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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey just after some pointers off anyone that can steer me in the right direction.

Currently setting up a tropheus aquarium and I’m looking into how far I go with buffering my tap water.
After letting my tap water sit for 24 hrs I have a reading of
PH-8.0
KH-3 drops (0-50ppm)
Gh-very hard to read but think it was 2 drops (0-50ppm)

I have been reading lots of mixed options of just using your tap water without adding buffers.

I have both Seachem lake salt and tanganyikan water buffer just wondering if I should use it to bring my hardness up to text book levels or am I going to be chasing my tail trying to keep a stable aquarium.

thanks.
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Beautiful setup, and I love the over-filtration. What are the dimensions of the tank itself? I'm guessing 60" wide? You'll need to choose your Tropheus population carefully in a tank less than 72".

Compared to Lake Tanganyika parameters, your water is not particularly hard nor alkaline, so yes, you need to buffer the water, and the SeaChem products you mentioned are a great way to do that. There are all kinds of DIY options for doing this- penny-wise pound-foolish, IMO- but in 20+ years of Tropheus keeping I have never gone wrong with the SeaChem products. Good luck. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply Keith it’s much appreciated!

the tank is a juwel vision 450 so it’s 5ft long and the deepest part of the bow it’s 2ft wide. I think it is roughly 450ltrs plus the two canister filters.

do you think it’s a big enough tank for tropheus? I’ve had my heart set on them but if it’s not ideal I can still change my mind.

what ever I choose to do I want to do it properly.

the water parameters here are odd I wanted discus to start but thought the ph would be a battle.

I’ve kept aquariums for years but have always been hardy fish that have never given me troubles this will be the first attempt at really getting things right

thanks again
 

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Your tank is plenty big enough for most Tropheus populations. There are a few hyper-aggressive Tropheus populations that require lots of space, but you probably don't want to go there anyway. Which Tropheus are you considering for this tank?

There is a lot of mystique (and misinformation) about Tropheus keeping, but it's not rocket science. Get the water chemistry right and maintain it consistently, feed the fishes an appropriate vegetable-based diet, and don't mess with the social hierarchy, and everything will be fine. Stress management is the name of the game. Good luck, and have fun! (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Your tank is plenty big enough for most Tropheus populations. There are a few hyper-aggressive Tropheus populations that require lots of space, but you probably don't want to go there anyway. Which Tropheus are you considering for this tank?

There is a lot of mystique (and misinformation) about Tropheus keeping, but it's not rocket science. Get the water chemistry right and maintain it consistently, feed the fishes an appropriate vegetable-based diet, and don't mess with the social hierarchy, and everything will be fine. Stress management is the name of the game. Good luck, and have fun! (y)
Thanks again for your help!
That’s really good information.
I really like the look of the moliro red tropheus
Or the red Bemba but to be completely honest I like them all. We don’t have a huge selection over here in aus to pick from or at least I don’t where I live.
If you were to recommend something you think would do well in my set up I wouldn’t think twice about getting those. I can get the Ikolas and yellow cheek mpimbwe aswell.

thanks again for taking to time to help me 👍
 

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Ikola and Moops are thought by many to be the best looking as a group.
What I mean by that is that the majority of the fish will have a vibrant, uniform colour.
I can say for certain that it is the case with Moops and as long as you get good stock, I see no reason why it wouldn't be the same for Ikola.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ikola and Moops are thought by many to be the best looking as a group.
What I mean by that is that the majority of the fish will have a vibrant, uniform colour.
I can say for certain that it is the case with Moops and as long as you get good stock, I see no reason why it wouldn't be the same for Ikola.
awsome thanks noddy!
Do you think aggression wise they would do ok in my aquarium?

thanks for the help 👍
 

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I agree with @noddy regarding the suggestion of Tropheus sp. 'black' Ikola or T. moorii Mpungulu (a. k. a. 'Moops'). I have kept both of these for many years, and they are amongst my favourites. Ikola are perhaps the most striking Tropheus population of all, and as @noddy pointed out, virtually every fish in the tank will show the same pattern of a bright yellow band over a jet black background (in contrast, only the very best Bemba stock show good coloration in every individual in the colony). Mpungulu also show good color throughout the colony, but perhaps a bit more variable than Ikola; it's really a matter of personal taste. Ikola, Bemba, and Mpungulu are all relatively mellow, so they would be good choices for you, but of these Mpungulu is perhaps the most feisty.

