29 gal Mbuna tank
Hi everybody! New to this site but not to the hobby!
I currently have a 29 gallon high tech planted tank with one adult angelfish and a small school of pristilla tetras, cherry barbs, austrailian rainbows, otos, and peppered corys. This thank has been running very well for the past year and a half. However, my 8 month old son doesnt really care about how well the plants are growing and just likes to watch the fish. :lol:
So, that being said, my wife and I are thinking about changing the tank over to a mbuna cichlid tank. I know its pretty small, but I was wondering realistically if I could have a nice group of fish in there. ( I would rehome all of my current fish and plants, obviously) I have read that overcrowding these fish cuts down on aggresion a little and I do run a Aquaclear 70 HOB filter which should give me adequate filtration.
These fish would be a little more fun for my little guy to watch!
Welcome to the forum first of all :wave:
It can be done but it is a challenge in such a small space.
Mbuna are very active and to be honest a 40g breeder would really be bare minimum for them. Realistically though a 55g would be better.
Have you considered Lake Tanganyika shell dwellers. Such as 'Lamprologus' brevis, 'Lamprologus' multifasciatus or Altolamprologus sp. "Compressiceps Shell or Julidochromis ornatus. These fish will all do well in a 29g.
If you want mbuna then it would be 4 fish maximum in a 1 male to 3 female of something like yellow labs with a BN pleco for algae control, that would be it.
I believe the tank too small for fishes that grow between 3 and 6 inches.
Agree with Taz ,that shelldweller's or dwarf cichlid's would be better suited for tank size mentioned.
Thanks for the input so far!
Unfortunatley, a bigger tank is not an option. I wasnt planning on having any more than 6 in the mix. I had the understanding that overcrowding these fish is the way to go?
I mean, as far as extra work, i dont mind it. I do 50% w/c now as it is with the planted tank! ( I EI dose)
This is just an idea, I have not set it in stone yet. If it turns out I cant do the mbunas, ill stick with my current set up.
As far as shell dwellers go, they are nice but they really only occupy the bottom third of your tank and such a tall tank would look empty.
Dwarf cichlids would definitely look nice though.
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it is recomended a lot to overpopulate for ciclids. ive been told 2 reaons: it prevents them from establishing a home so they wont be territorial over it, and that it diivides the agression more among them if theres a lot. not sure which one is right but its highly recomended either way
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It is all very well to over-populate a rift lake cichlid tank, but here we are dealing with a tank that is too small to house the fish species properly. This is a very different thing.
All fish species need a minimum tank size in order to develop properly, which means be healthy. There is the issue of physical space so the fish can be themselves, and there is the related but different issue of water quality. Tazman and 1077 have already noted that a 29g is not going to work except for the shellies, and chances are they will not provide the activity you seem to be wanting.
If you have medium hard water, another option would perhaps be livebearers. Staying with the "smaller" ones like platy, common molly. Check their profiles [click shaded names].
ok...so after some thought, I am leaning towards a species tank. Im thinking P. saulosi. 1:4 ratio.
I plan to get this thing going shortly!
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