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Chewere with Tropheops in 55gal?

Postby CincyCichlids5 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:28 am

Hello everyone, I've been checking out this forum for a while, but figured I'd join. I kept fish for 13 years(mbuna and South American for 9ish years) and had to take a long break. After 8 years out of the hobby and now a homeowner, my wife allowed me to get a 55gal tank. Because of my previous experience, I loaded it with lots of rocks. I had a stock list compiled, but when my first batch arrived(1m/3f chewere) my wife didn't really like them. I think they're awesome though. Anyways she found tropheops chilumba online and I personally had never heard of them so I searched high and low on the internet for any info and there really isn't much out there. They appear to be a very aggressive fish which may be why they aren't popular. So my question is, are these fish compatible in a small tank like this? While I've never had chewere before, many people seam to say they are quite aggressive so maybe they'd be ok assuming the tank is large enough? Thoughts?
Realistically I'd want 3 mbuna species and a group of petricolas. If the tropheops aren't going to work I'll just tell my wife too bad lol originally my stock list would have been chewere, acei, and magunga, but I'm willing to change it up to please the wife.
Thanks in advance!
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Re: Chewere with Tropheops in 55gal?

Postby DJRansome » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:00 pm

In a 55G I would not do more than 3 species. I would skip the acei in a 55G as well. The chewere are Cynotilapia. There are a bunch of fish from Magunga...which did you have in mind?
125G Borleyi, Maleri, Astatotilapia, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Maingano, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Petricola
33G Hara; 33G Kwanga; 33G Homeless Peacocks; 33G Cobue
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Re: Chewere with Tropheops in 55gal?

Postby CincyCichlids5 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:13 pm

DJRansome wrote:In a 55G I would not do more than 3 species. I would skip the acei in a 55G as well. The chewere are Cynotilapia. There are a bunch of fish from Magunga...which did you have in mind?


I guess details are important and banging out a quick post while on my lunch break wasn't the best idea. Soo...

I have 4 pseudotropheus elongatus chewere currently that arrived last week from an online vendor. I had also ordered 4, yellow tail acei at the same time, but found out they were out of stock when the chewere came in. As of today, the vendor told me he can get a better idea when they'll be available on Monday. So technically I could cancel them or maybe switch to a different species if need be?
Also today, I called <vendor name removed> to ask about the tropheops. His advice was that the chewere and tropheops should do fine together, but he recommended putting 8-10 tropheops in there for the sake of aggression. I asked about the possibility of a 3rd species of mbuna and given the fact of my water cleanliness(2 Aquaclear 70s and water changes twice a week) it would be doable for say 4 chewere, 6-7 tropheops, and 4 of something else. He also said while the acei would likely be fine, their adult size would really be pushing it in a 55. I did not ask about the petricolas although having 3-4 of those in addition to everything is probably too much?
As far as the magunga, sorry I didn't specify. I was originally looking at the msobo deep, but if I got the tropheops I would not get them since the females on both the tropheops and the msobo are yellow.
DJRansom, I'm gathering that it'll come down to either having the tropheops, chewere, and petricolas or having the tropheops, chewere, and a 3rd species of mbuna and not all 4 species?
Last edited by DJRansome on Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Cichlid-forum would like to keep review-type information out of the forums, and in the Reviews section instead.
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Re: Chewere with Tropheops in 55gal?

Postby DJRansome » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:16 am

I might be more comfortable with both the eongatus and the tropheops in a larger tank, but if you want to try it it seems like a good idea to go with the recommendation of the larger number of tropheops.

I imagine the Synodontis are lucipinnis. When stocking cichlids, you usually don't count the Synodontis. I would not do less than 5.
125G Borleyi, Maleri, Astatotilapia, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Maingano, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Petricola
33G Hara; 33G Kwanga; 33G Homeless Peacocks; 33G Cobue
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Re: Chewere with Tropheops in 55gal?

Postby CincyCichlids5 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:45 am

I recently found a guy selling lucipinnis for $5 each so I'll be getting 5 of those soon. Those are becoming hard to find right now and are normally not that cheap so I'm pretty excited. A different guy claimed to have petricolas, but they probably weren't like you said. I'll never know because he fell through. Gotta love Craigslist.

Well I'll shoot for 6 or 7 tropheops for now and see how things go. Hopefully I can order them in about a month when funds are available. If you think a 3rd species is doable, but not the acei or msobo deep, any recommendations? If the general consensus is to stick with the 2 species tank I'll probably ramp up on a couple more chewere and tropheops later in the year.
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Re: Chewere with Tropheops in 55gal?

Postby DJRansome » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:55 am

You want to end up with 15 fish and since both elongatus and tropheops are aggressive, shoot for 7 or 8 of each after removing extra males.
125G Borleyi, Maleri, Astatotilapia, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Maingano, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Petricola
33G Hara; 33G Kwanga; 33G Homeless Peacocks; 33G Cobue
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Re: Chewere with Tropheops in 55gal?