Tropheus sp. 'red' populations are also striking fishes, but the red coloration can vary substantially from one individual to another, and their beauty is more subtle. Moliro tends to have more red than other 'red' populations, and is popular for that reason. I have not kept Moliro, but my T. sp. 'red' Lunangwa Sud colony is decidedly more aggressive than T. sp. 'black' Ikola or Bemba.

I would not recommend T. brichardi Mpimbwe, as these can be a real handful aggression-wise, and require lots of space.

I would think that 15-18 fishes would be a good place to start for your setup. If you keep the adults well-fed and provide the fry with hiding places, many Tropheus colonies will become largely self-sustaining, and your tank will eventually contain individuals of many different ages and sizes. This is one of my favourite aspects of Tropheus-keeping.
 

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awsome thanks noddy!
Do you think aggression wise they would do ok in my aquarium?

thanks for the help 👍
I think they would be perfect for your tank.
I was keeping groups of 30 - 36 in my 120g tanks with a footprint of 60 x 18"
I personally would be starting out with at least 18 and up to 24 if you can make that happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you both for your info I’m sold on Ikola after speaking to you both and thanks for the stocking amount info I’ll definitely follow what you guys have told me I really do appreciate your help 👍

I am currently giving a fishless cycle a go with fish food seems pretty slow have a 0.25 reading of ammonia 0 nitrite and nitrate so it may be a while before it’s ready for my fish but it gives me to time prepare.

I dare say I’ll have some more questions down the track but I’ll keep you guys posted with my progress
 

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That's going to be a stunning tank with the Ikola. It's probably pretty obvious that they're one of my favourites given my avatar. :giggle:

Here's a little tip that's important, but rarely mentioned- Don't overfeed them. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That's going to be a stunning tank with the Ikola. It's probably pretty obvious that they're one of my favourites given my avatar. :giggle:

Here's a little tip that's important, but rarely mentioned- Don't overfeed them. (y)
Thanks mate!
*** been looking at them a lot since you guys recommended them and I agree I really like the ikola.
thinking about doing a water in a barrel setup to pre treat and warm the water. Do you think it’s necessary or should I use tap water and just dose the aquarium?
how do they tolerate water temp changes?
 

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Thanks mate!
*** been looking at them a lot since you guys recommended them and I agree I really like the ikola.
thinking about doing a water in a barrel setup to pre treat and warm the water. Do you think it’s necessary or should I use tap water and just dose the aquarium?
how do they tolerate water temp changes?
Lake Tanganyika is a remarkably stable environment; consequently, fishes that evolved there don't tolerate changes in water chemistry or temperature well at all. Certainly, the very best way to do water changes is to add pre-mixed fresh water at the same temperature as the tank water. It's also possible to add salts in small doses as you're filling the tank, but in any case, the new water should be the same temperature as the water you're replacing.
 

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how many times a day do you feed your tropheus? How do you know when they have had enough?
Thanks again mate
Because Tropheus are herbivores, they have long, thin gastrointestinal tracts, and intestinal blockage can be a real problem if they are chronically fed large doses of concentrated food. They should never look 'fat' after they've been fed, and the old adage holds- never feed more than they can eat within a few minutes.

I feed my fishes once or twice a day. I also feed them at least once a week with large leaves of Romain lettuce for roughage. I also have 3-4 fasting days per month.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Awesome thanks again for sharing your knowledge! All these little things will make a big difference for me.

Plan for me is now to get the water changes and water mix down pat before the fish come and while I’m cycling the aquarium.
I’ve always used the api test kits but I really struggle with API GH to me it’s very hard to read so you have a preferred brand of test kit?
 
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