Mbuna variety

  1. Lady Monster Well Known Member Member

    Im getting a 55 gallon from my neighbour and i wanted African cichlids. I was going to get like 4 different types and get like 4 of each. I think the peacocks are neat looking and wanted 4 yellow, 4 blue, 4 red, 4 Orange. Something like that. But it was going to be expensive even buying small was 7.99 a fish. So another option is mbuna mix where i get random cichlids for 2.99 a piece for 1 inch fish. It sounds more affordable this way, and i also get to raise my fish (not sure what age/size they aren't considered fry anymore). Anyways i have tried to do some research but actual input is always helpful.

    I cannot remember if mbunas need soft or hard water, this will be a factor for me because i believe my water is hard. i got a 8 - 8.5 ph reading.

    Scaping: Are live rocks necessary? Or can i just use plastic hidey holes? How big should holes be for adults to fit in? (ill be making some decor but right now i have some 1 inch pvc pieces). Can i use driftwood? Are there any plants that i can use? Can i use sand instead of shells/coral?

    Tank Mates: I am told loaches are ok, specifically clown loaches. They are cool looking but are there any other loaches that could be used?

    And over stocking to reduce aggression: Ill assume 1 inch cichlids aren't too tough just yet but as they grow, how many full sized cichlids should i have?

    AND please share pics of your mbunas :)
  2. Oliver5672 Well Known Member Member

  3. Flowingfins Fishlore VIP Member

    I'm horrible at stocking.
    Mbuna are hard water fish, they should do fine.
    Yes, rocks are necessary! Mine hide in them all the time.
  4. Lady Monster Well Known Member Member

    So cute!!

    I actually found a thread with similar question that had answers after i posted. :)

    I am pretty stoked about setting up the tank. I plan to purchase rock from a quary or something. Any suggestions as for a good hard rock? I think granite is a popular one but im looking for something inexpensive and cichlid caves online are $$$

    Ill still stick my little home made structures in there too, can never have enough hide outs.

    Im just going to order a mbuna variety that are pre selected by the seller in a bundle. Theyll be only 1 inch big im so excited to raise them myself.

  5. Lady Monster Well Known Member Member

    Wait you have plants.... Do they ever get messed with? In 1 pic it appears the plant is attached to a rock lol.
  6. Oliver5672 Well Known Member Member

    Mbuna are herbivorous and also move a lot of the gravel about. They often end up uprooting plants or nibbling them so its important you get plants that have strong thick leaves, such as Anuabis. To stop the uprooting people pot or tie their plants to rocks.
  7. Flowingfins Fishlore VIP Member

    I've only had them a week, so I'm not sure if they'll eat them or not. I am prepared for if they do decide to eat them, fake plants it is!
    And yes, I super glued some anubias and Java fern to rocks. They grow best when tied/glued to decorations, and it keeps the Mbuna from dragging them off lol.
    Edit: Ninja'd lol

  8. Lady Monster Well Known Member Member

    Is anubis the plant im seeing in their pic?
  9. Flowingfins Fishlore VIP Member

    Nope, that's java fern.
  10. Lady Monster Well Known Member Member

    I like your set up :) how many cichlids are in there?

  11. Flowingfins Fishlore VIP Member

    12, 6 acei and 6 yellow labs. We will be getting a BN pleco and 11 demasonii in a week or so.
    Thank you:)
  12. Oliver5672 Well Known Member Member

    Just wondering, what tank size do you have?
  13. Lady Monster Well Known Member Member

    I have a 55 gallon
  14. happygolucky Well Known Member Member

    No clown loaches, active, very large, and VERY sensitive fish. I think that kuhli loaches would be okay, but I have no experience with trying it.

    Don't go for "mixed african cichlids", especially if from a big box store, as you never know which fish you are getting and some mbunas are worse than others by a long shot (meaning they won't play nice when all grown up). I would just spend the money to stock the exact fish you want in the correct quantities, which LeoDiaz should be able to help with.
  15. Lady Monster Well Known Member Member

    Well i liked the peacock variety so i may go that route, red, orange, yellow, and blue were available. The mixed group of mbuna would all be "tiny" sized.

    I only mentioned clown loach because I've seen many cichlid tanks with them. And they were also available in "tiny" size. I've heard some type of sucker catfish or pleco thing (i thought they were the same thing but idk muck about either, need to research) i usually go for the more appealing looking mates as long as they are compatible. I won't Get something Just because i can if i think it's funky looking lol.

    There were other loaches i viewed but i can't remember any names, they were long and snake like rather than plump like the clown loach.
  16. Lady Monster Well Known Member Member

    I just want a compatible variety either way. I could get assorted mbuna juveniles for way cheaper tho. And mbuna females are still colorful, right? Buying all male peacocks is like 20 a piece.
  17. Lady Monster Well Known Member Member


    These are the types they are able to send in the assorted option.
  18. LeoDiaz Fishlore VIP Member

    In a 55gallon I would do 2 species of mbunas yellow labs and another group demasoni or rustys are good option. How many you have depends on which mbunas your end up getting. I wouldn't mix any loach with mbunas synodontis are better choice.

    You don't want mixed mbunas you will end up with too much agression because no one would be in the proper ratios and many of the assorted mbunas are hybrids. If money is an issue I recommend you look in something cheaper like tetras and do a community tank instead.
  19. Lady Monster Well Known Member Member

    What is hybrid?
  20. Lady Monster Well Known Member Member

    Are any mbunas in that screen shot considered hybrid?