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Hiding Mbuna Tips

7459 Views 6 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  dolfan1980
New poster here after reading for quite a while. Looking for some advice on my tank, picture attached. I have a mbuna tank that is in progress. I had a lot of aggression a first so had to quickly add a lot of rock to provide hiding places. Now that it is more stocked and folks have gotten used to each other the aggression is under control, but I find that at times the fish are too hidden from my viewing pleasure.

Looking from advice from others, am I ok to remove some of the rocks in order to have them out swimming more? I realize there may be other reasons they hide, but I read that they need plenty of hiding places, but then I see other tanks with minimal objects in the tank and the fish in full view.

Advice please!


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Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

Don't look at pictures for advice, it might have looked like that for one moment or one day. You want something that will work throughout a two year period or longer.

What are the dimensions of your tank? What is your stock list including size and gender and count of each.

I would say the recommendation will be to adjust your stock. With mbuna, even if the tank is filled to the waterline with rocks you should see plenty of the fish at all times.
Strange that the pic uploaded upside down. I have 11 Cobalt Blue Zebras (terrible mix, too many males 6-5 I think), Yellow labs 2M/6F, one M demasoni, one female Electric Blue Johanni and I have six Red zebras in quarantine which are supposed to be 2M/4F.

I had the Cobalt Zebras almost gifted to me to get started and will potentially have to rehome a couple of males. They aren't fighting or bullying now that they have their various territories. I'm learning a lot in the two months since I started, but still a ways to go. They often hide when I am near the tank or when I try to feed which frustrates me.
Hopefully this one uploads right side up. I did remove a couple of rocks during water change this am, but as you can see still have a fair number of big ones.


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Not sure how I edit the post, sorry for the multiple replies. You asked what size tank - a standard 48" 75 Gal
They may not be fighting, but they are hiding. Still an exercise in managing aggression, assuming they are healthy.

5m:6f Cobalt Blue Zebras (terrible mix, too many males 6-5 I think),
2M/6F Yellow labs
one M demasoni
one female Electric Blue Johanni
2M/4F Red zebras

Shoot for 4 species and 1m:4f of each except for the electric blue (female johannii are orange/yellow so if your fish is blue and female you may have maingano). For the maingano 1m:7f.

I would remove the demasoni and all the males except for 1 per species.

Don't save fry from this tank.

I would stack the rock at least 1/3 the height of the tank...1/2 full is better.
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Thanks, so that means I don't have too much rock in there then. I'll try to fix the M/F mix over the next little while.
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