Mbuna tank question

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ilovemkglamor
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:00 pm
Location: Rhode Island, United States

Mbuna tank question

Post by ilovemkglamor » Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:45 pm

I recently purchased a 75gallon tank so I could put my mbunas in a large african cichlid themed tank. (Previously the two I have owned for the past 2.5 years were separated in individual small tanks.) They are both males. One is a metriclima callainos (~3.5-4" long) and the other (~5-5.5") I'm still trying to figure out, looks similar to pseudotrophus greshekii but sometimes has deeper color and black vertical bars.
So the tank has many caves with some plants. It also has a common pleco, 3 goldfish (tank starter fish...soon to be cichlid pike food) and a snail.
Of course the larger of the two cichlids is dominating the smaller and making his life miserable (at this point he would be better off in the ten gallon my himself again) :(
I would like to fix this and I have a few questions on others opinions:
-If I add females of both species, assuming I figure out what the larger one is and that he is not hybrid, will this limit the aggression of the males toward eachother?
-Should I add more hiding places and plants, so ideally they see eachother less?
-Will adding different types of fish limit the aggression? What kinds?
-I would like to have more fish in this tank (w/o aggression issues), maybe more african cichlids if doable, and possibly some kind of upertank/surface dweller. Any suggestions?

Dan Woodland
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Re: Mbuna tank question

Post by Dan Woodland » Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:54 am

You're aggression stems from only having two fish in such a large tank, basically there's nothing else for them to do but eat and chase each other.

I'd add a number of fish, say up to ten more adults. Species added could include just about any African as long as you take all the hiding places out, add the fish then add the new fish. That would destroy any established territories and allow everyone to reestablish new territories. Since the lineage of your fish is questionable it would be tough "mating" them so I'd add some Haplochromis sp. or maybe some Aulonocara sp. You may also add more Mbuna of any type for a nice colorful mix of fishes.

You've chosen to house African Cichlids so I would not expect NO aggression, controlling it may be a better plan.

Hope this helps, good luck and enjoy.

ilovemkglamor
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:00 pm
Location: Rhode Island, United States

Re: Mbuna tank question

Post by ilovemkglamor » Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:42 pm

Thanks for the reply.
I added two new cichlids for now b/c they were the only healthy looking cichlids at the LFS. I still need to add more I think...maybe three to four. I was also thinking about adding a few gouramis', but I've read mixed reactiond to such tank combinations. Can it be safely done with certain species or is it generaly not a good idea?
I'm posting some pics of the fish currently in my tank. The last three are of one of the new fish I just picked up, I have no idea what it is. Does anyone have any ideas to what species this is? Are my other species classifications correct? Any suggestions about additional tank mates? Thanks!!!!

Metriaclima Estherae?
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Metriaclima Greshakei?
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Metriaclima Callainos?
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Lisachromis
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Re: Mbuna tank question

Post by Lisachromis » Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:04 pm

That last fish you picked up is a male Melanochromis auratus. Melanochromis can be quite aggressive.

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