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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Aquarium is a 40 gallon, 36" long.

Could I have a colony of Multies on the left with piles of shells, lets say over a 15" wide area, 6" in the middle, and a colony of Caudopunk on the right in a big pile of rocks/caverns for the remaining 15" ?

In the middle area I could even put a big rock to block line of sight, or even a kind of rocky wall that could make 2/3 of tank's width and height ? That way, they would not really see each others, unless they go above the wall, which will be rare since they'll both mosty be in the bottom-to-middle areas.

Below is a little montage I made to illustrate roughly what I have in mind about the separation of the colonies.



I'll be making my rocks/walls using styrofoam coated in cement, painted and cured.

I know Caudopunks like to play with shells, but will mostly use the rocks and caves to hide and breed, so I don't think they would be tempted to go into Multies territory if they have enough caves (especially if there is a wall, I guess it must be less tempting for them as they would not be simply roaring around, they would have to directly dive down into a separated foreign colony) - I could even put some surface dwelling fishes on the surface, which would distract them once they get high enough to potentially cross the rock wall ? Maybe some Danios ?

Do you think this could work ?

Otherwise, do you think this setup could work with another type of fish on the rocky side ?

I don't really like the shape of Julidochromis, and I'm afraid calvuses would eat my multis fry.

Could I get something working with some apistos or rams ?

I love species that have a punk-mohawk-like dorsal fin.

For sure, I'd like 2 types of fishes that make colonies, but I might be okay with a specie that does not breed on the right/rocky side as long as I know they won't come on the Multis side too often or won't go there to eat their fry (I can accept that they eat fry that go on their side tho)

The second species on the right does not need to be from the Tanganyika Lake, as long as they can live with the high PH and hard water that will be in that tank.

Any ideas ?

Thanks!
 

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The fish will both eat each other's fry. Caudopunctatus do not form colonies IME.

If you want fry to survive without removing them, I would choose one species.

If you want shellies or caudopunctatus plus another species consider paracyps...maybe six of them.
 

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The best laid plans... You can arrange the tank however you like, but in the end the fishes will decide who goes where. Sure, you can coax them in one direction or another with shelters, sight barriers, etc., but they always have the final say.

I assume you were talking about an either/or situation with the Tanganyikans vs. Apisros/Rams. Have you considered the Bolivian Ram, Microgeophagus altispinosa? They are lovely, and would be nicely-sized for your tank. Good luck! :fish:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies!

When you both say that they will eat the fries no matter what, do you mean that they will eat crisse that explore too far away and get to each other's territory, or you mean the caudopunks might try to "attack" the multis colony to eat the fries ?

Either way, I still understand it is not a good idea.

I love the paracyps idea. I read a lot on them, but it usually says that they need a 60 gallon in the minimum, 80 beong ideal. My tank is a 40 gallon long (36 inches), so you think it would be enough ? And 6 of them would be a respectable school ?

I believe with them, the rock formations and caves need to get kind of tall, and that some overhang cliff could be a good idea too. Since they chill on the top O believe I could remove the middle wall and make the rocks less scattered but like towers with a lot of holey caves at all levels ?

And they would not adventure on the Multis side and fight with them for the fries ?

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As for the Apisto/Ram question, my question was mostly as tankmates for the multis. I'm pretty sure they'be be some water parameters differences with a lot of species, like I know German Blue Ram likes low PH and wouldnt work, but I thought that maybe some Apistos would have some water overlaps ?

I'm pretty sure it wouldn't work tho, as I believe them to be curious and explore all corners of the tank, but Im talimg a chance im asking as I really love their look.

As for the ram only or apistos only tank, it is clearly in my plan for the future as I love them, jt for now it's sure I will get Multis, so all of my inquiries about other species are for potential tank mates for them :)

Thanks again for the future replies, and feel free to suggest if you think of other species to tank mate with the shell dwellers!

(I've read somewhere that Harlequin Rasboras could work with them as top dwellers, even if they're tropical. Would other tropical work ?)
 

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I would not do rams/apistos with Africans...different water parameter requirements.

Some members have suggested rasboras, but when I researched them, the 36" tank was not a good fit.

Six paracyps have been done with success in a 36" tank...length is more important than gallons. But ANY fish is going to eat the fry of other species...also their own. With paracyps and multis...they will eat each other's fry but not try to kill/attack the adults. The multifasciatus have been know to have enough fry survive in spite of predation for the colony to grow.
 

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There are many reasons that mixing Neotropical and Rift Lake cichlids is a bad idea; it is a recipe for unhappy fishes. Many people, myself included, would not even mix Africans from the different lakes. :fish:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
DJRansome said:
Six paracyps have been done with success in a 36" tank...length is more important than gallons. But ANY fish is going to eat the fry of other species...also their own. With paracyps and multis...they will eat each other's fry but not try to kill/attack the adults. The multifasciatus have been know to have enough fry survive in spite of predation for the colony to grow.
Alrigth thanks. So if 6 Paracyps can be done in a 36", does that mean that if they have fry I'll need to separate them before they overcrowd the tank ?

As for the Harlequin Rasboras, 36" isn't long enough ? I always though a small school could even be in a 20 gallon or even 24" tanks. They do need more ?

However I read their pH requierements (Rasboras) and it seems like they would be unhappy in a pH of 8-8.5+

Thinking of it, I can't think of any tropical fishes right of the bat that would like such alkaline water. Think it's good to stick with paracyps or species only.

I sure could move my Tetras/Gourami/Khulis from my 20 to that 40 gallon, and then make the 20 gallon a Multis only tank. But the swap would be such a job that I'm trying not to go there lol.
 

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Australian Rainbows and Livebearers like Platys, Swordtails and Mollies like hard, alkaline water but not necessarily a good mix anyway. I have never kept any Tanganyikan species so I couldn't advise to compatibility but ill throw out Dwarf Neon Rainbows and let the more knowledgeable weigh in.
 

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The paracyp fry will be eaten if spit in the tank. If you want to save paracyp fry, remove the holding mom before she spits.

On the rasboras, I rechecked. They like a planted blackwater tank with low pH. Not an ideal fit with shellies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oh, one last question.

Is there a specific specie of paracyps I should look for (that would work well with my setup)

And what kind of rocks should I put on the right ? Lava rocks style, or sormething like a lot of flat rocks on top of each others horizontaly ?

I also believe their rock piles need to be kind of tall ?

Also, should I put a big rock in the middle to block line of sight a litle, to at least lower the amount of get eaten ?

Or just an enpty 6 inches of nothing but sand ?

Thanks again!
 

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Empty sand is the best barrier, but my shellies are all over the tank regardless, as are the calvus.

People with paracyps lean flat slates against the back that extend to the surface.

I have only seen one type of paracyprichromis for sale...nigripinnis blue neon.
 

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I've done it with shellies and julidochromis as well, but not shellies and caudos.
 
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