Lake Tanganyika Species • Planning a 135 Tanganyika

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Planning a 135 Tanganyika

Postby heathkeim » Thu Feb 25, 2021 5:53 pm

15 years ago, I stopped keeping an aquarium and have the bug to get one up and going again. Previously, I had a 90 gallon mbuna. This go around, I intend to have a 125 Tanganyika community. I mainly want a more peaceful experience than I had with the mbuna aquarium. I've been doing some research and have come up with the following (so far):

10 cypochromis leptosoma
5 Leleupi
6 Shellies

Any other ideas for what would go well here? I wouldn't mind something that would keep the fry population in check while leaving the smaller shellies alone. I can handle predation of unwanted fry but not the constant territorial chasing. I just don't enjoy the constant high speed chasing I got with the mbunas. I want a peaceful tank.
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Re: Planning a 135 Tanganyika

Postby DJRansome » Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:06 pm

Will it be a 72" tank?

I would skip either the leleupi or the shellies. The leleupi will kill not only the fry but also will drag adults out of shells eventually killing them.

For a peaceful tank I would do some other rock dweller other than leleupi. Calvus? Julidochromis?
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Planning a 135 Tanganyika

Postby KitumbaKing » Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:27 pm

You have a lot of options. I recommend checking out the cookie cutter set-up guidance in the library.

I have a 125 gallon 6ft tanganyikan community that has been going well for me for over a year. Here is the stock.

14 adult Cyprichromis leptosoma Livua
4 Lamprologus specious
2 Neolamprologus buecheri kechese
4 Xenotilapia ochagengy Mzuri
7 Synodontis lucipinnis

If you want little aggression I would go cyps, paracyps, and sand sifters.
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Re: Planning a 135 Tanganyika

Postby heathkeim » Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:08 pm

DJRansome wrote:Will it be a 72" tank?

I would skip either the leleupi or the shellies. The leleupi will kill not only the fry but also will drag adults out of shells eventually killing them.

For a peaceful tank I would do some other rock dweller other than leleupi. Calvus? Julidochromis?


Yes, it will be a 72" I've been going round and round about leleupi. I've heard they can be be a terror. Are they any more or less aggressive than typical mbunas? I guess I'm having trouble letting go of having a nice splash of bright color. I thought I read that the Calvus is quite aggressive as well??? Correct me if I'm wrong. I'm just trying to be complete in my research before committing to anything.
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Re: Planning a 135 Tanganyika

Postby heathkeim » Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:10 pm

KitumbaKing wrote:You have a lot of options. I recommend checking out the cookie cutter set-up guidance in the library.

I have a 125 gallon 6ft tanganyikan community that has been going well for me for over a year. Here is the stock.

14 adult Cyprichromis leptosoma Livua
4 Lamprologus specious
2 Neolamprologus buecheri kechese
4 Xenotilapia ochagengy Mzuri
7 Synodontis lucipinnis

If you want little aggression I would go cyps, paracyps, and sand sifters.


Thank you. This will give me more to research.
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Re: Planning a 135 Tanganyika

Postby KitumbaKing » Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:50 pm

Leleupi are beautiful fish but are kind of buttheads. They are very aggressive amoung their own and don't mix well with shellies (because of size) or more timid fish because the are so boisterous. I would only keep them as a pair for breeding by themselves or a predator tanganyikan community with trets, lepdiochromis, and some adult calvus. Thats my opinion of them.
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Re: Planning a 135 Tanganyika

Postby heathkeim » Fri Feb 26, 2021 3:20 pm

Thanks. I'm now thinking I'll replace the leleupi with Neolamprologus brichardi. Maybe try 5 of them. So, that makes my list look like this:

Cyppchromis Leptosoma - 12
Neolamprologus Brichardi - 5
Shellies (leaning toward Lamprologus Speciosus) - 5

I feel like I could squeeze one more species in there. What else would be a nice addition? Maybe something that will eat fry but still leave the shellies alone? One Calvus? Can I do just one Calvus? Or would he be a jerk to the rest of the peaceful fish?
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Re: Planning a 135 Tanganyika

Postby KitumbaKing » Fri Feb 26, 2021 3:41 pm

No on the brichardi or any of the line including pulcher, gracilis, heilanthus, etc. They are colony only fish and are little hate machines. I have had a breeding pair tear apart 7 inch Frontosa.

Your main goal was a peaceful tank. Here are my recommendation.

