Cichlid Fish Forum banner

My journey into the world of mbuna cichlids

281 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  djr955
In November of 2022 I began exploywhat it would take to set up a mbuna aquarium and began by reading posts and asking questions on this site.
I have the following equipment:
75 gallon tank, stand, and glass top Pet Smart
Oase 600 thermo filter
Hugger 48’’ light
Tetra 100 air pump
50 pounds of white pool filter sand
100+ pounds of Texas Holey Rock
Digital thermometer
Fresh water test kit
I pressure test the tank with water to be sure there were no leaks. I have a tip when I emptied the tank I taped a strip a paper on the side of the take and emptied 5 gallons at a time in a bucket and marked the paper every five gallons. Now I know how many gallons I change each week.
After the tank cycled I ordered my first fish AND made a huge mistake on my first water change. I did not add Prime to handle the clorine and killed $300 dollars of fish. After recovering from my stupidity I took stock cried in my beer and correct my mistake. I check water parameters for a couple of weeks.
I purchased new fish and now have the following under my care:
6 OB Red Zerbra
6 Rusty Cichlids
6 Daktari Cichlids
6 Chailosi Pseudatropheus Elongatus
There is one male and five females for each species. They were all 1 1/2 to 2 inches when purchased but are now at least 2 1/2 to 3 inches. I must be doing something right as they have all spawned in the community tank more than once.I feed them twice one day and only once the second day.
I change 50% of the water every week along with vacuuming the bottom. I replaced the stock sponges with the super fine sponges and clean those weekly. It is easy with the Oase filter.
I owe any success I have had to the community on this site. They advised me along the way. I am not bragging and I am only posting this to maybe help those beginning to think about getting into mbunas. If anyone has any suggestions on things I may to do or I am doing wrong please let me know.
One last thing to keep any aggression down on my weekly cleaning I rearrange one side of the aquarium. The main feature is not moved.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Your OB red zebra is metriaclima estherae.

The daktari is also metriaclima. The two solid colored metriaclima could crossbreed, might not want to save fry.

The elongatus is also metriaclima. Fishkeepers have reported that among metriaclima, solid morphs are unlike to breed with barred morphs, your mileage may vary.

I would probably swap out a couple of the females from the less aggressive groups and add females to the daktari and elongatus as they tend to be more aggressive, plus more females of their own species would lower crossbreeding risk. 7 females for them would help.
Whew.... Your African Mbuna Cichlid journey got started with a machine that ran pretty rough, and had a nasty stretch of road to cross.
Really glad you pushed through it! And, it's been fun sitting in for parts of that ride. ;)
Glad your enjoying and fish are doing well. Pics would be nice.
I agree, pics of others tanks is always good - especially for those of us just prepping for the Malawi journey.

I would guess if your fish are comfortable enough to spawn, you camt be too far off the mark.
Know that plants and animals reproduce when under stress (not just when healthy and happy) for a last chance at species survival.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
True, but I assumed - maybe wrongly, as there was no mention of the fish being stressed they were reasonably happy just now.
Agree, but spawning is not always evidence of that.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
I'm glad you didn't give up!
There were requests for pictures of my tank which I will include. I need to say my fish are not stressed and for the most part aggression is minimal. I think the low Aggression is due to my rearranging the left side of the aquarium every week during maintenance. The fish are busy rearranging the sand a finding new homes. As to breeding or crossbreeding I am not to concerned as I do not have another tank to grow out them out. I leave them in the tank and if one makes it so be it.


See less See more
1 - 12 of 12 Posts