Lake Tanganyika Species • Stocking Scheme Thoughts

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Stocking Scheme Thoughts

Postby whalebite » Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:38 pm

So I may come into the possession of a 120gal, 48x24x24in tank. I have my Vic Tank, but would really like to go Tanganikan. As much as I really want Benthochromis, I feel it would be unfair to keep them in this size, and they are fairly pricey, maybe if I could find a local breeder I would be tempted...
But I would much rather keep a community of interesting fish (than some gorgeous 10 inch fish is cramped quarters) that would make the tank a treat to watch an look at for hours on end. Species I that I would consider a must are Cyprichromis leptosoma (Utinta), Tanganicodus irsacae, and Lamprichthys tanganicanus. I have heard the killies can live alongside cyps, is that correct.
So what I really want if to fill the 4 niches of lake Tanganika. As the tank is barley larger than a 75 with floor space I would work off of this article http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/tang_community_ii.php which fills all 4 niches.
So My first thought is to use ridges of rock to separate sand beds giving a little over a square foot to shellies (I would like multies, but maybe the sumbu dwarfs if I can get them) a bit of rock for the gobies, I am also bit of a Julie admirer, could a pair work out with the gobies and kilies as I have heard they can be a bit nasty. on the other side give over 4 square feet to a Xenotilapia (probably Xenotilapia bathyphilus). I would maybe like some more non-cichlids like Synodontis petricola or lucipinnis. Maybe an eel (M. frenatus, the starry night most likely, but they may be able to eat multies, so probably a bad idea, not even sure if they would eat a goby as an adult) Another thought would be to just have a shell bed on one side (giving it closer to 4 square feet) and then a Tanganyika Val garden on the other, and defiantly do catfish
My second thought would be to make the tank more visually appealing using a modified Iwagumi style aquascape (with 2 large rock piles, one bigger and closer to the front, and the other smaller and further back, also creates some neat depth perception. Of this I have 3 different ideas. The floor space without rock would be roughly 5 square feet. So one I would want a shell dweller and Xenotilapia bathyphilus, maybe use really low ridges to contain the shells around one side of the Oyaishi stone, making it look like a mountain over a little town (this would be my preferred setup)
I could just let shellies run the place and have 5 square feet of shell bed (could 2-3 species work in this amount of room, we are talking over 100 shells?), or at least give them more space and have a large val bed (if their aren't shells would these fish, including gobies, maybe julies, dig up the plant bed?)
or I can just have sand sifters, either Enantiopus sp. "Kilesa" or Xenotilapia bathyphilus, I know I probably cant have both. and I would defiantly want to have eels in this set up.
And finally another sandsifter only tank. This one would be minimalist, one rock group with just enough for gobies, and defiantly Enantiopus sp. "Kilesa", the tank is wide enough for them to make a full crater (how deep would sand have to be so the bottom of the crater doesn't expose glass?)
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Re: Stocking Scheme Thoughts

Postby punman » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:10 pm

I cannot answer all of your questions but I have a 90 gallon with 8 cyps and 6 kileas - adult size. The cyps have been breeding for a few months. It is a good combination - cyps at the top, kilesa at the bottom. I could probably have a few more cyps but that is all I ordered on-line.

I have just under an inch of sand. The kilesa move it around so in some spots two inches and at times the bottom is exposed but I don't care.
135 Gallon: Frontosa 5 Wild Caught Mpimbwe
90 Gallon: Cyrtocara moorii, Labidochromis caeruleus
90 Gallon: Cyprichromis Mamalesa, Enantiopus Kilesa
10 & 20 Gallon: Fry Tanks
Fish tanks - betcha can't have just one!
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Re: Stocking Scheme Thoughts

Postby Fogelhund » Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:38 am

It sounds a bit like maybe you should get four Tang tanks!!!! In all seriousness, I would recommend just sitting on the idea, and figuring out which fish appeals to you the most out of all of your thoughts. That one singular species. Once you've done that, build from there, and we can help.
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Re: Stocking Scheme Thoughts

Postby whalebite » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:22 am

Yeah I wish is could have 2-3 large community tanks, but alas I don't have the room. My singular favorite species of this list is Cyprichromis leptosoma (Utinta), they will be the most seen fish as they will be out in the water column. Then the other two I would defiantly like to have is a group of Tanganyikan Killies, and probably a pair of Gobies, anything else would really be what works best.
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Re: Stocking Scheme Thoughts

