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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all.
I am embarking on an Mbuna journey. Custom tank, cabinet etc. There is a great spot in my kitchen that is crying out for an Mbuna tank. The space is a little unconventional: I can only fit a tank that is 3ft (L) x 2ft (D) x 2ft(H) in it (could go taller). That's 320 L for the Europeans and 85 gallon's for the Yanks. Is this suitable for keeping Mbuna? I have been told it is about the footprint of the tank rather than length or height. However, I have also been told that it is all about length and volume too. The main priorities are to keep the Mbuna and wife happy! Any advice much appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Tank length is most important. You want a fish to have enough run to run if chased by an aggressor. 3ft is about the minimum length for mbuna, and then only peaceful, smaller types. Saulosi would be good, 3m/9f seems to be the go to in a 3ft tank. You'll end up with blue males with bars and the yellow females.
 

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Oh now.... Mbuna, mbuna, mbuna!
The size and dimensions of your tank just really shout '"TANGANYIKA!!!" to me. Build one really tall rock pile in there, with Shellies on the bottom, Julies prowling the rock pile, and a pair of Altolamprologus compressiceps to keep things unexpected and interesting. It would be great!
Or, how 'bout New World? Bogwood pieces! Mix with some good sized rock chunks and some aquatic plants (real or fake!). Stock with a single Blue Acara and 4 or 5 Cryptoheros nanoluteus for some drama, and a nice school of Black Widow Tetras to keep everything (somewhat) peaceful. Awesome!
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The dimensions of the tank are gonna make things much more difficult if you are totally committed to stocking this smaller aquarium with Mbuna, mbuna, mbuna!!! :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Auballagh - Really interesting. I am open to looking at all options and will certainly research tangayika community tanks. Do you (or any others) have any experience you can share with me? Would also like to understand stocking levels as well as species for an 85 gallon?

James 1983 - I love Saulosi but concerned that only 12 fish may also be difficult to keep harmoniously in a 85 gallon tank? Are there any other species you would suggest?

All - I could fit a 4ft tank in another part of the house BUT it could be 15 inches deep? Is this a better footprint for Mbuna? This is around 280L or 75 Gallons. Again would appreciate all thoughts and suggestions!

Thanks All!
 

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Ahhh well... no New World Cichlid interest? :roll:
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Well, alrighty then!
Here is a 33 gallon Tanganyikan Community Tank, (*ahem* 125 liters for our Cichlid-loving friends across the pond),



https://www.cichlid-forum.com/tanks/ind ... ner&u=2843

Just click on 'Blue Tang' for specifics - you'll note the stocking recommendations there, are the same as what I offered you earlier!
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Oh, and if you are considering a 4 foot long tank? Might as well go big, yo'. 150 gallons XH! (567L: 122cm-L X 61cm-W X 76cm-H)
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And with a tank that size? There are a tremendous amount of Mbuna stocking options you could successfully attempt. :)
 

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Welcome to Cichlid-forum!
 

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james1983 said:
Tank length is most important. Saulosi would be good, 3m/9f seems to be the go to in a 3ft tank.
Plus one. Saulosi is really the only good recommendation for mbuna in a 36" tank because (a) they are likely to work and (b) you get 2 colors. With other small, peaceful species like yellow labs or Cynotilapia you would still want only one species, even less fish (1m:4f) and with labs only one color and with Cynotilapia only one colorful fish since females are drab.

That about exhausts the mbuna species that can be called peaceful ...at least peaceful for mbuna.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Auballagh - Wow! What a wonderful tank. I can't believe the true size, it looks so much bigger! It looks like we both have two daughters. I hope that mine pick up the hobby as it appears your's did. I've always said it takes a true man to raise girls!

I spoke to my wife today about placement as I felt the positioning was really hindering my vision! I'm glad to say that she has agreed to allow me a space of 5ft x 2ft x 2ft. Not quite as big as Auballagh's but it will open my options quite considerably.

I will also put a sump in rather than canisters. Quite a change, I know, but exciting nonetheless.

Any advice in regards to stocking, hardscaping and sump size & media?
 

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Well then...
Input in regards to stocking, hardscaping and even sump size will have to wait just a bit, I'm afraid.
That's because there is indeed a bit of ground you must cover, before reasonable assumptions with recommendations can be provided to you.
Decisions!
Now, if you are able to purchase a 5'L X 2'W X 2'H sized aquarium? That would be a very nice tank! And, will give you a lot of possible fish stocking/biotope options to consider.
So... sumps? Let's begin by asking just how crafty you are. Are you much of a DIY'er? This may be important, because I built all three of the sumps I have used for aquariums.
Yep.
Are you considering your own personal build-out for that sump? It's not really that hard to do! And, there are a LOT of recommendations and direct advice I can provide you. But, if you decide to go, 'pre-built' with this sump? There is not much I can offer beyond some general input and recommendations.
- First general recommendation: For the aquarium. Go Bottom Drilled, with an installed overflow box(s). You will have more options that way in deciding how you want the intake system for your sump to operate. I personally DON'T recommend drilling a second hole in the bottom of the tank to run the discharge piping through. But, that could be viewed as a matter of personal preference.
- Second general recommendation: For the discharge. Primary (only?) discharge flow should be directed high. This will help to clear out the bio-film that tends to build up on the surface water of tanks without surface agitation. Secondary (second discharge) should be directed low. This will help to blow out detritus buildup on the bottom and prevent dead spots forming around rocks and objects sited on or near the bottom.
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That's a good start I suppose on some basics. Come back with the tank size and dimensions you're pretty sure you want to commit to. Plus, how you plan on getting that sump for this new aquarium. And, we'll go from there. :)
 
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