Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,005 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I couldn't stay away from the offerings of the Tang for much longer and the lack of Rift Lake Cichlids was really eating away at the back of my mind, yes I have my Westies but they're still riverine and yes they have the attitude but it just wasn't the same.

I missed my Tangs.

I still really miss my Julidochromis, I think they have to be one of the coolest fish around so don't be surprised if my Multi adventure perpetuates into a full-blown mini-tang community (obviously in a different, larger tank). I'm just looking for excuses to set up a 40 gallon tang utopia, I'll openly admit it (until questioned directly on the subject) and I am not ashamed of my Tang addiction...

:D

So I have so much spare kit around I thought, hey, why not make use of some of it again, set up a little Multi tank, feed the addiction and let it run riot through the house. Admittedly it may have been a mistake, I'd forgotten just how much these fish amuse me, and now I want more. Unfortunately getting hold of decent shells around here is a massive, or massively expensive, pain in the butt.

As I already had the fish ordered in I wanted to get the tank set up so that they'd be in their element until I can source some nice shells, so I compromised and went for the salt look, I quite like it and the fish are absolutely in 7th heaven, but I don't like it because I'm one for creating an aquascape that depicts, at least loosely, the natural habitat of the fish. But hey it works and they clearly enjoy themselves in there, so until I can get the shells and some grey rock that I actually like, it will more than do (I just have to live with the picky part of me complaining all the time).

Anyhow I have 4 fish in there, I did want 6 but they just didn't have them, my aim is to end up with a pair and 2-3 surplus females - depending on how it works out in the tank. We'll see how it goes, hopefully I have at least one female in there, at the moment they're obviously still young and going through the motions without really grasping the full picture, the early development into sexual maturity brings some of the funniest moments, that's for sure. Each has it's own territory, the way I positioned the "shells" was to encourage them to essentially take a corner of the tank each, two of them have taken to sharing the same cluster and co-habit side by side with no real dispute, so we'll see how it plays out as they mature - I have kept this species before, it should be an interesting one.

Here is a pic of one of the Multies I had a while back:


Pictures....








Video:
If you click "Full Size" then you should be able to resize the window so that you can actually see the video in some detail, I would avoid full screen as it will be pixelated to ****.
http://s100.photobucket.com/albums/m15/ ... forWEB.flv

Finally, parameters:
pH 7.5<7.8
KH 5
GH 6

I'd like to see the GH and pH up a bit but that will come with some time - I'm not positively buffering the water, rather by performing 10% daily/every other day WC I am allowing the substrate, rocks etc to naturally buffer the water without having a large reset or fluctuation each week - the only way I could do single large WC's with my water is to buffer it like mad and I did that before, wasn't worth it, even with exact measurements, calculations etc it just didn't behave as expected and lead to multiple headaches. This way, it's nice and consistent, stable, easy and I like that, especially the easy part.....

Thanks for lookin'!

Blair.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,123 Posts
Don't even worry about trying to buffer the water with TR multies your parameters will be fine as long as they're stable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,005 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks bud, that's the idea.

My water is incredibly soft from the tap - KH 2, so to avoid the tank from plummeting to a rock bottom 5.5<6 (which it does quickly and easily) I do have to have some amount of naturally buffering material (in this instance the substrate), by doing the water changes as I mention I avoid the necessity to buffer the new water, this is something I like and sits in well with creating stability.

As I mentioned I've done the buffering route for both Malawi and Tangs before and it really just wasn't worth it.

Step one - finding the rocks that are more fitting to a tang scape:


Step two, find some snail shells that I like and that look natural in the scape......

Step three, mix in some grey sand/gravel to give the tank that Tanganyikan sediment look.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,005 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks bro,

I'm off out now to find the sediment look, hopefully I shall return with something of use.

Oh yeah, snail shells similar to those found on the lake floor are on their way.....

To be continued.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,005 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Substrate with some larger bits of gravel, scattered in areas where I feel it would naturally collect, then a couple of handfuls of a large grained dark sand scattered and lightly mixed at the surface. Needs more grey but it looks better for now, the only gravel I can get has a lot of white chunks in it so I need to sit and painstakingly pick out all the grey bits :lol: I will do it too.

Once the shells arrive it should complete the look and I'm hoping it will make quite a visual change and firmly settle the tank in the FW "genre", whereas at the moment even with the rock, the presence of the coral type "shells" is still anchoring it to a SW appearance.



Makes a more suiting background for the Multis. You can see the chunky white bits here, they need to go.:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,005 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If anyone has any suggestions on getting the tang look then please, feel free to voice them, I'm always open to suggestions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,005 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well the Multis have most certainly kept me entertained thus far, the majority of their antics involving the usual rearranging of everything in the tank, I don't know if anyone watched the last video I posted but right at the end is a Multi moving a piece of gravel substantially larger than itself, this is the sort of behaviour I've missed.

Anyway I am in discussion with a supplier and I may have sourced some actual Neothauma shells from the Lake itself, just try getting hold of any, hopefully they'll arrive in the next month or two, until then I can live with my trapdoor snail shells (they aren't in there yet in case you were thinking, "What!?")

In case you don't know what they look like:
http://www.cichlidbreeding.com/proddeta ... ole&cat=10

See, even you resourceful Americans are out :lol:.

Added a background - It was without initially and I really liked it but the tank is next to my 55 SA with my Rotkeil and it was quite obvious that he was looking into the Tang tank and eyeing up the multis, which is fine, but they could see him and it was affecting their behaviour. Plus the background makes everything in the tank a lot more striking, you just lose some visual depth. I wrap the background round the sides too - so only the front pane is left "open", this makes the fish a whole load less skittish and less prone to hiding when you walk in and out of the room.


