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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to start a Malawi tank, was curious as to how many of these species would be suitable for a 33g tank?

I would like to overstock + overfilter to keep away from territories. How many is too many?
 

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i have a 37g with 8 demasoni, 3 yellow labs, 4 aceii yellow tail (click to enlarge)
none are longer than 3 inches atm



(this pic shows 4 yellow labs, i gave one away)
the aggression is all between the demasoni pretty much, also between the male yellow lab (Homer, he has a 5 oclock shadow) and his 2 females.

also got a 10g growout tank for all the fry cuz the demasoni and yellow labs are spawning constantly, the aceii are offspring from ones i bred a while back and i no longer have the parents, they arent breeding yet.
theres 5 baby BN plecos in there too i'll prolly move a few up to the 37g once theyre bigger.

heres a good website i did most of my research on before setting it up: Cichlid-Forum Library -- cichlid articles, profiles, maps, projects, and videos
 

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I have a 40-45 gal tank. 4 yellow labs, 5 yellow tail aceis, 2 albino BN plecos. I might be adding a few demasoni's also when April gets them in :). I was gonna say Fish World Langley has them for 1.40/lb (you can make it get cheaper by buying alot of rocks), but you said it was far for you ^^
 

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IMHO
Malawis shouldn't be kept in anything smaller than a 55g with a 4ft footprint.
With careful consideration as to number of fish & species.
If the smaller tank size is the only option than I would suggest trying the Tanganyikan shell dwellers. They are very entertaining & thrive well in the smaller environment.
Cheers!!
 

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i agree with Don. even in a 4ft tank if you end up with more than 1 dominant natured fish they will between them terrorize all the other fish into the middle. im running into that with my victorians in their 48g. and it doesn't seem to be they r content with their cave, they come out and patrol a good 1.5 ft area. even worse if they r guarding young.
 

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you can run into aggression problems in an improperly stocked tank whether its large or small. and it should be noted there is HUGE size variance between different malawi cichlids, they are not all the same, far from it. from dwarf mbuna that only get 3-4 inches to the slightly larger peacocks to the bigger haps, malawi has a huge size variance. 4 feet is not needed for mbuna... it would be for haps like a red empress type thing.

imho just keep 1 male of each species and give him several females, and keep species that are very different looking so they dont fight between species.
its not hard it just takes some researching and the occasional fish may need to be returned if it turns out to be a subdominant male instead of female.

i agree with Don. even in a 4ft tank if you end up with more than 1 dominant natured fish they will between them terrorize all the other fish into the middle. im running into that with my victorians in their 48g. and it doesn't seem to be they r content with their cave, they come out and patrol a good 1.5 ft area. even worse if they r guarding young.
i had that happen when i first started keeping malawi cichlids and i made the mistake of getting them from the mixed cichlid tanks at local stores, resulting in horrible m/f ratios within species. give the males lots of ladies to chase and they will be more content. the males are polygamous harem breeders and arent content with just one female, esp when shes already holding eggs and wants nothing to do with him.

currently i have a dominant pseudotropheus demasoni nesting side by side with a dominant yellow lab, they couldn't care less about each other. they just go off and try to find females of their own species to impress and bring back to the nest. in the meantime the aceii spend most of their time swimming as a group towards the top of the tank.

word of caution though, steer clear of melanochromis auratus, its aggressive as hell even in a 100g tank and since the males are blue and females are yellow they seem to be quite aggressive towards many other species.
 

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Mferko, where did you get your rock? I know fish world has some but its a bit far for me.
its from IPU in richmond
their stock at the moment is terrible though, maybe call and find out when theyre getting more in
i think clingtv/clintgv knows of another place to get some.
 

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Well I guess beating your chest about being able to keep Malawis in a smaller tank is the main issue here. Sounds like overcrowding & cramped quarters is the way to go although I have always thought that the best possible living conditions should be available to these fish we like to keep as pets. Obviously 20 odd yrs of keeping Africans has taught me wrong. Maybe pick up a 20g for your Africans & save that whopper of a 33g & do Aros or Pacus or maybe both. Don't forget to have a big filter & do lots of WC's. Then you can do anything you like, right????
LMFAO!!!
Cheers!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I sure hope that comment was not directed at me.
 

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It wasn't neoh, ... I'll be back to check in on this thread later as I'm at work right now. Play nice guys!!
 

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i dont think he was either. I beleive he gave you good information as to what species of africans do best in a small tank. you helped me set up my 72 G bowfront. you saw how big some of the malawies get and quickly. even now just some months later I am almost ready to have to split the stock.
 

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I sure hope that comment was not directed at me.
My 1st comment & advice was for you.
Genuinely trying to help you with your plight.
Malawis do not belong in little tanks.
My 2nd comment was towards the other piss poor advice (IMO) you're being given. What decision you make is your own. Quality of life you want to provide is yours to establish. Personally, my Malawis thrive in a 6ft 140g. Tried a 4ft 90g but found that it just wasn't right. Pretty sure I wouldn't want to live in just my living room with 10 or 12 of my friends & family no matter how much the air was filtered & changed. just food for thought.
 

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you can find some cookie cutter stocks on this site for different tank sizes
Aquarium Quick Reference Resources - Cichlid Keeping

dwarf mbuna have different tank requirements than an open water malawi hap aka "utaka" for obvious reasons, to address all malawi species and tank requirements together (there are over 800 malawi species with only about 300 of them currently described by ichthyologists) is a bit silly imho
33g is enough for some of the smaller malawi species, like the dwarf mbuna's
there are even malawi shellies if u want: http://www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=900
they only get to be 2.4 inches long
 

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I have mine in a 45gal and they have plenty of space no aggression whatsoever. And all I have in the tank is a few pots for caves (soon to be limestones from Fish World Langley). But they don't use it :S. Only when the females gets pregnant they use. Sometimes I feel like their lonely so I bought one fish each and now they school WAY better then before. I guess you just gotta pick the nice fish and not the trouble maker fish :rolleyes:

Depends how many fish you want to put in the 33gal. if you want to put alot, then you need a bigger tank but if you don't, then I'm pretty sure they can live in a 33gal.
 

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cichlids don't school, I had a 33g with malawian fish in it and all i had was 3 fish and even then I felt bad. they are now in a 90g i feel a little better but I'd be happier if I could get them into a 130g or bigger..
 

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Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei"

"They are equipped with typical Gephyrochromid cuspid-like teeth that are flat for removing epixlyic or epilithic algae from wood. In the lake, schools of 30-50 individuals surrounding a large log are not uncommon, however in the rocky areas; schools usually consist of 3-10 individuals... Males and females are most easily differentiated between by their behavior. Males tend to be more standoffish, the first to spread fins at intruders etc. The largest male in my tank is also the fattest. Females tend to be a little calmer, following the school quietly"

mine do, the correct term is probably shoaling though since they dont all turn together in unison, but they do love swimming in groups and hanging out in the top half of the tank while the yellow labs and demasoni stay down low, and sometimes if the first acei swims through a hole in the rocks, the others will go through the same hole behind it even if they were swimming off to the side of it before.

id love to get a bigger tank but we dont have room for it in the living room atm, we'll move soon enough and i can upgrade.
 
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