Postby Fogelhund » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:58 am

If you want the Cyps and the Killies (Not always easy to find), I'd look at something other than the Gobies. I would go with the Xenotilapia bathyphilus instead, as their dietary needs align better. Gobies are more vegetarian in nature, while the rest are carnivores, who would benefit from being fed plankton, or brine shrimp...
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Re: Stocking Scheme Thoughts

Postby whalebite » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:28 am

ok, that leaves a few questions I really would like to ask.
1. What sort of behaviors are expected from X. bathyphilius, most of the video I have seen is then hiding in back.
2. would Enantiopus sp. "Kilesa" work in this tank instead of X. bathyphilius, even if I had a bit of rock, the tank is rather small for big fish like them I would not mix sand dwellers
3. Could I get in a shell bed in a corner (most likely would get multies), with most of the floor space dedicated to either Enantiopus or Xenotilapia, not sure exactly what floor space is requied for each bottom dweller.
4. How would Julies work, if I had a pair instead of gobies is the rocks?
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Re: Stocking Scheme Thoughts

Postby noddy » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:05 pm

The bowers of two male Enant. Melanogenys or Kilesa will take up the entire bottom of your tank.
I have no idea about Bathyphilius, I haven't kept them.
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Re: Stocking Scheme Thoughts

Postby whalebite » Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:05 pm

That is why I would consider only 1 male and 2-4 females. Looking more deeply into the Iwagumi style and actually drawing out a rough aquascape, having rocks in only 1 half of the tank is far more visually appealing than 2 peaks (3 peaks would look good but then their is less open water) that gives the room required for 1 bower. Then divide a small shell bed along one side of the rock pile, multies are so small would they be threatened by Enants? would there be a better shell dweller?
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Re: Stocking Scheme Thoughts

Postby Fogelhund » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:45 pm

I would recommend a 6 ft tank for Enant. Melanogenys or Kilesa

Any of the smaller Xeno's will do.. flavippinis...
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Re: Stocking Scheme Thoughts

Postby whalebite » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:38 pm

Yeah that gives you 3 bowers which has got to be impressive to watch.
Fogelhund, do you know anything about Xeno courting behavior, do they make little impressions like most cichlids, or do they just hang and spawn on open sand?
The other thing is I havn't found much on what happens when shellies and sand sifters meet? Will Enants or Xenos eat multies, OR will multie cause a lot of stress to the sand sifters?
Defiantly want 12 cyps to start as a breeding colony, How many Killies should I look into getting, I have heard males are really aggressive towards each other, especially in a 4 ft tank?
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Re: Stocking Scheme Thoughts

Postby Fogelhund » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:15 pm

Different Xeno's have different behaviour. X. flavipinnis can often spawn on a rock...
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Re: Stocking Scheme Thoughts

Postby whalebite » Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:29 pm

The only reason I am really temped by the enants, 1 they are spectacular, an 2 a trio would have less bioload than Xenos, which I assume I should get at least 6 of. or am I mistaken and really need more enants, because once I get to about 4 it really equals out.
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Re: Stocking Scheme Thoughts

Postby cdarminio » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:03 pm

My tank is similar to the one you are planning. I have Cyp leptosoma Utinta, Lamprichthys, and Xeno spilopterus all coexisting peacefully. I used to have multis in this tank, but they took up too much space. When I transferred them, another pair of Xenos formed and established a territory.
Just keep swimming - Dory
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Re: Stocking Scheme Thoughts

Postby Fogelhund » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:32 pm

You really want a group of Enats for them to look great... like three-four males, and double that plus in females. Then they look amazing... but I wouldn't do that in your tank, unless there was no other fish on the bottom.
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Re: Stocking Scheme Thoughts

Postby whalebite » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:33 pm

So one male is not that spectacular? I mean mostly in videos they generally only show one male in his bower, but I have heard some enant keepers say the male-male interaction is part of it. Are they just less colorful, do they not build the bowers properly? My main concern is the tank is only big enough for 2 males, and where would the females do their thing, because the males are not going to want much rock structure so they can build full bowers, I can defiantly see why 6ft plus is better, I think in the wild they like to build 5 feet away. Maybe if I ever get that dream tank for Benthichromis, I could would have enough room for a proper group.
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