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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am resetting 300x75x75 tank and looking for stocking ideas for community tank. I was breeding Tropheus and P. trewavasae, so I have some experience with tanganyika fish but I still feel as an amateur. My goal is NOT to create a 100% biotop (in terms of no original plants, same fish from one locality etc.) but to replicate sort of idealistic/natural atmosphere you see while watching underwater movies from Tanganyika. For example, if you have a large group of tropheus or petrochromis to minimise the agresivity, it is hardly a natural view. You do not see 100 tropheini at 3m2 in the lake. If you combine anything with large group of cyprichromis, they will always disturb other fish and again, it is not a natural view unless you keep only cyps (my long term experience, they disturb even Tropheus, so I do not understand why people always recommend them). I know I can leave the whole tank to big group of xenotilapia flavipinnis for example but getting 100 xenotilapia will cost fortune and I feel I like to have more species. I want to have some sort of fish diversity but still see the mouthbrooders to release and catch their babies, a few predators looking for something to eat, some scrapers to clean the algea from the rocks etc...not just one big chaos in front of glass
 

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This is a tough one, and since no one else has stepped up to the plate here, let me offer my opinion. There are no hard and fast rules, especially for such a large tank, so this is definitely going to be a process of trial and error. But there are probably ways to minimize the errors. For example, I think it will be difficult to assemble a (more or less) harmonious community containing all of the fishes you mentioned- mouthbrooders, predators, herbivores, etc. If this were my tank, I would start out with fishes of roughly similar temperaments that we know work together in other contexts. Because I have a preference for sandy biotope fishes, I would start out with Xenotilapia/Enantipous and some featherfins. Bottom dwelling fishes like Enantiopus kilesa and Xenotilapia ochrogenys get along just fine with more open water Xeno's from the sandy/rocky biotope, e. g. X. spilopterus, and these add variety because they are biparental mouthbrooders and spend most of their time mid-water. With this much space available, you could probably take your pick of the featherfins, although it might be safer to choose one of the less aggressive species. And what about Callochromis? These are beautiful and interesting fishes, but rarely kept because of their excessive space demands. For sure you could add cave- or shell-dwellers to this mix, but I'd be hesitant to add really boisterous fishes like Tropheus or Petrochromis. That said, there is another thread on this forum from a member who is trying to keep Petrochromis with Cyathopharynx in a very large tank; I've asked him to keep us posted.

My suggestions are obviously strongly biased towards the fishes I like best, and there are no doubt many, many other possibilities. Two other observations- (i) don't be put off by the price of Xenotilapia: if you start out with 12-15, treat them well, and are patient, you can have many beautiful progeny within a year, and (ii) I totalyy agree with your sentiments about Cyprichromis.

Good luck! :dancing:
 

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Surprising to hear, I found the cyps to be timid and fine with calvus, julidochromis, brevis, leleupi and trets for many years.
 

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DJRansome said:
Surprising to hear, I found the cyps to be timid and fine with calvus, julidochromis, brevis, leleupi and trets for many years.
With those fishes, yes, but with featherfins and sand-sifters, not so much: the Cyps make them nervous. I've never tried Cyps with Tropheus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for your valuable ideas! I kept Cyps and Tropheus duboisi and cyps were harassing them including Eretmodus. It was a group of maybe 40 cyps utinta, males constantly displaying, all males synchronised, it was spectacular! I want to avoid julido and other neolamprologus becuase once they breed, it is not possible to catch fry in such tank. It happened to me to have 50 julidochromis transcriptus in tank and had to clean full tank :)

One setup I am thinking about, sand: 2+6 Callochromis macrops or Aulanocranus dewindti or Ophtalmotilapia nasuta, shells: 3+6 lamprologus callipterus, telmatochromis vittatus, rocks: eretmodus/spathodus. Then I would like to add xenotilapia ochrogenys (not sure about the combination with macrops) and maybe a small group of tropheus? Is that too crazy?
 