Postby CincyCichlids5 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:37 am

Thanks for the info! I'll use that as a guideline.

On a separate note, as of this morning I have a holding chewere female. The male just would not let up the day before, but she didn't appear to want anything to do with him. Now that they have spawned, the male has tamed down a lot. I don't have my 20 gallon backup tank setup yet so we'll see what happens with her. At least the other fish are leaving her alone for the most part.
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Re: Chewere with Tropheops in 55gal?

Postby Kevin in Ky » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:39 am

I'm not sure the Tropheops will do great in a 55g..once they grow out. I keep them (Tropheops Broadzula) in a 125g (6' long), very cool fish and they do very well..but the Male is pretty aggressive and lightning fast.. and will chase the full 6' length of the tank. In a 4' tank, I just can't imagine them doing great..especially the females. The Chewere male would be more than able to hold his own with him..but they will be constantly squabbling and fighting over territory. I haven't tried Tropheops or a Metriaclima species in a 55g..just my guess on what might happen. I think I would go with a good quality group of 4 Yellow Labs (or White)..along with the Chewere.
125g Met Msobo - White Labs - Acei (White Tail) - Troph Elong Boadzulu - Cyno Jalo Reef -Petricola Catfish
55g Demasoni - Yellow Labs - Acei
55g Cyno Hara - Met Estherae - Rusty
29g Ps Saulosi - Rusty
20g Julidochromis Marlieri -Gombe
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Re: Chewere with Tropheops in 55gal?

Postby CincyCichlids5 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:01 pm

Thanks for the info Kevin. This is what I need. Info based on actual experience, but sadly it seems very few people keep tropheops. How quickly do they grow? I've heard pretty slowly, but how slow is slow? The reason I ask is that these cichlids are slowly growing on my wife. First she didn't want them, now she really enjoys the colors and the activity. Then she said I could only have the 55 gallon, but now said if I get any more aquariums they must go in the basement. Well, I have a large, unfinished basement that would easily fit a 125 gallon tank. First however, I'd have to get an electrician to install some outlets down there and then I'd have to figure out how to squeeze the dang thing in between the stairs and the furnace(the builders really thought that one through). If I can get all of that worked out and if I find a great deal on a used one, I might be able to get a 125 within the next year. If I were to get the tropheops soon and they are slow growers, I could put them in the big tank later on. It's a lot of ifs, but it might be very doable.
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Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Chewere with Tropheops in 55gal?

Postby Kevin in Ky » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:46 am

If you buy them as small juveniles... I would say you could get by for a year in a 55g. I don't notice the Tropheops growing at any slower rate than any of the other species in the tank but.. how often and how much you feed them probably will. One feeding a day is plenty..and seems to cut down on problems, compared to feeding 2 or 3 times a day like I used to do.
125g Met Msobo - White Labs - Acei (White Tail) - Troph Elong Boadzulu - Cyno Jalo Reef -Petricola Catfish
55g Demasoni - Yellow Labs - Acei
55g Cyno Hara - Met Estherae - Rusty
29g Ps Saulosi - Rusty
20g Julidochromis Marlieri -Gombe
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Re: Chewere with Tropheops in 55gal?

Postby CincyCichlids5 » Mon May 21, 2018 8:50 pm

Life has been really busy lately, but I finally have time to post an update. A lot has happened within the past month.
First off, my female chewere successfully held her first batch and I now have 14 fry in a 10 gallon. She originally spit 15, but 1 died within the first week. She did a fantastic job and has recovered fully after 22 days of holding.
My smallest chewere ended up coloring up and has now shown it's actually a male. So now I have 2M/2F, but with the fry I'll be able to change that later down the road.
My wife gave me the green light for a large aquarium in the basement so now it's just a matter of finding a really good deal on CL or the like. I'm looking at either a 125 or 150. I've had to miss a couple really good deals, but there will be more.
Since I will be getting a larger tank now, I went ahead and ordered the acei and tropheops. I was given an extra lucipinnis, acei, and tropheops so my tank is definitely a little overstocked with 4 chewere, 5 acei, 6 lucipinnis, and 8 tropheops. I believe 2 if not 3 of the tropheops are males that I can tell right now so that number will drop in the future. All of the fish are getting along very well. It's an extremely active and vibrant tank now. All of the known males stay colored up, the chewere no longer dig, and there isn't much aggression. The dominant male tropheops occasionally shows some attitude towards his own kind for a brief period each morning, but then settles down for the rest of the day. When the larger tank is finally acquired, I plan to add more chewere and a 4th species. I'll worry about that later though.

Lastly, why not throw some pics in. My computer kicked the bucket recently so I can't use my real camera for photos at the moment so here are some terrible phone pics with glare.

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Re: Chewere with Tropheops in 55gal?

