Lake Tanganyika Species • Switching Over to Tropheus duboisi maswa

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Switching Over to Tropheus duboisi maswa

Postby LeftHandedFishKeeper » Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:20 pm

Hello there, I had an account a while ago but forgot the password and email, and this one seemed to work. Anyways, I currently keep Malawi Mbuna cichlids which I am trying to switch over to a duboisi maswa specific tank.

[55-GALLON]
Bumblebee - x1 Male, x2 Female
Red Zebra - x2 Male, x1 Female
Acei - x1 Male, x1 Female
Kenyi - x1 Male, x1 Female, x1 Male/Dominant Female?
Electric Yellow Lab - x1 Unknown

[Filtration] - [Total Turnover ~ 10 times/hr]
x1 Fluval 306
x2 Internal Filters
x1 Poop collector

Lake Michigan Chicago Water is used.

Okay, so I have been very lucky to find someone who had very nice duboisi maswa juvies (~1.5" average) for a nice deal (really helpful too). I got 16 of the little guys that I have in a grow-out tank that is 15 gallons (heavily stocked with plants) and after I sell the MBUNA juvies (yes, they have been breeding quite a lot) (fyi, NOT the duboisi juvies), I plan to move them to the 37 grow out.

[PLAN]
Rehome all the adult (5"+) cichlids and get an empty 55 gallon.
Move all the juvenile (16+1 I already had) duboisi into my 55 gallon
Be a happy camper.

[QUESTION]
I know duboisi are strictly vegetarian, so I should feed them something algae/spirulina/kelp based to prevent bloat and promote healthy growth.
The thing is, I don't know if the current Omega One Cichlid Pellet (Super Color) are okay to feed to the duboisi as a staple. I also have some Omega One tropical flakes which have a little less protein.
Also, the water I get comes out to be around 7-7.5 pH. I know Duboisi also thrive in higher alkali pH's = I have the Malawai and cichlid salts (but I know that Duboisi are tanganyika), so should I get the Tanganyika seachem salts?
Finally, the duboisi will all be in one tank. That will be 17 duboisi living in a 55 gallon 4ft tank - is this just right? Too overstocked? Too little stocked?

Thanks - btw am a High School student so my budget isn't exactly too big.
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Re: Switching Over to Tropheus duboisi maswa

Postby noddy » Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:49 pm

75 gallons is the smallest recommended tank size I have seen for Tropheus. I think you will be battling nitrates and aggression in a 55g tank personally.
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Re: Switching Over to Tropheus duboisi maswa

Postby nodima » Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:47 am

Agree with noddy. I know of some *advanced* tropheus breeders who have done ok with a 55, but for us mortals, it is too small for those fish. A 75 gallon tank is not prohibitively expensive either, fortunately.
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: Switching Over to Tropheus duboisi maswa

Postby punman » Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:11 pm

This is the third time I have had tropheus in 16 years of African Cichlids. I might have lost a few fry along the way when they became adults and started spawning, but have never lost a juvenile or adult - except for one that jumped out!I have the duboisi at present. I got 20 of them a year ago at 1.25 to 1.75 inches. They are now 4 inches average. I used New Life Spectrum cichlid formula for the first two groups eight and ten years ago. For this group I have been using NorthFin Veggie pellet. It is 35% protein; NLS is 34%. Either brand would be fine. I don't know anything about the food you are using. I do not like flake food. I find it messy and a bunch goes into the filters. These fish go after the sinking pellets. I started with 1 mm size pellets and am now using 2 mm. They can eat 3 mm but a lot seems to come out the gills so I stick to the smaller size. Different companies may measure the pellets differently. I initially fed them three times a day what they could eat in about 30 seconds. Six months ago cut back to twice a day what they could eat in 30-40 seconds.

I have never kept tropheus in anything smaller than a 90 gallon (like a 75 but a little taller I think). So if 20 fish in a 90 gallon works, 15 in a 75 should be fine. A 55 could work for 3 to 4 months but then fish will have aggression issues with no place to run and you will be doing water changes every two to three days - not worth the hassle. I try to buy my tanks used to save money - I could afford new, but I guess I am too cheap!

