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Given point #3, the N. leleupi are just too aggressive for your aims. That said, one Julidochromis species plus a nice school of Cyprichromis should work just fine. If you chose one of the smaller Julies, like J. ornatus or J. transcriptus, you could also add a shell dweller. I'd avoid L. ocellatus, as they can get pretty aggressive, but other than that pretty much any shellie would work. I'd go with N. brevis myself, but that's just personal preference. Another nice option in lieu of the shellies would be N. caudopunctatus. Good luck! (y)
 

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Thanks for the ideas! I do like shell dwellers but am looking for a bit more color if I can get away with it.

Would a group of 8-10 cyprichromis and a group of 4-6 julidochromis get along OK with a single leleupi? That way you do have the one specimen and no possibility of pairing off. Assuming though, they wouldn't hybridize with the julies..?
(1) N. caudopunctatus are very pretty, with a bit more color than the shellies.

Fin Underwater Fish Marine biology Water

(2) 8-10 (or even more) Cyps plus 4-6 Julies is a great idea, but forget the N. leleupi, because even single specimens can be abundantly nasty.
 

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Is a group of six smaller julidochromis and six caudos PLUS 10 smaller cyps going to be pushing it for a 75g tank?
Sounds like a good mix. If set up properly, there is no reason you can't keep at least 4 breeding pairs of these particular bottom dwellers in a 75, and if you keep the Cyps happy and well-fed they should produce fry as well. I have a nice C. leptostoma colony in a 125 (along with other fishes) that started out with 12 Cyps and now numbers more than twice that without any intervention from me. Good luck. (y)
 

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This thread makes me think about the old days, before the big-box fish stores even existed, when you could easily obtain a used sponge filter (or some 'glass wool' from an established HOB filter; remember that?) from any LFS. Of course, this whole mess could have been avoided with a bit of foreknowledge. :rolleyes:
 

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...Well to be fair the quick start and add fish action I took was based in reading around in the net. Thats why I thought fishless cycling was not required any more...
Nothing could be further from the truth. The internet is not subject to quality control, so information and misinformation occur in approximately equal measure. That's why authoritative sources (like books, whether in print or online) are still the gold standards for reliable information, not the hearsay that tends to get posted and reposted ad nauseum online. Good luck.
 

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I agree with @Auballagh: the last thing you need right now is more variables in the system. You will need to do water changes frequently, as dictated by your NH4/NO2 test results, but you don't want the plants to compete with the nitrifying bacteria you are trying to establish in the system. Once the tank is fully cycled, it is the nitrifying bacteria, not the plants, that will carry out most of the oxidation of ammonia to nitrate, and unless the plants are thriving, they may actually increase the nitrogen bioload, not decrease it.
 

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...Of the 12 cyps I got there are two that are starving and refuse to eat. They are otherwise fine and are not being pestered by any of the other tank mates. They are a little darker than the others but that is the only difference I can see.

I've read a couple other threads and there isn't anything that can be done here. They may have gone blind for reasons unknown or were so traumatized by shipment that it caused the problem. I can only speculate. I've tried live baby brine and had zero result. They just will not eat even with food right in front of them. Sad, but they're goners I think...
Sadly, I think you're probably right. Cyprichromis are very active fishes, and expend lots of energy every day, so they need lots of nourishment. If they are stressed or otherwise compromised, they gradually waste away until ultimately they reach the condition you describe, which is difficult to rescue. It can be done (sometimes), but generally requires that you move them into a different tank.

My guess is that these fishes were already compromised when you got them, as they rarely get proper long-term care in holding tanks. With so many people viewing Cyps as just 'dithers,' they rarely get the care and attention they deserve, but under the right conditions, they are stunning and interesting fishes.
 

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Agree, they don't ship all that well and may be sold undersized. Deaths among newly shipped Tangs (cyps and calvus IME) are not unusual, whereas I almost never have a Lake Malawi death after shipping.
True enough. Some online suppliers that offer Live-on-Arrival guarantees for most of their fishes specifically exclude Tanganyikans from such a guarantee. :mad:
 
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