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> Tanganyikans guide for idiots
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post Jul 21 2007, 09:01 PM
Post #1
MNcichliddude

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From: Minneapolis
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I know nothing about tangs. I have only ever owned one, a (add rediculously long scientific name here) "daffodil", which I bought on accident, not knowing that it wasn't a Malawian when I was still very new to keeping Africans. (He is still doing just fine, even though a little out of place in my Malawi show tank). Even though I had no interest in them initially, they've started to grow on me, and now, I have cleared out a space where I can stack a couple of 75's, and 125's, and I want to stock them with tangs...so I have a few questions...ok a LOT of questions.

1. I'm thinking of putting Tropheus colonies in the 75's, and Fronts in the 125's. Is a 75 big enough for Tropheus, and is a 125 big enough for Fronts? With Malawians I know it is the footprint of the tank that matters most, is the same true for Tangs?

2. I'm also intersted in keeping a group of Calvus or Comps., are these suitable tankmates for Fronts, or must they have their own tank?

3. What is the minimum number of Tropheus, Calvus/Comps or Fronts that should be kept in a colony?

4. What kind of tank furnishings do these species require? The usual sandy substrate with tons of rock with lots of caves that Malawians like, or is it something different for tangs?

5. How do you get the KH to an acceptable level without raising the PH to undesireable levels? In one of the 125's I'm going to use I've been trying to get the water chemistry correct, but the problem I'm having is that when I have the correct PH of 9.0, the KH reading is still only slightly better than half of what it should be. When I ad Kent Buffer to raise the KH up, it raises the PH at the same time to a level that is too high!

6. What are suitable tankmates for Tropheus or Fronts? Are they as reluctant as Malawians to breed in the presense of Catfish or loaches?

7. Is there a a high likelyhood of cross breeding if two different Tropheus colonies are kept in the same tank? (Assuming they are not similarly colored)

8. What are the dietary needs of the species mentioned, as well as things that should NOT be fed to them?

9. There seem to be about a dozen varieties of Fronts, though at first glance (to an amateur) they all appear to be the same, what are the differences? What things should be looked for in Fronts when looking for a quality stock of fish?

10. What is the typical growth rate for young Trophs, Fronts or Calvus/Comps?

11. Are there any specific needs of any of these species that I haven't asked about?

12. What considerations should be made with regard to breeding these species? Do they breed in the typical manner of all African mouth broaders?


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post Jul 21 2007, 11:15 PM
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Debbie

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Wow, I'll do the best I can to answer all the questions.

1. A 75 is fine for a colony of tropheus, put plenty of rocks in it and you will be fine. A 125 is ok for a few fronts...grow out 10 or so and keep one male and 4 females and it should work, but you would be better off with a 150 or larger. Yes in general the footprint is more important to tangs than volume, they are territorial too....just not to the extent of malawians (this is a general statement and there are some rather nasty tangs too, but there are more peaceful or mild aggressive tangs than malawians).

2. Calvus or comps are great tankmates for fronts, just get larger altolamps (calvus and comps genus). Altolamps are notoriously slow growers and if your fronts are larger than the altos they will see them as dinner.

3. I would start with 15 tropheus...all the same in a 75. You can mix different tropheus as long as they are different genus so there would less risk of interbreeding, say a dubosi and a moori species, but in a 75 I would stick to one species. I think I already answered my recommendation on the fronts. The altolamps really aren't a colony fish, they are more a pair fish but I have seen one male calvus with two females and he will breed with both...sometimes. I would try for either a pair or a trio of them, get 6 juvies and trade in the extras.

4. Yes on the rocks and sand. Make the rocks bigger in the front tank and make sure they are not going to topple as the fronts get bigger.

5. Get some crushed coral and put it in your filter in a knee high stocking. Don't worry too much about pH, KH and GH though, unless you get wild caught fish. The only additive I use any more is epsom salts as my water is so very soft. With the aragonite sand and epsom salts my pH is 8.4, 8dKH, 14 dGH. You are better off with consistency, Tangs are very sensitive to water parameter swings and all those additives can cause swings.

