Lake Tanganyika Species • 1st Time Keeping Cichlids

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1st Time Keeping Cichlids

Postby Ratvan » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:03 am

Morning All,

Thought I would start a Project Log for my latest project.

So I am a long time Reef Keeper and am in the process of stripping down my RSM 130D Reef Tank (34G/130L depending on location). I have had this tank running for the last 10 Years and have pretty much modified it as much as possible, short of throwing a sump on the thing. Sadly I lost the fish and corals a couple of months ago and have finally had to admit defeat and shutting down the tank. The costs of Saltwater for me now is just too expensive to try restarting so I have decided to switch back to Fresh Water after about 10 years away.

So, I have always loved Cichlids, especially the smaller Shell Dwelling species, my Mrs is from Zimbabwe and I have been attacked many times in Lake Tanganyika while scuba diving so the idea of having these vicious little monsters in my work tank is very much attractive to me.

So Since I know very little about this aspect of fish keeping I hope that someone could tell me if my planned set up/stocking list has any particular issues?

Tank: Red Sea Max 130D
Light: Kessil A360WE Tuna Blue (LFS will swap for Tuna Sun if i want)
Heater: 100W Adjustable
Return: 360 GPH Return Pump

Substrate and Hardscape:
• 5lbs Crushed Coral
• 5lbs Aragonite
• 5lbs Fine Sand
• Snail Shells Minimum 50
• Base Rock

Plants
• Anubias
• Java Fern
• Vallisneria Spirallis

Livestock: Clean up Crew
• Nerite Snails (5/6 Max - depends on build up)
• Bristlenose Pleco (depends on build up)

Livestock: Shell Dwellers
• 6 Neo/Lamprologus Multifasciatus

Also i have a load of Marine Barnacles, obviously I would need to clean these up but can anyone see an issue me adding these to the tank?
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Re: 1st Time Keeping Cichlids

Postby DJRansome » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:59 am

How long is the tank? I would not mix substrates...especially the sizes since they tend to sift/separate. Consider 20 grain pool filter sand.

I would skip the rooted plants and just go with the anubias and/or java fern which can be attached to rocks.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: 1st Time Keeping Cichlids

Postby Ratvan » Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:47 am

DJRansome wrote:How long is the tank? I would not mix substrates...especially the sizes since they tend to sift/separate. Consider 20 grain pool filter sand.

I would skip the rooted plants and just go with the anubias and/or java fern which can be attached to rocks.


L24"xW20"xH24"
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Re: 1st Time Keeping Cichlids

Postby sir_keith » Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:21 am

Sounds like a fine plan; you've done your homework. Good luck! :fish:
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Re: 1st Time Keeping Cichlids

Postby Ratvan » Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:28 am

sir_keith wrote:Sounds like a fine plan; you've done your homework. Good luck! :fish:


Thank you, my main concern at the moment is the Clean up Crew, i'm also really looking forwards to running a more simple tank (no Dosing, easier lighting schedule etc)
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Re: 1st Time Keeping Cichlids

Postby DJRansome » Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:12 pm

Since the length is 24" like a 10G I would skip the pleco and just go with the nerites. Either way the shellies will not appreciate anyone on their shells.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: 1st Time Keeping Cichlids

Postby Ratvan » Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:31 pm

DJRansome wrote:Since the length is 24" like a 10G I would skip the pleco and just go with the nerites. Either way the shellies will not appreciate anyone on their shells.


Why would you skip the Pleco out of interest?
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Re: 1st Time Keeping Cichlids

Postby Ratvan » Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:11 pm

Reef Tank Pre tear down, after catching the remaining Livestock ready for draining tomorrow and cleaning for next few weeks if I can get in the office
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IMG_20200316_153043.jpg
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Re: 1st Time Keeping Cichlids

Postby DJRansome » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:52 pm

It is a small tank already, even for shellies. Brevis would be good...multifasciatus are a squeeze. Nerites less of a bioload and less likely to hang out on the bottom.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: 1st Time Keeping Cichlids

Postby Fogelhund » Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:24 pm

Ratvan wrote:
DJRansome wrote:Since the length is 24" like a 10G I would skip the pleco and just go with the nerites. Either way the shellies will not appreciate anyone on their shells.


Why would you skip the Pleco out of interest?


It really isn't necessary for one. Second it will attempt to eat any fry. Third, it will regularly get attacked for doing two, perhaps losing it's eyes in the process (Yes, I've seen that).
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Re: 1st Time Keeping Cichlids

Postby Ratvan » Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:35 am

Fair enough, so what usually keeps these shell dweller tanks clean? Regular maintenance and Nerites?
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Re: 1st Time Keeping Cichlids

Postby Deeda » Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:44 am

To keep algae in check, wiping down the inside glass can be done using a single edge razor blade (glass tank only) or Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (no chemicals) or similar product.

Avoid over feeding so food won't accumulate on the substrate. You can also hand siphon the substrate into a white pail (to see any potential fry) and use your hand to stir up debris.
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Re: 1st Time Keeping Cichlids

Postby Ratvan » Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:52 am

Deeda wrote:To keep algae in check, wiping down the inside glass can be done using a single edge razor blade (glass tank only) or Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (no chemicals) or similar product.

Avoid over feeding so food won't accumulate on the substrate. You can also hand siphon the substrate into a white pail (to see any potential fry) and use your hand to stir up debris.


So no real clean up crews, fair enough. Not as complicated as reef tanks but more work....
Next question, how would I protect my overflow from fry? Sponge before the weir teeth and hide with Moss?
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Re: 1st Time Keeping Cichlids

Postby Deeda » Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:06 am

Is the overflow weir teeth at the top of the tank? If so, shouldn't be an issue as the fry stay at the bottom for a considerable amount of time when tiny. You could always cut a slit in a piece of sponge and fit it over the teeth but really doubt that is needed.
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Re: 1st Time Keeping Cichlids

Postby Ratvan » Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:15 am

yes works as a surface skimmer at the surface, i'll just stick some moss on it to hide the ugly thing then
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