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Hey everyone! Hope you all are having a splendiferous weekend! Me, well....I am at work and will be for the next 2 nights....ugghh....

Anyway...here is my question. My wife and I are in the process of cycling a 56g tall tank that measures 30w x 18d x 24h. I am leaning towards mbuna's and think they will work best, but we are very much novices when it comes to cichlids.

I am aiming to utilize the tank as best as possible, meaning keeping low lying fish, mid and high swimmers to give it that full effect look. Aquascaping it with stacked rock and limestone will accommodate the layering, just need more education on species.

For algea control, I am looking at either a golden nugget pleco or bristlenose, both look really interesting and would give the tank a nice aesthetic look. Anyway, all comments are welcomed and any advice is GREATLY appeciated.

We would have gone with a wider tank or even a +70g after doing more homework, but the initial investment has already been made.....so alas, that gives thoughts to an upgrade later..but shhhhh....don't tell the wife...haha..;) Cheers.
 

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In this tank I think you can't stock more than one species. Mbunas are very aggressive and you can not place fish from other habitats beside them, even plecs sometimes were killed by them. I am not sure this tank is suitable for mbunas. Maybe another type of fish?
I'm sorry but maybe others will have better thoughts.
 

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Agree a 30" tank is very limiting when it comes to Malawi.

I'd actually do a Tanganyika tank, a species tank with brichardi. Or if you want something high in the tank I've always wanted to try shellies and a school of harlequin rasbora.

If you are locked into mbuna, you might try a species tank with a peaceful, small mbuna like yellow labs.

The problem with stocking now and upgrading later is mbuna mature quickly and you would need the upgrade in less than six months. And it is an expensive upgrade since you would need a different stand.

Longer tanks provide more options for Africans because each male wants to claim a square foot of the substrate or larger.
 

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As another option, if you want color and mbuna 'lite' behavior I have a group of Haplochromis sp. "ruby". I have these in a 40Br...

Dominant Male


Dominant male with two girls


Poor picture, but so you can see - a sub-dominant male does show some color and an another female


They would be fine in your tank with Congo Tetras or dwarf rainbows to occupy the top of the tank.

The dominant male is constantly displaying and is in perpetual motion, he is very, very hard to get a good picture of.

Good Luck.
 

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I think it's a victorian, and finding good quality victorian cichlids is very difficult for me. I don't know in US but I think stocking the least aggressive mbunas like labs is cheeper and easier for a person who has no experience keeping mbunas.
 

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But...maybe not in a 30" tank. I like the Victorian idea. Don't know about combining with other fish though.
 
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