100 Gallon Tank African Cichlid tips?

Ovi

Hi! I ve recently found out there are african cichlid farms in my country and I m going to visit one next week. Do you have any advice on what should I be looking for? I do not want to get charmed by the seller and end up buying uncompatible fish. I am a beginner in cichlids. I ve heard malawi cichlids are a bit easier and less aggressive. My aquarium right now: 120x50x65(60) Juwel rio 300, 300W Eheim heater, Eheim 600(2217) filter with some mixed matrix, sand+limestone. I dont like most Mbuna species so I encline towards a Peacock/Hap tank.
1)Should I go for an all male tank? Is it too hard for a beginner?
2)Should I buy Fry, Juveniles or Mature fish?
3)About how many of these fish should I buy?Am I supposed to overstock?
4)Is it ok to buy food recommended/sold by the breeder?(I got some frozen brine shrimp in the fridge too)
5)How to select my species?Are there some golden rules to follow? Most Peacock species seem similar to me. As for Haps I found some compatible species on another forum, i ll leave the list here:

#Copadichromis borleyi
#Placidochromis electra
#Placidochromis phenochilus
#Otopharynx tetrastigma
#Otopharynx lithobates

Tell me what you think about it and if you would add/remove any :)

I read most threads on this forum about the subject and I did not find relevant info (if I m mistaken feel free to link it).
 

jmaldo

Well still a "Novice", close to a year into my African journey. I have gotten some "Great" advice from members here especially A201
I am hesitate to advise but you can take a look at my thread, has some info

Good Luck!
 

Ovi

Well still a "Novice", close to a year into my African journey. I have gotten some "Great" advice from members here especially A201
I am hesitate to advise but you can take a look at my thread, has some info

Good Luck!
Thanks! I read it all and found a few more species for my list <3 Btw did you have success with your tank? the thread stops abruptly
 

A201

jmaldo is being modest & is a very advanced fishkeeper.
Look at stocking an all male tank. The Borleyi, Red Empress, Fusco and Milomo are good choices for Haps. Avoid the temptation to buy the Venustus or Livingstoni.
Most varieties of male Peacocks are beautifully colored & get along relatively well with Haps. Stay away from the hybrid Peacocks such as the OB Peacock. Much too aggressive for most novices to manage.
Hardscape with limestone if possible. The rock pile doesn't need to be stacked too high for Haps & Peacocks. Leave plenty of swimming area above the hardscape. Post pics as things progress.
 

jmaldo

tw did you have success with your tank? the thread stops abruptly
The African Build is still up and running and doing fine. I update every few weeks or so. Still undecided on the upgrade size 90 or 125g.

being modest & is a very advanced fishkeeper.
Thanks, A201
Ok, I have had moderate success keeping and breeding a wide selection of "Wet Pets" and "Underwater Gardening". But these are my first Africans and scaping with rocks and still learning.
 

MacZ

#Copadichromis borleyi
#Placidochromis electra
#Placidochromis phenochilus
#Otopharynx tetrastigma
#Otopharynx lithobates

For those your tank is too small. All are open water and sand zone fish. I wouldn't keep any of them in a tank below 200x80cm footprint longterm. A species tank for breeding purposes maybe ok with the dimensions of the tank, but not a longterm housing in a display tank.

1)Should I go for an all male tank? Is it too hard for a beginner?
2)Should I buy Fry, Juveniles or Mature fish?
3)About how many of these fish should I buy?Am I supposed to overstock?
4)Is it ok to buy food recommended/sold by the breeder?(I got some frozen brine shrimp in the fridge too)
5)How to select my species?Are there some golden rules to follow? Most Peacock species seem similar to me. As for Haps I found some compatible species on another forum, i ll leave the list here:
1) If you want to use the room you have efficiently, an all male tank of peacocks is probably feasable, when you focus on Aulonocara. Especially as an all-male tank rules out hybridisation. But I would also advise to stay clear of marmelade cats, dragonbloods, OBs and ruby reds, as those are Mbuna-Hybrids, grow usually bigger than actual Aulonocara and have a higher aggression potential. Plus as juveniles they are almost impossible to sex. And one female in such a tank is like the literal "drop of blood in a piranha tank".

2) Juveniles if you want to select yourself, but ONLY provided you can definitely rehome any fish not fitting the plan. Adult fish if you want to make 100% sure you have all males.

3) In your tank dimensions I would say 10 adult Aulonocara are the maximum you can house.

4) Depends highly on the breeder and the food. I would not feed anything that's mostly consisting of fishmeal and grains. A lot of foods are made of this. It's better to research the fishes natural diet and then to replicate that in the ingredients.

