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I'lll be starting a colony of C. Foai in a 250-300 gallon tank (Goal is 2X males 6 females, I'll probably look for at least one wild male to assure color and variant etc.)

The rest of the stock list is:
-Self-raised f1 Black Pectoral Congo Calvus 1m/4fm

-C. Leptosoma Kitumba (Or whatever rare, colored up variant I can find but definitely jumbos) X24 (female heavy ratio of course.). I would have chose Tri-colors but I have killed them before so I'll pick another, very expensive group of cyps to watch slim, die and waste my $ this time :roll: !

-L. Furcifer 1m/1fm. (Is there any such thing as "Lamprologus" anymore?) If I can find them to be had?

-C. Foai 2m/6-8 females (Whatever the bluest variant is. Anyone? I'm talking all blue, no yellow on the head?))

And maybe a dozen N. Similis if they won't crowd the Foai and/or the footprint. I can't imagine they would, tank is at least 96"X24X24 and at most 96"X24X30 (So same footprint. But it's BIG either way.

My question is this: I want to display the Foai as breeding "center stage" in this setup. I know Foai need a 6 foot tank, however, does the majority of the footprint need to be unoccupied, as in open sand?

If not, then my hope is to manipulate where the dominant male will build that legendary bower... If I, with lace rock, build a horse shoe like cove (Walls of rock around the hopeful, centered, breeding site.) will the Foai be comfortable building in what essentially ends up being the only open sand patch? Or, will he ignore my manipulative aquascape and just start piling sand wherever he pleases (Over rockwork etc.) until he builds, more or less, a hill, where he then builds his bower?

Is there any chance of building to "horseshoes" and getting both boys to color up?

If I can control where they/he builds how big should the open area be for him?

TIA! I'mm pretty stoked about this project, Got a green light from my wife, and should be all setup by end of summer (Taking my time with this one, may build a foam Bckgd etc.)!! 8)
 

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I have tried to manipulate where the Foai males build their nest and they ignored me. I would also seriously reconsider jumbo cyps. I'm sure there are people out there that keep them together but, in my particular case it didn't work out. After two years of patiently waiting for my males to show a hint of colour, I finally removed the cyps and replaced them with cyp. micros. Within two days the males were in full colour and building huge bowers. If your looking for some nice, expensive cyps to go with your nice expensive Foai, I would suggest cyp. micros or cyp. pavo. Also, I totaly agree on two males per tank only, I tried to keep three males in a six foot 220g and all three males ended up with their lips ripped off. The Moliro Foai is a nice looking, dark type, but I have seen pics where they look very blue, and others where they look dark green. I would also advise buying adults as they take so long to grow out and colour up (plus that way you don't end up with kigoma furcifers when you paid for karilani coppers). :?
 

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Goal is 2X males 6 females, I'll probably look for at least one wild male to assure color and variant etc.
That'll be a big challenge for you. I'd go with noddy's suggesting to get adults, or go with a breeder that's selling F1's bred from HIS adults. There seems to be a lot of mislabeling going on out there and you don't want to end up with a mix. Insist on pics of what you're getting or pics of adults if getting juveniles.

L. Furcifer 1m/1fm. (Is there any such thing as "Lamprologus" anymore?) If I can find them to be had?
Nice choice. I guess it's exLamprologus now. But, I thought furcifers were Neolamprologus. I've seen breeders label them either way. Not that breeders are good at properly identifying and labeling per the latest. Furcifers get big though. You want your c. foai to be the dominant ones. Worth a go, since it's such a nice fish. In that size tank, you can always pare their numbers down if they start inhibiting the foai.

Whatever the bluest variant is. Anyone? I'm talking all blue, no yellow on the head
Typically foai's fit this, and avoid 'furdfers', but there are exceptions, and get pics of adults and be certain of what you're getting. A lot has to do with lighting. You can bring out the blue with a combo of daylight/actinic. I'd suggest a look at foai moliro's also.

If not, then my hope is to manipulate where the dominant male will build that legendary bower... If I, with lace rock, build a horse shoe like cove (Walls of rock around the hopeful, centered, breeding site.) will the Foai be comfortable building in what essentially ends up being the only open sand patch? Or, will he ignore my manipulative aquascape and just start piling sand wherever he pleases (Over rockwork etc.) until he builds, more or less, a hill, where he then builds his bower? If not, then my hope is to manipulate where the dominant male will build that legendary bower...
Some build in open sand, some on top of large rocks and some seem to prefer to build up against a rock. I had one the built two right next to each other in open sand, one higher than the other, sort of a bi-level house. Scape it like you suggest and hope for the best.

Is there any chance of building to "horseshoes" and getting both boys to color up?
I've got a single male that colors up just fine. I've got a group of seven extra males, two have built bowers and are colored up in spite of no females in the tank. They're clueless. I think the only time they won't is if they're dominated by some other species. At least that's been my experience.

If I can control where they/he builds how big should the open area be for him?
I'd give him 18".

Keep us posted.
 
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