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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After my recent heater disaster, I've decided to dismantle my 65G tank. I'm in the process of selling my Frontosa colony and soon I will have plenty of room in my 125G for a restocking party. I'm looking for some ideas for things to add to my tank that won't break the bank (e.g. no shipping/special orders).

The tank: typical 125G six foot tank. Substrate is pool filter sand with some coral sand mixed in to buffer the water. There is also an undergravel jet system. Filtration is a wet/dry system with two overflows for biological filtration and a Fluval (300?) for mechanical filtration (enough filtration for a colony of mature fronts, so I think I'm fine in that area). I've got a bunch of escargot shells that I can throw in and plenty of rocks to stack in piles.

Fish that I already own:
3 or 4 synodontis petricola (full grown)
2 Altolamprologus calvus ink fin (possible male and female, or two males; "friendly" towards one another but not paired)
2 Julidochromis marlieri gombi (each about an inch long, same sex; currently trying to kill one another)
3 clown loaches (hopefully going with the Fronts even though these guys are my favorites)

The calvus and julies are the four survivors of the heater disaster in the 65G and the catfish and loaches are the current companions to the fronts in the 125G.

Fish available in my area:
Cyprichromis (a few varieties)
Opthalmotilapia ventralis
Eretmodus cyanostictus
Various Julidochromis (I could get more marlieri gombis if I wanted or start afresh; I do love julies)
Callochromis stappersi
Enatiopus melanogenys
Neolamprologus multifasciatus
Neolamprologus ocellatus

There are also Brichardi complex available, as well as leleupi and trets, although I don't think I want any of these guys. I've had all three in the past. I could also likely find some more synodontis to increase their numbers.

I'm leaning towards a group of shellies, but I'm not sure what else I want. Cyps are an obvious choice for the upper water. I've never kept shellies, gobies, featherfins or sand dwellers. I would appreciate any ideas and advice. You all are much more creative than I am, I'm sure. Also, I would appreciate suggestions for how to do this - move all the current fish to the 125G and then use the 65G as a quarantine tank for the new fish? Or the opposite?

Thanks!
 

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Even in a 125g you kind of want to make the decision do I want a peaceful open sand type tank with just a few less troublesome rock dwellers. Or a full of life rocky set up. With no wusses like beautiful Enants.

Its kind of a petty but to pull of a mix of both is hard even in a big tank. Add shellys as well and it can go pear shaped quite quickly (I should know as I have done this more than once :oops: :) )
The tank is 6 foot long but how wide is it? (wide less tall tanks can hold more than thin tall tanks)

I can see four and more good species for each type of tank but its kind of up to you.

Your current stock is more the full of life rocky type set up, so it would be cheaper to go this way.
If going for a more peaceful open water type tank you would have to drop some of them for say sand sifters like Enants to do well.

All the best James
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I want to keep the Synodontis and the Altolamprologus. I could give away or trade the julies since they are nasty buggers.

The 125 is 18 inches wide.

I like rock-dwellers, but like I said before, I have no experience with the other groups, so I might not know what I'm missing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I should add that there are also Neolamprologus cylindricus and buescheri available. No experience with them either.
 

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If it were me I would centre on the Enants. You have a good big tank for these to do well.
And not put in anything that would mess with them too much.

2 Altolamprologus calvus ink fin (possible male and female, or two males; "friendly" towards one another but not paired) Should be OK in a small rock pile at one end.
Could maybe squease in a pair of goby cichlids too.

Also a shoal of Cyps. None jumbo leps would be my choice Jumbos sometimes dive bomb Enants a bit too much and might compeate with the ventralis for open water territories.
Also I found ventralis did not bother Enants but are nutters to each other but you have room for more than one male territory. (Find it best to keep em like this one male plus a bunch of females in a small crowded set up or very sparsly populated multi male set up in a large tank each male holding a big open water area from other males. In this way they stay buisy showing off to one another for hours and showing thier best colours.)

You could also have just one corner given over to a multie colony with shells. Not too big mind the Enants will want about 60"x18" of floor space (open sand) to show their best and have two bowers going.

Sorry I think the 3 or 4 synodontis petricola (full grown) would bother the Enants and Cyps too much at night for the Cyps and Enants to do well. You could I guess try em in there together but thats what I found with 7 Synos and 10 Enants in a 84"x24"x24".

Otherwise keep the Neolamp/Julie/Altolamp rocky theme and drop the idea of Enants/sand sifters.

Well thats what I think anyway. :oops: :)

All the best James
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I watched a few videos of the Enants on Youtube - neat fish, but I really want to keep my Synodontis. Besides the loaches, they are my favorite fish to watch. They come out every night as soon as the lights go out and patrol the tank, looping up and down the glass and sometimes squeaking. I think they're hilarious. I used to have more, but they are quite the escape artists, especially when not fully grown and able to squeeze through anything.
 

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I was advised that the synos will bother the shellies. I have also read that people combine them, so FWIW.

Caudopunctatus are a nice fish and combine well with calvus and cyps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Are there certain shell-dwelling species that can stand up to the synos more than others?

The occies and multies are the only ones in stock right now, but I've seen Neo. speciosus and Neo. meleagris locally before.

Oh, and my synos are actually lucipinnis, but they're always sold here as petricola. I don't think it really matters, behavior-wise.
 
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