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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let's jump right into it. Rather avid fish-goer. Currently deployed so I'm gathering information for my first tang cichlid tank. Read a "**** ton" of reviews, gone over the "cookie cutter" section on this glorious site, picked and planned around other's tanks but would still like a bit of advice in which direction to go. <--- sound dramatic I know.
So in short I have a 56 gallon column tank it's where I'll be starting (eventually after I redeploy and get the house situated will expand to a much longer drawn out tank). These are the Tangs that have currently caught my eye which will be spending atleast 6 months in the tank prior to be "upgrading." If anyone can suggest which combo to go with I would greatly appreciate it!

1. Chalinochromis popelini
2. Altolamprologus calvus
3. Variabilichromis moori
4. Cyphotilapia frontosa (Kigoma)
5. Julidochromis dickfeldi (Sumbu)
6. 'Lamprologus' calliurus (Chikalakate)

Dimensions of the tank are: 30-1/4"L x 18-1/4"W x 57-7/16"H

Any other suggestions on which "algae eater" or "catfish" I should throw into the mix?

Thanks again!
 

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I'd probably just go with the calvus until after you upgrade.

These fish want to claim a territory on the substrate and 30 x 18 is not a huge tank.

L. calliurus are very large fish. Maybe some Lamprologus multifasciatus instead with the calvus?

Six juvenile calvus and six multi's will be very entertaining during your 6 month wait for the big tank.

A bristlenose pleco will help with algae. With shellies you might want to avoid other bottom dwellers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Boom! I appreciate the feedback. Would the same be said regardless of caves or hiding places (it being a taller rather than wider tank)? What would you suggest as far as male to female ratio between the calvus and multis being considered 1M/5F-2M/4F?

Assuming I would like to incorperate a few more of the cichlids, should I go with 100gallons minimum? Thanks again!

that pleco will be fine with the shellies? I won't have to worry about them eating fry or the fish themselves?
 

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I've had bristlenose plecos eat really small fry that aren't yet mobile, but I've never seen them get anything that was free swimming. (nor have I seen them aggressively seek fry that are being defended by their parents).

Those should be fine for you. If you're worried though, and if you can find them, nerite snails are fanstastic algae eaters as well. I use both nerites and bristlenose plecos in a few of my tanks, and they're great for algae control.

Make sure they're bristlenose (ancistrus) plecos though. (..or rubber lip if you find those). The standard plecos grow huge and stop eating algae when they get older.
 

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Zade, where are you deployed? (if you're allowed to say).

I've had a buddy that went to Iraq for two back to back 1yr deployments, and that was pretty brutal.

We definitely appreciate having you guys defend our country. It's great that we have the freedom to be concerned with things like how we stock tanks and tinker with our hobbies. Thanks!
 

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xWingman48 said:
We definitely appreciate having you guys defend our country. It's great that we have the freedom to be concerned with things like how we stock tanks and tinker with our hobbies. Thanks!
+1 :thumb:
 

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I think DJRansome hit the nail on the head. The whole upper half of your tank will most likely be wasted space. You must really stock it according to the 30x18 footprint down below. But hey, that's only till you upgrade the tank :thumb:

Godspeed brother. Stay safe. And THANK YOU for your service to this country!!!

Cheers,
Tom
 

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TMB60 said:
I think DJRansome hit the nail on the head. The whole upper half of your tank will most likely be wasted space. You must really stock it according to the 30x18 footprint down below. But hey, that's only till you upgrade the tank :thumb:
You could pile rocks along the back from floor to ceiling to get a little more "use" out of the top half, but cichlids really do care most about floor space.

I learned that lesson the hard way 5 years ago when I disregarded the advice here and put peacocks in a 2ft 45 gallon tank. It went well while they were 2" fish, but as soon as they hit 3" the tank turned into a war zone. That's when I upgraded to a 6ft 125 gallon.

I've never heard anyone here regret going with a bigger tank. When I can afford it, I'd like to upgrade again to an 8ft 240.
 

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yea when you upgrade go with 6 foot long tank. Or atleast 4 foot long and not so much heighth. frontosa get pretty big. You could have more species if you went with the small to med cichlids. I dont belive you can have shellies with frontosa.

Here are a few fish i like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... qpxNL6wklI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... tQ3pxwH6EQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2GOvX0h ... detailpage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFFSuznJ ... detailpage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnuJPFxb ... detailpage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FByeAijf ... detailpage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukiAf3Gy ... detailpage

smallest cichlid in world this and similis http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41JeO8y1 ... detailpage
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm all about the learning expierence so any and all knowledge is great. Worse comes to worse I can wait til the multi's actually establish themselves before I even add the pleco, any means to combat a bit of the algae (I'm tracking the good algae does as far as the reality of the tank is concerned). Besides that in my profession keeping and maintaining a well tank requires two (and my wife, god bless her as enough on her plate as is). I appreciate all the information. This will be my cichlid first tank so it'll be a bit of a learner 'til my upgrade.

Wingman yea I won't be violating any OPSEC, I'm currently deployed in Afghanistan for the second time. And thanks for all the caring comments they truly mean the world to myself and my fellow Soldiers. I pulled the same thing, year deployed year home than back into it. But hey it's good money and for a good cause. I appreciate all the kind words (everyone).
- As far as stacking rocks I've been all over this forum amongst Monster Fish Keepers looking at other's DIY backgrounds, lighting fixtures/hangings, amongst this and that. Something great to keep me busy once I get back. Got a new baby on the way so it'll be good to have my "hobby" to keep me sane amongst the early mornings.

