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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. This is my first post here and, I have to say, there is a wealth of knowledge on this forum so I look forward to hearing back. I've been into aquariums for a few years now. I ran a 20G that my friend gave me with some basic fish for a few months and then upgraded 75 when I decided I needed more room. Then I decided I really liked the planted look and gradually worked toward converting the 75G to fairly high-tech underwater jungle.

After talking my dad into getting an aquarium, followed by him getting tired of it after about a year and a half, I now have another 75G that I need to bring to life. This time I've got my sights set on a Tanganyika community setup. The first step was figuring out which fish I wanted to keep in there which was no small feat. I'm not necessarily focused on endemic species, but nothing from outside the lake. I've read for hours and hours about the various possibilities and, doing my best to filter and resolve some of the conflicting information I've found, this is what I've come up with:

10 - 12 Cyprichromis leptosoma "Utinta" or 6 - 8 Cyprichromis leptosoma "Black Bee"
5 - 7 Neolamprologus multifasciatus
4 - 6 Julidochromis marlieri "Burundi"
4 Synodontis petricola

Does anyone see any problems with this? Any suggestions for alternatives, additions or subtractions? Would about the quantities (I realize that's kind of fuzzy assuming they will hopefully end up spawning - maybe not in a community though)? I would really like some Altolamprologus calvus "Chaitika", but I don't know how well they would get along with the multis. Does anyone have any experience with the compatibility there? I've read mixed reports so maybe it just depends on the fish. I might consider swapping the multis for the calvus, but then I'd have to convince my wife that I need to keep the 20G multi tank running after the 75G is set up.

I've actually got 5 multis in a 20G right now. (I absolutely love these guys. They're fascinating to watch.) I set this tank up more or less to get the hang of the Tanganyika water chemistry. Not much trouble there and I figure a larger volume can only be easier.

I do have a question about keeping the sand clean though. I've got the vacuuming figured out - after I read about removing the vacuum tube and just using the hose, it got much easier. What concerns me is the giant piles of sand eventually going anaerobic. At first I hoped the multis would keep moving the sand around, but they pretty much just keep making the existing piles bigger. Someone suggested (I forget where I read it) getting a single Callochromis macrops since they dig around in the sand. My concerns there would be compatibility with the multis and the odds that they would make big stationary piles just like the multis leaving me back where I started. Trumpet snails have also been suggested but some people seem to think their effectiveness is limited. The obvious and simplest thing to do would be to just stir up the sand once in a while. That might offend the multis, but they don't seem to have any reservations about rearranging the furniture. Any good ideas here?

This has gotten pretty long so I'd better quit. Thanks in advance for all of your advice. It's much appreciated.

John
 

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I would copy and paste this to entry on the Lake Tanganyika forum (or have a mod move it for you). Those are the guys that that are specialists regarding Tangs. Good luck sounds like a killer tank!
 

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Welcome! For all fish just be prepared to remove anyone who isn't welcome. But in that nice sized tank I think that stock list would work well. Some of the julies may get rejected and might need to be removed but if you have enough territories for everyone to get a slice of the pie you should be ok.

Calvus and multies do have mixed reviews on this forum. Overall I feel that opinion has been that calvus will generally help keep down the multi numbers and in rare cases will kill an adult multi because the calvus is trying to get to the fry. But don't underestimate the spunk of the multies, especially a defending colony. I still think this is an interesting combination and worth considering.

There is a video in the library section about cleaning sand. I believe the videos are under quick reference. But pretty much you have to stir it up occasionally. The multies will be fine and it will give them more work to do when you're done.
 

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I just happened to look and see that the video section is a main section that pops up right when you go to the library. It is not in the quick reference.
 

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I like Transcriptus. Kind of like a small les irritated Marleiri. Also your White Calvus will be fine... DOn't bother getting A callo, it'll look out of place wandering around picking up sand etc. PLus, callochromis are not an easy fish to keep alive (For some :oops: < I've killed plenty of callos).

As far as cleaning sand goes I suggest directional water movement. For example, in one of my of my 80 gallon tanks, which has a 20 gallon sump on it with a quite powerful return, I aim the return spout downward and along the back wall. This motion helps blow stuff out from behind the rocks etc. It can also stress your fish out (Most tangs appreciate minor water movement but not an entire return, jetting them out from behind the rock work! :roll: :lol:)... So I use a "Koralia #2" on the other side of the tank aimed directly at the return spout. They sort of neutralize each other while sending what ends up being a mild Breeze toward the bottom. The sand then is clean. Sure the occassional turd floats around but it's pretty dang clean.

A good rule of thumb is that if you can see your tangs have to swim in one direction or they are being moved, restrained by the amount of flow, than you're blowing them around too much and they'll stress. I've found that a "Breeze" is fine but if it's "windy", they all just hide which is an indicator that they don't like it :wink:

I might also suggest Black Calvus, Instead of whites, because you can put them over Black sand
which hides some debris etc. Of course you could keep Whites over black sand but they'll just be black all the time so...

