more about buying Mbuna Cichlids from us.
contains information and tips about the famous group
of African Cichlid fishes called Mbunas that live among
the rocks along the shores of Lake Malawi in
Big Blue Bob,
a Maylandia greshakei, shown above, swimming
in a large aquarium with a black background,
is one of Tom's very favorite Mbuna Cichlids.
shows a young male Kenyi, which
is a member of the group of Cichlids
called Mbunas that naturally occur in
Lake Malawi in East Africa.
shows a mature male Melanochromis
auratus swimming near a pile of rocks
in an aquarium.
another Mbuna species from Lake Malawi.
This fish is often called the Red Top
Cobalt Zebra, but it may be Maylandia
here for more about this fish.
shows a male mottled Labeotrophus fuelleborni,
that's about 5" long. In this video
you can see this fish's unusual mouth,
which is highly modified to chew algae
a female Mbuna with a mouthful of eggs.
Females like this one often hide in
dark places among the rocks, where they
mouth brood their eggs.
are a large group
of Cichlids that live among and near
the piles of rocks along the shores of Lake
Malawi in East Africa. Many Mbunas are very
colorful with bright patterns of horizontal
stripes or vertical bars.
a young male Lemon Yellow Labidochromis caeruleus,
which is a very popular Mbunas Species from
shows two Mbuna Males disputing
the property line between their
territories. The fish on the left
is a Kenyi and the fish on the right
is a Tropheops. I watched them quarrel,
back and forth, for over an hour.
aggressive fish. In fact Mbunas are so aggressive
that few other fish can live with them. We recommend
you keep a group of Mbunas with a few Synodontis
Catfish and no other types of fish. Mbunas will
always make Peacocks and Haps miserable, unless
they are much bigger than the Mbunas. Click
here for more about Peacocks and Haps.
to listen to a Special Show titled "Mbuna
Cichlids", an MP3-PodCast, hosted by
The Bailey Brothers on Pet Fish Talk.
to listen to a Special Show titled "Mbunas
Spawning", an MP3-PodCast, hosted by
The Bailey Brothers on Pet Fish Talk.
to listen to a Special Show titled "Malawi
Bloat", an MP3-PodCast, hosted by The
Bailey Brothers on Pet Fish Talk.
a very common mistake to try to keep
a small group with just a few Mbunas. The secret
to minimizing their aggressiveness is to keep
a group with at least 15 Mbunas. You could keep
15 of one species, which is less fun than keeping
a mixture of different species of Mbunas, as
discussed in the story at a link near the bottom
of this page.
these Mbuna Fish are young and smaller than
2" long, a 30-gallon aquarium is big enough
to keep 15 of them. But soon they will need
a bigger aquarium with at 75-gallons. Even bigger
aquariums are better for a bigger group of Mbunas
that will be socially stable.
Picture Gallery of Mbuna Cichlids
famous Labeotropheus trewavasae, named Tr?
a young male Pseudotropheus demasoni.
mature male OB Labeotropheus fuelleborni, which
is often called a "Marmalade Cat".
young male of an unidentified Mbuna species.
mature male Melanochromis auratus.
mature male OB Pseudotropheus zebra.
mature female Pseudotropheus socolofi.
a young male Snow White Zebra swimming in one
of our aquariums.
beautiful young female Auratus.
Appropriate Aquarium for Mbunas
they've grown to be 4" long, they'll need at
least a 60-gallon aquarium. You should keep
this in mind when deciding to get them. Soon
they will need a 60-gallon aquarium. We recommend
an aquarium with at least 75-gallons of water.
Mbunas are warm water fish, so their aquarium
should have the proper size aquarium heater
that's adjusted to 78 to 80-degrees F. Click
here for more about aquarium heaters.
should not be kept in an aquarium with a thick
layer of gravel. It is very difficult to keep
Mbunas healthy in an aquarium with an undergravel
filter. It helps to regularly clean the gravel
with a gravel washer. It may also help to have
reverse flow power heads. But by far the best
answer is to have no gravel or a layer of gravel
that is no more than 1/4" thick. Click
here for more about aquarium gravel.
The Best Aquarium Filters
most fish, including Mbunas, are the Penguin
and the Emperor. Both of these filters are made
by Marineland, and each of these filters contains
at least one BIO-Wheel. A very good combination
for Mbunas is a 75 gallon aquarium with two
Penguin or two Emperor Filters. Click
here for more about aquarium filters.
naturally live among and near large piles of
rocks, and their aquarium should have several
big piles of rocks. Mbunas will destroy living
plants, but it looks nice to have a few tall
natural looking plastic plants. Click
here for more about aquarium ornaments.
aquarium for Mbunas should contain at least
60-gallons of water with two Penguin or Emperor
filters, and have the correct size aquarium
heater, 1/4" or less of gravel, and several
big piles of rocks that are intended for use
Group includes the Auratus,
Pindani, Lemon Yellow, Tropheops,
Cobalt Blue, Red Zebra, and many
other Mbunas such as the 4" Mature
Male Kenyi shown to the left.
The ad below links to this advertiser.
What to Feed Mbunas
When Mbunas are small, say less than 2.5 inches
long from head to tail, feed them floating Tropical
Fish flake food that is sold in most stores
that sell pet fish. If you read the ingredients,
you'll see this food has a nice combination
of plant and animal foods such shrimp meal,
etc. This is very close to the Mbunas' natural
them at least twice a day. Give them several
small amounts of the flake until they are satisfied,
but be sure there is no uneaten food left in
the aquarium. After 10 minutes, remove any uneaten
food with a net.
your Mbunas grow larger, feed them floating
pellet food. Hikari makes floating pellet food
for cichlids. These pellets are available in
a variety of sizes and sold in most stores that
sell pet fish.
Do not feed your Mbunas worms or prepared beef
here for more about feeding fish.
Do not Feed Worms
of any kind to your Mbunas. This includes live
worms such as Brown Tubifex Worms or Black Worms.
here for more about Live Black Worms.
The ad below links to this advertiser.
here for an aquarium maintenance schedule
with the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that
must be done to keep your aquarium clean and
to minimize the stress and disease to the fish
living in your aquarium.
Growth, Maximum Size, and Life Span
Mbunas grow to a length of 1.5" to 2" in a few
months, and this is the size we usually sell
them. They will sometimes begin to breed a few
months later, when they've grown to about 2"
to 2.5", but usually start breeding when they're
about a year old and have grown to about 3".
Mbunas can live for many years up to a maximum
of about 10 years.
smaller Mbuna species will grow to a maximum
of about 3", and the largest species will grow
to about 8". Most Mbunas grow to be between
4" and 5" long.
go to another page in this web site with a short
story about a beautiful aquarium with Mbunas
that was in a restaurant named Giselle's many
go to another page in this web site, where this
discussion about Mbuna Cichlids continues.
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