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Reducing Agression in my 20 Long tank

Postby Dmhgrosso » Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:29 am

I have a 20 Long tank.
As per the advice of my LFS I was told to overstock it and provide territories for them.

So this is exactly what I did, I filled up a large portion of the tank with dragonstone and made caves, I added a tidal 55 onto it to cope with the bioload a bit better and when I added my livestock I pulled everyone out of the tank and added them all at the same time & I intentionally fed them a bit heavier so that everyone could get food

My stocking list is all juveniles:
3 leleupi and 3 julidochromis regani

Its day 3 and the chasing has gone down slightly, however yesterday I saw the fish beating the snot out of eachother and im still a bit scared from it. most of them have nipped fins, some of the guys were huddled up in a corner and I saw fish getting chased all over the tank for a bit. I added some salt to help deal with the wounds and the feeding helped a bit but like I said I'm still a bit freaked out lol.

This is my first african cichlid tank so my question is, is this just normal social behavior or is it a matter of time before I have to start doing stiff checks every morning?

On 1 forum on fb I had a guy say 20L was too small for 6 fish but I thought that was the point of overstocking.

Anyways any insight would be values, thanks in advance guys.
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Re: Reducing Agression in my 20 Long tank

Postby Fogelhund » Fri Feb 12, 2021 11:27 am

The tank is probably too small for THOSE fish. You over stock for mouth brooders, to reduce aggression. Territory bound egg layers like you have, you stock based upon territorial needs. I have a pair of Julidochromis, trio of leleupi, and a pair of pulcher daffodil, in a 6ft 125 gallon. If the goal was to pair them up properly, you probably needed more fish, if they are juveniles. If they are larger adults, it could be easier to some degree, but you'd still need more space for them to get away from being chased. Maybe post pictures of your current setup, and we can see how to optimize what you've got. I probably wouldn't have recommended this mix, without a minimum 48" long tank.
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Re: Reducing Agression in my 20 Long tank

Postby DJRansome » Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:38 pm

:popcorn: When you overstock to the right level to manage aggression, it is not too many fish. But you have a good advisor with Fogelhund.
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Re: Reducing Agression in my 20 Long tank

Postby Dmhgrosso » Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:44 pm

Fogelhund wrote:The tank is probably too small for THOSE fish. You over stock for mouth brooders, to reduce aggression. Territory bound egg layers like you have, you stock based upon territorial needs. I have a pair of Julidochromis, trio of leleupi, and a pair of pulcher daffodil, in a 6ft 125 gallon. If the goal was to pair them up properly, you probably needed more fish, if they are juveniles. If they are larger adults, it could be easier to some degree, but you'd still need more space for them to get away from being chased. Maybe post pictures of your current setup, and we can see how to optimize what you've got. I probably wouldn't have recommended this mix, without a minimum 48" long tank.


How do I post photos? I'm new here & what should I do then with the current fish?
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Re: Reducing Agression in my 20 Long tank

Postby Deeda » Fri Feb 12, 2021 2:41 pm

There are a couple ways to post photos. Check the link in my signature if you are using a photo hosting website or you can use the Full Editor rather than quick reply and use the Upload Attachment section below the Submit button to post pics from your device.
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Re: Reducing Agression in my 20 Long tank

Postby sir_keith » Fri Feb 12, 2021 6:22 pm

Fogelhund wrote: ...The tank is probably too small for THOSE fish. You over stock for mouth brooders, to reduce aggression. Territory bound egg layers like you have, you stock based upon territorial needs... I probably wouldn't have recommended this mix, without a minimum 48" long tank...


Great advice, with which I totally agree. You're getting bad advice from your LFS- you can't 'overstock it and provide territories for them' at the same time, and I would never suggest N. leleupi to a novice African cichlid keeper. A 20L would be fine for a pair or two of shell dwellers, but certainly not for the species you have at present. Your LFS is either ill-informed, or intent merely on selling lots of fishes. :o
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Re: Reducing Agression in my 20 Long tank

Postby Dmhgrosso » Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:42 am

sir_keith wrote:
Fogelhund wrote: ...The tank is probably too small for THOSE fish. You over stock for mouth brooders, to reduce aggression. Territory bound egg layers like you have, you stock based upon territorial needs... I probably wouldn't have recommended this mix, without a minimum 48" long tank...


Great advice, with which I totally agree. You're getting bad advice from your LFS- you can't 'overstock it and provide territories for them' at the same time, and I would never suggest N. leleupi to a novice African cichlid keeper. A 20L would be fine for a pair or two of shell dwellers, but certainly not for the species you have at present. Your LFS is either ill-informed, or intent merely on selling lots of fishes. :o


So 14 multis I have won't be good for a 20L?
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Re: Reducing Agression in my 20 Long tank

Postby Dmhgrosso » Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:11 am

I have 14 multis, 6 juli regani & 3 leleupi.

