Cichlid Fish Forum banner

Stocking for 36 gallon?

1606 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Mudkicker1
I currently have a 36 gallon bow front tank that I am hoping I could stock with some Mbuna cichlids. I know this tank is on the small side but I'd really like to have them. Looking at bigger tanks online I could of got a 55 gallon or larger at the same price of this tank. I've seen a lot of posts online of people keeping mbunas in tanks the same size, even smaller, and maybe I could make it work.

The dimensions are 30.7" x 15.7" x 22.2"

I have an internal filter that goes through 171 gph and an aquaclear 110 that goes through 500 gph. I am planning to get another 110 if needed.

Anyways, what can I stock and how many? I was thinking of the following:

-Melanochromis Maingano(1M:4F)


-Melanochromis Maingano (2M:8F)


-Pseudotropheus Demasoni(2M:10F)

Of course I might add more in order to ease aggression. I tried to select mbunas that were on the smaller side(except the labs). I definitely want the Maingano's or the Demasoni's because of their colors. What do you suggest? I'm open to having a single species tank of the demasonis or mainganos but if I can make it a double species tank with the Mainganos that would be great. I'll be sure to keep up with the maintenance. If aggression becomes a problem, could I overstock (maybe 12 cichlids)? My tank has a lot of rocks and hiding spots.

Open to any suggestions, not really interested in anything else other than mbunas. I could always upgrade to a bigger tank in the future but just not now.

1 - 3 of 3 Posts
The maingano are aggressive and work better in a tank that is 48x18 or larger. Length is most important...don't make the mistake of assuming if the square inches are the same, not a problem.

Even in a 36" tank I would think twice about doing demasoni...they are a difficult fish to keep. I did them in my first tank which was a 36" tank but my next tank was 72" because of the problems with the 36" long tank.

Personally I would not do mbuna in this tank at all. But if you really want to try SOMETHING, I would do Chindongo saulosi. Males have the blue bars and females are yellow orange. You could try 3m:9f and see if you can get multiple males to color in the small tank. Other species cannot substitute for the saulosi.

When we give you a stock number it is for the level of overstocking that has the best odds of success. More fish does not always make a more peaceful tank.

When comparing tanks to length not gallons. I have 33G tanks that are 48" long and they can handle more varieties of mbuna as well as a larger number of fish.
See less See more
36" for any Malawi is going to fail.
You should look into shell dwellers from Lake Tangyanika [THUMBS UP SIGN]

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.