Lake Tanganyikan Cichlids
I'm considering starting a 90 gallon with African Cichlids. I've read quite a few articles about the basic water parameters and general tank set-up, but I don't know much about the fish themselves. I'm narrowing down to Lake Tanganyikan species, as to me they are more attractive The Frontosa is very appealing, others of interest are Tropheus and Calvus species. Some basic questions --
How big do Africian Cichlids (lets stick with they kind I've mentioned) get? How many could be happy in my tank?
Which are the most interesting?
I'm used to mixed species tanks -- can these guys be mixed together/ with similar species, or should they be kept in a tank of one species?
Can they be mixed with any non-cichlid species?
Is there anything important to know in selecting the fish? (example, how big they should be, how many to get at one time, can you add more/different species at a later time, etc)
I prefer not to deal with live foods - what can I expect to feed these guys?
Any suggestion for a sample stocking for my tank?
Thanks for any suggestions/recommendations
i have black calvus in a 30 gallon and it just seems that they never cease to surprise me. greaat hardy fish who dont need alot of work
I'm loving the look of the Frontosa, but it seems a 90 gallon may be too small? Any recommendations for a similar fish? Is there a smaller version? :)
Also, I've read pH should be around 8 and hardness around 10? From the tap I have pH of 7.8 and hardness of about 7 or 8. Is there a way to raise these without adding chemicals? Or will I need to constantly add chemicals with each water change?
your right the 90 would end up being too small for a frontosa.................let me think for a little and see if i can think of a Lake Tang fish thats close to the frontosa in appearance
Your tap water will be fine with the Ph and hardness that its at now........no need to add chemicals to adjust it higher, most of the time the water will adjust itself back after a short time anyways............If you would like to raise it, try either limestone or crushed coral.....Both will raise your Ph if you find the need to
Other none cichlids in the tank might not be a great idea, african cichlids are nasty to each other and ususally other fish also........Sometimes it may work, but for the mostpart, its a bad idea....
One thing with africans, its not so much the gallons of water, but the footprint of the tank that dictates how many fish to keep in a certain size tank.....On choosing tankmates, i would compile a list and find the most aggressive species and add them last.......IMO, i wouldnt put more than 12 africans in your 90, but thats just me.......
Another site to check out would be cichlidforum.com.......very informative info on ALL cichlids
I have to agree with Fishin Pole to a certain extend. Frontosa would be a big NO. If you are thinking of Tropheus in a 90 Gallon I wouldn't do 12. Rather do 20 to 22. Tropheus should live in a specie only tank or you could mix them with other species from the Tropheini or Eretmodini tribe. Species include Petrochromis, Eretmodus, Spathodus, Tanganicodus and Simochromis.
Please keep in mind Tropheus will need extreme clean water and plenty of filtration. Good luck.
check out the 5 bar cichlid aka Neolamprologus tretocephalus (Poor mans frontosa) They only get to be 6 inches and have a very very similar look to the front
I would do a calvus or compriceps colony with a few other roack dwellers like leleupi. theat would make a very beautiful biotope tank.
As a breeder of Tropheus, unless you know what your are getting into, forget about them. I do a 50% WC once a week, keep the PH around 9, and have them in their own tank. One great benefit, no algae heheh. Calvuses are an awesome fish, extremely slow growing though. Leleupi are a great choice as well.
Compressops have a bad rep thanks to their name, no one I know including another breeder I talk to has ever heard of "eye biting" happening to anyone. I think they are a really cool fish and havent regretted having them in the past.
Victoria has alot of cool colorful fish too that are easy to breed. Plus you would be breeding a fish thats pretty much extinct in the wild.
I'm pretty sure for Tangs, the idea is to combine the three habitats found in the lake to get your community: rock, sand, and water. Fish like julies/calvus for the rock, shellies or sand sifters for the sand, and maybe cyprochromis for the middle of the tank. If you set up multiple rocky "territories" you could probably do 2 rock dwellers. Too few, and it's a dull tank...too many, and the fish are too stressed and busy fending off "intruders" to display natural behaviors. I'm wanting a Tang tank for my new apt, so I have rbeen reading up a bit.
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