Aquarium Decoration (Rocks, Plants and Substrates) • Lake Tanganyika Hardscape Questions

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Lake Tanganyika Hardscape Questions

Postby Gordo33 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:25 am

I have a 75 gallon tank that I am converting for Lake Tanganyika cichlids.
My plan is for a shell dweller species , julio and cyps. I have 13 pieces of holy rock large enough that 6 would cover the 4ft length . Please advise on set up .
My thought was to place the rocks along the back length of the tank . Leave 20 inches for shells across the front left side with a depth approx 10 inches. The right side will have 20 inches oF open sand with a 10 inch depth . The middle 8 inches would have the rocks the entire depth of the tank.
Questions:
is this an appropriate set up for the species I mentioned?
how high can I stack the rocks without hindering the cyps?

any recommendations will be appreciated
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Re: Lake Tanganyika Hardscape Questions

Postby DJRansome » Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:59 am

Cyps do appreciate high cover although you might have difficulty getting a stable stack to the waterline.

I would do rocks on one side, open sand in the middle and piles of shells on the other. Open sand is important for a demilitarized zone for the shellies and sleeping space for the cyps.

Julidochromis like a flat rock resting on the sand in the back and open in the front for laying eggs.

Be sure to leave space between glass and rock piles on all sides to easily use the Python to vacuum substrate and for your hand when scraping the glass every week.
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75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
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Re: Lake Tanganyika Hardscape Questions

Postby Gordo33 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:32 pm

DJRansome wrote:
I would do rocks on one side, open sand in the middle and piles of shells on the other. Open sand is important for a demilitarized zone for the shellies and sleeping space for the cyps.

Julidochromis like a flat rock resting on the sand in the back and open in the front for laying eggs..


Is the demilitarized zone to protect the shellies from the other fish .. how many square feet of open sand for demilitarized zone and for the cyps sleeping space. Can the holy rock be placed more horizontal instead of standing upright for the Jullies.
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Location: Philadelphia

Re: Lake Tanganyika Hardscape Questions

Postby DJRansome » Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:22 pm

At least six inches of open sand for the shellies and then more for the cyps. IDK exact square feet.

I would put a flat rock under the holey rock and then stack it over and around. In breeder tanks I use a 4X4 slate tile for a pair.

I'd probably do 1/3 rock and 1/3 sand down the middle and 1/3 shells. Which shellies? Multifasciatus like as many as 100 or more.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Lake Tanganyika Hardscape Questions

Postby Gordo33 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:31 am

DJRansome wrote:
I would put a flat rock under the holey rock and then stack it over and around. In breeder tanks I use a 4X4 slate tile for a pair.

I'd probably do 1/3 rock and 1/3 sand down the middle and 1/3 shells. Which shellies? Multifasciatus like as many as 100 or more.

How high should I stack the flat rock.? Can you send a pic of your set up?
For the Shellies I'm leaning towards the Multis because I like the idea they create a colony. My concern though is space since I want to incorporate the Julie's and Cyps.
Because of the space concerns I may go with similis or brevis. Which of these would be most interesting / entertaining?
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Re: Lake Tanganyika Hardscape Questions

Postby DJRansome » Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:46 am

No reason not to go with multifasciatus. I found brevis and similis more zen and less entertainment value. They like the shells all in one group and in layers. Don't scatter them around.

I don't have julidochromis at this time. Stacking flat rock without spacers does not allow the fish to swim in between, and spacers look artificial. You are likely to end up with a pair of julidochromis so one flat rock at substrate level and the rest piled on top will work. For breeder tanks I use a terra cotta saucer and a 4x4 slate tile creating a partially covered space that is the depth of the saucer. You can pile rocks on top of this so it is completely invisible as long as you leave room for the fish to get in-out.

If you want to try for a colony of julidochromis (the fish will tell you if they will allow this, not really under your control) then create 2 or 3 flat rocks under the rock pile.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Lake Tanganyika Hardscape Questions

Postby Gordo33 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:52 pm

@DJRansome thanks for you help. :thumb:
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