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I would agree with sir keith re: sandsifters. I personally would build the tank around them.
As far as cyps and featherfins are concerned, I have found that Nasutas and cyp. Pavo are among the calmest of the species and get along quite well in a community tank.
I kept Kipilli gold Nasutas and Cyp. Pavo Chaitika together with both breeding regularly for quite a few years. But, all tanks and fish are different and can behave differently.
I have never kept P. Brienni but I would like to one day and from my understanding, they are very calm.
 

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noddy said:
I would agree with sir keith re: sandsifters. I personally would build the tank around them.
As far as cyps and featherfins are concerned, I have found that Nasutas and cyp. Pavo are among the calmest of the species and get along quite well in a community tank.
I kept Kipilli gold Nasutas and Cyp. Pavo Chaitika together with both breeding regularly for quite a few years. But, all tanks and fish are different and can behave differently.
I have never kept P. Brienni but I would like to one day and from my understanding, they are very calm.
Interesting. I had Cyprochromis leptostoma in with my Kipili Golds for a while, but the Cyps definitely made the Golds nervous. Once I moved the Cyps out, the Golds really came into their own. So I guess it could just be the difference between C. pavo and C. leptostoma. Were your Kipili Golds wild-caught? That might be another difference. I wouldn't mind trying C. pavo in some of my other tanks, based on your suggestion.
 

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sir_keith said:
noddy said:
I would agree with sir keith re: sandsifters. I personally would build the tank around them.
As far as cyps and featherfins are concerned, I have found that Nasutas and cyp. Pavo are among the calmest of the species and get along quite well in a community tank.
I kept Kipilli gold Nasutas and Cyp. Pavo Chaitika together with both breeding regularly for quite a few years. But, all tanks and fish are different and can behave differently.
I have never kept P. Brienni but I would like to one day and from my understanding, they are very calm.
Interesting. I had Cyprochromis leptostoma in with my Kipili Golds for a while, but the Cyps definitely made the Golds nervous. Once I moved the Cyps out, the Golds really came into their own. So I guess it could just be the difference between C. pavo and C. leptostoma. Were your Kipili Golds wild-caught? That might be another difference. I wouldn't mind trying C. pavo in some of my other tanks, based on your suggestion.
Yes the Nasutas were wild caught. I have never seen a cyp as peaceful as the Pavo I kept (F1's). If I found some locally again I would jump at them.
Interesting side note, the pavo are not open water spawners and will spawn in small depressions in the sand or even in my case, the Nasutas nests.
I actually kept the Pavo with Cyp. Microlepidotus black Kiriza at one point and they completely ignored each other.
 

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noddy said:
Yes the Nasutas were wild caught. I have never seen a cyp as peaceful as the Pavo I kept (F1's). If I found some locally again I would jump at them.
Interesting side note, the pavo are not open water spawners and will spawn in small depressions in the sand or even in my case, the Nasutas nests.
I actually kept the Pavo with Cyp. Microlepidotus black Kiriza at one point and they completely ignored each other.
Thanks for the great info; I will definitely put C. pavo on my wish list for the future. And based on this information, I would encourage the OP to add C. pavo (and O. nasuta) to his community! :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for all your comments. Are O. nasuta aggressive to other species? Should I stick to more "robust" xenos like ochrogenys or would O. nasuta fit into the tank with more docile xenos like nigrolabiata, flavipins or enantiopus? I have never had any Opthalmotilapia before but understand that boops are the most aggressive. It is more easier to get Callochromis macrops here, how do they compare with O. nasuta? Currently no cyps are on my list :) I still think they should be in large groups (40+) like in nature and then should play the major role in the tank.
 

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O. nasuta are the least aggressive of the Ophthalmotilapia, and the only aggression they do display is towards their own species. I have been keeping my O. nasuta Kipili Gold with Enantiopus kilesa, and there is no aggression at all between species. I am also keeping O. nasuta Chimba Tiger with Xenotilapia ochrogenys Ndole, and again, there is no aggression whatsoever between species. I believe that Callochromis are considerably more aggressive that Ophthalmotilapia, but I've never tried keeping them together. My guess would be that this might be a problem, but in a tank like yours with so much space, it might work. Good luck! :thumb:
 
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