Lake Tanganyika Species • New 25g Tanganyikan tank

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New 25g Tanganyikan tank

Postby Dawg2012 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:25 pm

So... We finally broke down and have separated two Brichardi and a Nigripinnis from our 75g mbuna tank. They are currently in a 5g dome but we bought a 25g tall tank this weekend for them, along with some "African Cichlid Sand" substrate.

We will be setting up the new tank this evening, and populating with existing filter media and a container of existing substrate to jump start cycling.

Anyway... I've looked at the cookie cutter setups for Tanganyikan tanks of this size, and had a couple of questions.

I've heard you won't see 'shellies' very often if you give them shells to inhabit. Is it common to get these types of fish and don't give them shells? This was suggested by a lfs is why I ask. The ones they had in stock seemed perfectly happy out sitting in the sand. In fact one came up to the glass and tried to sell himself to us lol.

Also, I didn't see Brichardi listed in the cookie cutters - is this due to their high aggression? They are such pretty/elegant fish I hate to get rid of them but... I don't want to dedicate an entire tank to them. Suggestions?

I'd also be interested in stocking suggestions taking into account the Brichardi, or not, if anyone has any. I'm somewhat of an overstocker given frequent water changes, and would like to do the same with this tank.

Thanks.
125 Borleyi, Electra and Dolphins
125 Afra, Red-Top Hongi, White/Yellow labs
75 Multies, Cyps and Caudo's (maybe)
75 White Calvus, in work (want another Afra tank :) )
55's Paracyps, Alto's, Peacock, BN Pleco's
Various others...
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Re: New 25g Tanganyikan tank

Postby Dawg2012 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:00 pm

p.s. - Tank measures 24" wide x 20" tall x 12" front to back.

I know less that ideal due to reduced footprint but it fit where we had room.
125 Borleyi, Electra and Dolphins
125 Afra, Red-Top Hongi, White/Yellow labs
75 Multies, Cyps and Caudo's (maybe)
75 White Calvus, in work (want another Afra tank :) )
55's Paracyps, Alto's, Peacock, BN Pleco's
Various others...
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Re: New 25g Tanganyikan tank

Postby Darkskies » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:17 pm

Well, you already seem to be aware that your tank is too small. A 25 gallon tank is large enough for a species only brichardi tank. The paracyprichromis nigripinnis likes to be in schools and generally prefers at least a 36" long tank. Also, your LFS is providing you with misinformation because most shelldwellers are not shy(multies might be for the first week or two weeks) at all. Ocellatus and even some brevis are gregarious and aggressive enough to attack your hand while cleaning the tank if it gets near their shell! Why would you want to buy a shelldwelling cichlid and then not provide it with shells?

A brichardi species tank can be pretty interesting since not only do the parents allow their fry to remain with them essentially forever, the older fry will help the adults in defending the younger broods so in large tanks you can have huge family schools of brichardi but you'll be able to observe this behavior in a 25 gallon as well provided you have a pair. Brichardi are also very aggressive fish once they begin breeding and these same schools will attack and kill most other tank inhabitants(known as the brichardi death squad) especially in a tank as small as a 25 gallon.

Hope this helps!
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Re: New 25g Tanganyikan tank

Postby Dawg2012 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:12 pm

Okay so... this is why I love this forum. I've been fed several lines by several lfs's that have turned out to simply be... untrue... like the exochochromis anagenis that would only reach 5" lol.

Anyway - the species only Brichardi tank sounds interesting indeed. If I understand correctly, I'd want a pair (not sure the sex of the pair I have) - and when they spawn not worry about removing the fry. Over time this will develop into an extended family that will all get along for the most part indefinitely - even when the young start to breed? That would be cool... Obviously I'd have to remove some now and again to not overcrowd the tank.

As a side question - if the pair I have doesn't turn out to be m/f - I'm guessing I'd probably want to trade them in on several juvies from the same batch and see who turns out to be a m/f so as not to cross breed (I don't know what flavor Brichardi I have)?

It's unfortunate that it doesn't seem the Nigripinnis is going to work out right now. Such a cool fish - but he deserves to be happy so he'll probably be going back to his buddies at the lfs.

The shellies seem pretty cool - but it sounds like not in with the Brichardi. I'm thinking a few of the smaller ones in a 10g might be cool someday once we unload the mbuna juvies.