5) There are some rules, many people will not share my opinion on, but those rules I learned back when I bred them with my dad:
- Don't mix Mbuna and carnivore Malawis
- Unless in an all-male tank do not mix several closely related species, you WILL have hybridisation and hybrids are usually hard to get rid of and often frowned upon.
- With any tank size recommendation: Go bigger. Minimum sizes are often a bad joke and won't work out.
- Rather understock and instead build good structures by replicating the natural habitat, which is not always the same. (Look through as much footage from Lake Malawi as you can.)
- Do NOT go by colours!


Otherwise I highly recomment: www.malawi-guru.de
You can set the page to a language of your choice.
 

Ovi

3) In your tank dimensions I would say 10 adult Aulonocara are the maximum you can house.
I am ok with this. I was looking to understock anyway as I can come home mostly during weekends.
2) Juveniles if you want to select yourself, but ONLY provided you can definitely rehome any fish not fitting the plan. Adult fish if you want to make 100% sure you have all males.
I actually talked to the breeder and this is the list of what he has available:

Aulonocara stuartgranti
Aulonocara jacobfreibergi otter Point
Aulonocara maylandi
Aulonocara firefish(those are dragonbloods i suppose)
Aulonocara ob
Aulonocara Pink albino
Aulonocara baenchi benga
Aulonocara eureka
Aulonocara nyassae albino
Protomelas spilonotus Mara rocks
Protomelas red empress
Labidocromis caeruleus
Hongi super red

CtrlS the species I thought do not fit(last 2 being Mbuna)
Some others you would like to exclude? Also I cannot keep 2 of the same species right ?
Also he said he has for sale "7 cm confirmed male or 8-9cm confirmed male)"
Depends highly on the breeder and the food. I would not feed anything that's mostly consisting of fishmeal and grains. A lot of foods are made of this.
He sells like granules 54% vitamins and spirulina+astaxanthin and he claims this is what he s feeding his fish with.
I have also found some food sortiments at my petshop:

Cichlid carny carnivore
JBL NovoMalawi
Hikari carnivore sinking pellets
New Life Spectrum thera+A
Seachem flakes
Frozen foods (they re all safe except tubifex worms and mosquito larvae right?)

I d rather buy one of those tbh
Is the rule to feed what they can1-2 mins still working for malawis? I got quite scared of "bloat".
Otherwise I highly recomment: www.malawi-guru.de
You can set the page to a language of your choice.
I actually read quite a lot of articles on this site.
 

MacZ

Aulonocara stuartgranti
Aulonocara jacobfreibergi "Otter Point"
Aulonocara maylandi
Aulonocara baenschi "Mbenga"
Aulonocara jacobfreibergi "Eureka" (Not sure if this might not be a domestic strain after all.)
Protomelas spilonotus "Mara rock"
Protomelas taeniolatus "Red Empress"
I took out all that are hybrids, domestic strains or Mbuna. If that list was taken from the breeder directly I would like to whack that person with a newspaper for the mistakes. :D
The Protomelas might grow too big for your tank, the Aulonocara should work.

He sells like granules 54% vitamins and spirulina+astaxanthin and he claims this is what he s feeding his fish with.
Spirulina are good for Mbuna, but that's it.
He may feed them with this, but Astaxanthin is a colour enhancer, so you might see a loss of colour unless you keep feeding food rich in that stuff. Astaxanthin - Wikipedia
I'm curious what the base material is, because all you name are additives.

Dennerle Cichlid carny carnivore -> Lot of grain products (wheat, BREAD FLOUR, maize), but no fish meal and the rest sounds allright. I'd be wary.
JBL NovoMalawi -> specialist Mbuna and Tropheus food. Not suitable for Peacocks
Hikari carnivore sinking pellets -> Main ingredients: "Fish meal, krill meal, brewers dried yeast, cassava starch, soybean meal, wheat starch, fish oil, wheat flour," Wouldn't feed that to my fish except if it was the only available food.
New Life Spectrum thera+A -> contains wheat flour, otherwise ok.
Seachem flakes -> Looked at the cichlid flakes. Main ingredients also fish meal and grains.
Frozen foods (they re all safe except tubifex worms and mosquito larvae right?)
I have never fed my fish any of those back then. But I took a quick look and marked what you can leave on the shelfs. Which is pretty much all of them.
Frozen food: Keep tubifex to a minimum as a treat and only feed frozen, live ones can spread diseases and parasites. Leave out RED mosquito larvae/bloodworms and you are fine.

I'd rather get a liquid vitamin preparation (almost all manufacturers offer that) and feed a variety of frozen and live foods adding the vitamin drops maybe once or twice a week. Otherwise look for higher quality foods, whose main ingredients are crustaceans, whole fish, shellfish and at best wheat gluten as a binder.

