General African Cichlid Discussion • Stocking planted aquascape

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Stocking planted aquascape

Postby cyprichromid » Thu Nov 26, 2020 2:41 am

Hello all - need help stocking a 50 gallon tank that is heavily aquascaped with plants and rocks - See attached picture. Tank dimensions are 36in x18in x18in. I know planted tanks and african cichlids don't usually mix but I'm told there is hope with some Tangs. As you can see, the scape has a lot of rocks and caves. Plants are most anubias and such but also some micranthemum and tall hair grass.

I prefer sedate slower moving fish - so while Cyprichromis is attractive - not sure if I should consider them
Could I keep the following:
2-3 Julidochromis transcriptus
Couple of Neolomprologus similis
Neolomaprologus brichardi pair

Any other recommendations for tangs that might not damage the plants? What about Altolamprologous calvus?
Thanks for any input
20201123_000625.jpg
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Re: Stocking planted aquascape

Postby DJRansome » Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:04 am

In a 36" tank I would do ONLY the brichardi. They tend to kill everyone in the tank when they spawn, but tolerate their own fry to fill the tank.

If you had rocks instead of wood, or different rocks/less rocks you could do a group of shellies and either a pair of julidochromis or a pair of calvus instead of the brichardi.

My Tangs did damage the plants, but not as much as the other Lakes.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Stocking planted aquascape

Postby cyprichromid » Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:23 pm

I'm curious as to why you mentioned the wood being a problem? Is it about having more room in the tank?
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Re: Stocking planted aquascape

Postby sir_keith » Fri Nov 27, 2020 8:27 am

DJRansome wrote:In a 36" tank I would do ONLY the brichardi. They tend to kill everyone in the tank when they spawn, but tolerate their own fry to fill the tank.

If you had rocks instead of wood, or different rocks/less rocks you could do a group of shellies and either a pair of julidochromis or a pair of calvus instead of the brichardi.

My Tangs did damage the plants, but not as much as the other Lakes.


In a 36" tank I would do everything EXCEPT the N. brichardi. A well-bonded pair will coexist in a 36" tank, but a 48" tank gives them room to forage and generally get out of each other's way periodically.

Most of my Tanganyikans (Featherfins, Xeno's, Julies, Shellies) totally ignore my Anubias, which have been growing luxuriantly for about two years. I would expect your plants to do just as well.

That is a very pretty tank! :thumb:
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Re: Stocking planted aquascape

Postby DJRansome » Fri Nov 27, 2020 9:55 am

The calvus and the julidochromis are rock dwellers.

The calvus like a narrow vertical cave...the female blocks the opening with her body so the male cannot eat the fry. You could substitute whelk shells for rocks for the calvus.

The julidochromis like the underside of a flat rock so they can hide while spawning and lay their eggs on the underside.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Stocking planted aquascape

Postby Fogelhund » Fri Dec 04, 2020 11:08 pm

Your tank looks fantastic, love the plants. I've often kept plants quite successfully with Tangs myself.

The challenge with your tank, is it's length. Being just 36", you'll be limited. Either just the brichardi, or the Julidochromis, and similis/multifasciatus. I wouldn't get just a pair of the shellies, but start with six... my experience had the multi's being more colonial, but others haven't had the same experience. The Julidochromis will adapt just fine to the wood...
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Re: Stocking planted aquascape

Postby fishguy1978 » Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:50 pm

Curious what stock you chose? In looking at the picture you posted I see white cloud minnows, a ottocynclis(?), and cherry shrimp. These will not do well at the L. Tang ph levels needed for the fish you have asked about. Also the Calvus will prey on anything that fits in their mouth so these would get eaten. I think I would recommend West Africa riverine fishes like Kribs for your tank. The females are gorgeous and will not require the higher L. Tang ph and would leave the WCM alone and spawn quite readily. If you remove the current occupants then one species of shell dweller mulit/similis/brevi would work. I have seen Calvus kept with these. If you keep multies or similis they will form colonies. The Brevi tend to be much more aggressive and will not tolerate other Brevi once pairs are formed. I have multies in a 100g and a 55g both tanks have plants. Anubius in both and couple variety of crypts in the 55g. There are only rocks in the 100g but there is some bogwood in the 55g. Wood is not usually recommended in L. Tang aquaria as it has the potential to lower the ph.
Shell dwellers are little bulldozers so be prepared for them to rescape the sand in your tank and uproot any plants therein. GL
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