newbie needs help with 125gallon plan

Q&A About Lake Malawi Cichlids

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footballfish1213
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:06 pm

newbie needs help with 125gallon plan

Post by footballfish1213 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:10 pm

hello: I will be setting up my very first tank this summer and its going to be 125 gallons 6 foot long 18inch wide. I would like to know if what I plan on running and my stock list is all going to work and just need as much input and info I can get.

tank setup

Eheim 2075 Pro 3 Canister Filter two on each side of the tank

Jager Aquarium Heater - 250W - 106 to 159 gal. two on each side of the tank

lighting I am not sure of any input??

stock list im thinking of mbuna male and females buying as juveniles

Cynotilapia sp. "hara" i would buy 15 weed out as needed


Metriaclima greshakei OR Metriaclima greshakei (Albino) Which am i better off with? would buy 15 weed out as needed

Pseudotropheus interruptus buy 15 weed out as needed

what should be my m to f ratio be when all said and done


also a group of synodontis, what kind would work? and how many in a group?

does this all sound good?

thanks fish friends

Pam Chin
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Re: newbie needs help with 125gallon plan

Post by Pam Chin » Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:52 pm

Hi Footballfish!

Sounds like you have already done some research, your tank and accessories sound doable. I would only offer up that if you live in mild weather or warmer weather, you may not need such large heaters. You might be able to get away with (2) 100 watt heaters. Malawi fish prefer cooler water anyway, and there is nothing worse then a stuck heater. With less wattage even if your heater sticks it is not likely to do too much damage. You want to keep your tank about 76 -78 degrees. Your cannisters will also put off some heat.

As far as lighting it is really a personal choice, and there are many options, just depends on how much money you want to spend. But I think they will do fine with a standard hood and flourescent lights.

The cichlids from Malawi really are group fish, and a larger group of 15 - 18 fish of each species looks great in larger tanks. I would not dwell on your ratio or sex of the fish. Buy them as juveniles and you should get a good mix. You really only need to worry about ratio's when you are trying to breed these fish in trio's or pairs, which can be done, but much easier in a large group.

For a complete tank and one that has fish in all areas of the tank…. on the sand, in the rocks and in the upper water column, you should consider at least one "hap" type. Your mbuna are going to stay on the bottom of the tank and in the rocks, the top of your tank will look bare. Consider one group for this area of your tank, and you want to consider any species from Copadichromis, Otopharnyx or Protomelas. These are mellow haps and do well with mbuna types.

That would give you 2 - 3 mbuna types, 1 hap type and your catfish. If you go for 15- 18 of each for the cichlids along with the catfish, your tank is going to be full. When you buy juviniles you may think your tank looks empty but give them a year, and they will grow into your tank. You should be able to find your mbuna choices, albino or regular greshakei is really up to you, they are going to behave the same way. Interruputs might be a little more difficult to find, with this nice sized tank you could substitute with something else that catches your eye and still be okay.

Sounds like a great tank in the making!
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