The tanks I have on hand at my disposal are
- a 20 long (1 inch of sand substrate)
- 2x10 gallons (bare no Substrate)
- a 40 breeder (1.5 inch of sand substrate)

Filters I have available are
- 3x medium sponge filters
- a tidal 110
- a tidal 55

The building materials I have on hand
- a ton of dragonstone
- a decent amount of lava rock
- fake decor
- a driftwood "tree" on slate
- approx 48 escargot shells

How can I make the best out of this situation? I want my multis to breed and as for the other fish, I don't care about breeding but it'd be nice for them show nice colors and not be stressed. I'd also like to add a group of 6 paracyprichromis and 1 brichardi to a tank if possible.

If you guys were in my shoes with the experience you have what would you do?
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Re: Reducing Agression in my 20 Long tank

Postby Dmhgrosso » Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:15 am

Dmhgrosso wrote:
sir_keith wrote:Your LFS is either ill-informed, or intent merely on selling lots of fishes. :o


I suspect they might be dirtbags cause they tried to sell me a pleco with no eyes & they've done other things I find uncomfortably shady. But they're the only ones open during lockdown here so I caved and bought from them against my personal reservations...I wish I could buy from literally anyone else. Def not buying livestock from them again after this though.
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Re: Reducing Agression in my 20 Long tank

Postby Fogelhund » Sat Feb 13, 2021 9:40 am

Dmhgrosso wrote:I have 14 multis, 6 juli regani & 3 leleupi.

The tanks I have on hand at my disposal are
- a 20 long (1 inch of sand substrate)
- 2x10 gallons (bare no Substrate)
- a 40 breeder (1.5 inch of sand substrate)

Filters I have available are
- 3x medium sponge filters
- a tidal 110
- a tidal 55

The building materials I have on hand
- a ton of dragonstone
- a decent amount of lava rock
- fake decor
- a driftwood "tree" on slate
- approx 48 escargot shells

How can I make the best out of this situation? I want my multis to breed and as for the other fish, I don't care about breeding but it'd be nice for them show nice colors and not be stressed. I'd also like to add a group of 6 paracyprichromis and 1 brichardi to a tank if possible.

If you guys were in my shoes with the experience you have what would you do?


The best solution is probably the multis in the 20 and the regani in the 40. Rehome the leleupi, no Paracyps or brichardi. If you picked up a 4ft tank, you could keep the leleupi and regani. The Paracyps are too docile for the lelepi or regani, and would also be best in at least a 4ft tank. Never add a single fish, in groups of Tanganyikans... they always end up becoming a problem.
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Re: Reducing Agression in my 20 Long tank

Postby Dmhgrosso » Sat Feb 13, 2021 11:27 am

Okay so hypothetically if I bought a 75 gallon, could I keep the leleupi, regani, 10 cyprichromis leptosoma & 3 brichardi?
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Re: Reducing Agression in my 20 Long tank

Postby Dmhgrosso » Sat Feb 13, 2021 11:35 am

Cause I'm thinking that if I bought a 75 gallon, maybe I can keep the 3 leleupi, 6 regani and add 10 cyprichromis leptosoma & 3 brichardi?

Also is the 20L big enough to house my multis and support breeding? There is 14 in the 20 at the moment, how many multis can a 20 long support? At what point should I start pulling fish out?

Btw if I didn't say it already thankyou for your help I really appreciate it.
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Re: Reducing Agression in my 20 Long tank

Postby DJRansome » Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:39 pm

In a 75G I would not do 2 rock dwellers AND the brichardi. The brichardi are better as a single species tank most of the time because they have been known to kill everything in the tank when they spawn.
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Re: Reducing Agression in my 20 Long tank

Postby Fogelhund » Sat Feb 13, 2021 4:10 pm

Dmhgrosso wrote:Okay so hypothetically if I bought a 75 gallon, could I keep the leleupi, regani, 10 cyprichromis leptosoma & 3 brichardi?



No. You could do the leleupi, regani, and small leptsoma.. non-Jumbo.

Neo. brichardi aren't the easiest to mix with other fish. It can be done, and I've done it often, but many people have challenges with them taking over a tank. If you decided to go for them, you would have to drop one of the leleupi or regani. Adult leleupi and regani can easily hold their own against brichardi, but the challenge is when you start with all juveniles, and the brichardi breed first... which is most of the time.
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Re: Reducing Agression in my 20 Long tank

Postby Dmhgrosso » Sat Feb 13, 2021 4:25 pm

Okay so I found a 55 gallon on marketplace, would thatwork? & Any tanganyikan dither fish/mid-top level swimmers you would recommend for a 4ft tank that are better than cyprichromis leptosoma non jumbos? And assuming I have the 6 regani, 3 leleupi & 10 cyprichromis leptosoma non jumbo (or whatever u recommend) in this tank setup, is this considered over stocked or understocked? Is it recommend I aquascape territories for these guys and if so is there any tips on how to do it better? I've just been making as many caves as I can with the rocks. How will i know if my tank is goin or work out?
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