Is the rule to feed what they can1-2 mins still working for malawis? I got quite scared of "bloat".
2-4min for frozen, 5-10min for live food.

The infamous "Malawi bloat" is a whole spectrum of similar looking problems caused by different things.
Bloodworms with their unbalanced nutritional value and possibly allergenic substances is one. This is mostly the reason in Mbuna and Tropheus.
Another is filler-heavy foods that are basically "bread" with grain meal and fish meal. When that stuff quells inside the fish intestinal problems are bound to happen when the fish overeat.
A third option is not even caused by the food but by stress. Low ranking, stressed-out fish are prone to diseases, when a bacterial infection causes dropsy it can look like the other two things.

I actually read quite a lot of articles on this site.
Perfect. ;)
 

Ovi

The Protomelas might grow too big for your tank, the Aulonocara should work.
20cm red empress and the other 25.. ye I guess i could run into trouble if Im buying those right? AND if i am to buy 10, can i buy lets say 3 Mbenga 3 maylandi etc? Im asking this because i read somewhere that males of the same species(or that look alike) fight a lot more.( the info was very limited, maybe when they re in harems?)
I'm curious what the base material is, because all you name are additives.
actually i misread it, so it says "protein 54%, vitamins"(thats all). I will ask him for more details and decide afterwards.
but Astaxanthin is a colour enhancer
yes yes it s basically beta carotene
Otherwise look for higher quality foods, whose main ingredients are crustaceans, whole fish, shellfish and at best wheat gluten as a binder.
I researched for like an hour and did not find such food... I also really need some dry food cuz sometimes my father has to do the feeding(and it s a lil more work to prepare frozen)
I have found instead some multivitamin products, maybe they d help with some less than perfect dry foods

JBL Atvitol
Sera Fishtamin
Seachem Cichlid Trace (this one is oligoelements, not vitamins, so idk if it s as helpful cuz idk whether my cichlids would lack oligos..)

Anyway, I am confident I can run this tank successfully with all the research i ve done(been studying all day long for the past 3-4 days and some more before this). Now I ll do hands on practice^^
Should I post pictures/updates on this thread or somewhere else on this forum?
 

MacZ

20cm red empress and the other 25.. ye I guess i could run into trouble if Im buying those right?
With the fish relatively active swimmers and then being only 1/6 of the tanks length, yes, very much a disaster waiting to happen.

AND if i am to buy 10, can i buy lets say 3 Mbenga 3 maylandi etc? Im asking this because i read somewhere that males of the same species(or that look alike) fight a lot more.( the info was very limited, maybe when they re in harems?)
Yes, possible. It needs a female present to make it really escalate.

actually i misread it, so it says "protein 54%, vitamins"(thats all). I will ask him for more details and decide afterwards.
Not even a number for fat and fiber. That's a red flag.

I researched for like an hour and did not find such food... I also really need some dry food cuz sometimes my father has to do the feeding(and it s a lil more work to prepare frozen)
In that case go for thos with the least amount of the named ingredients. Remember the position in the list denotes the amount in percentage. So the further down the list the stuff, the better.

I have found instead some multivitamin products, maybe they d help with some less than perfect dry foods
The problem with the low quality foods is never the amount of vitamins. Fish meal is simply bad quality, while grains add a lot of carbs. Especially the carbs make fishes livers go fat and can shorten the livespan, while the fish becomes basically morbidly obese.

Sera Fishtamin
That's the one I use, JBL is also ok. I have no experience at all with Seachem, they only started selling their stuff in Germany a few years ago and I associate the company with infuriating marketing strategies, that have lead to people looking for fixes in bottles for any tank problems. They also market to aquascapers here (which I am absolutely not :D ).

Should I post pictures/updates on this thread or somewhere else on this forum?
Your choice. Either here or go to the tank journal section. Especially: Would be great if you show the rock scape in time before getting the fish, so last tweaks can be made without haste.
 

Ovi

Not even a number for fat and fiber. That's a red flag.
it feels like something homemade to sell for profit(I saw many other breeders offering food in plastic boxes with not much info so i guess they wanna make some more money selling food+fish)
The problem with the low quality foods is never the amount of vitamins. Fish meal is simply bad quality, while grains add a lot of carbs. Especially the carbs make fishes livers go fat and can shorten the livespan, while the fish becomes basically morbidly obese.
I understand, i ran into the same problem with dog food
Your choice. Either here or go to the tank journal section. Especially: Would be great if you show the rock scape in time before getting the fish, so last tweaks can be made without haste.
Yes it s like my first time arranging rocks. I will post it here/tank journal. Thanks a lot <3
 

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