Discussions on this fascinating and diverse group of fishes...


Postby LexxiJB » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:19 pm

Having never kept Cichlids before (well i had a pair of Rams, they were easy and quite chilled) i am looking at ideas for my new set up.

I wont be introducing anything for a while, but love the look of the Malawis. I know that they have a reputation, but they intrigue me so much. And they look good to boot!

My tank will be sand substrate, with a mix of pebbles, slates and woods. Will this work for Malawis?

What bottom feeders can i keep? Was thinking with sand i'd need Corys, but i dont kow how they'd fare with any type of Cichlid?

Any pointers would be great?
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Re: Malawis

Postby markee » Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:15 pm

A lot depends on the size of your tank as to what route you go with, as you are probably aware Cichlids can be territorial & aggressive but the level varies from species to species, with the majority of Malawi's you're at the higher end of the scale. This is why tank size is important, they need the footprint for territories, if the tank is too small one of the Malawi's could claim the whole tank as it's territory. 4ft is the recommended minimum but it can work if it's a little smaller, you just need to be a little more selective with species.
A sand substrate is good, they will love digging in it. Mbuna (which i guess is what your looking at) will claim territories in rocks, i wouldn't bother with slate & wood, just fill the tank with rocks (the more the better), they also prefer a high ph & the wood could soften the water (another reason to leave it out).

You don't necessarily need bottom feeders, as mbuna will feed at all levels in the tank. Cory's would get bullied too much but if you wanted to keep bottom feeders then african catfish would be a better option, but research before you buy as some grow big!
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