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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm new to keeping Tropheus Duboisi Maswa, but after 7mths of research finally took the plunge. I could only get a group of 5, they are a bit tricky to get here in Perth. They have been doing great for 2mths, on a vege flake & crushed pea diet,but every other day the smallest one gets bailed up in the corner. He seems to bounce back, but should I add more to counteract the aggression on this little one or is it too late??? They are about 3.5cm/1.5 inches long. The problem is I only have a 3ft tank 146ltres.
 

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Your 5 fish could very easily end up as 1 fish. Tropheus you need a decent number to spread the aggression. They also need a tank with a minimum length of 48". People have kept them in smaller tanks with success but you have to have a lot of fish in the colony to even have a chance of getting it to work.

If you can get more you should otherwise you could easily end up with a single duboisi. But there is no guarantee that even if you get more of them that they will survive in a 3 foot 38 gallon tank.
 

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i would suspect the small one is a male, and unless allowed the luxury of a private suite for a few months, will likely die off. the advice to source more dubs is sound, but as you mentioned, not all of us have a marketable supply readily available. in the mean while, you must do your best to keep the ones you have alive, and that will require you to intervene and/or quaranteen. if left to their own, you will likely loose them all. tropheus are simply one of those fish species, that require increased husbandry efforts, until a hierarchy has been established and accepted.
adding large leafed artificial plant bunches, that can be bent into a canopy of surface cover, can help smaller fish find refuge within the tank. if any fish is repetitively found in upper corners, behind heaters, or other unnatural hiding places, then one must assume it will need to be Q'd from that tank for it's own safety.
the best time to reintroduce these singled out fish, is when you add more stock, or upgrade to a larger tank. never add a single fish to an establishing colony. it will almost always be beaten back. HTH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reply's. The smallest one seems to be back with the pack again today. A tank upgrade is possible in a couple of months. I have a QT tank now ready for the little guy. It is so strange that they all get along well except now and again the little one gets singled out. Will this happen no mater how many there are in the tank? I just really love these fish I hope I can keep them alive... Do you mean that 5 will turn into one as they get older & thus more agro? All the others seem really well established in their ranks.
 

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IME, it's the small males that initiate, and most often loose, conspecific aggression battles. they happen often in a tropheus tank. it is important for the looser to escape uninjured 'into the crowd', which is why many keepers have more success with a quantity of fish, rather than just a few. if the aggressor really wanted to kill--it would be done. when the battle involves willing females, the roles exchange, and this is when young fish can be brutally punished for being too close.
the trick for the keeper, IMHE, is to monitor and repair situations similar to what you are seeing, before females are ready to court. removing that one fish (the quick and easy fix if it is beaten), adding another dozen (or more) dubs of similar size, rearranging the decor to accommodate fry/juvies, adding dither species, etc. all might help. BUT...so long as your group continues to ostracize singles, you must accept that they lack a cohesive 'colonized' hierarchy, and the situation will worsen as they mature. HTH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK. Thanks for that, I guess I still have a lot of work ahead of me before establishing a nice breeding colony. Why couldn't I have picked an easier species!??? And they are SO addictive. My LPS fell through on his new shipment of juvenilles, so I am still waiting... He says that nine is a minimum that could work. I had the brutalised one in a small tank hanging off the inside of main tank and would you believe he jumped out when I covered them up for sleeptime and joined back to the rest of the group. It took me ages to catch him. I will make sure I put the cover on it next time. Just have to catch him AGAIN now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
In hindsight, I guess seven months of anticipating, studying and over enthusiastic aquarium shop owners that tell you a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g to sell their fish, really isn't enough when it comes to tropheus......
 

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Jolene Silver said:
In hindsight, I guess seven months of anticipating, studying and over enthusiastic aquarium shop owners that tell you a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g to sell their fish, really isn't enough when it comes to tropheus......
there are many tropheus keepers (and loosers, lol) who will admit, that the list of what proves to be 'enough' for keeping these fish, never seems to end. all in hindsight, of course. :)
and you are 100% correct about them being "SO addictive". i have kept many different fish, and tropheus will always top the list for viewing entertainment.

as for the little beaten one...if it continues to eat=he is safe within the isolation compartment as-is. however, if it looses appetite during Q, you should remove him from the main water system, so that his situation is truly quarantined from the others. you can also consider to alternatively isolate the brute, if it is indeed just one other fish, to allow the younger less stress. HTH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Have finally been able to get 5 more Duboisi juvenilles. :( One died, dodgy heater- temp dropped during water change as it is freezing here in Aust, it was just too much for this really small one. So now have 9, still in a three foot tank. Should I wait untill I get 75gal to add more fish? Would 9 still become 1?
Have a power head & ehiem 2213 ext filter set up & do (26 ltre)7 gal? water change every 2 days. Oh, have new jebo heater now.......So.......what next? :-?
 

