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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 125-gallon with Cyps, Callochromis, and some shellies. I'm toying with the idea of moving the Callochromis and shellies to another tank and stocking the 125- with Enantiopus kilesas with Cyps, Paracyps, and Lord knows what else. I believe I could be perfectly satisfied with just kilesas in the tank, but I am open to suggestions.

On the 125-, I have 500-gph flowing through a 36-inch 30-gallon aquarium that's been converted into a wet/dry with some ridiculously large amount of pot scrubbers as filter media. Also, a Fluval 404 returns through a big hang-on-the-back Sea Storm fluidized bed filter. Will this satisfy kilesas? How about water change regimen?

By design, everything I now keep is a two in difficulty, as rated by the species profiles section of this website. Kilesas are rated as a four in difficulty and I'm wondering why and how this might change my maintenance.

Also any advice you can give me regarding compatible, interesting tankmates; breeding; fry husbandry tips; etc. are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Personally I wouldn't add anything past the Kilesa. Some Calvus might work though.

In terms of the '4' rating.... basically.... it means your water needs to be perfect ( 25% ... 2 times a week would be good). Your changing water needs to be matched perfectly to your tank water.

This doesn't go for all the 4's and 5's .... some are rated that high due to aggression.
 

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i find some cyps can be rather nasty as tank mates. my kitumba ram into each and other fish using their pointy head as a weapon. enants. wouldn't tolerate that for long before heading to fish heaven. they seem to get along with my 4-6" bentochromis though. for now anyway...
when doing water changes i add the new water into the sump. this will give the new water a chance to mix the old before reaching the fish=less shock.
and handling enants. is a challenge. netting and handling/stripping fry can kill them easier than other fish for sure. i let my females release in a quarantee tank when ready. and they can jump out of anything. so cover everything.
 

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The kilesa aren't necessarily more sensitive to water quality than most Tanganyika fishes, particularly the Callochromis you're already keeping. They are, however, very sensitive to stress from aggressive tankmates likely resulting in the "4" rating. I've kept them with the smaller C. leptosoma (non-jumbo) types and had no problems; also a nice constrast since the leptosoma use and top half and the kilesa the bottom half of the aquarium. The jumbo types would likely be too aggressive. Paracyps would also work but require some developed rockwork as they tend to hang in caves or vertical rock surfaces and not open water like Cyprichromis spp. They are maternal mouthbrooders and not hard to spawn if maintained with non-aggressive tankmates and fed a diet containing some frozen or live artermia (or similar high lipid/protein feed). The fry are quite small for mouthbrooders and do best started on a high lipid/protein diet such as cyplopeez or dry feed supplemented with hatched artemia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Longstocking, when you say perfectly matched, what do you mean? Temperature? pH? Hardness? How does one accomplish the said perfection? The word perfect scares me.
 

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Like said above... you can't keep them with aggressive tangs. They stress out etc. There isn't one sifter that likes mean tank mates.

The biggest factor is temp.... then the rest come into play. Match the temp and you should be ok. I shouldn't have usd the word perfect... but it should be darn close.

If you've kept callochromis successfully... you should be ok. They just aren't as forgiving... if you make a BIG boo boo.
 

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All fish acclimate to higher temps better [more rapidly as in minutes versus days] than lower temps; always better to error a bit higher. Would also add ALL Tanganyika fish [particularily Cyprichromis juveniles and sandsiters, though] must have well dechlorinated water [found this out hard way on several times over the years; most recently eliminated two spawns of juvenile Cyprichromis and two L134 plecos after return supply burst then forgot to dechlorinate -juvenile Victoria haps. and mbuna in same aquarium were unaffected] Not a lesson to learn with prize specimens.
 

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I have not kept kilesa but I do keep a lot of melanogenys. The adult is no where near "difficult to keep" or "sensitive to water". With my experience, 3 generations of melanogenys already, the adult can be very hardy to water. Sometimes I have added tap water directly, heater been broken for 2 days when I was gone away, water changes once a week sometimes twice... None of those seem to bother the adults or slow down their spawning cycle.

I had those with the paracyprichromis before. And I also had them with the furcifer after...

The **** and juv. is just the opposite though. They are super sensitive to water changes and temperature.

If Kilesa is anything like Melanogenys (which I think they are), those are my experience. A whole lot of those with paracyprichromis in your 125 will be awesome... Let see some pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Would you recommend Cyp utintas in the same tank as the kilesas?
 

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The keliesa are a great fish but do best for me alone., It depends if you ever want them to breed.I mixed with several fish and to see the best display the others had to be removed.In a tank that size if you add a rock pile at one end you could add paracyps and they would stay mostly in the rocks.And some cyps could work if they dont chace the keliesa too much but would not try the jumbos.
I have also found them to be very sensitive to stress and water conditions, but a large tank helps with both of those.They dont ship very well so if you bring them in be sure to have things ready.The black and white sand makes these guys look very nice if you can find it where you are.
You can have quite a nice display in a tank that size, I keep many fish and these are sure in the top 5.well worth the effort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So, hsmith62, when you say have the tank ready, what do you mean? Also, if the temp has to be right on, how can I match tank temp with bag temp if they are shipped (which looks like the most likely option)? Last, I have the opportunity to buy the last four of a batch. Is that a big enough number with which to start? Thanks for the help.
 

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*** never kept kelesa but i can tell you how to match the temp in the bag to the temp in the tank...quite simple really...just float the bag in the tank for 15-20 minutes and that will slowly change the temp in the bag to the temp in the tank. also if they are like most harem tangs then 4 would be a bit to small of a group, but ill let the people who have kept them give you a more definite answer.
hth
 

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I am keeping my kilesas (group of 5) in an 80 gallon with Gobies, Calvus, Similis, leleupi, transcriptus... and that's it. They seem quite happy as the juvi male is always displaying and digging pits. I used to change water religously every week %25 but after running tests on my aquarium the water differs, nitrate wise almost none until about 3 weeks in. So I know change %25 with "perfect" water once every two weeks. I still recommend once a week if you have standard filtration but I am running a 20 gallon sump, with tons of sponge, bio ceramics, and microfiber and the return sends about 800-900 gph. In addition I run a magnum 350 on the other side full of crushed coral to keep water stable. I use a 1/2 teaspoon sea-salt and 1 level teaspoon seachem tanganyika buffer (I know it's just epsom and baking soda) per 5 gallon bucket which I take from tap at 78 degrees (I use a digital thermometer $10). I treat it with "Prime" for chlorine and I'm in business.

I've had problems with these fish before, in a different take and I believe all my problems with kilesa have been tankmates. And not just aggression, I have found that if it's tankmates are too active these fish just sit still and die. Just my experience.
 
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