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 Post subject: Mbuna
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 8:22 am 
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Location: Medford, MA
Who keeps Mbuna around here? What do you have? Are you breeding any and might have fry/juvs for sale?

I was originally going to do a Tang community for my first cichlid tank (100g), but am thinking Mbuna would be a better choice. Electric Yellow and Ps. Acei seem like good choices to start with.

Ryan


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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 9:23 am 
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Cool.

I think Chuck Fittz is breeding the yellow labs, and I know I've seen a fair amount of other mbuna at the meetings...

But if I can offer an alternative Malawi tank - yellow labs and 'utaka' -- the butterflies and/or peacocks that live in the open sandy areas rather than the rockwork. The labs are mild enough to mix with the utakas, and a tank that size would allow a sweet display.

I was going to put about a dozen labs and 6 each of 3 or 4 utakas (one male and 4-5 females) in my 125g, before Michele named the Oscar I had rescued (so now its Blondie's tank).

I'll see if I can dig up some photos of the fish i was planning on using, along with names.

_________________
Rich
_______
Part-time fishguy at Uncle Ned's Fish Factory (saturdays)
_______
Species I am currently keeping/breeding include :
Copadichromis borleyi "redfin"
Labidochromis caeruleus yellow labs
Aulonocara sp. "Lwanda"
Ancistrus cf. cirrhosus "Super Red Ancistris"
Xiphophorus montezumae Montezuma Swordtails
_______
(I'm in the middle of resetting and redesigning my fishroom - so things are kinda quiet)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 1:36 pm 
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Location: Medford, MA
Hi Rich,

Thanks. I had looked at peacocks, and I do like the idea of a more open, less rocky setup. I read lots of people saying how pretty they are - I don't recall seeing them in person at LFS, but the pics must not do them justice. What about the Hap Placidochromis electra? I had read that it's a bad idea to mix mbuna with hap/peacocks, both due to aggression but also feeding, but I guess that since Yellow labs are omnivores, they can handle the more protein-rich diet that peacocks need - true?

The tank is 72x18x17 high - glasscages is delivering it in a week. It's going to be built into a 4' foot high wall, so we wanted a shallower tank than the standard 20"+ high 75g or 120g.

So, with 6', I'd like some fish that really use the swimming room. Although I don't want a really aggressive tank where fish might be at risk, I do want to have the high activity and interesting territorial behavior of an african cichlid tank, as well as have as much color as possible. I want it to be really different from the mellow, heavily planted, SE Asian biotope tank I have now, where fish slowly school, just hang out, or peek out from the plants (not to say that's bad - just want something that's more exciting).

Ryan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 2:14 pm 
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Some fish I was thinking of adding included:
Aulonocara "lemon jake" (a guy I know in NJ has some unreal jakes)

Copadichromis virginalis "gold" nkanda
Image
Protomelas steveni "Tawain Reef"

Copadichromis borleyi -- unlike most of the "haps", the females have color, with bright red fins.
male:
Image
female:
Image

I know Ned carries lots of "haps" and I'm pretty sure that Russ MacAndrew does (I think he's working at a store in Weymouth now).

I've seen some sweet "ngara flametails" at Skiptons... I'm pretty sure Aric had a nice group in one of his home tanks.
(looked like this:)
Image

_________________
Rich
_______
Part-time fishguy at Uncle Ned's Fish Factory (saturdays)
_______
Species I am currently keeping/breeding include :
Copadichromis borleyi "redfin"
Labidochromis caeruleus yellow labs
Aulonocara sp. "Lwanda"
Ancistrus cf. cirrhosus "Super Red Ancistris"
Xiphophorus montezumae Montezuma Swordtails
_______
(I'm in the middle of resetting and redesigning my fishroom - so things are kinda quiet)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 2:18 pm 
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Location: Medford, MA
Ah, I was wrong, thinking utaka were Aulonocara peacocks. The Copadochromis are pretty cool. Are they commonly available?

I'm still leaning towards mbuna - I like that the females are colorful and that they're easy to breed (so I can possibly stock lightly with the intention that they'll slowly fill the tank with multi-generations).

Everything I know about cichlids is pretty much what I'm reading on cichlid-forum.com

Ryan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 2:28 pm 
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I'm no rift lake expert... so take everything I say with a heaping spoonful of salt !

I think utaka refers to all the non-rockdwelling cichlids, ie all of the peacocks, butterflies, and everything that was once lumped in as a "hap"...

I found Mark Smith's book on Lake Malawi fish to be a good start (without spending the $$$ the Ad Koenigs books cost).