12-14 cyps/micros
1 shell dweller species not named multifaciatus or similus (5 min)
1 rock dweller species Juli ornatus, chalindochromis or paracypricromis (get 5 min unless doing to paracyps then do 8 min)
1 open water species, xenos, Gnathochromis, or ectodus (6-8 min here)
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Re: Planning a 135 Tanganyika

Postby heathkeim » Fri Feb 26, 2021 4:07 pm

KitumbaKing wrote:No on the brichardi or any of the line including pulcher, gracilis, heilanthus, etc. They are colony only fish and are little hate machines. I have had a breeding pair tear apart 7 inch Frontosa.

Your main goal was a peaceful tank. Here are my recommendation.

12-14 cyps/micros
1 shell dweller species not named multifaciatus or similus (5 min)
1 rock dweller species Juli ornatus, chalindochromis or paracypricromis (get 5 min unless doing to paracyps then do 8 min)
1 open water species, xenos, Gnathochromis, or ectodus (6-8 min here)


Thank you. Much appreciated. More research ahead.
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Re: Planning a 135 Tanganyika

Postby ererer » Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:10 pm

KitumbaKing wrote:Here are my recommendation.

12-14 cyps/micros
1 shell dweller species not named multifaciatus or similus (5 min)
1 rock dweller species Juli ornatus, chalindochromis or paracypricromis (get 5 min unless doing to paracyps then do 8 min)
1 open water species, xenos, Gnathochromis, or ectodus (6-8 min here)


OP, I hope you don't mind me asking a question on your thread. KitumbaKing, can you share why you don't recommend multies or similis? I'm considering a similar stocking to what you suggest in a 55g tang tank, with cyps or paracyps, shellies, and julis, with multies as the shellie species. I posted a thread about it.
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Re: Planning a 135 Tanganyika

Postby KitumbaKing » Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:07 pm

Multis and Similus are colony shellies and are prolific breeders. I have found they end up taking over the bottom of the tank a lot more often then other bonded pair type shellies. I have a pair of lamp specious in a 75 gallon and they manage a small portion of the bottom and my xenos and buescheri can come and go. Multis/Similis are real estate moguls and dominate space. That is why I tend do do a species only, or make them the lone bottom dwelling fish.
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Re: Planning a 135 Tanganyika

Postby Fogelhund » Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:13 pm

I'm going to completely disagree, and suggest that brichardi and their kin can be kept in community tanks, mostly because I've been doing so for decades. Same with multifasciatus and similis really. Personally, I wouldn't keep brichardi types, and multifasciatus/similis in the same tank, but with both, it comes down to territory management. This is particularly easy in a 6 ft tank. The shelldwellers are bound to where the shells are, and brichardi types are bound to where the rocks are.

If we go back to your original request, a tank with Cyps, brichardi and leleupi should be easily doable in a 6ft tank. Even Cyps, leleupi and shelldwellers could work... **** Note, you would be restriced to either L. boulengeri/hecqui/meeli or Telmatochromis sp. "Temporalis Shell" . Also note, if you wanted a brichardi type, and shell dweller, the shell dweller mix suggestions would be the same.

Right now, I have a 6ft tank with WC Julidochromis regani, WC Neolamprologus pulcher (Kampwimba daffodil) and Neolamprologus leleupi working very well. They all have babies, pretty much everywhere, and coexist quite well... but it's about territory management. Please also note, in this tank, it's the pulcher that are the least dominant, because the others were allowed to establish first, breed, and then the pulcher were added.
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Re: Planning a 135 Tanganyika

Postby ViTxLz » Thu Mar 18, 2021 10:02 pm

Fogelhund wrote:I'm going to completely disagree, and suggest that brichardi and their kin can be kept in community tanks, mostly because I've been doing so for decades. Same with multifasciatus and similis really. Personally, I wouldn't keep brichardi types, and multifasciatus/similis in the same tank, but with both, it comes down to territory management. This is particularly easy in a 6 ft tank. The shelldwellers are bound to where the shells are, and brichardi types are bound to where the rocks are.

If we go back to your original request, a tank with Cyps, brichardi and leleupi should be easily doable in a 6ft tank. Even Cyps, leleupi and shelldwellers could work... **** Note, you would be restriced to either L. boulengeri/hecqui/meeli or Telmatochromis sp. "Temporalis Shell" . Also note, if you wanted a brichardi type, and shell dweller, the shell dweller mix suggestions would be the same.

Right now, I have a 6ft tank with WC Julidochromis regani, WC Neolamprologus pulcher (Kampwimba daffodil) and Neolamprologus leleupi working very well. They all have babies, pretty much everywhere, and coexist quite well... but it's about territory management. Please also note, in this tank, it's the pulcher that are the least dominant, because the others were allowed to establish first, breed, and then the pulcher were added.



Do you have pictures of this tank? I would love to see it!
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