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Tropheus Tank - What went wrong?

Postby Aqualoon.MN » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:41 am

Been keeping freshwater for over a decade, the vast majority of that time has been South and Central American cichlids. Last year I started up a 125g Tropheus tank for my living room as a show tank and this previous weekend I sold off the rest of my stock. I had 3 types, Nonde, Red Rainbow and I forget the third off the top of my head, 12 of each. After they hit the 4ish inch mark things started to go wrong - a single fish would be targeted until killed, rinse and repeat and I kept losing fish in this way. I tried moving around the rocks, adding more rock, breaking up lines of sight, added in power heads, added in more power heads, took out power heads and just felt I couldn't keep them any longer as couldn't keep them alive.

Looking back on this I'm wondering if I started off with too few fish? As I mentioned, I come from a heavy background of cichlids where they need their space and stocking is done rather lightly and usually, under-stocked tanks turn our to be rather successful. It's not that I didn't reach out to people during this slaughter that was taking place in my tanks, but looking back it feels like everything was done as a reaction to things instead of setting up how I should have in the first place.

Sometime again in the future I want to try Tropheus again, but I want to learn from my mistakes on this tank so I don't repeat them. Does the above sound like something that could have been resolved by increasing their numbers?
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:46 am
Location: Minnesota

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Re: Tropheus Tank - What went wrong?

Postby noddy » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:45 pm

Yes, you started with too few. They need to be kept in large groups in order to spread out aggression. You effectively had them in three separate groups of 12.
Not only that but once they reach sexual maturity they will become more aggressive. Stress can take it's toll and left untreated you can very easily lose the entire group/groups due to bloat. I personally would have done a single group of 32-36 fish, and always make sure you have meds on hand. Sorry that you lost so many fish.
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Re: Tropheus Tank - What went wrong?

Postby nodima » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:24 pm

Very possibly. My tank started with 23 Pemba. It is so difficult to watch that unfold. Sorry to hear it.
180 gal - Tanganyikan community tank: Tropheus Bemba, Synodontis Petricola, Compressiceps

125gal - South American community: Geophagus, Acara, Angels, Severum, Festivum

75gal - Planted SA tank
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Re: Tropheus Tank - What went wrong?

Postby Aqualoon.MN » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:31 pm

It was, which is why I tried to do what I could in my own tank before I pretty much just gave away the rest of my stock.

Thanks for confirming that this could very well have been the reason (hard to go back and say for sure). I think when it comes to africans I'm going to go heavy on the overstock (provide appropriate levels of filtration and water changes of course) and then thin as needed.
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:46 am
Location: Minnesota

Re: Tropheus Tank - What went wrong?

Postby DJRansome » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:44 pm

If you started with the same number, but all one species as noddy mentions, you would have managed aggression better.

And if you removed victim fish or aggressor fish to prevent the illnesses and achieve a balance, and treating the victim fish in a separate hospital tank you would probably have been able to return the victim fish to the big tank once cured.

Metronidazole is a good med to have on hand (but don't treat until you see thready white or clear feces) for demanding fish like tropheus.
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75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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