Postby CincyCichlids5 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:48 am

I got an upgrade, a big upgrade! After searching Craigslist everyday for the past number of weeks I happened upon a used 6ft 150 gallon for cheap. Actually it was 2 tanks with stands for $250, but I could neither afford both nor would my wife allow that so I managed one for $130. It's just the tank and a wooden stand, but it's a great deal in my opinion. The tank is in pretty good condition with the exception of some scratches and dings and typical crud that needs cleaned. The stand doesn't look like it was ever used. Very good condition however there are two things with it. First it's not beefed up to my liking so I'll be adding some strength because I don't trust it. Secondly, after cleaning the tank today, I was going to leak test it. I noticed right away that something wasn't level. After about 35 gallons I stopped because the right side was about 1.5in deeper than the left. I did tons of measuring and realized that the deeper side of the stand was an 1/8th inch higher. I take that to mean the garage floor isn't level, but still it shouldn't be taller on one end. So I either need to put something under the tank ultimately or just build a new one. I also noticed a small gap under the stand on the right side so I'll be investigating. It's hard with a 300+lb tank lol
Anyways the next step is getting a new outlet installed in the basement once we figure out where it should go. After that, the fun move from the garage to the basement will happen and then I'll buy the parts over time. I hope to have it up and running by the end of the year. I'm planning on pf sand again, 3 Aquaclear 110 filters, 2 300w heaters, and glass lids with LED lighting.

My current tank is doing very well. The tropheops are definitely aggressive, but only amoungst themselves lol They leave the acei and chewere alone. The hyperdominant male tropheops is showing blue on all of his fins now. He'll let any non tropheops pass through his 10in by 4in space, but that's it. Do female tropheops have egg spots? Of the few photos and videos out there, it doesn't appear so. If that's the case, it looks like I have 6-7 males and 1-2 females which sucks.
The same chewere female that held the last time has another batch. She only took a 3 week break in between batches so definitely a very active spawner. Her first batch of 14 are already a half inch +.

Lastly, with the new 150 on the horizon I'm looking at adding an additional 2 mbuna species for a total around 45 mbuna(51 fish including the lucipinnis. Here is what I'm thinking when it's all set up:

2M/12F tropheops chilumba
2M/8F elongatus chewere
1M/4-5F acei
1M/4F williamsi blue lips
2M/8-10F? Need help on this one. 1st choice is colbalt blue zebra, second choice is white top hara. If neither of those are a good idea I'm thinking along the lines of either labeotropheus fuelleborni or labeotropheus trewavasae. Thoughts? Obviously whatever I get needs to be able to hold it's own with the other aggressive species.
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Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Chewere with Tropheops in 55gal?

Postby DJRansome » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:56 pm

I like about 25 mbuna in a 72" tank which is mixed gender.
125G Borleyi, Maleri, Astatotilapia, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Maingano, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Petricola
33G Hara; 33G Kwanga; 33G Homeless Peacocks; 33G Cobue
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Re: Chewere with Tropheops in 55gal?

Postby CincyCichlids5 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:02 pm

Now that I have a new computer, here is an update...

I'm still keeping everyone in the 55 at the moment. I have a family member who is an electrician who is installing an outlet in the basement. It's saving me money, but taking longer than I'd want for schedules to align. It should be done this week and then I can start cycling the 150.
Current stock list from the original is 1M/2F chewere, 2M/4F tropheps, 5 acei(It's a 2/3 split of M/F. I'm positive on 4 of them, but not the 5th), and 6 lucipinnis. I got rid of 2 male tropheops and have the other male chewere in a separate tank and trying to sell him. It's definitely a more stable tank with 3 less males. There is lots of breeding going on as well. It took me a while to sell 25 juvenile chewere so I've just been letting them spit in the tank. So far only 1 juvenile has survived. Pretty crazy to see it survive so I'm just keeping it in there for now. The tropheops have been getting it on too. I kept 2 batches so I have 30 of those. Being a rarely kept cichlid I'm not sure what the demand will be even though you can't really find them anywhere. I plan to keep 5 females for myself for the 150. The acei have held a few times, but have never kept a batch as of yet.
All in all everyone is getting along pretty well after nearly 7 months. When the 150 is good to go I will be adding several more fish. DJRansome, I understand you recommend 25 fish, but I think I'll stretch it to around 30 to help level out aggression. I believe my final stock list will look like this:

1M/3F chewere
2M/9 or 10F tropheops
1M/3 or 4F acei
1M/3F williamsi blue lips
1M/4F metriaclima callainos "pearl"
6 lucipinnis

This would be a total of 27-28 cichlids. Does anyone see any issues with this list?

Lastly, here are some photos I've recently taken...

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Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Chewere with Tropheops in 55gal?

Postby DJRansome » Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:54 pm

I don't have luck with trios...maybe you will.
125G Borleyi, Maleri, Astatotilapia, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Maingano, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Petricola
33G Hara; 33G Kwanga; 33G Homeless Peacocks; 33G Cobue
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