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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Current in Mbuna Tank...?

I am planning on introducing fish into my new 55 gallon tank this weekend.

The tank is well cycled, all levels are perfect, and have been constant for almost 2 months now.

I am a bit concerned that the current in my tank might be a bit strong. I have a 528 gallon per hour uv canister filter and a built in 264 gallon per hour filter built into the lid of the tank. I've also got a wave-maker in the tank . Now, this setup makes the water crystal clear, and keeps the sandy substrate clean as well, but I don't know if it may be a bit much for Mbuna?

There seems to be conflicting information when it comes to strong current, yes or no?

Any thoughts?
 

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I wouldn't go strong flow,but I have a mild changing flow.
 

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I think moderate flow is fine for mbuna. I have a fluval 406 (383 gph), fluval 305 (260 gph) and a maxijet 900 in my 55 gallon mbuna tank. This combo keeps the sand nice and clean. The fish don't have to exert themselves at all with this setup, but to make it even easier on them I have the MJ900 on my light timer, so the flow calms down a bit at night when they are sleeping.

I think flow in an mbuna tank is a good thing, it gives them something to do besides beating each other up! Just watch the fish, they should let you know if there is too much flow. Are they constantly swimming to maintain position? Seem to be influenced much by the current? Then you probably have too much flow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the advise. I have been playing around for the past few days and I am now running the wave-maker during the day and switching it off at night time with the lights. Either way all the fish seem happy and the tank looks great.
 

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I have a top SUMP and 3 bubblers in my 50g. Is this enough for mbunas? There is no current at all. The only surface agitation is from the water dropping from the top sump and the bubblers. I had the current ON before and it seemed like it kept the fish on the move 24x7. Now they seem happier and do sleep on the decor at night.
 

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I wouldn't worry about too much flow for mbuna.

I started off with a Fluval FX6 and two sponge filters in my 75 gallon. I actually thought the flow from the FX6 would be much more disruptive than it actually is.

I thought the FX6 would be overkill, but having seen it in action, I actually wouldn't go anything less than an FX6 or equivalent in a 75 gallon mbuna tank.

I still have the FX6 and sponge filters, but also just added a Seachem Tidal 110.

The fish seem completely unaffected by the amount of flow in this tank.

For a 55 gallon, I don't think I'd go any less than an FX4 or equivalent. A fully stocked mbuna tank is a huge bioload, so bio media capacity is important, but mechanical filtration is also something to consider if you don't want a ton of **** constantly floating around and piling up on your substrate.
 

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Mbuna live in fairly shallow water, and when the wind picks up on that big lake, i think the waves can get pretty intense. I've seen underwater footage on YouTube of mbuna in Lake Malawi getting tossed around pretty good.

If your fish appear to be struggling with the current in your tank, you could get rid of the wave maker, but I have a feeling it won't be an issue. It certainly won't kill them to at least try it out.

Edit: Sorry, I only read the original post. Didn't bother reading any of the replies initially, but it looks like you've got it figured.
 

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I have an FX6 on a slightly larger aquarium than yours - when I added on an Eheim pre-filter to it seemed to noticeably reduce the flow. Since added a wave maker with quite a few settings for flow rates and seems to have quietened down the fish aggression also
 

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When we say 8X to 10X we go by the rating of the unit without regard to reduced flow with media and debris. Else comparisons would be complicated needlessly.

Your beneficial "bacteria" will be fine with GPH 4X...you will just have to vacuum more to handle debris.
 

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When we say 8X to 10X we go by the rating of the unit without regard to reduced flow with media and debris. Else comparisons would be complicated needlessly.

Your beneficial "bacteria" will be fine with GPH 4X...you will just have to vacuum more to handle debris.
I didn't get this memo - LOL. Accounting for head loss, I turn 6.4x (Est. act.) through the sump hourly. In order to help sweep debris, I also have two circulation pumps mounted on the overflow side of the tank, about 2/3 of the way down. They're set on a gyre, to flow water down one side of the tank, then alternate the other side of the tank every 45 seconds or so. These pumps are 2100 GPH each. So, I guess I'm at 10x (est. act.) circulation in my "Mixed Malawi-ish reef."

The tank set up and rock structure are fairly unique, but I do not have fish being blown about all over. Because of the rocks and the gyre, there is a fairly inconsistent/swirly flow. The fish are not required to swim against the flow constantly, and they don't even all face the same direction. That would bother me... it'd look like trout holding in a stream.

BORING! (Unless I'm stalking them and trying to get them to hit a soft-hackle emerger...)
 
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