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6x2x2 restock Tangs or Mal? Substrate? Tank Furniture?

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Hi everyone!

I am just about to get into Africans, and want some advice.

The tank is a 6x2x2 with a 4 ft sump, 36w UV, and have a couple of internal filters on hand. (otto 1200 and similar)

Tank has been discus display for about 2 years, and my previous experiance is with americans and cattys.

I want everyone to give me some pros and cons for Tangs/Malawi.......

And also what works well with either or what I could mix?

Substrate- Cal carb, sand etc

Furniture- rocks etc where to find and what looks best?

I am not being lasy, I have been researching online but find real life experiance better than web pages!

Yours Thankfully


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Well I love tangs, I just find they're more unique...

Fish include, calvus, comps, tropheus, frontosa, cyprichromis, brichadi, julies ...and shell dwellers - (which i don't know much about)

Substrate- white sand looks awesome! if only i had used it :(

im using black very fine gravel with gold and white specs which isnt too bad though

Furniture ( :lol: ) , just use rocks, best place is this forum :) thats where i've got all my rocks from and its ALOT cheaper than getting it from petstores

anything else?

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Yeah my tank is display only and these fish are perfect for display

oh either way for substrate

i just prefer the look of sand, unless calcium card comes in tiny grains like sand

also SOME Tanganyika fish prefer sand so yeah, i think it looks neater anyway :)

for agression, well yeah big groups are better,

heres some examples of agression

1. i had 7 cyprichromis but one of them was alot smaller than the others so it got bullied to its death so i have only 6 now so a bigger group would've helped

2. ive got 11 tropheus and if youve read about them they arent the easiest to keep, when 2 males end up fighting too much or start claiming territories, i turn off all the lights and cover the tank with a blanket, then shift some rocks around and wait 2 or 3 hours... this has worked for me so far

for tangs there are so many unique fish to chose from and i believe it is really great, the variety of behaviors and if your like me, i like different fish to fill different areas of the tank... e.g. surface, bottom dwelling etc.

hope that helps :)

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Cheers Shon!

All input helps!!!!!

But when you go to re-stock it is always a see saw of what to do......... :irked:

Had thoughts of doing Geos with sand but got talked out of sand by cleaning issues by a mate. Read THE sand thread and thinking bout it again! Not Geos but sand........ :eureka:

What about ph with sand compared to Cal Carb?

What about wear and tear on impellers with sand?

What should I have in my sump apart from matrix, bio cubes and purigen?



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which thread? the one about getting sand from landscaping places?

I havent had any experience with sand in bigger tanks, but i used to have sand in a 2 foot tank and one thing i liked was how the fish poop stays on the surface of it which you can just gravel vac or let the filters pick up

So i cant say much about wear and tear on impellers but i wouldnt think much would go into a filter

as for pH i think its more about keeping it constant rather than getting the right thing, i did use Tanganyikan buffer before but then i stopped and i havent found much of a difference in the fish, they seem happy

I do use cichlid salt though, after using that, the colours in the fish really came out alot more :)

I use a canister filter with only matrix, 2 power head filters with only sponges, and a drip tray style filter that came with the tank which has sponges, filter wool and then purigen (since these are easily accessible and require replacing more often)

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So as with all fish keepers here is a list of possibles I have thought of so far.......I know big list :lol:

Electric blue and yellows

Labidochromis Hongi

red, albino, tangerine, yellow and dragon peacocks

red jacobfreibergi

melanochromis johanii

aulonocara ethelwynnae

aulonocara maulana bicolour

copadochromis borleyi kadango red, orange sided,

chilotalapia euchilus

metriaclima pulpican ( P Kingsizei blue)

nimbochromis livingstonii, venustus

placidochromis electra, sp mbamba

tropheos sp red cheek

red zebra

What do you think of these fish and are there some good strains I am missing?


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I have chaos going on, but have had Frontosa raised from small with a malawi tank and they get along fine. tried it again and it didnt work. Malawis for me seem to have a larger range of colour options, where as the Tangs seem to be more sophisticated in attitude. Your list sounds great untill your fish have personality clashes. some of my favourites are Cyrtocara moorii great peacemakers. Maingano/ auratus and other melanochromis just angry fish. Yellows and peacocks for colour, Hongi are also great colour and personality. cuckoo cats are a favourite especially if not breeding they just are nutters.

good luck and enjoy the experience.


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Had thoughts of doing Geos with sand but got talked out of sand by cleaning issues by a mate. Read THE sand thread and thinking bout it again! Not Geos but sand........

i have sand in with my geos ...i neva have to clean the sand as the geos are always moving it or going threw it picking up the food

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