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Old 08-11-2005, 01:22 AM   #1
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Can I keep 3 mbunas in a 30 gallon?

Ok... I bought a tank set up complete with mbuna cichlids. Ten mbunas and a plec had been living together for a year or more when I got them. Since then 2 cichlids have died. Someone posted a link for for cichlidforums about suggestions for tank stocking. It suggested that the barest minimum for a malawi cichlid tank is 55 gallons (200 L). I have 8 mbunas and a common pleco in a 30-gallon (two cichlids died). 8O

EEEEK!!

VERY CROWDED. Very uncool. Very sorry.

Poor fish. I went and told them I'm sorry and I didn't know any better but I was going to make it up to them. I'm going to find a home for these guys at the LFS. I'm just wondering if I could keep two yellow labs (male & female) and a blue jahni (sp?) in a 30 gallon? Or maybe just the two labs? Or would that be unkind to them to be in a small tank?

Thanks in advance.
coolchinchilla

BTW, the tank looked HUGE to me when I bought it! When did it shrink?
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Old 08-11-2005, 01:58 AM   #2
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If the site said minimum of 55, it may be good to go by that. A 30 isn't big enough for a lot of cichlids. How big to the ones you have get at adulthood?
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Old 08-11-2005, 02:41 AM   #3
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Maximum sizes
yellow labs (Labidochromis caeruleus)= 5"
blue jahannii (Melanochromis johannii) = 4.5"

So 2 labs & the jahannii = about 15 inches of fish, and they are kind of thick bodied. Their current sizes are about 4 inches.
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Old 08-11-2005, 02:45 AM   #4
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Hm. I don't see a problem, in that case. That said, I don't know much about cichlids, I'm only just now looking into my first few (A blood parrot fish and a pair of rams).
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29gal: 1 Green Severum, 1 Convict, 3 Bronze Cories
55gal: 5 Bloodfin Tetras, 6 Black Skirt Tetras, 1 Blood Parrot, 1 African Brown Knife, 1 Striped Raphael, 1 Ropefish, 2 Clown Loaches, 1 Yoyo Loach, 1 Angelfish
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Old 08-11-2005, 06:38 AM   #5
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Bad idea, mbubas are nasty buggers. I tried 6 yellow labs in a 30, it was a good tank for about 8 months, but they tore each other apart as they matured. The less you have, the more aggressive they become. I'm left with one yellow lab in a 10 gallon tank.
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Old 08-11-2005, 09:12 AM   #6
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That said, I don't know much about cichlids, I'm only just now looking into my first few (A blood parrot fish and a pair of rams).
Sorry to hijack the thread, but if you are planning on keeping a parrot with the rams, it will probably not work out. Rams need less boisterous tankmates.
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Old 08-11-2005, 10:31 AM   #7
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Not a good idea. Fish size does not matter when you are talking about mbuna's in tanks. They need plenty of swimming space and also plenty of rock work. Depending on which Johanni you have, it can get large and aggressive. There are many different strains of the Johanni and they all look similar but still very different. Mine was a terror. 55 gal is bare minimum. It would be like putting a 10 inch fish in a 10 gal tank. Not enough swimming space, but it is still enough for the inch per gal ratio. The yellow labs you may be able to skimp by on, but that's it. When they get larger, they will need a 55 gal tank. Their bodies just get too big for small tanks.
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Old 08-11-2005, 04:53 PM   #8
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Sorry to hijack the thread, but if you are planning on keeping a parrot with the rams, it will probably not work out. Rams need less boisterous tankmates.
I know that, my rams will be in a tank of their own with -maybe- a few small cleanup fish. The parrot will be in a considerably larger community tank. And that's only if I have room.
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2.5gal: Empty
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10gal: 2 Mickey Mouse Platys (1M1F), 1 African Butterfly Fish, 3 Khuli Loaches
29gal: 1 Green Severum, 1 Convict, 3 Bronze Cories
55gal: 5 Bloodfin Tetras, 6 Black Skirt Tetras, 1 Blood Parrot, 1 African Brown Knife, 1 Striped Raphael, 1 Ropefish, 2 Clown Loaches, 1 Yoyo Loach, 1 Angelfish
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