Snails will turn the soil over as well. Careful not to use pest snails or you'll never get rid of them. If you have them already, or if you don't, you can buy a bunch of assassin snails. They're quite pretty and only reproduce at a rate of about 1 every 2-3 months. They also only reproduce if there are other snails present to eat. Without snails they will eat extra fish food and dead stuff. Mine can smell the shrimp I feed the fish (Once a week) and they come cruising right out from underneath the sand to tackle the krill carcass.

I wouldn't stir up the sand as a means of cleaning up, even when you're changing water. That practice has been attributed to being one of the causes of "bloat". It just screws with their water quality too much. Tangs need, above all things, stability. I just put a couple of hose reducers on a standard siphon setup, which restricts the flow enough to keep sand from going in the drain and still provides the suction needed to clean the **** out of the sand. I also don't use a ton of sand as it just gets too dirty.

Anyway HTH, sounds like it'll be a great tank.
 

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I agree with BioG regarding water flow, but I will add a further observation. I use a lot of rocks in my tang tanks and find that the fish seem to prefer rocks that are impinged upon with a good flow of water, probably because inside the crevices and caves the water flow is distrupted and stagnant water pockets are eliminated by the mild water flow. Most of my spawnings have occured in such conditions. Has anyone else noticed this?

I guess what I am trying to say is that in open water my tangs don't like a lot of flow, but inside of rock-piles they like movement of water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've pretty much settled on the Transcriptus "Gombi". I didn't realize the white calvus would turn black over black sand...would kind of defeat the purpose. I prefer natural looking tanks as opposed the usual high-contrast show tank look. So with that in mind, I'll probably with either the black or yellow calvus. Will the black calvus turn washed-out gray over non-black sand? One other calvus question: is the calvus "Kabemba" (http://www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/s ... hp?id=2214) really blue, or is that a light effect or maybe an extraordinary sample? Would the white/black sand effect apply?

That's good know about the water flow. I've been trying figure out whether to go with the spraybar or the the jets pointed strategically to minimize the "wind". I might try pointing the spraybars straight down the back. I've got two Rena Filstar XP2's I'll be hooking up so I could even do one spraybar and one jet. Any further opinions on that configuration? I'm planning on getting one the surface skimmers to attach to the filter intake so that should hopefully compensate for the lack of surface disruption.

This is great helping me make up my mind on things and making sure I'm not shooting myself in the foot before I even fill up the tank. Thanks a lot, guys.

John
 

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"Black Calvus", wether from the Congo or Zambia (Never seen any from Burundi?) will generally not turn "grey" unless provoked by stress or exclusion.

That being said they will appear lighter over light sand (Like PLay Sand). I personally don't like the way they look over tan to white sand so... If it is a "Natural" look you're looking for keep in mind that they are all the same fish, they're just color variants. Colors which were induced by generations of geological habitat. The Black Calvus comes from the darker basalt beds of the lake (And the dark sand to go with it). I assume Cape Chaitika is home to some type of limestone? And The yellows, maybe Iron? I'm not a geologist but I've seen pics of where the yellows are from and the rocks there are quite Orange as compared to standard volcanic basalt.

As For the Kapemba" variant being blue I"d say no, but they due carry much more blue in their face and finnage when spawning, which will be all the time if you give your male a few females. :)

Here's a pic of my "Kapemba" Zambian so's you can decide for yourself if they're true blue! :thumb:

He's capable of getting much lacker and so does the blue enhance as he darkens. This is what I would call his neutral, or non-breeding coloring.

And his darker coloring (Can't say whether he was "Spawning" here cause I don't rightly remember :oops: but he's darker anyway.)
 

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On second thought I'll say he wasn't spawning cause his lips aren't anywhere near blue enough. When he gets going he looks like he's wearing electric blue lipstick!

The Calvus in my Avatar is A male White Calvus in spawning coloration. The Zambian photos don't really do my "kapemba" justice, he's actually easily bluer than the other variants (I keep all of them :D :oops: :lol: :drooling: )
 

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Someone shoot me down if I am wrong but I believe most are now referring to the J. transcriptus "Gombi" variant as a marlieri rather than transcriptus. I have the transcriptus "Bemba" kissi varient and individuals are striking in a mixed tank of tangs. I have 2 full grown males (2 1/2")that call home as far away as possible from each other in a 55g tank, cohabiting with A. comps, C. n'dobhoi, N. leleupi and N. helianthus. Interestingly the helianthus appeared to have spawned once but generally don't seem too interested in each other.

I think the Chalinochromis n'dobhoi is a way under-utilized fish in the hobby. I love them. If you want a fast growing fish, this is one species for you to consider. Mine have grown to 4 1/2" iin less than a year. They are supposed to top out at under 6". Their spotted coloration is rather unique among tangs and I think they would show well and do well with Altos in a mixed tank.
 
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