Mbuna Tank - Advise Needed

Discussion in 'Species Tanks' started by Linga, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Linga

    Linga Aquarist or Gardener ?

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    Hi guys been a while but its time to get back into fishkeeping.
    Awesome surprise for Christmas, my wife got me a 900x450x450 tank with built in sump section, really a awesome tank.

    i wanted to set this tank up as a marine tank, but my work schedule would make keeping one in top shape extremely difficult. So it has to be fresh water.
    I have had pretty much every type of tank there is except a malawi cichlid setup.

    I know they prefer bigger setups but after tons of research i see that they have been kept quite successfully even in standard 3 foot tanks.

    I need a local opinion though.


    Heres what im looking at.
    1) Rockwork will be base rock that i have from a previous marine tank
    2) Sand will be aragonite (great buffer for Ph)
    3) Filtration will be way over, huge space in built in sump, im looking at a turnover of atleast 7-10 times per hour.

    Fish list i would really like to have is

    1) Labidochromis caerulus – 1M - 3F
    2) Labidochromis zebroides - 1M - 3F
    3) Iodotropheus sprengerae - 1M - 2F

    one of my favorite fish is the Pseudotropheus Acei, but will just be too big for this tank.

    So guys will my stocking work.
     
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  3. Reedfish

    Reedfish Moderator

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    @Linga,

    I make thay 182L, before displacement.
    Sorry to say, but that is going to be too small for Mbuna. For them you generally need about 250L, the more the better.
    With your 180L, after about 1/3 for rocks, there won't be much space for fish.
    Some people could well have a Mbuna tank that size, but it is not ideal.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2016
  4. Jack Stone

    Jack Stone Stone Aquaics

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    It seems this is going to be my slogan for the year...
    Whenever you're thinking of setting up a Malawi cichlid aquarium there's only one important thing to remember, choose Lake Tanganyika instead!

    Heheh, seriously though, the tank size is pretty near perfect for a little Tanganyika community.

    Looks like you're on track as far as hard-scape and filtration goes.
    Just remember to keep your water changes small and often as you're buffering your aquarium water and adding fresh water with different parameters.

    Also, watch out for excessive water movement in African cichlid tanks, most aquarium fish prefer a lot more current (they come from rivers as opposed to lakes).

    Know you're already put your research into Malawi cichlids so hope you're up for more!
    Here are some options for your tank to get your Tanganyika research started.

    Rock Dwellers Community
    4 x Neolamprologus leleupi
    1 x Neolamprologus olivaceous
    4 x Lamprologus caudopunctatus
    4 x Julidochromis regani / marlieri

    Occies
    (shell dwellers) Community
    4 x Lamprologus ocellatus
    4 x Lamprologus caudopunctatus
    4 x Julidochromis regani / marlieri
    1 x Neolamprologus leleupi
     
  5. RGV

    RGV

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    Not sure what size the fish will be when you purchase them but remember mbunas grow to about 13cm and imagine 11 of those in your 3ft... kinda hard if you have never seen big malawis before... Crowding works but putting 11 fish in a tank that size IMO is looking for trouble. Don't get me wrong, different things work for different people but I can guarantee you your fish will not be happy in that tank when they get bigger (full size) which could be as soon as 1 year! Just gooi half a dozen demasoni in there and wait for a bigger tank haha get a 4ft then you can play a little
     
  6. Reedfish

    Reedfish Moderator

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    Yup, I agree.
    A Tang community will work nicely in a tank of this size.
     
  7. blueskipjack

    blueskipjack

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    I agree rather go for the tangs.I have a 360 liter Malawi setup and this is getting to small now that the fish grew.I am busy setting up a 780 liter tank now for them that should be operational middle February.
     
  8. OP
    Linga

    Linga Aquarist or Gardener ?

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    thanks for all the comments guys, looks like i have much more reading to do now :). still have some time as i need to sort out the tank stand and hood.
     
  9. lep2soma

    lep2soma

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    This may help:

    3ft Malawi and 3ft Tanganyikan tanks side by side:



    (Tanks I had last year)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2016
  10. OP
    Linga

    Linga Aquarist or Gardener ?

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    Great looking tanks. Do u have a thread on them. If not wats the stocking list like on the tang tank and is there any aggression

    Sent from my GT-I9500 using Tapatalk
     
  11. lep2soma

    lep2soma

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    I use 3ft tanks to grow out rift lake cichlids for example Julies or Leleupis:
    With tangs I put in youngsters and wait for them to pair off.
    Once a pair or two is formed it's time to swop off the rest.
    The pair will now consider the entire tank as their domain.
    They will proceed to populate the tank!

    Here's an example of growing/pair bond forming tank of mine:



    Leleupi thread:http://www.tropicalaquarium.co.za/showthread.php?18329-My-N-leleupis

    Most mbuna quickly outgrow a 3ft as in this case:

    http://www.tropicalaquarium.co.za/showthread.php?18135-3ft-Driftwood-amp-Anubias-Cichlid-Setup

    Those malawis were already a bit to aggro for a 3ft.

    But Labidochromis caeruleus, 1 male, 2 to 3 females in a 3ft usually works out well:
    http://www.tropicalaquarium.co.za/showthread.php?18059-Caeruleus-juvies-love-shells!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2016

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