best mbuna set up for 65 gallon tank

Discussion in 'Cichlids' started by unitednations161, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. unitednations161New MemberMember

    Ok so Im starting a Cichlid tank that I do want Yellow labs in. What other fish would be good for this tank being a 36" 65gallon tank. Im short on space so I couldn't get a long tank. And My water is already hard and alkaline so this will have to do. Also what plants work well with these fish? and other decor that is needed! thanks!!!
  2. JDcichlidloverWell Known MemberMember

    I have a 55 gal mbuna tank. Don't worry bout being long. They swim everywhere.

    Check out the diy caves. If you don't do diy then slate, lots and lots of slate, stack it into caves.

    Your water is great. They love hard high ph water with minerals. I have johanni, labs, zebras and acei in mine, and a featherfin catfish.

    With the plants the main thing is variety and lots of them. That way they can't pick on just one plant. Ferns never do well for me. They pick on it too much. Java moss works well. It grows fast so it doesn't matter if they chew on it. My sword is doing well but I have it in a corner. Tall grass works well.

    Don't forget they are herbavours. nls cichlid pellets have a low protein content. As low as I can find in chain stores anyways. I just gave mine cooked green beans today and they gobbled them up lol. I've given them pumkin, lettuce, cucumber, spinach... they can have bloodworms once a month tops. If they get too much protein they can get malwai bloat. Very nasty disease.

    Over stocking is important when it comes to these fish. You must overstock or they will just kill each other. My fish are constantly roaming around chasing each other and not stressed at all. I have 17 cichlids in my 55 gal. They all have plenty of places to hide and noone gets bullied more than anyone else. They are aggressive fish, so if you don't want to see them fight these aren't for you. But mine don't ever do more than play tag. Once in a while someone will get a fin ripped but it heals up fine.

    Hope I helped :D good luck ;)

  3. unitednations161New MemberMember

    is there anyway I can add Moori's to this tank or since they are from different lakes will this not work? and also what algae/tank cleaner fish will work with these?

    Thank you so much!

  4. Mer-maxWell Known MemberMember

    Glad to hear a feather fin will work. I'm getting a new 75 this weekend and am gunna make a mbuna tank and want to move him in!

  5. JDcichlidloverWell Known MemberMember

    I wouldn't add moories if just because the are not mbunas. They eat different food. They are micro carnivores. Eating tiny water bugs and whatnot. They also get bigger than most of the mbunas.

    I have a cae in my tank. He keeps the glass clean. But mbunas are algae eaters. Just once it gets bigger. They'll scrape algae off rocks. I keep a few rocks in mason jars by the window to grow algae

    my featherfin keeps any uneaten food cleaned up and noone bothers him. He's neato too :)
  6. JDcichlidloverWell Known MemberMember

    Oh yeah mer-max my featherfin (deathlord) rules the tank. He comes out to cruise and everyone gets out of his way lol
  7. Mer-maxWell Known MemberMember

    Mine does the same. He's awesome
  8. unitednations161New MemberMember

    So a 36" tank is fine? Other forums people told me to get a 55 long tank instead... Ugh i put so much in this 65 already to change.
  9. JDcichlidloverWell Known MemberMember

    Mbunas are "all-over" fish. They aren't mid swimmers or top or bottom dwellers. The long helps with territory. Which you Don't want to give them or they'll get super aggressive. So yeah. Your 65 high is fine :)

    Rule of thumb for cichlids in general two caves per fish at least. Lots and lots of caves. Just go to a quarry and gather tons of slate. I go to a local park and gather it. I just wash it with boiling hot water and stick it in. DO Not boil rocks. They sometimes explode. :D lol.

