Lake Malawi Species • 36" Mbuna Stocking

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36" Mbuna Stocking

Postby manoahmarton » Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:06 am

Hey folks;

I'm setting up a 50 gallon (36"x20"x18") mbuna tank after a brief hiatus from cichlids (went high-tech planted for a while). I understand that a 36" tank is on the small side, so I'm going to stick with dwarf mbuna. I've read some posts here suggesting that, with proper aquascaping, a 36" tank can house two dwarf species at 1m4f ratios. I have also read that having only two males is a mistake, as they'll beat eachother up. My initial plan was 1m4f Saulosi + 1m4f White Labs, but I am concerned about the Saulosi male and Lab male long-term. Thoughts? Anyone successfully pulled off two+ dwarf species in a 36"?

Thanks.
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Re: 36" Mbuna Stocking

Postby Ralph493 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:08 am

Personally I'd go with a Saulosi species only tank.
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Re: 36" Mbuna Stocking

Postby DJRansome » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:07 pm

Ralph493 wrote:Personally I'd go with a Saulosi species only tank.

Plus one. The stocking for labs in a 36" tank would be 1m:4f with ONLY the labs.

The saulosi are unique in that you can do more of 5 of them in a 36" tank. Just the right combination of small and peaceful.
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Re: 36" Mbuna Stocking

Postby manoahmarton » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:10 pm

Thank you both for your input. Looks like it will be a species tank after all (assuming I can't upgrade to a 4ft). I'll post the build in a few months when it is completed - my vision is to build out this tank in the same vein as a saltwater reef (rimless AIO design, carbon/GFO reactor, Satellite PlusPro adjustable spectrum lighting, etc).
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Re: 36" Mbuna Stocking

Postby DJRansome » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:18 pm

manoahmarton wrote: (rimless AIO design, carbon/GFO reactor, Satellite PlusPro adjustable spectrum lighting, etc).
Why? The carbon/CFO reactor should not be necessary. Rimless implies no cover and Malawi are jumpers...even with a cover.
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Re: 36" Mbuna Stocking

Postby manoahmarton » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:07 pm

Mostly for aesthetics. The AIO tanks look very clean because there's no piping in the tank at all. I also had a bad experience recently with a canister filter so the idea of having a self-contained system will help me sleep better. Whenever I have a rimless tank I order a custom sheet of low iron glass that covers 100% of the surface of the tank, but sits inside the rim with little clear plastic clips. The result is that the tank appears to be rimless but is actually totally protected from jumpers and evaporation. The reactor is more an experiment, but with respect to carbon, a reactor will just increase the efficiency of the carbon by maximizing water flow through the particles. The GFO should help with algae control by eliminating phosphates - normally I rely on live plants for phosphate reduction but I'm going for a biotype look so plants are out. I'm also tempted to get a UV sterilizer for completely clear water. The look I'm going for is crystal clear water, rock and glass mostly clear of algae, and lots of color and action (hence the preference for Saulosi). The aesthetic of this tank is what I'm aiming for: http://forum.klub-malawi.pl/uploads/mon ... f55833.jpg
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Re: 36" Mbuna Stocking

Postby DJRansome » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:48 pm

Your water should be completely clear without a UV sterilizer. I've never had a problem with phosphates, let us know how it goes.
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