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post #11 of 14 Old 09-24-2012, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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OK new plan..... maybe. I might have access to a 29 long... 36" long to be exact. Would this give the footprint necessary for a tank of dwarf mbunas? I've since heard that 40 gallon minimum would be needed, but a lot of those tanks are 36" long as well.

I am thinking a combo of 3 varieties, though I haven't settled on what they are or even if I am going to purchase this tank. I'm thinking yellow labs and some dwarf mbunas that look like demasoni but are not demasoni, like saulosi, or lupingu, or chewere afra. I'd also love an afra white top, and/or Mbenji. Also, do there need to be females to get the males to color up? I'm also interested in peacocks but know not to mix if this size tank for mbunas is actually possible.

Any thoughts on whether THIS size tank would work? If so, how many fish?
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post #12 of 14 Old 09-25-2012, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone? Maybe need to start a new thread...
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post #13 of 14 Old 09-25-2012, 07:57 AM
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Hi Sunsetsonata. Generally from my experience when a Gallon limit is quoted it is usually on the very low end of what they need when they reach full size. Many hobbyist will state they will buy a larger tank as they grow. We are all full of promises but often other things get in the way. And what about the expense every time we upgrade the tank again?
IMO... we need to buy the largest swimming space possible, it is our duty to do they best we can.
Even tho that tank is maybe just as long, it is not as wide or as high. The fish we choose need turning room and places to hide and territories. Get the biggest tank you can. See if you can get the 40G on or Craigslist for even less $ than the 29. 29 is 1/4 of their swimming space missing compared to 40G. And you are likely going to add lots of rock to hide/territory... they will loose another 1/4 space to that.
Good luck in your search. Take your time looking... deals do pop up!! I have been offered 2 x 120 gallon tanks... for free!! yes free. But I don't have the floor to support them so I have to keep looking for the right size for me.
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post #14 of 14 Old 09-25-2012, 08:17 AM
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40g breeder is minimum for any mbuna, something more suited to a small tank like a 29 would be Lake Tanganyika, shell dwellers.

If you can look for a 55, 75 or bigger tank. It gives the fish plenty of room to setup territories.

Also, it is not possible to mix mbuna with peacocks unless the tank is a 6ft 125g or bigger tank. The peacocks are very sedate compared to the more active mbuna and having both in a small tank will stress the peacocks, to the point the males will not color up at all or at worst kill them.

Yellow labs would give you a good starter fish, in a 55g tank say, you could have something like 12 fish in total, 1 male to 3 female of

Yellow labs, Afra (stay away from the white tops unless the tank is 75g, they can be quite aggressive in smaller tanks), Rusty cichlid, Red Zebra or acei. Generally stay away from the blue fish as most of them are aggressive and need the correct male to female ratio which can only be achieved in a tank of 75g or more, either that or it turns into a species only tank and you will have aggression issues with any other fish present in a 3ft or even a 4ft tank.

Saulosi are nice fish but they do best in a species only tank.

10g Fry / Hospital / QT tank (as needed)

75g Saltwater Reef, Ocellaris Clownfish, Lyretail Antias (baby), Lemon damsel, Longtail Fairy Wrasse, purple dottyback, snails, crabs and a few LPS corals.

220g Still sitting empty (come on Lottery I need the numbers to come up!)
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