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Discussion regarding only Lake Victoria Basin, West African, Madagascar & Asian Species.
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Congo biotope advise needed

Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:36 pm

Hi all, i have made a change of direction after ten years, from ca cichlids to W African tank. I plan to do a congo biotope in my large 8 foot by 3 foot tank.

I've acquired congo tetras and some barbus sp, as dithers. I have some juvenile H Lillafili.

Please could you advise how many and what kind of dwarf or smaller biotope correct cichlids I could achieve safely in such a set up? I understand some feel the Jewel wont work. Am interested in blockheads, kribs, nanchromis, lamps, and mouthbrooders. Plus a possible mini cat.

Thanks

Re: Congo biotope advise needed

Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:03 pm

You're going to have to make a choice between the more aggressive cichlids, e.g. Lamprologus, Pseudocrenilabrus, Steatocranus, etc., and the more peaceful dwarf species, e. g. Nannochromis, Pelvicachromis, etc.. Once you've done that, you can pick tankmates according to availability in your area and compatibility. Personally, I'd go with the dwarfs because of their outstanding color, and the fact that you will have room for quite a few territories, but either way it should be a really fun project. Add abundant plants and driftwood, and that could be a stunning tank. Good luck! :thumb:

Re: Congo biotope advise needed

Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:16 pm

Thats great thanks. And you’d obviously include the Hemicrhomis in the aggressive bracket?

Regarding the Dwarf groupings, outside of Krib types and Nanchromis, are others that could mix with them in such a tank?
Thanks

Re: Congo biotope advise needed

Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:59 pm

The Cichlid Fishes of Western Africa by Anton Lamboj is already behind the times, but is still the most accurate current reference for these fish. The information on this site's species profiles is seriously out of date when it comes to Hemichromis. Classification of these species is currently under active investigation, and could have new data published any day. The true lifalili is actually the fish listed here as Sp. Moanda. The bright red forms are various populations currently assigned to H. guttatus, though they may yet be given new designations. There are also other species and populations not included in this forum's list. The real lifalili is not an aggressive species, but it is still quite uncommon. IME, H. stellifer - the real one - is also relatively non-aggressive.

For other Dwarf species, I would be cautious about mixing species within genera. I think the newest Genus is Congochromis, which is mostly species that used to be considered the smallest of Nannochromis. Given the size of your tank, you might also consider one of the less common Steatocranus species, most of which don't even have actual descriptions yet. There are some dwarf species that I would expect to be less aggressive.

I think the Pelvicachromis from that region are some of the more aggressive in the genus, and would be very hesitant to recommend them.
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