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Hobbyist Gallery - Michael DeStefano

Michael DeStefano, Connecticut, USA. Email Address: mmd66@msn.com.

Enclosed please find my 75-gallon Malawi Tank. It has been established and evolving since August 2002. My inspiration has been your website.  Lighting is a twin tube fluorescent, filtration is performed by a Marineland Emperor 400 (400 gallons per hour) and a Fluval 404 Canister filter (317 gallons per hour). PH is 8.2, Ammonia and nitrates are always 0, GH is 368-422 and KH is 89-125.  Water changes average 2-3 times a month with each change at 35-50 gallons. Fish load is a bit heavy considering adult size of the Moorii, but when the time comes I will consider removing some.  Current occupants: Male Protomelas taeniolatus, 3 Labidochromis caeruleus, Male Sciaenochromis fryeri, a Synodontis eupterus and a trio of Crytocara moorii (there is a breeding pair that produced fry last month) and a female albino auloncara

MCH Verdict

All in all a nice tank with a perfect amount of well chosen Malawi cichlids. I'd recommend to try the larger & less round shaped stones again though, as this would change the overall appearance dramatically and also the annoying technical equipment can be hidden this way. Also a larger sand strip in the middle would improve the layoutin my opinion  This way the sanddwellers get more room to *play* with the sand and build a nest.

This tank could be described as "nothing wrong, everything correctly set up, but not exciting". However, I think it is worth posting. It seems to me that this could well be the first tank which is setup by Michael. I like the correct aquascaping (using the right combination of sand and rocks) and the lights hue which (in my opinion) helps bring out the colors of those species. The fish look healthy and the “albino” morph is "accepted" as it is not a hybrid.

I must say that I regard this tank as a "neat set up example" - I mean a tank that nothing is wrong (apart from the filter outlets and inlets which are not that much of a concern) but nothing is thrilling as well. However, since the gallery has the additional purpose to tell our visitors what a Malawi cichlid tank should look like in order to allow those fishes to have a descent life, this tank will serve this purpose in an excellent way. To me, it looks as if someone got a book and made everything according to the instructions paying extra attention not to skip anything. However, this tank is the basis for some additional work which would add this something “extra” and make it a magnificent tank. All the elements are there.

Overall rating by MCH :  62/100

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