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Mbuna newbie
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Author:  PaulCezanne [ Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Mbuna newbie

Ok, help out a Mbuna newbie. I have the rocks (picked them up from Rich this weekend at Unique, close to 50 lbs), I have the gravel (picked it up at my LFS since I had a big credit there, got the black eco cribe stuff in the water filled bag.)

I have a 30 gallon that I just tore down. I'll pull the sand out of it. It has a Fluval 2 inside for filtration, don't mind going to a Fluval 3 but I doubt a Fluval 4 would fit. I'm not against putting 2 Fluval 2s in it.

I know very little about chiclids but I love the yellow ones and blue ones. (See, I told you I didn't know much...)

I know I just love the yellow labs (Labidochromis caeruleus) and that I can get them at PetCo but I'd almost certainly get them at Ned's. But at my LFS they have these blue and black vertical stripped ones. I think, from looking at pictures, they are Pseudotropheus demasoni but when I google them they say keep 12 at a minimum. So now my tank is way overstocked!

I'll likely just go to Ned's and buy what he tells me to buy, but I'd like to be more informed. So inform me! Remember, it is only a 30 gallon...

Thanks!

Author:  redpaulhus [ Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mbuna newbie

my two cents -- I'd toss a dozen yellow labs in there an leave it at that for a while -- I find them to be much less aggressive than many of the other mbuna and in a 30g tank I think that's key.
Once they've settled in - maybe toss in half a dozen of your favorite rainbowfish - something quick and colorful that will appreciate the hardness and pH but doesn't get huge
demasoni or kenyi are both sweet fish with the blue bars - but I'd worry about either of them becoming a problem in a 30g

Author:  hap44 [ Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mbuna newbie

Cycle the tank with something hardy like danios. Give it two months or so.

Then keep a species harem of Pseudotropheus saulosi, 1 male, 4 females. This will provide you with a great blueblack striped male and several bright yellow females.

And the fry will be in demand!

Author:  PaulCezanne [ Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mbuna newbie

Ok, I'll give an update. I picked up a 75 gallon with an overflow and a small sump on craigslist for not too much money. So this will be the Mbuna tank, no the the 30.

The plan is to pull the bio-balls and replace them with Seachem Matrix, design the sump some so the matrix is submerged, add a big foam sponge before the matrix, probably a bubble tray and do some more sump re-work to quiet it down. (Reverse durso on the sump's intake.

I'll then put the small (8 gallon if full) sump into the 30 and have the sump overflow into the 30. The small sump will be filled with the white rocks from Rich's store and I'll put some more into the 30.

I'm using the 30 to increase the gallons of the sump AND have a place for the white rocks. I might also grow a pathos down there to absorb nitrates if I need to. The 30 gallon also gives some overflow protection from the small sump. We almost had a flood once. There is about a 3 gallon difference between not full enough and too full. That's too small for me. The entrance pipe to the tank does have an anti-siphon hole drilled but it did fail in on power-fail test. That's too close for comfort. I've since enlarged the hole and the 30 gallon tank will have plenty of overflow capacity.

Hopefully that isn't too confusing. Basically I'm making an over complex sump out of parts I have on hand: 1) the too small sump, 2) a 30 gallon, and 3) a few small pieces of PVC and acrylic that will cost pennies at the hardware store.

I wouldn't design a sump like this but it both should work and will be very little work to put together.

Author:  PaulCezanne [ Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mbuna newbie

Oh, I'm leaning towards yellow labs and demasoni. I think a tank of Pseudotropheus saulosi wouldn't have enough blue in it for me. But I've certainly not decided at all about it.

Author:  hap44 [ Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mbuna newbie

If you go with demasoni, be prepared for the violence and keep a large colony, in excess of 12. Any smaller group will usually be whittled down to just one fish.

Labs are labs, just be sure to hunt down a quality line, they have been crossed with estherae many times in the trade and the result is a behaviorally and physically variable hybrid. Ensure you get the real thing and a decently bred line for color, both the yellow and the black fin lines.

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