View Full Version : mbunas in a 30gal?

01-08-2008, 11:40 AM
Am I dreaming/kidding myself?

just wondering if this is possible, or even worth it?

I know they can get big, so am probably pushing s--t uphill. But thought I'd ask anyway.

01-08-2008, 01:29 PM
you could put some of the smaller ones in there but not too many, demasoni is the first to come to mind. you could also do some dwarf cichlids. you would need a good amount of filtration though.

01-08-2008, 02:50 PM
You could do either one species and have one male and two to three females, or just three or four males of any species.

01-08-2008, 03:00 PM
You could do either one species and have one male and two to three females, or just three or four males of any species.
that sounds interesting but do you mean species of mbuna or just the smaller varieties like demasoni and dwarf cichlids?

01-08-2008, 08:08 PM
species of mbuna. That's what you want, right?

01-08-2008, 09:43 PM
Just mbunas. You do not want to mix mbunas with any other types of cichlids, at least not cichlids from anywhere besides Lake Malawi.

01-10-2008, 09:12 PM
hmm a few electric yellows could be a good start..

01-14-2008, 02:09 AM
30 gal is too small.

Demasoni are as small as mbuna get, but you need to keep them in groups of 1/2 males with 10/12 females or you will end up with just 1 male and nothing else.

labs are docile, but they get to 4 - 5 inches. if you keep 2 males they will shred each other, and keeping the correct ratio male to female requires 1 male to 3 or 4 females which is a) really overstocked (4 or 5 4 inch fish in a standard 30 gal, especially mbuna...not good) and b) you may end up with fry before you hit adult size, leaving you with even more fish, therefore more overstocking.

if you want to try rift lake species in a standard 30, consider tanganyikan shell dwellers. lots of options, very pretty fish, and all the interaction you are looking for.

01-17-2008, 10:09 AM
thanks for the advice Coler, I think im gonna stick to my original plan and set up my 55 gal as a mbuna tank.

I'll find some other use for my 30gal, plenty of fish out there to choose from.

01-17-2008, 02:51 PM
Bigger is definitely better.

I have not had the same experience with Demasoni. I had them in the last tank I setup, just two of them, and if anything they were on the bottom of the pecking order. Others were leaving them behind in size and gettimg more aggressive, far from them taking over the tank. Every fish is different. In any mbuna tank you need to overstock in the beginning by more than what you want in the end so you can remove problem or beat up individuals.

Please read my post on mbunas. It is in this forum and my blog.

01-17-2008, 03:11 PM
what about rock type fishguy?

Do these fellas have a preference over what type of rock they like? I have a lot of rock around here, all of it free, but mostly granite. Do you know of any rocks they dont like or do like?

I can get round rocks, or crushed rocks with more edges. im guessing the most important thing is hiding places..

Lady Hobbs
01-17-2008, 03:35 PM

Check out the dwarfs.

01-17-2008, 03:47 PM
Large rounded rocks are most natural. As long as they are not rough (like lava and lace) they should be fine. They end up scraping themselves on rough rocks before long. Granite is fine.