    Make your caves go at least half as high as your tank is tall and they'll have plenty of room to swim around
  10. unitednations161New MemberMember

    thank you so much! if i have other questions Ill be sure to ask you! you have been the most helpful!
  11. unitednations161New MemberMember

    Oh one more thing, with the plants is there anything I should NOT put in that would hurt the fish if they eat them? My LFS has millions of plants and i have no idea what they are lol I only have lily pads in my betta tank and water lettuce and duck weed, I know people hate it, but It looks great with the betta and the betta eats it. It really keeps the water clean in that tank.
  12. JDcichlidloverWell Known MemberMember

    You're very welcome :) I love my cichlids. Other fish are awesome too but I gotta love my babys the most :D always happy to help another mbuna lover
  13. JDcichlidloverWell Known MemberMember

    Don't get hornwort. Its poisonous. That's all :D. I like java moss the most. It grows fast and it grows hair algae that my mbunas like to eat. I do like my sword too. Its growing well and my cichlids aren't bothering it
  14. Disc61Well Known MemberMember

    Other people suggest 55 gl because of the bigger footprint the tank provides. which is correct and if i had my choice between a 65 high and 55 gl 4ft i would take the 55gl ( OK i have 4 of them) of the 65gl for that reason alone. But, the question is will the 65 work? answer, yes. But i would make sure their are plenty are rocks and caves in the tank ( 2/3rd of the tank full of them) with the tighter footprint the agression will be much more than it would be in a 55gl and the fish will need many places to escape to. just my 2 cents, I agree with all JD has already mentioned:;th
  15. unitednations161New MemberMember

    Ok thank you both! any suggestions on the filter? My Turtle has a Rena xp 3 on it and i do like that very well but what would should i go for on this? How many GPH and such.
  16. AlexAlexWell Known MemberMember

    On my 75 Gallon, for example, I have 2 Aqua Clear 110's and 1 Aqua Clear 70. It pushes towards 1,800 Gallons per Hour, which is around 20 times the tank water (roughly).

    Ideally, you want to make sure you at LEAST have a turnout of about 8-9 times for your Mbuna tank. Mbunas love, love, love clean and current-like water. It seems the more current and turnover I have, the better they enjoy it (by their actions).

    For a 65 Gallon, I'd make sure you have at least 3-4 groups of 6-7 Mbunas, making a total of around 18-28 of them in your tank. I have close to 30, but I have a 75 Gallon tank. A bit bigger.

    Others may have different opinions, but that is what has worked for me. :)

    P.S. Mbunas are moderate bio loaders, so you want to make sure, too, that you do regular water changes (at a high percentage - around 40-50% a week). For me, I usually do 30-40% twice a week. If I happen to miss one of those two times, I'll do 50-60% the next time.
  17. Disc61Well Known MemberMember

    As Alex mentioned. Aquaclears are good. you definitely want to over filtrate. I like using a canister for my Mbunas as well. but 2 HOB's work fine.
    A good power head for current should also be used, placed towards the back and pointed across the length of the tank. it is a joy to watch them swim in this current. often for hours. no turning back now, we need Pictures;D
  18. unitednations161New MemberMember

    Ok thanks everyone! I think Im going to get a RENA xp4, And a HOB, Just in case one dies or something. Water changes have to be 50% weekly? I might have to change that up a little, I have a water softener, So I have to turn that off to get aquarium water, Then I have to keep it in another bin for a day to heat it to the temp of the tank then pour it in! its a pain. But the bin i have no way holds 30 gallons. and I need cichlid salt for my water?
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  19. Disc61Well Known MemberMember

    OK, i know i will probably get beat up for this but i do 50% WC every 2 weeks, seems to work for me. you don't need any salt for Mbunas.
  20. JDcichlidloverWell Known MemberMember

    Omg disc. So cuz u have to do daily wc for the discus u don't have to give ur cichlids wc's? Lol I'm just picking on u :).

    I overfeed my babies and they get tons of fresh veggies so I feel that doing at least one wc a week is a must for my tank. But really it depends on your water and how much extra waste there may be.

    And disc is right. You don't need salt. It brightens their color a bit but not enough to be crucial. And if u want any plants then salt isn't a good idea

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