Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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dawnki2008 12-15-2008 03:51 PM

mbuna tank

I am doing all the research I can to start a mbuna tank.

Can they be kept in a 30 gallon tank?

How many can I keep in that size of tank?

Do I need two ways of filtering the water?

Thanks for any info/help on these beautiful fish.



adpierin11 12-16-2008 07:47 PM

I think the smallest mbuna tank should be about 50 gallons, anything less will make them even more aggressive. You could do the smaller victoria lake species in a 30gallon, but not mbuna.
I always like to have a filter that filters 10x the gallons. So on a 30g I would find a filter that does 300gph (gallons per hour.)
But once again I wouldn't put mbuna in a 30g.

iamntbatman 12-17-2008 12:53 AM

I agree. If I were to start a mbuna tank, I wouldn't want it in anything smaller than 75g. A standard 55g is big enough volume wise, but is very narrow front to back which really limits the amount of rockwork you could have in the tank. You *might* be able to do a small group in something like a 40g breeder, though.

dawnki2008 12-17-2008 03:44 PM


If I start with a 30 gallon tank-- are there any cichlids that would fair well?

I'm about ready to just go with a tank of rainbows.

Thanks for your help!

iamntbatman 12-17-2008 04:28 PM

You could definitely do a tank with some of the smaller Lake Tanganyika cichlids in a 30g. Maybe some Julidochromis marlieri or Neolamprologus leleupi along with maybe some small shelldwellers like Neolamprologus multifasciatus.

dawnki2008 12-18-2008 02:07 PM

How many of each could I keep? Should I chose just one of the species you mentioned? Are there other fish that would get along with them?

I'm pretty far off from actually establishing a tank---right now I'm just gathering information. ALL I can get my hands on.

THANK YOU! much for your help! :lol:

Indo 01-05-2009 08:47 AM

Dawnki, you are a smart person. Mbuna are the coolest fish. A 75 gallon 48x18 is ideal, but a 30 Gallon 36x18 can still make a great mbuna tank. Good rock work is the key. Start with 3 yellow labs. Add 3 P. Acei or P. Demonsoni whatever. If they are not getting along, 1st feed them, turn off light, cover tank with clothes or somthing until you can rearange rocks or remove fish if you have to. I have a 35 gallon 36x15x16 tank in my bedroom with 3 Red Zebras, 1 Yellow lab, 1 M. Auratus, 1 P. Demonsoni, 1 Lavendur mbuna.

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