A couple of weeks ago I moved the tropheus into a135 gallon. They were not hurting in the 90 but I had sold the fish that were in the 135 anyways. They look really good in there.
Tanganyika Cichlids all the Way!
135 Gallon: Tropheus duboisi (Halembe)
90 Gallon: Frontosa mpimbwe f1 and A. calvus
Fish tanks - betcha can't have just one!
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Re: Switching Over to Tropheus duboisi maswa

Postby kaphil » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:43 am

I currently have a group of Maswa in a big 450l corner tank. They have been doing well and constantly breeding, but I'm getting some aggression issues and thinking I might need to put them in a normal rectangular tank.
So I tend to agree, a 55 will probably be ok for a while but in the long term the odds are against it. You might be ok, but a good chance you will have casualties.
I feed NLS and veggie flake, with occasional frozen food - mysis and cyclops.
Personally I would be a little concerned keeping tropheus in water down to pH 7.0, it's certainly not ideal. You'll get a lot of people on CF who say pH, hardness etc don't matter too much, clean water is what matters. I'll go with that to a point, but only to a point, because sometimes pH does matter. What pH were they kept in before you got them? - if it's the same as yours then I would be less worried. However if you can buffer the water up to pH 7.5-8 and keep it stable then that would probably be worth doing. As my water comes out the tap close to pH8 it's not a problem I've ever had to deal with.
Good luck.
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Re: Switching Over to Tropheus duboisi maswa

Postby punman » Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:34 am

Good point about the PH. I forgot to mention that my city advertises that our water has a PH range of 7.6 - 8.3, so about an 8 average. I don't add anything to the tap water. PH is on a logarithmic scale so the difference from 7 to 8 is not just a 14% difference as one might expect, but 10 times more alkaline. The difference from PH 7 to PH 9 would be 100 times increase in alkalinity. [Apologies for the math lesson but I am a retired teacher].

How would a tropheus do in PH 7? I really do not know.
Tanganyika Cichlids all the Way!
135 Gallon: Tropheus duboisi (Halembe)
90 Gallon: Frontosa mpimbwe f1 and A. calvus
Fish tanks - betcha can't have just one!
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Re: Switching Over to Tropheus duboisi maswa

Postby BlueSunshine » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:01 am

I will speak to the food, as I do not follow the water change and maintenance regiment of most fish keepers.

We've been feeding three groups of tropheus for about 18 to 20 months. The groups consist of about 16 each maswa, kiriza and chipimbi. The only food they have received has been northfin 1mm pellets. I premix 2 parts cichlid formula, 1 part veggie formula. When they we small we fed twice a day, for the last 4 months only once a day. We also prefer a smaller pellet as it makes alot less mess in the tank during feeding, fish swallow it faster.
As stated already, flake food is only good for making a very big mess in the tank, just my opinion.

Good luck with your new fish. We are really enjoying ours!!!!!! :) :)
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Re: Switching Over to Tropheus duboisi maswa

Postby jcarson » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:55 pm

Interesting read, I asked a similar question somewhere else. I cant wait to start my tropheus tank. I look forward to original posters progress pics if possible.
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Re: Switching Over to Tropheus duboisi maswa

Postby sir_keith » Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:21 pm

I have been keeping/breeding Tropheus for more than 20 years, and in my opinion, you can easily keep T. duboisi 'Masawa' in a 55 gallon tank. Is that optimal? No. The bigger the tank, the better, but for sure some Tropheus populations (e. g. Bemba, Ikola, Kasakalawe, and others) will be fine in a 55, provided you are on top of the water parameters and pay careful attention to the social interactions in the group. Other Tropheus populations grow too large and/or are too aggressive to be happy in a 55, but duboisi in particular should be fine if you grow them up together and ultimately end up with a group of 10-12 adults. For food, I use spiulina flakes, NLS AlgaeMax pellets, and fresh Romaine lettuce exclusively. Good luck.
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Re: Switching Over to Tropheus duboisi maswa

Postby LeftHandedFishKeeper » Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:29 am

Here is an update picture(currently they are in a grow out tank)! I have 15 Duboisi. maswa at the moment.
Image
Image
Image
Image

Water Parameters: 5-10 PPM Nitrates, pH: 8ish (straight up Michigan tap water dechlorinated)
Temperature: 78-79 Degrees
Food: Omega One Cichlid Pellets - too young and too poor to convince my parents to get Ken's flakes ;(
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Re: Switching Over to Tropheus duboisi maswa

Postby LeftHandedFishKeeper » Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:39 am

Just tested the pH again by running the tap water for a couple mins (not sure if it changes anything or not), but now I'm getting something closer to 7.5-8ish
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Re: Switching Over to Tropheus duboisi maswa

Postby Deeda » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:07 pm

Your fish look great in the grow out tank!!

Sometimes testing pH out of the tap will be higher or lower than what the aquarium will be barring any buffers whether they are added by you, substrate or similar items.

You can try leaving a sample of your tap water out for 24 hours in a clean glass container and test the pH again to get a more accurate test after any off gassing.
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Re: Switching Over to Tropheus duboisi maswa

Postby LeftHandedFishKeeper » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:23 pm

Thanks! That sounds like a good idea for testing the tap water - I know my grandfather used to use tap water that sat out for 24 hrs (since there weren't any fancy dechlorinators back then) to let the chlorine and gas fly off.
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Re: Switching Over to Tropheus duboisi maswa

Postby wryan » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:00 am

Great looking fish and tank ... :thumb:
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