Long Winded Stocking Question

Q&A About Lake Malawi Cichlids

Moderator: Pam Chin

Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:58 pm

Long Winded Stocking Question

Post by Adjohnson126 »

Hi Pam!

I'll try to make this as brief as possible. I have been maintaining a big fish room for a number of years, however, my passions have always been with the New World Cichlids. I began with South American species, and then eventually found a new passion in Central American riverine species.

Over the course of the last year I have seen my work responsibilities ramp up which included much more traveling than normal. During my local club's annual event, the Keystone Clash, back in September, I made the decision that I am temporarily pulling out of keeping an entire fish room. The hobby was quickly becoming less fun, and the things I enjoyed about it, were becoming "chores." I cannot leave keeping fish completely though. I enjoy fish way too much for that. I set up a Tang tank in my living room and have been thoroughly enjoying it thus far, but on to my question!

I am in the process of finishing our basement and have purchased a centerpiece 400 gallon tank (8'x32"x30"), with a 100+ gal sump. I have decided that I will be doing my first Malawi tank. Since most of my experience has come from very large and very aggressive fish, I was thinking about doing an all male Hap tank. There are several species i have been eyeing but I wanted to get your opinion on what a stock list might look like for a tank of this size. The main goal that I am trying to achieve with this tank, is active semi-colorful fish that I can just sit back and enjoy when I come home from being on the road.

Obviously, since this is my first venture into lake malawi, all insight and advice is welcome!
Pam Chin
Site Admin
Posts: 1784
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 9:11 am
Location: California, USA

Re: Long Winded Stocking Question

Post by Pam Chin »

Hi Ad Johnson,

I do think larger tanks are easier to maintain, smaller tanks can be more tedious, but it is the life of a fishkeeper.

With a tank that size you do have a lot of options, and the issue with all male tanks is getting the fish to color up. You could have multiple males of the same species, and it can be difficult to have one show its full color potential. It is going to take a lot of fish to fill that tank, so I just think you may have a hard time finding that many loud colored fish. These males tanks often have a lot of fighting, and fish just won't show their colors because they will get beat up. Keep in mind there are several different groups of haps, the predators can get quite large and terrorize the haps that are not as aggressive.

You might want to consider adding a couple groups of mbuna, they would provide good color and give the haps something to chase.

Its hard for me to tell you what to keep, because fishkeeping is really a personal thing, but study up on the mbuna and see what you think. Sounds like a nice tank in the making!

Cichlid Power!
Cichlid Power!

Cichlid Room Companion
Best Cichlid Site Ever
Post Reply