It really does look like this, the only editing needed was to remove some distracting reflection from the left of the image and a few bubbles that caught the light.

Aside from happily chatting away to myself I would quite like to know what people think, is the substrate too light? Should I add more grey pebbles? Should I take some out? Etc. I'd love to know what people think, taking into account I want this to resemble the lake as closely as possible.

I swear this used to be one of the busiest parts of the forum a year back.... Where did all the Tang fiends go!?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
that's an awesome setup, looks fantastic. I don't know if it was intentional or not, but I like how you've clustered some of the caves pointing towards the outside of the tank. That makes a lot of sense, I keep the bigger Africans and am not a gifted aquascaper, so in order to not have territories facing each other, I basically angled them just towards the front of the tank /\/\/\ like that.
Your idea, whether intentional or not, is inspiring. Well done. By the way... Is that really a 40? It looks so much more cozy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,005 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the nice compliments!

Yeah the aqua scape, I'm too picky for it to be anything other than intentional :lol:. The only thing I don't have any say over is the substrate, the fish have their own plans there as usual. I really wanted to represent a large boulder/couple of boulders that are buried under the thick sediment, with just a small amount clearing the surface. In these areas I would expect larger grains (hence the larger pebbles) and shells to naturally collect... That was the idea anyway.

Oh and it's a 10 gallon - I was speaking of my interest in later setting up another tank (the 40).

:thumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,123 Posts
blairo1 said:
If anyone has any suggestions on getting the tang look then please, feel free to voice them, I'm always open to suggestions.
Multies are naturally found in huge shell beds with many thousands of shells at a depth of 2-5 feet. Obviously this isn't the most aesthetically pleasing approach but you could line the bottom of the tank with 2cm of sand, cover the aquarium floor with shells (hundreds) and then have a couple accent boulders in and about the 40 gallon as sight breaks and for aesthetics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,960 Posts
The hardscape rocks are placed and positioned perfectly ... I am kinda questioning the same thing though, thinking the substrate is a touch too light. Can't go too much darker and keep the naturalness though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,005 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Darkside, that's pretty much what I was thinking although I was going to do a deeper substrate, any particular reason why you suggest a shallower substrate? I know the multis dig around the shell rather than burying it, anything to do with this? Consider that I would also want to add some Julies so I would incorporate rockwork for them and potentially a calvus pair, the shell bed would sit between either ends rockwork and therefore separate the calvus and julies, then throughout the shell bed I would scatter smaller rocks similar to those in this tank to break up line of sight in the shell bed....

Afishionado, Matz, thanks for stopping in and leaving your kind remarks!

dwarfpike, yes it is a difficult one the substrate, mostly because you can get every colour under the sun- pink, purple, blue, green, yellow and "the day-glo pink" gravel, I just can't understand why there isn't a nice, natural grey (like you would actually find in an estuary or lake.) The only grey substrate I can find is way too smooth and rounded, it's river pebble, I need flat, flaky, chunky, irregular, rough grey substrate as you would find in a lake. It probably just wouldn't sell enough and so therein lies my problem.

Got a few of the temporary shells in at the moment, they look pretty similar to the Neothauma but they aren't quite, I still have to wait for those to become available, but in the meantime I will be putting in these and a few more - with the Neothauma the whole bed around the rocks will be pretty much covered in shells, without going to extremes.... So a little bare now but not so SW, you just have to envisage what it will look like with a full bed of shells :).

I had to burn the background on this one on account of it being so bright you could see me and everything else in the room, hence why it may look a little weird:


Waiting for the rest of the shells....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,123 Posts
Multies dig and dig and dig and dig... I was suggesting a very shallow substrate because multies have this incredible habit of digging right to the glass. The deeper the substrate, the more it gets piled against the glass. This may not be an issue originally but as the colony grows you'll find that the sand is piled so high against the glass that it causes a visual distraction. When multies are in sand they pick up a mouthful and then cart it out of their way and spit it out, when the colony grows large enough they'll end up moving the sand from the one side of the aquarium to the other and eventually against the rockwork/glass sort of like a multi conveyor belt. One multi pushes sand from their shell into the territory of the next, who moves it to the territory of the next... etc. Amazing to watch but, in short order you'll end up with a siphon sucking up the excess substrate that gets pile in massive mounds. That's what has happened to me in the past, so now I just nip it in the butt and add less in the way of substrate to save myself a bit of time (and some money). The Calvus will work out okay, as will smaller julies, but the julies can cause problems for the multi females and fry. A pair of gobies may be a better fit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,005 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks bud, yeah I do love their behaviour it sure is entertaining to watch. Already they've managed to dig several networks of tunnels, at least they did until I just pulled out the SW stuff. It's one of the reasons I got them, I just love how much coglione they have for such a small fish.

I actually like having deep contoured substrate but it sounds like in a larger tank they can get pretty out of control, so thanks for the tip bud, I like seeing them dig so I would probably have chucked a fair bit in there and ended up with a mountain, if they're anything like my taeniatus then they usually pile it up on the filter inlets too.

I figured the Julies could possess a risk, I would stick to either the Ornatus or Dickfeldi as these are my favourites and I know they stay a little smaller, I just love Julidochromis. As for Gobies, :lol: I've already been enquiring about them trying to get my hands on some Eretmodus cyanostictus (Isanga) or Tanganicodus irsacae and if I can then I'm pretty much sold on one of those two, even over Julies, maybe....

:thumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,005 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Right, this will do for now, I think I'm happy with it, maybe I'll spread the larger gravel on the right out and up that central channel between the rockwork - the Multies really enjoy moving these bits from in there, they don't even use that area but most of what you see near the front is stuff they've brought from that channel. I'll probably get another 3-4 shells so they have at least two each and then it should create the shellbed I envisage.

 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top