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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everybody. My name is Norm. I've been a member here for some time but haven't been active for the past few years. Recently we remodeled our living room and since I had to move my aquarium anyway I decided to get back into the hobby since I was down to only one fish (bought as a juli. transcriptus but I believe it's a marlieri) in a 29 gallon and that's kind of boring.

A trip to the lfs netted 4 neolamp. brichardi and two juvi juli. marlieri. Another trip got a gold colored alto. calvus. Right now I've got a sand substrate with a large stack of limestone flags on one side and a pile of rounded river rock in the opposite corner with a shell pile in between. I know none of the fish I have are shellies but they're left over from the multies that used to live there and I like the look. At first the larger marlieri was beating up the smaller fish pretty bad so I rearranged the tank and that seems to have calmed him down quite a bit. The tank is (though it's only been a week) as peaceful as any tank of African cichlids ever is (although certainly the potential for mayhem is there w/ the brichardi).

I've since decided to set up a 20 gallon I have lying around and put some multies in it. I've got 8 multies on order but I'd like to see if maybe I could put a couple of the other fish in with them. My setup plan for the 20 gallon is a rock pile in the middle of the tank w/ maybe the two juvenile marlieri in it with a shell bed (shells from the other tank) on either side for the 8 multies to split up.

My main interest right now is in seeing the multies and brichardi spawn. The other fish are to add interest and populate the other areas of the tanks.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

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You need a tank for just the brichardi. There's no room in those tanks for other fish to survive once the brichardi are breeding (which can happen when they are quite young).

Then, you still have a problem with the marlieri and the shellies- it could work, but I would guess the shellies will be harassed or even killed by the marlieri.

So- my suggestion would be to skip the shellies, put the calvus and julies in the 29 gallon (and cross your fingers), leaving the 20 gallon to the brichardi.

If you have your heart set on the multies, then they should be fine with the calvus in the 20 gallon; and you could try all three marlieri in the 29 with the brichardi. However, the chances of the 29 gallon ending with anything more than 2 brichardi and their fry is pretty small.
 

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For what its worth, I have had some multis in a tank with other species for almost 6 months and I never saw breeding behavior. I moved them to their own tank and within a month I am seeing some breeding behavior now. Still waiting on the fry though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies! I think short term I'm going to move the calvus into the 20 w/ the multies and leave the rest in the 29. Then, down the road a month or two I'll set up another , larger tank to include the julies and calvus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here's a couple pics of the tank as it is now.

It's hard to believe these gorgeous little fish are going to turn holy terrors soon. If I had never kept cichlids before I might not be able to believe, but I have and I do.


Here's one of the little calvus. Wish I could get a better shot of him/her.

one more...


Here's one of the juvi juli marlieri...


And finally the larger juli that I bought as a transcriptus about 7 or 8 years ago. The other 5 never got this big and he's the only one left now. What do you guys think, marlieri?
 

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The first julie is a transcriptus variant, and your older one is definitely marlieri- two different species that will hybridize. I recommend that you keep them separate or destroy any fry that are produced. :(

Your brichardi are big enough to start breeding soon. :popcorn: They are wonderful to watch, and they are good parents- so I hope you enjoy them despite their propensity towards homicide.

And finally, I'm no expert at ID'ing altos, but I'm seeing a A. compressiceps, not A. calvus. Doesn't change much except if you decide to get more later.
 

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It's great that your LFS has Tanganyikans, but it seems that their ability to ID them properly may be working against you. The good news is that the J. transcriptus variant is shelly friendly, so you could keep the shellies, the new julies and the comp together for awhile in your 29 gallon, and see if the marlieri can hold it's own with the brichardi. Or, return the new julies and look for more marlieri (after reading about how to differentiate between julie species).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Triscuit, thanks a million for the input!

I had grown used to the idea that the older one was a marlieri and that the breeder I bought them from in Florida had mis-identified one of the six I bought. But to find out now that the little 'marlieris' I bought recently are really transcriptus blows my mind. I'll definitely separate them as I have no desire to contribute to the problem of hybrid cichlids in the hobby. I did look at pictures in a cichlid book while at the store and was convinced the little guys were marlieris. Apparently I need to brush up on my fish identification skills. :oops:

It's interesting that you thought the calvus may be a comp. The lfs guy told me his friend bred them in Cleveland so I assumed he knew what he was talking about. But I'd wondered about it myself because I couldn't find a similarly colored one anywhere on the site. I'll try hunting down some compressiceps pics that look like him or her.

I'll do what you suggest in regards to moving the marlieri and brichardi into the 20 gallon. I'll make sure there's plenty of rockwork available for hidey holes when the death squad gets going.

Thanks again for the help.
Norm
 

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They are good looking transcriptus, imo- the biggest clue is that there is no stripe below the eye. I get a little confused when looking at J. marlieri "Gombe", but the other variants are clear cut. There's some other folks on the site who can help ID your little guys more specifically.

As far as the comp ID- check this thread out: http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/view ... p?t=204764 There are a few collection points that give the yellow guys. :thumb:
 
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