General African Cichlid Discussion • Alto. Compressiceps with Malawis ?

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Alto. Compressiceps with Malawis ?

Postby Patate » Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:59 pm

Hello, I've read that Alto. Compressiceps are often mixed up with Malawi cichlid, even if they're not from the same lake. Is it true ?

I know the PH is not the same, but very similar. I really like Compressiceps and Calvus but don't like other fish from Lake Tanganyika that well. If I could mix a pair of alto with either mbunas or peacocks, I'd be happy. My tank is 36"x12.5"x18,5", I think it's a 38 gallons.

I know mbunas are aggressive while peacocks are less agressive, but I'm not sure about the temper of Compressiceps. I've read conflicted opinions of their temper, some say they're calm and stay mostly immobile, while some other say they terrorize their whole tank. Any suggestion on how to populate my tank ? thanks!
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Re: Alto. Compressiceps with Malawis ?

Postby DJRansome » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:53 pm

Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

I have the same size tank...I would not keep Malawi in it. I have tried a single species of peacock: fail. If you wanted to do a single species of Chindongo saulosi (I would not recommend substituting other mbuna) that could work, but they barely fit. I would not then add one or a pair of calvus.

Calvus would be OK in the tank without the Malawi.

I have mixed the calvus with Malawi in a 72" tank and the calvus survived but there was no natural behavior. You may have seen my post saying they were immobile.

I have had the opportunity to observe them with Malawi as well as in a Tang community...they are different and better fish with other Tangs.
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Re: Alto. Compressiceps with Malawis ?

Postby Patate » Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:34 am

Thanks for the reply !
I like the options of the the Chidongo Saulosi, but I want Calvus or Compressiceps. I'm open to the idea of a Tang community, but they lack colors. But yeah, I feel what you mean : A calvus with mbunas might not be the same as a Calcus with shelldwellers and rock dwellers. However, when you said there was no natural behavior in the malawi tank from the Calvus, what d'you mean besides it was not very active ? How different was he with his own ?
I'd love to get a Tang tank where every one is happy, but I most tangs are dull. I know their temper makes up for it, but they're all grey with some colored fins. So if I go with an all gray tank, shellies or Caudopunctatus will defend their fry, Calvus will try to sneak in and eat some fry anyways, and Cyps will be floating around not caring about anything happenning down below. Was is this different with your Calvus with Malawis ? I guess he was immobile and waiting for mBunas to make babies so that he could sneak in and get a taste of some, then either mbunas fight him, or he fight mbunas. That could be similar to what he'd do with Tangs ? If I'm wrong, please correct me !
What if I get a male Calvus / Compressiceps with some males mbunas, or males peacocks ? Would he get into a depression since he could not get any eggs or fry, or once feeded correctly he could have an happy live with them ?
My main goal here is Alto. Compressiceps. I know I could get him with some Julies, but I don't really like them : you get two, they're super territorial but also super skittish. Caudopunctatus seems nice, but they're not that much colored, same with Cyps and Paracypriomis.
When you say they could be okay by themselves, without Malawi, did you mind by themselves? If I could get a tank full of them, I guess I'd by happy, but I think they need to form a pair and that my tank would not be big enough for more than a pair, or for a harem... so I'd end up with..... 2 compressiceps, and maybe some babies ?
Please help me find something interesting that would include at least one Alto. Compressiceps, and..... anything else (unless I could go the harem route!)
Could I go with an all male tank, but avoir aggressive mbuna ? What about a Compressicep plus a few peaceful smallish peacocks ? I've read Maulanas are often in the 3 inches, could it work ? Like Calvus/Compressicep + 1x Maulana + maybe another smallish peaceful Peacock?
Thanks again!
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Re: Alto. Compressiceps with Malawis ?

Postby DJRansome » Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:05 am

The problem with a 36" tank is not the size of the fish...it is how territorial it is. Some of the 3" mbuna are better in larger tanks.

If calvus is the must have then you sacrifice the brilliant colors of the Malawi.

Six calvus and six caudopunctatus. They may live in peace or since it IS a small tank they may reject others of their species until you have a pair of each. The caudos keep the calvus feeling safe enough to move around, and they do have that blue eye and orange fin.

You could substitute shellies like multipunctatus for the caudos.

All male works better if your tank is 48x18 or larger and just the Malawi.

When my calvus was with malawi he hovered near his rock and that was it. As if he was terrified to draw attention to himself. He did not do this with the caudopunctatus or any other Tangs. He was happy with his NLS food, just not comfortable with his rambunctious tank mates.

Alto fry are hard to raise and you would remove them from the tank so they would survive. I don't think you would see adults and babies without first raising the babies separately for a year and then putting them back.
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Re: Alto. Compressiceps with Malawis ?

Postby sir_keith » Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:04 pm

Patate wrote:Alto. Compressiceps with Malawi's?


No.
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