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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Demasoni were the first cichlid I ever kept. I got them to spawn twice while killing them all with malawi bloat. Too eager to breed, I was pumping them with too much protein.

Fast foward 5 years later, I have many species under my belt including many different types of tropheus, other mbuna etc. Now that I've been lucky enough to breed anything that touches my water. I want to go back and redo my first mistake!

Most of what I read on fish online differs from personal experience. Most often information is lead by fear.

My question to everyone is, have they kept a colony of Demasoni in a tank with only substrate? I know I do it easily with everything else I've wanted to breed. I have 1000+ gallons of water in my fish room, and while display tanks are nice, I'd like to breed the Demasoni. Should my plan not work. I simply load it up with rocks etc.

The plan:
25 Demasoni Juvis
55 gallon sand substrate tank
Overhead wet dry filter.
New Life spectrum Food

Have a custom larger breeder box inside the tank. As each new male show himself, put him into the box. When another one shows itself, rehome the male in the box, move the one that just showed up into the box, repeat until I'm left with 1-2 males, and 12+ females.

Does this sound crazy? I know someone else out there had to have done it. I know my wholesaler keeps hundreds of dems at 2 inch in stock tanks etc. While this is not a breeding setup, aggression can be fought off with numbers obviously.

In my experience, if you don't give fish territory to fight over, they can mellow out, and just use the substrate to breed instead of a flat rock.

Being that this was my first big failure, I'm talking my plan out to get any tips from guys who've bred dems for the past 10 years :p
 

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It sounds reasonable enough, and if you have a back-up plan - "put a bunch of rocks in" - I don't see why it's not worth trying. You seem to have the experience and level of commitment to make sure the tank doesn't turn into a bloodbath... Though if you're going only demasoni in a 55, I'd bump your numbers to 1-2m:16+f.
 

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I would not try the "no rocks" idea because part of the enjoyment I get is trying for a slice of the lake...which means rocks. But I'm interested to see how your experiment turns out. Even if successful I would not do it. See reason above.

No need to go that crazy to breed dems. And the extra protein was not likely the original cause of bloat...although if the food had other ingredients of poor quality maybe it was the food.

Anyway, they will breed fine with rocks and they will tell you when there are too many males and give you a chance to remove the extras without the breeder box.

When there are too many males, the extras will lurk at the surface or behind filter intakes or heaters. Remove and rehome.

If you leave one up there too long, he will become stressed and susceptible to opportunistic diseases like bloat regardless of food. Once a lurker is infected, your tank can become infected. Bloat tends to take a victim every couple of weeks, the fish often don't get sick all at once. Sometimes the delay in additional cases makes you think no one else is infected and you don't treat the tank.

If you think you have had a case of bloat in the tank, treat the tank with metronidazole and the rest will be fine. They breed relentlessly, even with the rocks.
 

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I think it will work if you get down to one male. Even at 2 without cover the less dom. one will end up dead.

Why do you want to do it without rocks anyway? I think a tank without rocks will look terrible. Remeber you don't Wlamarts tanks to look better than yours.
 

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I have a 150 in my basement with just substrate and have had zero deaths since i put them in (a year ago). Theyre constantly breeding and dont see much aggression. Theres probably 40 of them in there right now, and about 100 of their lil ones in a 55 below it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry, had the flu for the last couple of days.

The main reason this will not be a display tank, because that's not it's intended purpose. I want to breed them. If i was going to setup a diplay it'd be a 180g or larger. The main purpose is to supply my local area with decent quality dems at a good price. Most dems here are 15+ each in the stores. Which makes it nearly impossible for some people to afford. Often times dems are more expensive than tropheus here.

I like to finely craft my display tanks, tearing them down to catch 6-10 holding females every 3-4 weeks is not the most fun I've had. The difference to me is you'll walk in and see lots of rare fish in my fish room all healthy. I may have a lot of bare tanks, but at walmart they're bare and dieing. If keep less show tanks allows me to keep more tanks, and provide fish to fellow hobbyists cheap. I feel that is the route to go. My passion is breeding fish.

At 13 tanks all 55g and larger now, while still adding a few more, time is becoming a concern.

I'll be sure to report back on how it goes. My attempt to pickup the dems this weekend was thwarted by the flu, and snow!
 

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why_spyder uses terra cotta strawberry pots for this. And I have used PVC pyramids (fish diameter and length, silicone them together in a triangle to the waterline) as well. Easy to remove or just blast out when cleaning.
 

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Yeah, I think a lot of people here are in the mindset that your breeding tank will be a display tank. I still say go ahead and try it; however, be diligent about making sure your fish aren't stressed all the time (clamped fins, etc.) from having no place to hide or from aggression.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
DJRansome said:
why_spyder uses terra cotta strawberry pots for this. And I have used PVC pyramids (fish diameter and length, silicone them together in a triangle to the waterline) as well. Easy to remove or just blast out when cleaning.
I have used a lot of pots in my breeding in the past. For some reason pvc had slipped my mind. Iusually think, loaches, eels, huge south americans. However not africans :p

I'm guessing 1 inch pvc pipe would work great.
 

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My pyramid is made up of 1.5" (inside diameter) PVC cut 3" long. The adults like the inside of the pipes. The fry like the little triangles left in between when they are siliconed together. The whole unit comes out in one piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
DJRansome said:
My pyramid is made up of 1.5" (inside diameter) PVC cut 3" long. The adults like the inside of the pipes. The fry like the little triangles left in between when they are siliconed together. The whole unit comes out in one piece.
I see, in your experience is this the ideal diameter?
 

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That size is a good fit for Demasoni. I have larger PVC buried in rockpiles in my show tank, and I think the fish like a tighter fit.

If I was trying to do what you are doing (one removable piece) I would use the size I mentioned.

That said, I don't use the pyramid often. I have a bunch of ceramic caves that have fallen out of favor for my show tanks, LOL. When breeding I usually use those.
 
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