Nothing wrong with a tankful of mbuna :mrgreen:
Yellow Labs, Kenyi, Rusty's, and Chipokae would make a really sweet display... and be somewhat disimmilar enough that you shouldn't get too many hybrids

shameless plug time - http://www.redpaulhus.com/node/4
( most of that page is way to basic, from a handout I wrote for work, but the links at the bottom include the book I was talking about)

_________________
Rich
_______
Part-time fishguy at Uncle Ned's Fish Factory (saturdays)
_______
Species I am currently keeping/breeding include :
Copadichromis borleyi "redfin"
Labidochromis caeruleus yellow labs
Aulonocara sp. "Lwanda"
Ancistrus cf. cirrhosus "Super Red Ancistris"
Xiphophorus montezumae Montezuma Swordtails
_______
(I'm in the middle of resetting and redesigning my fishroom - so things are kinda quiet)


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 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 2:35 pm 
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Former BAS Board
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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 2:05 pm
Posts: 1062
Location: Boston
Biotoper wrote:
Ah, I was wrong, thinking utaka were Aulonocara peacocks. The Copadochromis are pretty cool. Are they commonly available?

Ryan


The borleyi are common and cheap (well, $5 at Petco and almost always available when I place the store orders).

The virginalis I'm not so sure about (not a Petco fish by any means).

oh by the way - checkout nycichlids.com :) especially anything posted by a guy named "fishguts" -- Ralph really knows his stuff.

_________________
Rich
_______
Part-time fishguy at Uncle Ned's Fish Factory (saturdays)
_______
Species I am currently keeping/breeding include :
Copadichromis borleyi "redfin"
Labidochromis caeruleus yellow labs
Aulonocara sp. "Lwanda"
Ancistrus cf. cirrhosus "Super Red Ancistris"
Xiphophorus montezumae Montezuma Swordtails
_______
(I'm in the middle of resetting and redesigning my fishroom - so things are kinda quiet)


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 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 9:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 2:09 pm
Posts: 135
Location: Medford, MA
I was by Skipton's and looked at their hap/peacock tank - wasn't impressed in terms of color compared to their mbuna tank. I guess most of the males grow into their color - or maybe just being in an LFS tank...
Blue Dolphin Cyrtocara moori is really cool. I'm now thinking of trying to get some good sized groups of yellow labs and acei and then add various single species males of peacocks and haps. That should look pretty cool.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 3:36 pm 
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Fishkeeper

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:16 pm
Posts: 49
Location: South Coast
My male red fin borleyi didn't look good until I brought him home. Even then it took a week for his color to come through. I have a female that's holding for the first time. I hope she makes it all the way.

I also had peacocks, what awesome colors!! I would go with Reds suggestions. The Mbuna are way to common. So much so that you will fine them in a mixed tank. With the Utaka's you have to look for pairs and the right colors. Which is half the fun! If they breed for you you can keep some and sell a few to your friends as well. JMO. :D

edit: She ate them. :cry:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:18 am 
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Location: Medford, MA
I thought I would update this thread on my current mbuna tanks.

I stocked the 100g with breeding groups of yellow labs, rusties, saulosi, and there are singles of Pseudotropheus long pelvic male, Ps. polit male, and M. johnjohnsonae female that I got at club auctions. It's been up for about a year and a half. The rusties successfully bred about 10 that survived. There have been holding labs and saulosi, but I don't think any fry have survived. There's a lot of big rocks - the big drawback of having the tank built into the wall makes it really difficult to take out the rocks in order to net out holding females, so I just don't bother. This tank is set up at my sister's house as a very low maintenance set-up - sump with wet/dry bioball filter, constant freshwater drip and overflow for waste water in the sump, and an Eheim auto-feeder, so the only maintenance necessary is cleaning the prefilter on the pump and cleaning the front pane with a magfloat.

I set up a 75g at home that's been set up for a year, mostly with fish I got as fry and grew up together. Currently there about 60 fish in there! I am slowing taking some out as they grow up, although I must say that the fish in this tank are much more active/visible than in the 100g, due to the greater fish/volume ratio and less rock work. I have breeding groups of yellow lab, socolofi, Labeotropheus trewavasae, L. fulleborni (OB females), M. estherae (redxred), Labidochromis "mbamba", M. zebra chilumba (these were sold to me incorrectly as C. white top fry), 4 peacocks (I forgot which species - the male(s) haven't colored up yet), Placidochromis phenochilus, 3 Pundamilia "red" (these are probably coming out on Monday for the auction) and singles of saulosi male, L. perlmutt, acei, demasoni, Cynotilapia white top, and what I think is a M. zebra hybrid maybe with some rusty in him/her that I rescued for free at the club and is now my wife's favorite. Phew - that's a lot of fish!

The L. mbamba's are the only ones really breeding, which I have sold off to several people at the auction - this is a great species, starts breeding at like 1.5"! A big thanks to Jim Allen who gave me most of my mbuna for free or very cheap.

Ryan


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