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> Meet Larry Johnson

Larry Johnson is perhaps best known for his frequent dives at Lake Malawi along with Ad Konings, Pam Chin, and others. One of the founding members of the Canadian Rift Lake Cichlid Association (CRLCA), Larry is a fishroom manager for Big Al's Aquarium Services in Hamilton, Ontario Canada and has been keeping cichlids since 1975. In his spare time Larry can be found at local fish club meetings such as Hamilton & District Aquarium Society, CRLCA, and others across North America....either speaking or attending. A published author of informative articles and intriguing photographs of Malawian cichlids in the wild, we are truly honored and grateful for Larry's contributions to AfricanCichlidForum.com.

 
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> Predators
post Feb 11 2012, 09:11 PM
Post #1
tfoster7189

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For the last few months I have been thinking about adding a predator to my 220 mixed Malawi tank. I have noticed some cross bred fry in the tank that have remained and not gotten eaten.

I was thinking of adding either a Malawi Sandiver, a Giraffe, or a Livingstoni to my tank to help control the population. Is this a good idea or not?

The only thing that is holding me back is the thought of them growing fast to the point in which one of them would rule the whole tank and kill the rest of the fish off.

My daffodil's are breeding like crazy. I noticed that each (2) female has approximately 4 different size fry swimming within their territories. I just do not want the population of my tank to get out of control. I figured that the current adults that I have in the tank would be able to keep everything in check, but that doesn't seem to be the case. My tank is so loaded with youngn's. It is to the point that the adults do not even bother to chase them once they reach about 3/4 inch. What do get consumed is usually when they are nice and tender, just after the mother spits them out.


This post has been edited by tfoster7189: Feb 11 2012, 09:14 PM


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post Feb 13 2012, 02:00 PM
Post #2
Haile Selassie I

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Joined: 17-March 11
From: Altamonte Springs, FL
Posts: 61



Hey tfoster , here's my take on this....

I have a 220 with mostly Malawis too. I have a number of predators that have been in the tank as well. I've got a huge Livingstoni and Trout (I'm bad with the scientific names),,, I also have a fairly large baracuda. Believe it or not, none of these guys feed on fry. They seem to only be interested in the food they are given . It's very strange and kinda cool at the same time to see small fry swimming right up by these big guys... my trout is well over a foot long, and the Livingstoni is a real beast too.

There is one predator in my tank that actually preys on fry though... I have a very big Dimidiochromis Compressiceps (eye biter). I can always tell when new fry are in the tank because he won't eat the regular food right away if new fry exist. He waits for the fry to get brave enough to come out of hiding to eat, and he then pounces on them. It's amazing really because he's a hog normally,,, but he's willing to stop eating pellets if he's going to get a chance to eat fry. He, and he alone, handles the fry problem for me. It's amazing fun to watch really.

Every so often a few very strong / smart fry manage to mature, and I appreciative those guys... but you're going to have a real problem if you don't get a handle on those fry. Netting any fish in a 220 is a nightmare .

So if you ask me... get yourself a big compressor. He'll do the job you want, and they are beautiful as well. I'm a big fan of the predators anyway ... it's not going to hurt to add a few other types... you've got the room for them.


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post Feb 13 2012, 07:19 PM
Post #3
wrslrchiclids

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Interesting you guys have this "problem" (if that is what you want to call it). I have mostly mbuna in my 125g, but recently (as in about 2 months ago) introduced a few haps - but I would not classify them as predators. In my tank the mbuna breed constantly, before and after I introduced the haps, and when I feel the tank is getting overrun with fry I don't feed for about 3 or 4 days. By the end of the feeding hiatus almost all of the fry are gone (a lot of times all of them are gone as far as I can see). This worked even before adding the haps. Curious as to why your haps and mbuna pretty much ignore your fry while mine go after them. I have actually watched the adult mbuna go after the fry. I will say that 1 rusty cichlid has grown out enough to where it is now to big to be eaten. Currently there is a yellow lab that is about halfway to "uneatable." I usually have about 15-20ish different sized fry in the tank, but they continually dwindle down until a new batch is spit out. Interesting that there is this difference in behavior.

I will second the comment about adding a compressiceps. They seem to retain their predatory instinct better than some other fish - for whatever reason. I will add that you need to be careful. The compresiceps will attack adult mbuna leaving them blind (hence the name "eye biter"), so pay attention. You probably already knew that, or at least could infer it but I still wanted to mention.


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post Feb 13 2012, 08:19 PM
Post #4
Haile Selassie I

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From: Altamonte Springs, FL
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I first heard about them being called eye biters when I joined this forum . I was surprised to hear that honesty. My current male has been in this tank for at least 4 years. He's very big and blue. No missing eyes yet. I've had many others going way back without witnessing this behavior as well.

I even asked a big breeder here in FL about the name when I heard it... he knew the name , but tried to say it was a wifes tale. I wonder????


I failed to mention my big male rosratus (12 inches) ... he just tries to breed with a moori nonstop , pretty much ignores the fry too.


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post Feb 13 2012, 11:42 PM
Post #5
wrslrchiclids

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If I am not mistaken the name "eye biter" is more due to its observed natural behavior in Lake Malawi. It probably doesn't readily attack mbuna or other fish when it is well fed - but I have heard they do a decent job of keeping fry under control.


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post Feb 13 2012, 11:45 PM
Post #6
tfoster7189

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I would say, at the current moment, there are about 75+ fry in the tank. The majority of them are daffodils. What I am considering fry is, any fish under 1.5 inches. My fish will chase the fry, especially the yellow labs, at first, but I have a lot of rockwork with some tight crevices that they can hide in. The daffodils keep the other fish away from their fry with verocity. If the parents weren't there to protect them, they would be lunch. It's a catch 22 for me. The pure breeds, I would like for them to remain. It's just the hybrids that I wnat gone. I guess that I want my cake and to eat it too. Which I know that I am going to have to decide which of the lesser two evils I am willing to accept.


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post Feb 23 2012, 12:56 PM
Post #7
malibu

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those daffodils are some heavy breeders lol i had some but traded them off before they bred. a friend of mine used a rope fish in his tank to control his crossed fry explosion. it worked excellent and when he was happy with its results he just removed the rope fish and kept it around for another day..


--------------------
Man of madness
Who lives in my head
Keeping me awake at night, he sits on my bed
He drives me crazy he won't go away
Playing his game every night and every day
Yeah

---Black Sabbath--- selling my soul



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post Mar 1 2012, 05:56 PM
Post #8
Misterted

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QUOTE(malibu @ Feb 23 2012, 11:56 AM) *
those daffodils are some heavy breeders lol i had some but traded them off before they bred. a friend of mine used a rope fish in his tank to control his crossed fry explosion. it worked excellent and when he was happy with its results he just removed the rope fish and kept it around for another day..


The original trade namefor Dimidiochromis Compressicep (spelling) was Malawi eyebiter because this was what they were thought to do to other fish in the lake.

You have tons of fry because of all the small deep hiding places. Even if you got a larger predatory fish it could not get in thereto chase after them.

You could get some synodontis multipunctatus catfish and they would do a great job of controlling fry.
You would need 4-6 of them,not lessthan 4 as they are social.






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post Mar 3 2012, 04:45 PM
Post #9
tfoster7189

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th_38326493.gif Thanks everyone for the replies.

Another thought that I am having is building a miniature version of a minnow trap. I have a full size one, but it is too big to fit into my tank with all of the rock work that I have. If it works, it will give me the ability to move and seperate the smaller fish for resale and also remove the crossbreeds from the main tank. The crossbreeds, I won't sale. I haven't yet decided what I will do with them.


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