood. That was the second person. The guy that actually worked in lighting kept asking if it was flat. I didn't know how to answer that. It's a three dimensional product that does not curve, but it's not the prismatic sheet he kept pointing at. The last guy... lol. I pointed at the fixture asked if he could see the flourescent light. From there he showed us fuses, bulbs, ballisters, wiring harnesses, and prismatic sheets before he finally went "OHHHHH that plaid thing." Safe to say, most folks at our lowe's have no idea what plastic eggcrate light diffusers are even when they are looking at one and are being told what they are.
I have printed out the information from the home depot website and am better armed for my trip there. Yay!
Sand or gravel
I'm looking at the Caribsea cichlid eco complete. With going the Mbuna route I'm not sure if I should opt for the <1mm sand that is salt and pepper, or is the the black 4-10mm stuff okay? I prefer the all black, but I'm worried that some pieces would be too big. I want black substrate but not at the expense of the water quality or fish health.
I think either will be fine. It will come down to personal preference.
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