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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
.. but better to be safe than sorry.

I am looking to set up a 55g Tang tank, and was looking at the cookie cutter suggestions. One thing was unclear to me....

Select 1 pair from each group (max of 2 pairs):
• Altolamprologus calvus or compressiceps
• Neolamprologus leleupi or cylindricus
• Julidochromis or Chalinochromis
• Telmatochromis vittatus, bifrenatus or brichardi

Does that mean 2 pairs from the following selection (i.e. total 4 fish), or a max of 2 pairs of each (i.e. possibly 16 fish). I am suspecting the former for a total of 16 fish in the tank including the 12 Cyprichromis leptosoma.

Sorry if this is obvious, but I am a total newb :oops:
 

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No question is silly. Ask away. It means you want to aim for just 2 pairs (adults) eventually. (Often start with a group of six and keep the first pair that forms)
Some of those guys mix better than others. I would ask when you have selected your 2 favs to see if folk have had success with that mix in that size tank.
 

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Welcome! :thumb:

The cookie cutters can be a bit obscure, but you're first guess was right. Two species, and likely just a pair of each. To get pairs of Tang cichlids, many people start with 5-6 juveniles, and let the fish choose partners. Then the unpaired fish are removed; this means trading or selling them to a local fish store or another hobbyist. Sometimes trios form, 1 male and 2 females.

For Tang community tanks, it's easiest to think of territory types that are available: open water, rocks and caves, and open sand. The cyps are one of the few cichlids that like the open water and are good tank mates. The group of fish that you listed are primarily rock dwellers: a pair will defend distinct piles of rocks and caves, so you need to create space between rock piles for different species to coexist. That leave the bottom: shellies and sandsifters are popular choices. But, they each have slightly different requirements of space and tank mates.

So, if you pick a species or two that you really like, we can help you build the rest of the tank around them. The cookie cutters are a great place to start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow thanks for the quick replies. I think I will go and pick a few species and post back as you say for comments :thumb:

:fish:
 
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