Thanks for the advice. I'll see if any other ideas pop up before deciding what to do. I'm curious if any of the other smaller tanganyikan's might be equally as interesting.
125 Borleyi, Electra and Dolphins
125 Afra, Red-Top Hongi, White/Yellow labs
75 Multies, Cyps and Caudo's (maybe)
75 White Calvus, in work (want another Afra tank :) )
55's Paracyps, Alto's, Peacock, BN Pleco's
Various others...
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Re: New 25g Tanganyikan tank

Postby Darkskies » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:51 pm

Dawg2012 wrote:Anyway - the species only Brichardi tank sounds interesting indeed. If I understand correctly, I'd want a pair (not sure the sex of the pair I have) - and when they spawn not worry about removing the fry. Over time this will develop into an extended family that will all get along for the most part indefinitely - even when the young start to breed? That would be cool... Obviously I'd have to remove some now and again to not overcrowd the tank.



Absolutely! If you buy a group of 6 or so individuals and wait it out for a couple of months(depending on how big the fish are) you'll eventually have a pair. I think when that happens the pair will start harrassing the unpaired brichardis(not always?) so you'll have to remove them. However, any and all offspring they have will be tolerated and allowed to grow to adulthood when they'll form their own pairs who will all be tolerated. All you have to do is just remove some fry when your tank becomes overcrowded.
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Re: New 25g Tanganyikan tank

Postby littleolme » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:35 pm

For what it's worth, you'd have a very similar colony with L. Multifasciatus shellies as you'd get with the Brichardi without the extreme aggression. If your tank is large enough (probably wouldn't work in a 24" x 12" though), you could do a Multi colony along with a few other non-shellie species. I have some Multies that I'm going to be moving into a larger tank along with a Calvus and possibly some Paracyps. I'm hoping that the Calvus will provide fry control so that I don't get over run with Multies but I hope he'll leave enough to allow the colony to grow at a slower pace. Just food for thought.
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Re: New 25g Tanganyikan tank

Postby Dawg2012 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:43 pm

Hmmm... so I just read up on multis... Very interesting. They're also terribly cute and seem to have vibrant personalities as demonstrated by the one at the lfs.

I think I may clear out some juvie mbuna in a 10g fry tank and try some - and let the Brichardi have the 25g for now. If they turn out to not be a pair and the multis prove interesting enough, I may move them. Or simply get another tank if the Brichardi do work out. Now that I think about it - I've been eyeing a 20g long at the lfs that might be just right for the multi's here at work :D.
125 Borleyi, Electra and Dolphins
125 Afra, Red-Top Hongi, White/Yellow labs
75 Multies, Cyps and Caudo's (maybe)
75 White Calvus, in work (want another Afra tank :) )
55's Paracyps, Alto's, Peacock, BN Pleco's
Various others...
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Re: New 25g Tanganyikan tank

Postby Dawg2012 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:23 am

Okay I have the 25g setup with the two Brichardis. They seem relieved to have some space but are a little freaked out by all the... space.

All my other tanks have a Pleco in them... Should I do that with this tank or will they kill him if/when they spawn?

If so what are other options?

Thanks as always.
125 Borleyi, Electra and Dolphins
125 Afra, Red-Top Hongi, White/Yellow labs
75 Multies, Cyps and Caudo's (maybe)
75 White Calvus, in work (want another Afra tank :) )
55's Paracyps, Alto's, Peacock, BN Pleco's
Various others...
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Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: New 25g Tanganyikan tank

Postby Darkskies » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:13 pm

Dawg2012 wrote:Okay I have the 25g setup with the two Brichardis. They seem relieved to have some space but are a little freaked out by all the... space.

All my other tanks have a Pleco in them... Should I do that with this tank or will they kill him if/when they spawn?

If so what are other options?

Thanks as always.


As far as I know,your tank will be full if you have an actual pair of neolamprologus brichardi and if they begin breeding. They'll definitely make short work of any pleco,especially since plecos are bottom dwellers and like taking refuge in the rocks/crevices. Why not just buy 4 more brichardi and grow them up until you have an actual pair(shouldn't take very long). Once you do, return the other fish and you'll have a very interesting and active species tank.
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Re: New 25g Tanganyikan tank

Postby Dawg2012 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:39 pm

Darkskies wrote:...
Why not just buy 4 more brichardi and grow them up until you have an actual pair(shouldn't take very long). Once you do, return the other fish and you'll have a very interesting and active species tank.


Lol I was trying to be patient and give this pair, that I've had for about six months, a chance. They're somewhat affectionate with each other so I'm thinking they might be m/f. Plus I'm not sure exactly what kind of Brichardi they are and don't want to cross breed. If they don't do something in a few weeks I'll return them and get maybe six new ones known to be the same type.

