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Hi,

I have a 55 gallon tank. It will have 4 brevis in it. It will also have some julies and/or a few bichardi...it's hard to say exactly what will be available at LFS. Anyway, I was thinking about adding a layer of sand to the bottom with shells for the brevis. Then I wanted to add a few rock piles. This is what I would like advice on. Would it be better to
-make two small rock piles at each end
-two large rock piles at each end
-three rock piles: one on each end and one in the middle?
-one super jumble of rocks all along the back wall and sand in the front?

also, do you have any tips for breaking up line of sight. I would like to use java fern/java moss and would attach these to rocks, but if I put small rocks in the middle of the sandy area, would the julies take up residence there and keep the brevis from their shells?

Thanks...
 

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It sounds like you have a good idea of how to get the job done. :thumb: I highly recommend skipping the brichardi as they do not make good neighbors. They tend to be the mass-murdering type. :?

You've got at least one great importer in Ohio, thus you can pretty much get anything you want within an afternoon's drive. Unless you've got an outstanding LFS, you'd likely spend less money and get the exact fish you are looking for by going through an importer. (Check the reviews section, and the site sponsors if you are looking for a local importer.)

Smaller julies (not marlieri or regani) are good tank mates for brevis, and you could add another peaceful rock dweller (calvus, buescheri, eg) and perhaps Cyprichromis (non-jumbo). For each rock dweller, you need at least 1 rock pile. So, the big jumble on the back isn't going be the best set up, but small widely spaced piles would do quite well.

If you pick compatible tank mates, line of sight won't be a big problem. It's unlikely that multiple pairs of the same species will cohabitate, and many of these cichlids ignore other species anyway.
 
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