The Mbuna Genus
Malawi cichlids are separated into two main groups, Haplochromines and Tilapiines. Haplochromines are then divided into two sub groups or genus, Haplochromis and Mbuna. These two genus are then seperated into species. Mbuna (pronounced mboo-na) is the common name for a large group of African cichlids from lake Malawi. The name Mbuna means "rockfish" in the language of the Tonga people of Malawi. As the name implies, Mbuna are the cichilds that live among piles of rocks, as opposed to the Utaka, cichlids living in the open water like many other Haplochromines. These cichilds are some of the most colorful freshwater fish for the home aquarium.
Mbuna, pronounced with only two syllables, are very aggressive & territorial fish, although they are suitable for beginner fishkeepers who have researched their needs. A suitable aquarium setting includes many rocks, caves & 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. For more information about Mbuna and a full list of species please visit Wikipedia Mbuna
Page last updated on