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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I just built a Cichlid tank for shellies and julies. The tank is 36"x12"x19". I've got a bunch of shells in front with a cascade of rock formation kind of resembling mountains that go upward, leaving some open water. With the shellies occupying the bottom and julies occupying the rock caves, I really want something that will occupy that open water (high/mid level) of the tank.

I've looked into paracyps and cyps and found that the recommendation is 48" for those fish so my question is are there any other species of fish that I could research or am I just SOL? I want to keep the lake tang Cichlid theme, so I'm looking for a lake tang fish.

Thanks!
 

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Six paracyps could work in a 36" tank.
 

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Cyps sleep on the sand. I would pile up the shells in one place and leave a swath of open sand as a "barrier" to the shellies and to leave some space for the cyps to sleep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's interesting, I didn't know that. I could take out 1/3 of the shells and give the cyps a place to relax. I'm thinking about doing 6 paracyps, 4 masked julies, and 6 similis. I'm hoping the julies and similis will have some babies swimming around.
 

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The species will eat each other's fry. You may see some but not large numbers.

I would remove half the rocks and keep all the shells but pile them up. A nice six (or more) inch swath of sand.

Expect the julidochromis to form a pair and then the pair will drive the other 4 away to the point of killing them if they are not removed. I got a trio in a small tank once, but never 6 individuals that lived their entire lives happily together in a 36" tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Maybe I'll setup a holding tank for the fry, see if I can grow any out and sell to my LFS. I may scratch cyps all together if my LFS will buy the fry, we will see. I wish I could have a larger tank, but the 38 is the biggest I can fit right now haha. I really appreciate all the advice! I've kept a lot of fish and these cichlids really are my favorite so far. I also thought of putting one pearly Calvus in there but I'm afraid it might eat my shellies.
 

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I would not add a rock dweller since you already have one.
 

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DJRansome said:
...Cyps sleep on the sand...
Seriously? Where did you get that idea? I have been keeping Cyprichromis for more than 20 years, and have three good-sized colonies at the moment, and for sure my Cyprichromis do not sleep 'on the sand.' Like any open-water schooling fish, they sleep in the water column. The idea that a school of Cyprichromis in the wild, which may contain thousands of fishes, would need to find a place 'on the sand' to sleep every night makes no sense whatsoever in terms of this species' biology. :eek:
 

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Mine always slept on the sand...that is where I caught the holding moms. Also people who have trouble with cyps wasting (which I never have) were advised by knowledgeable Members to try changes to make for a more healthy environment. Also high ledges for shelter.
 
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