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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

Fmuellers tank has inspired me. I want to shoot for a tank with 4 species that I can enjoy for the next two years and let nature takes its course. If fry survive great, if not, I don't mind that either. I really don't mind if one species takes over either, I just want to let it evolve as Fmueller's tank has. Obviously it would be stupid to invest much money into this type of setup, so I will stick to the more common main stream species.

I already have the caudopunks and a group of multis, neither is breeding yet. What other fish would you consider a good addition?

I was thinking julies would be good and they would predate on some of the julie and caudo fry. Any other suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow sorry,

125g, 72x18.

I did want the xenotilapia flavipinnis, but I don't want to have to spend so much that I am worried about leaving the tank for a week.
 

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Small julidichromis, or
altolamprologus (I know, you don't like them, but give them a chance :) ), or
one of the smaller telmatochromis like vittatus,

and

small cyprichromis, or
paracyprichromis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have never heard much about the smaller telmatochromis, are they similar to julies?

Altos are not my cup of tea, but I do need to try them. Do any fry stand a chance of reaching maturity with altos? I want to see the tank evolve over time, so if 100% of the fry are being eaten nothing new will happen.

Prov, I thought about sticking a pair of brevis in a corner.
 

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I picked up some small T. vittatus at a swap a couple of months ago. Some were so small the seller didn't realize they were in the bag until I bought them. I introduced them into a tank direectly into some heavy java moss and they thrived on the goodies that lived in there until big enough to compete with other Tangs (J. transcriptus and N. helianthus) in the tank. They are really cool fish. Right now they are an inch to 1 1/4" and seem to be very self reliant but not obsessively possesive. But time will tell. I could easily see myself setting up a species tank with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm going to stick with the julies since the vittatus and bifs (if they are different fish?) are known to use shells in the aquarium. They may compete with the caudopunks.

Anybody see problems with:
Pair of caudos
Group of julis until I get a pair
Large colony of multis
Group of non jumbo cyps
 

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Looks 8) to me. Quite classy. In that size tank your Julies may form more than one pair. I had three pairs of Julidochromis "Gombie" each with its own rockpile going in a 60" tank once.

All the best James
 

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Do any fry stand a chance of reaching maturity with altos?
Yes, 22 juli's and counting after starting with 8. And that's in a tank with 8 calvus.

Prov, I thought about sticking a pair of brevis in a corner.
You'd then have 3 species competing for shells. With what you're going for, I don't see a problem as long as you have lots of shells. Same with the vittatus. Of course they'll compete. Why is that bad if you have plenty of shells? No one parcels these out in the lake. If you want an evolving tank, then you need to have species that will do that for you.

My point is, if you have one rock dweller, one open water, one shellie, etc, what's going to evolve? All that may change are the numbers of each. In Frank's tank, the numbers changed as the fish took over new territories inhabited previously by other species. Specifically the juli's and leleupi. The many leleupi behaving themselves in that tank is the most impressive thing to watch, btw. I've seen the tank, and it's very unique.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Not sure on the cyps, unless I can find them local for cheap I am going to skip them. I'm not willing to pay the prices they are listed at, even hobbyist usually want a lot for them.

I have a question on making territories. Is it important to have different rock piles or is rocks lined up on the back glass in a continuous line fine?
 

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I didn't answer all your ? on T. vittatus so for the record here they are. Vittatus is not the T. species confused with bifrenatus. IME other than they have a tubular shape I don't think they look like Julies. They have a much narrower body measured top to bottom - Kuhli Loach like, but not that extreme. Ideal for snaking through cracks and crevices among rocks.

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I think regular vittatus use shells in the aquarium only if all opportunities to use the rocks are taken by other fish. The smaller "shell" varient of coarse are closely related shell dwellers so I would never say "never".

But why not include them in an evolving biotope tank?

Regarding Julies, the are like bunnies - how manytime can they breed in a year? :fish: :fish: :fish: :fish: :fish:
 

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I have a question on making territories. Is it important to have different rock piles or is rocks lined up on the back glass in a continuous line fine?
If you want an evolving biotope, go for rocks and shells. Meaning long row of rocks, maybe a rock here or there dividing up some shell beds and scattered shells. Then get 2-3 rock dwellers, depending on species and a couple of shell dwellers. For what you're going for you want to blur the lines between territories a bit. Forget about cyps and paracyps. You want rock dwellers, shell dwellers, or anything in between.

Just be aware of potential hybridization between some species.

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I think regular vittatus use shells in the aquarium only if all opportunities to use the rocks are taken by other fish. The smaller "shell" varient of coarse are closely related shell dwellers so I would never say "never".
This is what I've read, which makes one or the other a good candidate for this type of setup.

One I forgot about, if you come across it, is 'lamprologus' calliurus, sometimes called the 'lyretail brevis'. Not really a brevis, but looks similar, only larger with different markings and a lyretail instead of rounded. Females inhabit shells near the rocks inhabited by the males.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I like how this thread has evolved and you guys are throwing great ideas at me.

So basically make a bunch of mini territories with a mix of shells and rocks. I am cutting down some PVC pieces and putting end caps on them to hide in the rock piles, so that should add spawning areas.

for fish are you thinking something like this:
multi's
caudopunks
T. Vittatus
J. transcriptus (any fry will not be sold since the julie x vittatus cross is likely.)

For a shell dweller would something like L. Hequi work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have access to some harder to find stuff via a club near me. A store about two hours away has T. Brichardi on the list. Are they similar to Vittatus?
 

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T. brichardi are quite similar to T. vittatus, maybe a little smaller, but similar in behavior to my knowledge. And I am not convinced cross breeding will easily occur between Julies and the skinny Telmatochromis. I have Chalinochromis, and there I am worried about crossing. I don'r have mine together.

The behavior in my tanks between vittatus and transcriptus is rather discimilar. My julies really embrace the rocks and are reclusive. My vittatus are more like N. brichardi and C. ndobhoi ranging over the rocks. IME!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Julies will hybridize with Telmats. I read an article on CRC and the author had hybrids. Specifically it was T. Vittatus and J. Dickfeldi.

I'm going to hunt down the Vittatus and just add them and the J. transcriptus. That will leave me with one shell dweller (multi's), one rock dweller (julis) and two fish that can take advantage of both (Vittatus and Caudopunks)

I feel like if I crowd too much then the offspring won't have anywhere to establish themselves, do you agree?
 

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I feel like if I crowd too much then the offspring won't have anywhere to establish themselves, do you agree?
Depends on number of adults. You might want to limit to one breeder pair/group per species and let them attempt to colonize, but I'd never bet on the caudopunks. I think it unlikely any fry will survive. Even in a species tank, it's difficult as the parents seem to cannibalize. Sorry to toss this in now, but they may not be a great choice for what you're trying to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, I already have a pair of caudopunks so no harm in letting it work itself out. One advantage the caudopunks will have is that they are already adults, the rest of the fish will be juvies. Maybe that will give them an advantage.

I would put my money on the julies taking over, I'm not sure they can overthrow a huge colony of multi's though.

If the caudos don't make it, could you think of a replacement?
 
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