Photo Caption:This is what I like to call: Migs C's Mbuna Paraiso. This is the original set-up. The idea was to make it look as natural as possible, even with the inclusion of the mangrove root. Personally, I think it still looks natural and slightly resembles what can be found in Lake Malawi. I like to stress that I try to keep the tank relatively clean by doing fortnightly water changes and cleaning the internal filters. The fishes are not too aggressive with each other due to the number of hiding places and caves. I think it is wise to do that with any African Cichlid tank, especially those that are overstocked like mine.
Description: My Filtration = I have 3 filters running this overcrowded tank. I have 1 External: Fluval 204 Canister and 2 Internal: Rio AquaPump 400 & VitaPet Crystal Clear 700
My Lighting = I have Standard Flourescent - the one that came with the tank.
My Substrate = Coral Sand/Crushed Coral
My Rocks = Sandstone & Slate, as well as various pebbles & rocks from Coffs Harbour (NSW)
My Background = Textured Synthetic Rock Wall
My Feeding Regime & the food I give = I usually feed my fish twice a day, 6 days a wk with Tetra cichlid flakes, spirulina flakes, cichlid pellets, river shrimp (once a week) & boiled zuccini & lettuce
My other decor = Tropical Mangrove Root
Advice: 3 pointers from me:
Number 1: KNOW what you want and STICK TO IT till the end. There is always a temptation to add one more fish just to spoil yourself but in the end, if you let temptation take over you and fool you, you may never be fully satisfied. I learnt that the hard way and I hope you don't have to.
Number 2: Be MINDFUL OF THE FISH. When you feed your fish, clean their home, etc - think about what they are feeling. Sounds freakish I know but simply think about what implications your actions can produce on your fish alone not on you. If you feel that you are doing the right thing by them and for their benefit then it might be right thing to do after all. When in doubt, just consult a professional aquarist.
Number 3: Last but certainly not least is DON'T GIVE UP. Everyone says this all the time but from my perspective, if you really like something and have a passion for something, then I would advise on keeping at it no matter what failures and achievements result from your efforts. If you are persistant enough and enjoy the hobby then you really cannot go wrong. I hope you do not lose the passion or the love of fishkeeping because of all things, that is suppose to be the true driving force for you.
Corals/Plants: <p>Originally I had no plants. African Rift Valley lakes are, by nature, devoid of any aquatic vegetation except in minute patches where the lakes meet tributaries and streams. But I was advised to add some vegetation so I added some synthetic plants - the species replicates are Cryptocoryne wendtii, Hygrophila polysperma, Vallisneria biwaensis & Banana Lilly<p>
Quote: What you sow, so shall you reap (its my old high school motto and its something I take with me and associate with fishkeeping - you have to work at it to make it work)
About Yourself: I JUST LOVE FISH!
The actual tank and cabinet, rocks and coral sand are approximately 5 years old. I've kept African Cichlids, South & Central American Cichlids, Fancy Goldfishes and the general Tropical Freshwater community fishes ever since I can remember. Its safe to say that if there's one type of fish community that appears to be relatively resistant to disease and can withstand less than perfect water conditions (except pH and hardness needs to be correct) it is African Cichlids.
I've never had any diseases affect my previous African Cichlids. Most of my fish have died because a particular fish was chasing and bullying it constantly. I had a small group of these fish before but unfortunately, they all fought with one another and eventually only two fish were left, a male and female Metriaclima lombardoi. I got sick of the prospect of looking at 2 fish in one big tank so I tried all sorts of fish (again!).
In the end, I decided to try African Cichlids again, this time with plenty of filtration, better care and management, more hiding places and overstocking. I plan to do 40-60% water changes every fortnight. If anyone can suggest a better regime, please let me know.
I've only had these fish for just over 2 weeks and they are doing exceptionally well. These fish are so active, so energetic, some mischevious and so entertaining. They constantly look hungry and desperate for food but the one thing I would definitely advise is to have one day without food and to not overfeed no matter how tempting it is and how hungry your fish appear to be.
The LFS told me to put around 22-34 fish in my size tank; suggesting to throw some Clown Loaches, Pakistani Loaches, Synodontis eupterus and golden Sucking Catfish in the mix. I decided to only go for the Clown Loaches and Synodontis ocellifer. I have 23 fish in all. As tempting as it was, I decided to not add any more fish - unless hyperdominance was to occur with one of the species.
Anyways, thank you very much for looking at my tank - I am very proud of it and hope to update it with better pictures. If anyone can suggest a way of capturing good pictures especially of the fish, please let me know.
God bless, take care of yourself(selves) and the best of luck with your fishkeeping!