Adding To An Existing Malawi Tank

Discussion in 'Cichlids' started by njd2, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. njd2

    njd2New MemberMember

    hi all!

    I have a well established Malawi tank. It has been running for about 18 months. We have initially about 15 malawis. Over the course of the year we have lost some due to various water issues etc and now we have about 9. The water is now totally fine and the fish seem happy.

    Due to the losses the tank unfortunately looks a bit empty and we want to add some more malawis.

    I know that malawis are really aggressive/terrortorial and therefore I am not sure whether, now that it is very established, it is advisable to add more fish? My idea to counteract the issue is to add fish that are slightly larger than the fish that are already in and also add a group of say 5-6 in one go (as opposed to adding one that would get picked on individually and not likely last very long).

    I appreciate adding a lot in one go has other issues such as water quality so I will make sure to do extra water changes initially.

    Please can anyone let me know whether this is OK or whether I should avoid completely adding new malawis?

    Also if so, can you recommend any particularly interesting/different varieties? Or any other interesting fish/cichlids that are proven to be ok with malawis (I appreciate there is limited options!)

  2. Iridium_2256

    Iridium_2256Valued MemberMember

    So a few questions,
    1. How big is your tank? We liked to keep our mbuna tanks just a little overstocked so aggression is spread out when we had them
    2. Do you know hat kind of Malawi cichlids? Peacocks, mbuna, larger(i dare say)Haps? Im going to guess you mean mbuna because those are the most aggressive types of Malawian cichlids
  3. OP

    njd2New MemberMember

    correct these are mbuna. tank is 200 litres - juwel lido 200.

    Any suggestions?

  4. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to Fishlore!

    I would take the fish out, rearrange the tank, then add both old and new fish back at the same time. Rearranging the decor gets rid of old territories, and allows the new fish to have a good chance.
  5. fissh

    fisshWell Known MemberMember

    So you have a 53 gallon tank, with 9 fish. What is the size range are your fish? I find that it's better to add smaller fish than the ones you already have because they're not competition to the the larger fish. If you add a larger fish it is a threat and they will try to kill it before it gets established. The other tricks are to rearrange all the rocks when you put the new fish in and add at least 6 fish at a time. In a tank your size, if you keep up on water changes and have a lot of filtering you could keep up to 20 fish. I just added 40 small fish 1 1/2" to 2" into my main tank which has 130 adults with no deaths. This will not work if you have any of the larger haps. DSCN5061.JPGDSCN5150.JPGDSCN5151.JPG
  6. OP

    njd2New MemberMember

    The ones I have are all about 3-4 inches. I'll add maybe 6-10 smaller fish then - seems to be the most sensible option.

    I don't have any haps. Is there any other cichlids I can add other than Mbuna's or is that a bad idea?

    Your tank looks amazing! how big is it?
  7. Iridium_2256

    Iridium_2256Valued MemberMember

    I wouldn't add anything else in terms of cichlids besides the mbuna, as they are quite aggressive. But good tank mates for cichlids, if you want to only add about 5 or 6 more mbuna, would be zebra loaches(a little timider than clowns but still cool), most catfish(some I like are syndontis cats, doradids and larger cory cats) and although there is a water parameter difference, we have had a school of giant danios with our mbuna for a while now.
  8. fissh

    fisshWell Known MemberMember

    Just stick with mbuna's. My tank is 360 gallons (1363L).
  9. Iridium_2256

    Iridium_2256Valued MemberMember

    Jeez thats a large tank. Me and my dad have a 125 gallon mixed African tank with haps, peacocks and a few more mellow mbuna.