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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, colleagues. I've a no-CO2 planted tank with Echinodorus sp., Anubias barteri, Cryptocoryne willisii and Ceratopteris thalictroides, and one Pangasius, one Pleco and one Labeo bicolor are inhabiting this thank. I would like to add one or two fishes more, and I like african cichlids species (e.g. from Malawi lake). There exist one of this biotope which can be compatible with my fishes (I know that Pangasius can be a problem for its future big adult size)?
Thanks a lot for your help.
Maurici.
 

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I don't believe it is a problem of size, more of water chemistry requirements. I don't know enough to answer completely, however, so I'll let someone with lake cichlid experience give you the details.
 

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Hi.

How big is your tank?
Most of your Malawi Cichlids will eat most plants, except perhaps the Anubias.
Some of the more mild mannered ones are the Peacocks, and Labidichromis, but I don't think they'd do well if you just got 1 or 2 of them.
And, even if they are mild mannered, they can all get nasty to one degree or another when they are breeding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi, thanks for your comments. My tank is really small (90 l.) and this can also be a problem for that cichlid. The water chemistry is,however, adequate, because is basic and hard, pH 7,5-8 and gH 12-15. I think it can be some difficulties with small sizes because Pangasius (now only have 6 cm, but the books talk about 40 cm easily in aquarium, 100 cm in the nature environment). Best regards. Maurici
 

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Specifically, I was wondering how the Pleco was going to do in that type of water, but if it's already doing fine, I withdraw my statement ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, he is fine, like most of the currently comercialized fishes :D . I think that the need of an acidic water is a myth in many cases; of course we are talking about living with good health not on breeding, when the requirements are often more serious.
 

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My experience with Lake Malawi cichlids has been extensive, so I offer up this:

Combining plants with Mbuna and/or Haplochromines is not going to make you very happy. The fish will most definitely eat the plants and cause other problems, specifically the destruction of your catfish(es).

My advice is to keep plants and most Africans separate. Do either a fish-and-rock Malawian tank or a planted aquarium with gentler, less robust cichlids. You can do a lot with the dwarves that are coming out of west Africa at the moment; there seem to be endless varieties and color forms, and most all of them tolerate plants very well.
 

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Error said:
Combining plants with Mbuna and/or Haplochromines is not going to make you very happy. The fish will most definitely eat the plants and cause other problems, specifically the destruction of your catfish(es).
I have to disagree.

I have been keeping various plants with East/West african setups. You could see the proof in below picture.



This tank is a home to Aulonocara sp., Haplochromine sp., Mbuna sp., and some Tanganyika sp. which include: different Aulonocara sp., Copadichromis borleyi, Sciaenochromis fryeri; Placidochromis electra, Protomelas taeniolatus, Protomelas steveni, Labidochromis caeruleus, Cyrtocara moorii, Neolamprologus brichardi w/ fry.

Read more about my setup here:
http://www.greenstouch.com/africanlakes.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Perhaps the plants I grow are not very palatable (Anubias and Microsorum) so I can try with them, but what about the coexistence with the other non-cichlid fishes I've? Error put on forward the inconvenience for catfish, is it?
A related question: if I can't put more than two species (tank size too small) I supose it would be better two individuals of the same species, but is it indispensable with this kind of fish?.
Sorry for soo many questions :oops: . Thanks. Maurici.
 

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Jay,

It appears you have only Anubias spp. and Vallisneria spp. in that tank. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I concede that Anubias leaves are usually left alone (they are as palatable to cichlids as sedge grass is to humans), but my experience with Vallisneria spp. has not been positive. Most Mbuna will devour it; Labeotropheus comes to mind. Labeotropheus and Maylandia spp. have also destroyed Anubias in my tanks.

You are also keeping primarily piscivore and sediment-sifting Haplochromines and utaka, the size of which eliminates them from consideration for Maurici's tank. The only Mbuna I see on your list is Labidochromis caeruleus 'Lion's Cove' (electric yellow), a species that has not, at least in my experience, been excessively disposed to a vegetable diet. Most other Mbuna will eat plants in short order, and they are the only cichlids from Malawi small enough to go in his tank.

Have you noticed your Crytocara "stripping" your Vallisneria at all? They tend to do that.
 

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Error said:
Jay,

It appears you have only Anubias spp. and Vallisneria spp. in that tank. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
picture above
+ Cryptocoryne sp
+ Microsorium pteropus

+ Hygrophila sp (got out of control and had to take out)

few other which I don't remember now.

There were other Mbuna species in that tank as well. I forget since I switched them around my show/breeding tanks.

Have you noticed your Crytocara "stripping" your Vallisneria at all? They tend to do that.
I did not notice anything special.

George Reclose from Greece took it to another level and combined CO2 + Mbuna.

Enjoy :wink:
http://www.malawicichlidhomepage.com/aquarium/malawi1.html
 
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