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“MBUNA” Mbuna (pronounced em-boo-na) is the common name for a large group of African haplochromine cichlids from  Lake Malawi. The name mbuna means "rockfish" in the language of the Tonga people of Malawi. As the name implies, most of them are cichlids that live among the piles of rocks and along the rocky shores of Lake Malawi, as opposed to the utaka and other "haps," cichlids that live in the open water or on sandy shores or soft substrates. Some species of Mbuna are highly sexually dimorphic.


Social Behaviour

Mbuna exhibit strong social behavior and establish a clearly visible social hierarchy including well defined and enforced territories.

A dominate male will maintain a spherical territory only allowing females to enter this territory for breeding purposes.

Over-crowding helps spread out the aggression caused by these territorial conflicts.


In aquaria

These cichlids are some of the most colorful  freshwater fish for the home aquarium.

Mbuna are very aggressive and territorial fish, they are not suitable for beginner fishkeeper.

A suitable aquarium setting includes many rocks, adequate filtration, caves and hiding places; plants may be uprooted so they are best avoided but a small number will work well in the aquarium.


HABITAT Mbuna Cichlids are arguably the most recognizable of Lake Malawi African Cichlids. With their gorgeous jewel-like coloration and boisterous personality, they are greatly priced. These cichlids do not like bright lighting. DIET

In nature, Mbuna Cichlids feed upon the aufwuchs (organicsediment) covering rocks and wood. Provide a balanced diet of dried seaweed, spirulina and other plant-based flakeand pellet foods.

Supplemented their diet with meaty foods such as brine shrimp and bloodworms.


breeding For the best spawning results the female to male ratio should be at least three females to one male. The female will spawn on a flat rock. She will then take the unfertilized eggs into her mouth and follow closely behind the male until he releases the sperm to fertilize the eggs. The female will then incubate the eggs for approximately three weeks before releasing the fry. The fry can then be fed newly hatched brine shrimp,  daphnia, or crushed flake food.


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Mbuna