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Have some questions and just want to confirm that I have all the steps to setup a successful Tropheus tank, I know that things vary from tank to tank and fish to fish, but just want to make sure I have the bases covered.

So I am dead set on getting a Tropheus tank setup, I'm not a newbie to fish keeping but I have never kept them before. In the past I have had mbuna, vics, shellies and various CA/SA fish. I am currently housing a CA/SA community in my 150g and it just feels wrong to only have 1 tank in the house.

I am looking at Craigslist for the next 2 weeks to see if I can't find a good deal on a used tank. The minimum tank size I'll be getting is a 75g, but if I can find a good deal on a 90g/120g/125g I'll be snagging that. I know bigger is always better but I have a budget in mind as well.

For the sake of conversation I'm going to be setting up a 75g tank. Substrate will be black sand, rocks I'm either going to go with slate or black lava rock. More then likely slate as I have never had that kind of rock in my tanks before.

The pH out of the tap is 7.8 and the pH when in a tank is 8.0 - so it will only fluctuate slightly during water changes, is this an issue?

As for filtration, this will largely depend on if the tank is drilled or not. I"ll be either using an XP3 + AC110 or a 20g sump + AC110 - is one setup vastly superior to the other in terms of filtration? I know for sumps they're only as good as their pump, so would be getting a Mag Drive pump for it. Right now on my 150g I have two XP3s and an AC110 - I like to get the same filters on my tanks so if needed I can swap them around.

Would a UV Sterilizer be beneficial? I have zero problems with algae, I have just heard that people who have used them with EBJD had better success with the fish. And since Tropheus seem to be a more fragile fish as well, I figure it could be a well worth it investment.

For stocking in a 75g I was thinking of starting out with 20 1" fish - too much, too little? I have read that the magic number for people in this size of a tank is right around 13, but because I'll be buying at this size it might be difficult to sex. So I could cull from that group if/when needed and it would help to spread the aggression around.

As for water changes, on my 150g I do weekly 20-30% water changes, my nitrates stay below 20ppm. This is the same practice I'd be carrying on to the Tropheus tank. Does that sound about right with the stocking amount I listed above?

For feeding, I have read spirulina flakes and nothing else. What about other types of veggies? I know Ken's has a natural veggie flake mix that has a variety of things in it, and in my 150g tank as a treat seaweed has been a big hit.

I think that's about it, really excited to get moving on this project but I have to wait for a decent deal on a tank in my area. Not going to spend $400 on a 75g tank + stand :D
 

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Just make sure to keep up with the water changes. I would suggest a powerhead for water movement.

What I feed my Tropheus are new life spectrum cichlid pellet/Thera+a,spirulina, dainichi and mysis for treats. It's good to have a variety of food.

I kept 28 ikolas and 25 ilangis ranging 2.75-3.5inches in my 75 gallon and I had no issues. So 20 1in wouldn't be enough but enough. It's always better to start with a lot and when they get to breeding size you can wean off the extra males and have more females.
 

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CMN said:
For the sake of conversation I'm going to be setting up a 75g tank. Substrate will be black sand, rocks I'm either going to go with slate or black lava rock. More then likely slate as I have never had that kind of rock in my tanks before.
I've read that a lot of tropheus variants look their best against a light substrate and background. You might want to reconsider the black sand.

The pH out of the tap is 7.8 and the pH when in a tank is 8.0 - so it will only fluctuate slightly during water changes, is this an issue?
This shouldn't be an issue. I add baking soda to my water to keep it reasonably stable at 8.2.

Would a UV Sterilizer be beneficial? I have zero problems with algae, I have just heard that people who have used them with EBJD had better success with the fish. And since Tropheus seem to be a more fragile fish as well, I figure it could be a well worth it investment.
It wouldn't hurt to have one but if you're on a budget, you might want to wait to see if it's needed.

For stocking in a 75g I was thinking of starting out with 20 1" fish - too much, too little? I have read that the magic number for people in this size of a tank is right around 13, but because I'll be buying at this size it might be difficult to sex. So I could cull from that group if/when needed and it would help to spread the aggression around.
I have 25 juvies in a 110. 20 in a 75 sounds very reasonable.

As for water changes, on my 150g I do weekly 20-30% water changes, my nitrates stay below 20ppm. This is the same practice I'd be carrying on to the Tropheus tank. Does that sound about right with the stocking amount I listed above?
The only way to know for sure is to monitor your nitrates and do water changes accordingly but what you're considering sounds like a very reasonable baseline to start from.

For feeding, I have read spirulina flakes and nothing else. What about other types of veggies? I know Ken's has a natural veggie flake mix that has a variety of things in it, and in my 150g tank as a treat seaweed has been a big hit.
I've been feeding mine a combination of 1mm NLS and 0.5 mm NLS Grow. I'll stop feeding the Grow once my smallest fish (right now about 1.25") get a little bigger and just feed the regular NLS. There's a poll on Trophs.com (a great tropheus resource) and it shows that a lot of tropheus keepers feed their fish NLS.

I think that's about it, really excited to get moving on this project but I have to wait for a decent deal on a tank in my area. Not going to spend $400 on a 75g tank + stand :D
I've had my tank set up for a just over a month. It's my first cichlid tank and I ruminated for months about what kind of fish to get. I'm really glad I chose tropheus. They're amazingly entertaining.

One thing I would recommend you have on hand before picking up your fish is Metro. Tropheus are susceptible to bloat and you want to be able to respond quickly if you start seeing problems.

Good luck with your project and be sure to provide updates.
 

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Well said Zimmy, especially the part about having Metro on hand. The only thing I would add is to have Clout on hand as well. In the advanced stages of bloat Metro is often not strong enough.
 

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Personally I would hold out for that 90g or better still a 100g+.
I have kept and bred Tropheus for over 20 years in tanks from 29g to 200g. Best success was in a 125g.
Nothing wrong with buying 1"-2" stock from good breeders but they are unsexable and you will get more males than you want long term. You need to raise these to a good size in say 75g tanks then sex em at 3" or so and pop em in the bigger tank after taking out most of the males (so get about double the number you finally want to keep as a breeding group).
Quicker is to buy stuff sexable at about 3" and get the sex mix you want (about 6 females per male) but this is far more expensive (about x4 the price of the 1"-2" guys per fish).
Breeders do not like raising em to this size as they get too many hard to shift sexually active males so have to up the price. :oops: :)
The old way is to use spirulina or vegi flake. The more modern (10 years or so) is pellets like NLS. I tinker with pellets but think the old ways still have some merrit.
When you get em feed em on the stuff they are used to and then gradually ween em on to what you think is the best food.
Vegi flake very safe but low breeding. Pellets a bit more risky but higher breeding. The compromise food is NLS H2O stable wafers. Gets that stuff into em but not in huge quantities and gives em a good tooth and mouth and jaw muscle workout for that wild type look.

All the best James
 
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