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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wanted everyone's opinions on Benthochromis Tricoti. I had these fish twice. 2 years ago they just started getting big, but I had to move and sold them. 6 months ago I bought 7, and had 3 die from jumping. One currently is being treated for presumed bloat. The other 3 are fattening up nicely. Are these fish more trouble than they are worth? Some of my observations:

They are really skittish. Turn off the light, and if anything moves near the tank they start jumping.

When startled they also do extremely dangerous diving and thrashing near rocks. I've moved all sharp rocks with edges out of the tank, since I don't wanna lose any eyes. I bought one with a bad eye from someone else 2 years ago, so eye injuries may be common with them IMO.

With their skittish behavior, I find it hard to see how the females will be able to hold eggs. Anything drives them nuts.

Starting with 2 inch fry is probably best. I've bought full sized Tricoti, but they never seemed to acclimate to my feeding schedule and lighting. They spent most of their time laying on the bottom, waiting for the light to go off. These would not feed with the community, and I had to throw food on top of them. The 2 inch ones that I've grown to 4 inches don't mind the light, and eat with the community.

Anyone else with thoughts or observations on this fish?
 

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The eye injuries are common, with both them and Cyathopharnx. Neither should be kept in tanks with sharp rocks.

Benthichromis are extremely picky with water conditions, and require some dithers to calm them down. I've seen them with Paracyprichromis doing extremely well.

They are a difficult fish, need a big DEEP tank... 24" minimum, seen them best in 30" tanks... subdued lighting. Hard, but rewarding, not for everyone.

Not really a community fish.
 

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I'm sorry for your rough luck with them. I've heard similar reports from other folks trying to keep them. They are glorious as adults, but don't think that I'd personally have the patience for their antics especially given the required funds to pick up a group of juvies.

Have you tried leaving a night light on for them so that they don't totally freak out when they see movement outside the tank? It works for my big open-water haps, but they're not nearly as skittish as your guys.
 

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They are a deep water fish so dim light is probably best but still I haven't the tylenol to be tempted to try them.

step 1, I buy a group of Tricoti
Step 2, I deem the 8 foot tank isn't big enough and buy a 10 foot
step 3, they won't breed
step 75, I'm lowering them into Lake Tang from a helicopter in a giant breeding net hoping to get fry!
step76, I'm eaten by crocodiles! :lol:

Not worth it IMHO!
 

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$40+ each for juveniles.

Open water fish, feed on plankton and krill and stuff. Sort of like a giant Cyp.

BioG said:
They are a deep water fish so dim light is probably best but still I haven't the tylenol to be tempted to try them.

step 1, I buy a group of Tricoti
Step 2, I deem the 8 foot tank isn't big enough and buy a 10 foot
step 3, they won't breed
step 75, I'm lowering them into Lake Tang from a helicopter in a giant breeding net hoping to get fry!
step76, I'm eaten by crocodiles! :lol:

Not worth it IMHO!
lol
 

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Wild caught ones here are $95ea compared to Wild caught Foai which are $140ea
There are 5 people in Australia that I know of who have bred only about 1-3 fry
 

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I've got 9 tricoti juvies (3" or so) in a 180 with (4) foai, (5) moba and (8 ) kilesa. I've had the tricoti since they were around an inch so they are very well established and aggressive feeders. One thing that's interesting is that they school with the kilesa when the kilesa get off the bottom and into the water column. Really cool site to see all these fish schooling from one side to the other. Great fish that like someone else mentioned seems like a giant cyp
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
maybe a moonlight my make things better mokujin22, but I have my doubts, since they're usually the first ones running from things, and makes everyone else skittish.

713J, funny thing is I'm doing the same tank you are! I have the tricoti with 12 moba, 9 kilesa, 3 foai kabogo. I also have 3 occelatus, and 3 calvus with them. I plan on adding 6 gobies and 2 julies to the mix. So far they're all growing out nicely together. My plan is to thin the moba and kilesa males.

I agree tricoti do remind me of big cyps! So far my tricoti don't school with the kilesa. a spare cyp does try and school with them though.

With the community that I have them in, I don't expect fry from them. If they do spawn, I'll probably strip and egg tumble. I just can't see these fish carrying to term.

Atlantis in the states had them at $18 US for 2 inch fry last year.
 

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Hi, I was lucky enough to get 8 Wild caught ones imported from Germany, not as cheap as prices you guys are talking ($200 per fish aprox 2"). After nearly 2 1/2 years they are still as skittish as the day I brought them home, any movement near the tank has to be done slowly, I had one male damage his eye after hitting the cover glass braces. I added a colony of Cyathopharynx Furcifer Mbita in with them which seems to have calmed them down a little and they don't bother each other at all. I know lots of people that have had these fish and given up on them. I have a single fluro tube with blue glass under it, it took around 4 months to get them use to that!

I was very surprised when they started spawning only having them for 7 months and the males had just started showing a little colour.
Mine will spawn or do the act of spawning after water changes.
Here is a short youtube video of mine you can see the female drop and pick up the eggs which are small and a pearl white. Sorry about the video quality, it is not that good because I didn't have the time to set up the camera and lighting when I saw what was happening.
Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.


Cheers.
 

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dkimtonf said:
713J, funny thing is I'm doing the same tank you are! I have the tricoti with 12 moba, 9 kilesa, 3 foai kabogo. I also have 3 occelatus, and 3 calvus with them. I plan on adding 6 gobies and 2 julies to the mix. So far they're all growing out nicely together. My plan is to thin the moba and kilesa males.

With the community that I have them in, I don't expect fry from them. If they do spawn, I'll probably strip and egg tumble. I just can't see these fish carrying to term.
Great minds think alike! I forgot to mention I also have callochromis melanostigma in with them. I will say that the callos may have been a mistake as all nest production from the kilesa have stopped since introducing these fish. There's no aggression but the callos are really skittish and I think it bugs the kilesa out.

I'm with you on the egg production - I don't plan on it or even really care as this is my "show tank" in the living area and is more for looks/my enjoyment than anything else.

Your fish look great, Peter! I can't wait for mine to get that size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
713J, you might just need to give the kilesa and callochromis some time to get used to each other.

Peter that's a very nice video! Were you able to save any eggs? I would imagine stripping a female tricoti as easy. Chase her with a net, and she drops the eggs!
 

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I guess the "worth it" is relative. For me, it would be many, many more tanks; and tons more species down the road before I devoted an 8 ft. tank to them. But if I was like Aquamojo (the guy with the "today in the fishroom" threads, which by the way are awesome :drooling: ), then I would be getting them as soon as possible. Sort of like: "Would you like to own a Ferrari?" "Of course!" "Would you be willing to live in a cardboard box to do so?" "Uhh... :? ".
 
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