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Tag Archives: rock dwelling cichlids

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Setting Up a Tanganyikan Mbuna (Rock Dweller) Cichlid Aquarium

N. brichardiThis time we will talk about setting up an aquarium for Tanganyikan Mbuna, or rock dwelling cichlids. The smallest tank I’ve ever attempted for these fish was a 20 high that housed a trio of brichardis I was breeding. Let’s say for the sake of keeping a community you should start with at least a 30 gallon tank.  A 30 gallon has a footprint of 36 inches by 12 inches, so it doesn’t take up too much space, but still gives the fish some room to play.

I keep my rift lake aquariums pretty much the same, whether its Malawi, Tanganyika or Victoria. With this particular type of set-up you may need to do some minor tweaks to the pH, and live plants might have a better chance than in other cichlid set-ups. Let’s start from the bottom up. Read More »

Setting a Tank Up for Mbuna – Rock-Dwelling Cichlids of Lake Malawi

PolitHey out there! This time around I’d like to talk about setting up a tank for Mbuna, or “rock dwellers”. You can find these colorful fish in the any of the three rift lakes of Africa, but for this blog we will talk about the preferences of species from Lake Malawi.

First, the tank. Larger is better for a couple reasons. A 55 gallon is nice, but a 75 is better for these fish, with its 18 inch width. narrow tanks can be a pain since you’ll want a lot of rock for these fish. The second reason would be that the more room you give them the easier it will be to control aggression. I was once told that if you crowd these fish, they wouldn’t be as aggressive, not being able to single out others to target and bully.  I have seen Mbuna tanks with 12 to 20 fish dwindle down to 4 to 5 fish due to dominant fish. I think it depends on the species and particular fish that you’re trying to house together more, and I don’t think crowding is ever good advice. Last but not least, the larger the tank the more choices you have when it comes time to choose livestock. Read More »