Yea I figured that about the shellies and the fronts, I figured when it came to fronts I would have to go with julies or somewhere down that road.

thanks Bodenhimer I'll def. review!
 

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You should think about a non-Tanganyikan species of fish to fill the upper part of the aquarium. Maybe some sort of hardy tetra species or a small rainbowfish species.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Would that work as far as the bio load is concerned? I'm sure after I upgrade I'd have to move them tanks right? Considering if I do grab some Fronts they'd probably end up as food. But if the bio load could stand it I'd be down, unless I find some sort of top layering plants or something. I'm sure with a 3d background with an overhang it may go swell....... yes? lol
 

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I think it would work. I mean the 6 Calvus and 6 Multis as suggested by DJRansome and the dithers as I suggested. Due to the shape of your tank I would make sure to have a strong flow aimed at the surface of the water to break the water tension which would aid in the exchange of gas. As for the bio load, a good filter will allow you to stock that tank to your hearts content as long as you allow ample time for the bacteria colony to establish itself. So depending on your method of cycling you may not be able to add all of the fish at the same time. Of course a higher bio load means that you would have to do more frequent water changes.

I hope someone will correct me if I am wrong because I have never had a setup such as I am suggesting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I plan on running a sump through this tank once I've established the background and all that jazz. ... have the heater, maybe even a filter set up on the sump itself to filter the water a second time prior to it flowing back into the tank, is this overkill, unnecessary, or practical? Should I still have some sort of "wave maker?"
This tank is currently set up as of the moment as my Gourmai tank back at the house, however due to moves and other great long stories they will probably be moved to another tank. That being said should I leave the media still in the filter to help adjust during the cycling phase or should I "adjust fire" and clean the tank from top to bottom and re-cycle it?

(thank you Mokujin)
 

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Although I have never used a sump, I am sure that it can provide all of the filtering that you need. Maybe you can make the return of the sump aim at the surface water of the aquarium to break the surface tension. The reason I think that it is important in your aquarium to have turbulance at the surface is because of the height of the tank. Most tanks are longer than they are tall but your tank is almost twice as tall as it is long. The surface of the water is where the gas exchange happens in which Carbon Dioxide leaves the water and Oxygen enters the water. This exchange happens much more readily when the surface is rippled.
 

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xWingman48 said:
I've had bristlenose plecos eat really small fry that aren't yet mobile, but I've never seen them get anything that was free swimming. (nor have I seen them aggressively seek fry that are being defended by their parents).

Those should be fine for you. If you're worried though, and if you can find them, nerite snails are fanstastic algae eaters as well. I use both nerites and bristlenose plecos in a few of my tanks, and they're great for algae control.

Make sure they're bristlenose (ancistrus) plecos though. (..or rubber lip if you find those). The standard plecos grow huge and stop eating algae when they get older.
I ditto the comment, especially about Nerite Snails ... they're amazing at keeping my tank clean. I also have 2 Plecos in my tank and they're about 6" and 8" long already and will probably grow huge in my 125g tank, so I'm thinking about getting rid of them.

All the best !!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok, the return pump aimed towards the top of the tank got it. Is there an oxygen meter I could look into to determine exactly how much O2 is being pumped into my tank or is this going to be a trial and error type situation? One which I'll need to buy a less expensive fish and test things from there?
Any advice on the current media I have already in this tank? Should I leave it there, maybe hook my current filter up and let it run til this tank is established with it's bioload/filter. Or should I cycle this tank and wait til it establishes itself? (sorry for all the questions, but once home I'd like to just "rock and roll" with the whole thing).

Would there be an issue in adding Black Ocellatus with the Calvus instead of the .5" smaller Multis or are they too aggressive in such a smaller tank? The Calvus should be alright considering they're defensive tactics right?
 

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It's up to you if you want to do it, but I think a sump might be overkill for a 56 gallon tank. Get a good canister filter and make sure the surface is agitated enough that you don't have a film on the tank and you'll be fine.

Unless you're going crazy overstocked like the Malawi guys, i would guess that you have plenty of oxygen. I've never heard of anyone actually testing that.

If you do go with a sump, there's enough splashing getting into and out of the tank in a good sump setup that you'll be fine. You'll also have a lot of extra water to hold O2 for you.

Unless you have any illnesses in there, I wouldn't try starting over with the tank. Leaving the old filter on for a bit will help, but you'll probably have enough of the good bacteria on the rocks, walls, and substrate that you won't need it.

I'm definitely not a tang expert, but I highly doubt you'll have to worry about the occies bullying the Calvus. I think I've seen enough folks recommend housing Calvus and most of the milder shellies together. (multi / occelatus / similis / etc).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I was gonna hook up a canister to this "smaller" set up but for father's day my wife found my "fish to do/buy list" and had one of her friends make me one (a sump that is). It's not very large I was reading that a 10 gallon to 30 gallon sump would be good for a 55 gallon tank (though this sump is designed for a 75-125 gallon tank). She just went at if from there. I figure setting it up would atleast give me some expierence with it prior to moving to a larger tank. I do appreciate the advice though.
Overstocking is rather unlikely considering the recommendations the guys in this thread were expressing.
That being said once I have the oceelatus and calvus set up would there be any problems when adding fish to a larger tank with these particular fish later in the future? I'm guessing that I should add the new fish into the new tank first than probably the calvus or occelatus (depending of course). But than again it should be a new habitat for everyone. o_O I'm going in circles here.
The thing with the media is that I'm probably going to switch the filter and some of the current tank water (not much tank water, just enough to keep the media/bacteria alive) in a smaller tank than clean out the 56 add my new aquascape than replace the media/water into the tank, let it do it's think for a couple weeks. Sound good?
 
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