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I just put up an add in the trading post for a juvenile Tropheus Duboisii which is a spectacular specimen with great color at about 1.25 inches long. It is jet black with several small white spots. Mine is not very aggressive towards the other fish but unfortunately I cannot keep it because I have no way of getting a large enough group of them. If you're looking for another shoot me a message.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've found out the hard way that I cannot just add one more, to my group of juvs. The others just chased it untill it stressed an died. Thanks anyway. Plus it would be a long trip to pick your Dub up! :thumb:
 

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How big are the 9 you have in the 3 foot?

I have kept a group of 8 that became 7 and bred in a 3 foot (but only one male survived I was lucky to have 6 females out of 8 fish) but I reckon the plan of getting 9 more and adding them all together to a 48" 75g tank is your best bet.

I would add no more until you can get that arranged.

Good luck
(whatever you try)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi thanks for wishing me luck......am going to need heaps of it. :?
It is inspiring to know that you had a successful colony in a three foot. How many yrs did they go for? You did say "had".
Mine are a motley mob, the 5 I purchased together are about 3.5cm, all except one who is an absolute glutton and he is about twice that size. Then my lfs managed to get me 4 more. They were so tiny (about 1cm). One died. The big guy chased it untill it stressed so much the colour was all out of it. I separated the little one but it was dead by morning. So I replaced it with just one more, it died after one day. I tried separating the big guy. He & the others just went nutz trying to get to him. So I let him out quickly. He does seem to be a little more tolerent now so will see if the peace lasts. I had to have a day off from watching them as it was starting to do my head in. :lol: now there is 8........
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yep, :roll: you were all right, now there is one! He is doing really well though. Have learnt a bit about the importance of keeping the PH UP to 9 for these guys, instead of just worrying about the vege diet too.
Now I have a much less stressfull community tank of, 1 Duboisi, 4Paracyps, 2multies,1 juli dickfieldi & 1 catfish. Still only in a 3ft 146lt.
My Q is will this work long term or am I being cruel to keep Just one Dub? He is about 2" and has his spots still. I have a lot of respect for you guys that keep colonies of Tropheus, now knowing about the constant work/stress involved. Kind regards,Jo. :wink:
 

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If it were my tank I would
1 Duboisi, exchange for other fish (Lone Troph can be a pain to other fish esp in a 3 foot tank.)
4 Paracyps, (I assume they are nigripinnis) increase group to 8-10 (loves to be in a group males can kill each other if kept in small numbers in 3 foot tanks).
2 multies, are they a pair? If so leave them to increase but split the colony every time it reaches more than 10 breeding fish (can also be done by limiting the number of shells to about 10) (Otherwise they may start to bully your Paracyps too much and increase so much the tank crashes), if they are not a pair get more to get more females than males, they will pair more often than not without great losses.
1 juli dickfieldi exchange for other fish e.g. 1 smaller Julie, transcriptus or ornatus.
& 1 catfish - what sort? If a Bristle nose then leave it as an algae cleaner.

Hope that helps and thanks for sharing your experience of Troph, it might just save a few dubs lives by putting someone else off trying just a few of them in a 3 foot tank. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you for that, I will aim for that set up! :)

Will be getting a 6ft for xmas......so would it work with my fav Dub if I increased the paracyps (nigripinnis) school, they have bred twice, so at least I must have the water quality right now.
The Duboisi is quite shy, so far, the Dickfieldi competes with him for the daily lettuce leaf. I know this will change with time though. I just really wanted to see that colour change.
Not sure if the multies are one of each sex. They are buddies but no fry after 4 mths. Am trying to get some more multies but they have become scarce here again. By the amount of water changes I have to do to keep amonia down I don't think I can fit any more in untill upgraded. Catfish is a plecto. Can take him back to LFS when he gets too big. I had a bristlenose & he died, couldn't handle the high PH I think. :fish: thanks again for all the advice along the way. I would definatley not recommend Tropheus to newbies untill they have had some experience of Tananyikans first! :D
 

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I do not know but think it would prob be OK till X-mass. Paracyps and Tropheus is prob one of the worst mixes you can have. Sorry about that :oops: One gentle slow moving most of the time, gentle for a cichlid and easily stressed and panicked into bashing itself against things, the other an active nippy yob/thug.

I wish I was getting a 6 foot tank with filtration and lighting for X-mass. That is a big jump from a 3 foot, you will have your work cut out maintenance wise. I could then start saving for a group like Xenomorphs or EKs. :lol:
 

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When you get the six footer for xmas trade in all your other fish and give your male duboisi a nice group of 25 duboisi friends to play with! ;-)
 
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