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Hey everyone :) my first post here, I was recommended this website and told "they're the best" haha. Hopefully I can find a solution!

I have gotten the bug and have decided i want to dive into the world of african cichlids!

I went out and got a 40 breeder tank (overfiltered with a tidal 55 and 2 large sponge filters), i know 40B is a bit small but its all I have room for in my bedroom which is why i decided on smaller tanganyikans instead of going the malawi route. Being this is my first cichlid tank I want to set up a community tank so I can see more than 1 species.

I'm currently housing 1 aggressive leleupi in a 20 long (his julidochromis ornatus tankmate died and i figured it was stress so i bought another one and after examining the 2nd ones body I think he nipped and killed that one. which is what tipped me off that it was him all along, aqadvisor never raised any red flags so im not sure if this is normal leleupi behavior)

In my 40 breeder id like to have

- My N. Leleupi (that way I can free up the 20L for something else)
- some kind of a funny shell dweller (i want them to breed but I don't care if the fry survive, if this isn't possible I'd be open to doing my 20L for just shellies)
- N. Brichardi or C. Leptisoma some kind of open water fish that can fill the upper half of the tank
- A. Calvus
and
- J. Malieri or Dickfeldi (I love these guys, gorgeous fish)

My question is, how can I best accomplish this?
- How many of each fish to manage aggression?
- How should I aquascape it to best manage the aggression? (Right now i have some dragonstone, some plants and the substrate is caribsea Moonlight sand. I don't care about it being a bio tope)
- anything im missing/recommendations/species i should look into?
- If you had a 40 breeder, 20L and 1 fiesty lil leleupi to play with what would you do?

I know thats alot of questions! So I don't expect everyone to answer all of them, im just hoping to get some perspective from more experienced folk and try to apply it :) thanks in advance!
 

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If you can get two pairs of fish to somehow co-exist in a 40 gallon breeder, you've done a really good job. A community is out of the question.

Given you've got a leleupi, your best chance of success, is more leleupi and calvus. I've had leleupi and brichardi work together.. particularly if you have larger leleupi to start with... but it's a hit and miss. Three or four more leleupi and four calvus/brichardi would do it. By the way, brichardi aren't really open water fish at all.
 

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Fogelhund said:
...If you can get two pairs of fish to somehow co-exist in a 40 gallon breeder, you've done a really good job. A community is out of the question...
I agree. Personally, I'd pass on the leleupi; they're just too aggressive. I'd go with one of the brichardi species complex, and marlieri or calvus. Use your 20L as a shellie species thank. Good luck. :thumb:
 

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sir_keith said:
Fogelhund said:
...If you can get two pairs of fish to somehow co-exist in a 40 gallon breeder, you've done a really good job. A community is out of the question...
I agree. Personally, I'd pass on the leleupi; they're just too aggressive. I'd go with one of the brichardi species complex, and marlieri or calvus. Use your 20L as a shellie species thank. Good luck. :thumb:
Funny enough, I find that the marlieri/regani to be the most aggressive, followed by brichardi/pulcher then leleupi. The downside of the leleupi, is that they can be rough on the females, perhaps that is what you mean. Not much room to escape in a 40 gallon.
 

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Fogelhund said:
sir_keith said:
Fogelhund said:
...If you can get two pairs of fish to somehow co-exist in a 40 gallon breeder, you've done a really good job. A community is out of the question...
I agree. Personally, I'd pass on the leleupi; they're just too aggressive. I'd go with one of the brichardi species complex, and marlieri or calvus. Use your 20L as a shellie species thank. Good luck. :thumb:
Funny enough, I find that the marlieri/regani to be the most aggressive, followed by brichardi/pulcher then leleupi. The downside of the leleupi, is that they can be rough on the females, perhaps that is what you mean. Not much room to escape in a 40 gallon.
Interesting. IME both marlieri and brichardi form more stable pair bonds than leleupi, and if they have enough room, marlieri and/or brichardi pairs will be less likely to fuss with other fishes. Leleupi never seem happy unless they are making someone else miserable, and as you point out, that is often other leleupi, especially females. The point I find so interesting is how different people can have such different experiences, which I believe represents the behaviour of the fishes under different conditions: a given group of fishes are likely to very behave differently in a 125 vs. a 55. This is one reason I am always skeptical about broad generalizations. :thumb:
 
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