General African Cichlid Discussion • Malawi and Tang Community in a 55

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Malawi and Tang Community in a 55

Postby marius432 » Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:13 pm

I have an opportunity to get some Saulosi for $5 each. I was wondering if I could have them with some Julies and shell dwellers ?
this would be for a 55 gallon tank

What to feed this group?
Also, what color and type of sand should I use? what would make the best color for Saulosi ? would a black/white mix work?
would the black color be problematic for some shellies?
should I just stick with PFS?

thanks again
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Re: Malawi and Tang Community in a 55

Postby DJRansome » Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:50 pm

I would choose either the saulosi or the julidochromis and shell dwellers.

I had a mix of Tang and Malawi for a while in a "leftover" tank awaiting rehoming, and the fish did not get along well at all.

I always recommend PFS. Black is expensive, too fine and causes some fish from any lake to color down to blend with the black.

Black and white (assuming you could find them with same particle size) looks unnatural to me but that is a personal preference, it will not harm the fish.
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Re: Malawi and Tang Community in a 55

Postby marius432 » Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:50 pm

Thanks for the input,
how about some Lamprologus ocellatus with the Saulosi in the 55
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Re: Malawi and Tang Community in a 55

Postby DJRansome » Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:07 pm

Ocellatus are shell dwellers.

I would not mix Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi. I have tried various combinations and would not call any a success.

I do have Lake Tang Synodontis with Malawi, but that is the only mix of lakes I recommend.
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Re: Malawi and Tang Community in a 55

Postby Fogelhund » Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:25 am

marius432 wrote:Thanks for the input,
how about some Lamprologus ocellatus with the Saulosi in the 55


There are plenty of mixes that could work, with Lake Malawi cichlids, and Lake Tanganyika, but what you've chosen is difficult. The only shelldwellers that I might consider trying with saulosi, would be Telmatochromis sp. shell, and one of the L. hecqui/meeli/boulengeri.... Whether they work or not, is hard to say, but there certainly would be some conflicts, as the shellies defend their babies. The saulosi will be eager to eat the babies though, and they will get nailed trying... in a 55 gallon, you would likely find the confines too small, as these shellies will take at least a 1ft cube, maybe even an 18" cube territory. That doesn't leave much room for the saulosi, and in particular female saulosi to hide from the males. If you had a 6ft tank, it might work... doubt it does in a 55. If you want shellies, put the saulosi in the 55, and get some shellies for a 15-30 gallon tank.
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Re: Malawi and Tang Community in a 55

Postby sir_keith » Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:56 am

Shell dwellers are not happy when kept in the company of boisterous fishes, whether they be from Tanganyika (Tropheus) or Malawi (Mbuna). As a general rule, I try to think about the types of fishes a particular species will encounter in its natural biotope, and pick tank mates accordingly. This tends to make for a happier environment for all concerned.

Although it can be done, I agree with DJRansome that in general mixing species from different lakes, or even different biotopes, is not a great idea. Fogelhund has described the kinds of unnatural conflicts that are likely to arise in one such combination. Cichlids by their very nature are both territorial and aggressive, and our success (or not) in handling them in captivity depends upon creating an environment in which species-typical behaviors can be expressed. Achieving that goal is made all the more difficult when the fishes in question come from different lakes, and do not speak the same language.
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