Lake Tanganyika Species • My first tanganyikan setup

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My first tanganyikan setup

Postby pikayooperdave » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:06 am

I have kept malawi cichlids for years now and I have been thinking about switching to Tangs. I have a couple of individual tangs in my current setup (N. tretocephalus, A. compressiceps) but that is the extent of my experience other than a tropheus colony.

They would be going in a 90 gallon 4-ft tank with a DIY lace rock background. Shown here with my mbuna in it.
Image

There are lots of caves/tunnels incorporated into the background as well, which I imagine the tangs will like as much as the mbuna do. Substrate is pool filter sand, but I could change that as needed and I would be adding shells.

Mainly, my questions are about stocking - like I said I am new to tangs and I want to do it right so I am looking for advice. Based on the research I have done so far, I am thinking something along the lines of this:

Cyprichromis leptosoma - a dozen or so.
Enantiopus kilesa - 6?
Some type of julie - 2 pair
shell dwellers - I was thinking a small group of lamprologus stapersii, or ocellatus, or both.
2 synodontis multipunctatus which I already have...

1. Is that stock list appropriate, or does anyone have other suggestions?
2. Are featherfins out of the question in a 90 gallon? Are they incompatible with any of the above?
3. Will either the Neolamprologus tretocephalus or the Altolamprologus compressiceps (which I currently have) be OK to keep in the new setup?

Thanks in advance for any help!
Dave
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Postby DJRansome » Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:28 am

When I asked about featherfins in my 72" tank I was advised to give them the entire bottom so I'd skip them in a 48" tank.

The Synodontis will bother the shellies and enants so I would choose one of those for the bottom. If you keep the synodontis, they will be happier and out more if you add 3 more to the group.

Cyps and julidochromis will work. Buy 6 unsexed juvenile juli's and let them form a pair. You could get lucky and get 2 pairs, but maybe not.

The individual tret and altolamp will work, but I would add a bunch of altolamps and try to get a harem going. I did the individual tret thing and ended up removing him. He did not cause a LOT of trouble, but he was cranky with anyone who approached during feeding time. The main reason I removed him was he hid most of the time and did not add much to the tank.
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Postby smiller » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:47 pm

DJRansome wrote:The Synodontis will bother the shellies and enants so I would choose one of those for the bottom.


Are you saying that even without the Synodontis it would be best to choose between shellies and enacts and not have both? I wasn't clear on that.
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Postby noddy » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:11 pm

I think you will need to get rid of a lot of that rock if you want to keep enants.
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Postby pikayooperdave » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:20 pm

Thanks for the replies.

As far as the rockwork - removing some is my intention. Teh Rock wall will stay, but the large pieces of lace and holey rock that sit out on the substrate can be removed. I was thinking of removing two of the 3 large pieces, in order to create more open water / open sand and space for shells.
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Postby 24Tropheus » Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:14 pm

smiller wrote:
DJRansome wrote:The Synodontis will bother the shellies and enants so I would choose one of those for the bottom.


Are you saying that even without the Synodontis it would be best to choose between shellies and enacts and not have both? I wasn't clear on that.


Pretty much I would say yes Go for only one of the three. Enants would need the whole of the bottom to do well long term unless you go for just one adult male and a bunch of females but then you miss their best colours and male sparing behaviour seen best in a group of about 10 or more. Synos bother Enants (by keeping em up at night giving em no rest) and Shellys for thier young (unless the shelly is a large aggressive type like Lepidiolamprologus hecqui or Telmatochromis burgeoni (or a particularly well organised established tribe of multies) and the Syno small like Synodontis lucipinnis.)

If you just go shellys you could do more than one species of these.

On the feather fins going to be a bit of a squease long term but if you stick with a small robust one like Ophthalmotilapia ventralis I guess you could give em a try in there.

All the best James
Last edited by 24Tropheus on Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby pikayooperdave » Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:20 pm

Okay - thanks again for the input.
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Postby 24Tropheus » Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:46 pm

Oh just to say reason ventralis can do OK in communities rather than other featherfins is they are from the surge habitat and kind of adapted to living with aggressive Tang cichlids if given enough space and do not mind being chased away from the tank bottom as long as they are not harrassed too much in the open water or near the rocks.
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Postby pikayooperdave » Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:15 pm

Then the stocklist that I have in mind now is

4 ophthalotilapia ventralis (1m/3f)
12 cyprichroms leptosoma
2 pair julie ornatus/transcriptus
2 groups shell dwellers (maybe l. stapersii and l. ocellatus)

Are there major pros and cons to the different shell dwellers? I notic that multi's are quite popular, as well as brevis. I prefer the look of the stapersii and ocellatus gold, but if another type is cooler in behavior then I would go with them instead.

How about gobies? does a pair of eretmodus fit into this group, and if not then why?
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Postby 24Tropheus » Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:20 pm

Yep straps and occies are too close together and will fight. You kind of want to go for two very different types.
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Postby 24Tropheus » Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:29 pm

Yep straps and occies are too close together and will fight. You kind of want to go for two very different types. Occies and multies kind of OK and lots of other mixes do OK.
Prob with goby cichlids and shellys is the bottom space. Sure they can do OK together but the goby cichlids do not respect shelly territories and can kind of get a bit stressed from stumbling into shelly territories and getting chased off. No reason you can not do it in a 90g but do not push it too far. Prob best one shelly and one goby cichlid if going for both.

Kind of I agree about brevis if poss the most borring shelly. :wink:

All the best James
Last edited by 24Tropheus on Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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Postby pikayooperdave » Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:32 pm

nah, i will forgo the gobies now that I know about that issue. Can you advise about what other type of shell dwellers would be best with occies or straps? thanks much for your help, by the way. your kind advice will save me from learning the hard way :)

how about something like telmatochromis temporalis?
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Postby beachtan » Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:36 pm

my telmat's were super mean. I ended up pulling them from my tang tank. I had really good luck wih caudopunctatus- they stay out front and draw the calvus out, they also keep their fins flared all the time.
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Postby DJRansome » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:28 am

24Tropheus wrote:Oh just to say reason ventralis.
Actually it was the ventralis I was asking about at the time, but I never tried it, so FWIW.

I really like brevis...that bulldog face. :thumb: Also Fogelhund has posted on the topic of two shellies in one large tank that brevis are good as one because the stick to their shell wherever you put it. So you can build an elevated cliff and the brevis will be happy there up off the bottom, leaving it for others. Never tried that either, but you might search for the thread.
125G Aulonocara, Malawi Haps, Vics (trial), S Polli
75G Demasoni, Labs, Cyno hara, Met estherae, S Multipunctata
75G Calvus, Caudopunctatus, Cyp Kerenge, S Petricola
33G Neo omnicaeruleus; 33G Flameback Kisumu; 33G P nyererei Igombe; 33G Hap ruby green
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Postby pikayooperdave » Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:36 am

That's a cool idea about a raised platform. You could make a raised platform that is open underneath, like an overhanging cave, effectively increasing the surface area of the bottom of your tank.

For the shellies, I understand sand is superior to gravel or crushed coral. I currently use the coarser version of pool filter sand, most grains are between 1 and 2mm. Is that adequate or would I be better off with finer sand?

The tank also has an under gravel jet system, 5 jets at about 125 gph. I imagine it might be a good idea to cap a couple of those off, or redirect them so that the area around the shell beds is not in the flow of the jets?
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