First Tanganyika Tank - Lamprologus multifacitus
I just had a 20 high tank come open - bare bottomed, cycled, currently housing a small horde of marble sized mystery snails to keep it cycled. It's got a bubble wand a heater and 2 HOB filters, and a pile of rocks that I think are some sort of Feldspar (and so kick the hardness up a bit.)
My LFS has Lamprologus multifascitus for sale, $7 each. Good price? I was thinking of laying a layer of argonite sand and 8 or a dozen escargot shells and then getting six youngish multis and letting them do their thing. So to the questions:
Are there any other fish I might consider adding to this? I am not concerned with biotoping here, so if some sort of mexican livebearer turns out to need roughly the same water, I'll surely entertain the idea.
Would it be better to skip the argonite and go with silica sand and use Tanganika buffer?
Will I need to get the mystery snails out of there first, or can I let them grow out a bit more?
Thinking of tying some java-fern into those rocks. Good idea? Hows about planting some vals in the sand? Dwarf Sags? If it's a digging problem, I can shift bits of the rockpile to keep the roots covered.
Should I ditch the bubbler?
Will a pair of smallish (Topfin 20 with a bio sponge and the equivalent old style Penguin without the biowheel) filters make too much current?
Food: Will these guys accept flake? Frozen foods? Any they particularly like? I generally keep 3 or four kinds of flake around and frozen brine, mysis, daphnia, cyclops, bloodworms, glassworms, baby brine, and chopped krill.
This tank sits in the window of my study (North facing). Will these guys do allright without putting on a background? I'd rather get what minimal sunlight in the tank that I can for plants.
Although a very unique fish, these are not considered to be among cichlidoms more colorful members. The attain a size of 1 1/2"-2" at maturity with the females being slightly smaller. They live in colonies in the wild, not to be misconstrued as a community fish. These fish live in these "groups" with each fish having its own snail-shell "house".
If you are looking to breed these fish, I start out with groups of a minimum of 10. This all but guarantees the evolution of a mating pair.
As far as tankmates, these fish are rather small. Care should be taken to keep that in mind when making your selections. Synodintis' should be shied away from since many will eat the eggs of this diminutive little fish as will some cories.
The sandy substrate you have mentioned will be fine. Water quality should be kept rather clean.
They feed on micro-organisms in the wild. A high quality flake food should be the staple diet with occasional feedings of brine shrimp, young daphnia, and white worms.
I set up the tank yesterday with black silica sand, crushed coral in a bag in one of the filters, and jungle vals planted along the back and sides (I have a 110 that I will be moving the vals to whe it's finally leveled after I get my garage back from the pile of clothes that need to go to goodwill once the wife figures out that ebay is not the solution that she's looking for. Arrgh!!)
Going to test the pH tonight and tomorrow and if it's good, I'll get the shells and fishies tomorrow night.
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