These cichilds are some of the most colorful freshwater fish for the home aquarium. Mbuna, pronounced with only two syllables, are very aggressive and territorial fish, although they are suitable for beginner fishkeepers who have researched their needs. A suitable aquarium setting includes many rocks, caves and hiding places; plants may be uprooted so they are best avoided but a small number will work well in the aquarium. These include Java fern, which may become the object of mbuna aggression but will not be eaten due to an undesirable taste.

Sand or gravel is the ideal substrate. The hobbyist will want to mix in some sort of so-called "tufa rock" as a pH buffer. However, Limestone, Holey rock, crushed coral and specially mixed bags of substrate will do. Generally, tanks of no less than 4 feet wide is required for mature Mbuna; 29 gallon tanks will work beautifully for juvenile fish but will need to be upgraded as they mature, grow and become more aggressive and territorial (this will occur in just a matter of weeks or months).

These cichlids are usually kept in well filtered, heavily stocked mbuna-specific aquariums. Over-crowding helps spread out the aggression and no particular individual gets picked on to death. They are maternal mouthbrooders and breed readily in good conditions. Mbuna are mostly omnivores, and generally benefit from a varied diet.

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Product no.: Cynotilapia Afra Lions Cove

Males stake out their territory in the wild with a cluster of small rocks at its center. Under these, the male digs a spawning pit. Males usually hover over this rock, feeding on plankton.

Product no.: Cynotilapia Afra Nkhata Bay

Here the C. afra from Nkhata Bay, Malawi sports a brilliant yellow head blaze and was formerly sold as an “edwardi” type. Other yellow blaze types of afra are found in a few other locals around the lake.

Malawi Mbuna, Rock Dweller. Realatively peaceful mbuna that will not dig. Due to this it might be harrassed by other, more aggressive species. Iodotropheus sprengerae was one of the earliest cichlids exported from the lake.

£3.00 *

L. trewavasae looks a lot like L. fuelleborni, but has a leaner body; therefore it can fit into small holes between rocks.

£3.00 *

L. caeruleus is understandably one of the more popular Cichlids in the hobby, always being in demand. This is due to its bright yellow coloring and its more docile temperament.

£3.00 *

Males are very territorial and will defend their territory fiercely. They have a light blue body with dark, vertical bars. The bars continue onto the upper lip. Their dorsal fins can be yellow to orange.

£3.00 *

Possibly the least aggressive of all the Melanochromis types, but still far too aggressive to be considered for the community tank set up.

£3.00 *

Reclassified from Pseudotropheus to Metriaclima, this is a relatively small, elongate mbuna. Males usually are yellow with black edges on their tail. In some populations yellow/blue or even solid light blue males are found. Females are beige or yellowish also with the black edges on the tail. Apparently "daktari" is the Swahili word for doctor.

One of the most popular Mbuna since its discovery in Lake Malawi. M. estherae is a very lively fish with great colors. Males typically are bright powder blue, females a rich orange.

£4.00 *

Metriaclima emmiltos hails from Mpanga Rocks, off Chilumba. The other three "Red Top Zebras" include: Metriaclima pyrsonotos, M. sandaracinos and Metriaclima thapsinogen

Females are yellowy beige with a faint blue sheen along the flanks, yellow anal fin and tail edges.

Miscellaneous: Formerly known as Pseudotropheus sp. ‘msobo’ and Pseudotropheus sp. ‘msobo heteropictus’
Metriaclima sp. ‘msobo heteropictus’ is a provisional name as this species is yet to be described.

Product no.: Metriclima zebra gold kawanga

Pseudotropheus saulosi is rather known cichlid and like in the case of the other african lakes endemits also in this species exist the color variants. One of them is called „Coral Red“.

Ps. elongatus "Mpanga" is one of the thirty-five or so Pseudotropheus elongatus variants.

P. Demansoni is grouped with the dwarf pseudotropheus. P. Demansoni is highly aggressive towards others. Males and females heave similar coloration..

Product no.: Pseudotropheus sp. "polit"

Pseudotropheus polit is a small, tough, nasty little mbuna. The males have a magnificent color pattern with the females having a kind of rusty color. When the males feel threatened they can change their color to a dull grey/blue instantly.

Product no.: Tropheops Elongatus Mazinizi Reef

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