As for the Pleco's, that's what I kind of figured given the Brichardi's spawning mood. Does one do snails to combat algae in Brichardi tanks or... ?
125 Borleyi, Electra and Dolphins
125 Afra, Red-Top Hongi, White/Yellow labs
75 Multies, Cyps and Caudo's (maybe)
75 White Calvus, in work (want another Afra tank :) )
55's Paracyps, Alto's, Peacock, BN Pleco's
Various others...
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Re: New 25g Tanganyikan tank

Postby triscuit » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:20 am

My brichs killed snails, plecos, other neolamps... even when not breeding. Algae control is achieved with water changes and mag-floats.
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Re: New 25g Tanganyikan tank

Postby 24Tropheus » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:19 am

Darkskies wrote:
Dawg2012 wrote:Okay I have the 25g setup with the two Brichardis. They seem relieved to have some space but are a little freaked out by all the... space.

All my other tanks have a Pleco in them... Should I do that with this tank or will they kill him if/when they spawn?

If so what are other options?

Thanks as always.


As far as I know,your tank will be full if you have an actual pair of neolamprologus brichardi and if they begin breeding. They'll definitely make short work of any pleco,especially since plecos are bottom dwellers and like taking refuge in the rocks/crevices. Why not just buy 4 more brichardi and grow them up until you have an actual pair(shouldn't take very long). Once you do, return the other fish and you'll have a very interesting and active species tank.


Other options are to get rid of the N.brichardi and go for tang cichlids more suitable for your tank size.
For N. brichardi its a small breeding tank only. Yep agree you want 6 and have the 2 that pair time to kill the other four (strengthens thier pair bond). With two you have less chance of getting a compatable pair.
Its a small tank for a Tang community but yep it can be done but not with N.brichardi breeding in there even a single is bad news in a 25g.
Kind of struggling to think of a worse start for a 25g tang communty in such a small cichlid :lol:

All the best James
Tanks 180, empty revamping 100,65,60g Tropheus/tang communities 75g revamping. 29gx3 shelly communities, 29g Trigs breeding. 20gx2 shelly tanks. BCA member 207. Try it you might like it.
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Re: New 25g Tanganyikan tank

Postby Dawg2012 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:16 pm

I've moved my six Occies and Nigripinnis to work, and the Brichardi pair are back in their 25g tank for now. We'll see how they do. They seem happy with the tank so it might not be a complete disaster :wink:
125 Borleyi, Electra and Dolphins
125 Afra, Red-Top Hongi, White/Yellow labs
75 Multies, Cyps and Caudo's (maybe)
75 White Calvus, in work (want another Afra tank :) )
55's Paracyps, Alto's, Peacock, BN Pleco's
Various others...
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Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: New 25g Tanganyikan tank

Postby Dawg2012 » Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:03 pm

It's been a few weeks, and I still don't know if I have a male/female. I'm trying to be patient and give them time...

The pair has adopted a hollow ornament as home. It's shaped like a root, with two roughly 2" diameter access holes on the bottom (which is really face up the way it sits). They use it for cover whenever something spooks them. I've seen one of them nudge the other one inside when I open the tank lid, almost like 'he' is protecting 'her'.

They are casually affectionate with each other every great now and then, and I've seen one or two 'shimmy' displays. Nothing really dramatic or frequent.

One of them has what I'll call more prominent markings than the other - this is the one I think of as the male.

Yesterday I only saw one of them (the male), and the same so far today. The other one must be inside the ornament.

Does this sound like a male/female? Is it possible they spawned inside the ornament? I'm concerned the 'missing' one may have died in there, but I don't want to mess with it if she's really just guarding their eggs.

If they did spawn, would it be normal not to see the female for a couple days? Also, if they did, how long before the fry are likely to emerge?
125 Borleyi, Electra and Dolphins
125 Afra, Red-Top Hongi, White/Yellow labs
75 Multies, Cyps and Caudo's (maybe)
75 White Calvus, in work (want another Afra tank :) )
55's Paracyps, Alto's, Peacock, BN Pleco's
Various others...
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Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: New 25g Tanganyikan tank

Postby triscuit » Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:10 pm

Sounds like you might have a pair. The thing to do would be to sit in the dark, quietly, and watch for her to poke her head out after a while. If the other fish killed her, I'd expect the body to be outside the cave, not inside it. You'd also have a little bit of warning under most circumstances. If they did spawn, I'd expect the mother to be secretive for at least a week.
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