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A Few of My Madagascan Dambas

PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 2:26 am
by notho2000
This tank contains fifteen Paretroplus - a pair of 'menarambo', six each of 'kieneri' and 'nourissati' and a lone 'dambabe. The 'menarambo' have managed to spawn three times in here despite the beehive of activity, although the lamenas are a recent addition. I obtained them about 8 months ago at around 1" and when they reached 3-4" (about 2 months ago), I put them in there. They have done well and as can be seen in the video, they're coloring up some, and no doubt, will start to "get rough" (this is an understatement) with one another. I'm looking forward to the challenge of raising, and (hopefully) breeding them at some point.
http://youtu.be/oZj4TOniq48

Re: A Few of My Madagascan Dambas

PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 11:23 am
by Chester B
Very nice. I really like the nourissati, did these come from a Canadian source?

Re: A Few of My Madagascan Dambas

PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 4:41 pm
by notho2000
Chester B wrote:Very nice. I really like the nourissati, did these come from a Canadian source?


Yes, they did. They're from Spencer Jack's aFISHionados in Winnipeg. He imported them from Laif Demason's Old World Exotic Fish in Homestead, Florida. They've only been available a couple of times in the last 5 years here.

Re: A Few of My Madagascan Dambas

PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:43 pm
by Ryan_R
Could you tell us more about how you keep your Malagasy cichlids? You have some of the best fish I've seen on these interwebs! :)

Thanks!
-Ryan

Re: A Few of My Madagascan Dambas

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 4:21 pm
by notho2000
Thanks for the kind words Ryan. Frankly, I don't do anything special for them in terms of their maintenance or water conditions. My local water ranges from pH 7.4 - 7.8 from the tap, and does not have chloramine in it. So I do water changes (30-40% every two weeks, give or take ...) with straight tap water and don't use a dechlorinator. The carbonate hardness is between 80 and 100 ppm. I use a fair amount of structure in the form of driftwood, plastic plants, rocks, and in certain instances, flower pots tipped on their sides. My tanks are generally large for housing them (70 - 180G) and for the most part I have them in community set ups, with a mix of Madagascan genus's and species. For example, in a 180G, I have 8 adult P. polleni 'Fony' in with a pair of P. menarambo, and some P. grandidieri. In a 150G, I have about 25- 4-5" 'menarambo' grow outs in with a couple of P. kieneri and a quartet of P. sp. Andapa. And in a 70G I have a colony of 8 P. kieneri. I feed them a variety of pellet foods. The Paratilapia and Ptychochromis having larger mouths, can take larger pellets, although they'll take anything. The Paretroplus (until they get larger) do best on smaller pellets. I give bloodworms as a treat now and then. The Paretroplus love snails!! I keep the temperature up around 78-80F, and am always watching out for ich which can be devastating to Madagascans if not caught and treated right away. In terms of compatibility, it is best to grow out groups (6 - 10) of young fish with one another in as large a tank as possible. The pecking order established over time and they become much more accepting of one another rased that way. I could go on, but hopefully it's enough information for now. BTW, Jose Gonzales (ciclasoman on the forums) is one of the most renowned andsuccessful Madagascan breeders in the US. Being from San Antonio, Texas, he gives his fish hard, alkaline water and has good success in breeding them in ponds. Good luck with your P. maculatus. They are one of my favorites.

Re: A Few of My Madagascan Dambas

PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:58 am
by Ryan_R
Thanks so much for the response!

You seem to have, or have had, all of the cichlids I've become fascinated with. The Malagasy and Indian cichlids have stolen the spotlight from the New Worlds in my book, though I love my big SA's.

I think my little dambas came by way of Jose, as I bought the from Dave's Rare Fish. They've been doing pretty well in standard water conditions. Similar pH and hardness. We do have treated water, so I use Stress Coat.

How do you find the Ptychochromis and Paratilapia do in community settings? I've got a large shoal of Madagascar rainbowfish growing out in the QT tank.... we'll be getting anther 6' tank next month to do the community thing!

Thanks again!

-Ryan

Re: A Few of My Madagascan Dambas

PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:48 pm
by notho2000
In my experience, Ptychochromis and Paratilapia do well in community settings. I've mixed oligacanthus and grandidieri with polleni. They behave like a bunch of rambunctious puppies with some short term chasing and shoving but no real damage. Again, raising them up from a young age together helps compatibility. Now I'm not saying that in the odd case, a fish won't get beat up a bit. After all, they are cichlids. I can't say how the rainbows would fare in there. I do know that Madagascr cichlids aren't the greatest piscivores so they may do fine.

Re: A Few of My Madagascan Dambas

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:48 pm
by Ryan_R
Thanks again!

I suspect (hope!) that the rainbows should be OK with the maculatus. Growing everyone out, and the dambas have smaller mouths. That said, my chocolates have made me appreciate how smaller fish fit inside bigger fish. ;) The Ptychochromis do have bigger mouths. Hmmm.....

Funny new development: I put some duckweed in the damba tank as an experiment with top cover and nitrate reduction. I just looked over my shoulder, and the maculatus are loving it as a snack. They seem to be enjoying it as much as, if not more than, frozen bloodworms. Good gravy!

-Ryan