6. With the trophs the only noncichlid tankmates I would recommend are plecos that are herbivours. The trophs don't seem to notice them and their nutritional requirements are similar...I know plecos are south american but that is what I have found. I tried a couple of synos in there and the trophs killed them. I don't know of anyone that has kept loaches with trophs, but I think most loaches are primarily carnivours and that presents the nutritional conflict. As far as I have seen Fronts are fine with large plecos, loaches, or synos.

7. I already started to address this. It is a possibility that 2 tropheus from the same genus will interbreed, that decreases with the less similar they look, but the possibility is there. There is a less possibility if the tropheus are from a different genus, and still less if they look very different.

8. The tropheus are primarily vegetarians and I feed omega one vegie wafers, but any high plant content food will be fine. There are some that feed NLS, but in my opinion that has too high of a meaty content, but some swear by it. I tried it, nothing bad happened as my fish wouldn't even look at it. Fronts are carnivours and I feed omega one color flakes, spirulina enriched brine shrimp (frozen), blood worms (frozen), mysis shrimp (frozen), and when they go larger frozen plankton and krill.

9. For in depth info on the different varieties of fronts look around on cyphos.com, one of our sister sites. The Zaire varieties are very popular as they are bluer but they are pricey. Kigomas have 7 stripes instead of 6 and are very popular too. Ikloas are lighter and have a more turquoise look to them, but are not easy to find and are less popular. Its all a matter of taste so please take a look at cyphos.com to see all the different varities and ask questions there they are a friendly bunch. Look for the same things you look for in any fish...any signs of disease (not that cyphos are too prone to disease), avoid clamped fins, heavy breathing, badly torn fins etc. You know what a healthy fish looks like since you have kept some.

10. Tropheus reach adult size in 18 months to 2 years. Fronts are slower, 2 to 4 years with females maturing faster. Altolamps about 3 years...sometimes longer. Altolamp fry take forever to grow out, once they get to 2 years old they seem to grow a little faster.

11. One thing is that all of them will dig so make sure your rocks are stable and on the bottom of the tank, don't put it on the sand, that could be disasterous, you might want to silicone them together to make sure (or underwater epoxy for aquariums). Another thing has to do with the digging again and that is that you don't want any sharp substrate, it can damage their mouths. An aragonite sand would be best (the kind used for saltwater but not the live sand). Crushed coral is a great buffer, but I wouldn't use it as a substrate as it is sharp.

12. Tropheus and fronts are mouth brooders. My frontosa never bred...I lost them a little while ago to a chlorine blasting of the pipes in town so they didn't reach breeding size (but I have a wonderful friend that is sending me some of her kigoma fry when they are old enough). Tropheus will spit the fry and take them back into their mouths for a time, unlike malawians who spit and run...not sure about the fronts on that. Altolamps are cave spawners and if you put larger shells in the tank they will use those. The best size would be ones large enough for the female but too small for the males as the males can be a bit rough on the females. The male will defend the territory and the females the fry. If you don't remove the fry from the main tank you probably won't have any grow out as they are tiny and very slow growing.

Hope this helps and good luck...keep us posted on your progress. You will love Tanganyikans, Malawians might have beautiful color, but Tanganyikans have much more diversity and in my opinion more interest.

BTW, your daffodill is Neolamprologus pulcher


This post has been edited by Debbie: Jul 21 2007, 11:16 PM


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post Jul 23 2007, 03:37 AM
Post #3
MNcichliddude

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Thanks for the response, all very useful information. th_38326493.gif


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post Jul 24 2007, 12:29 PM
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Heather

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From: New Hampshire
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Awesome post Deb, great thread MN! icon_cheers.gif


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post Jul 25 2007, 09:38 PM
Post #5
Fin

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From: British Columbia , Canada
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Yes Debbie that was a well informed reply th_38326493.gif


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post Jul 25 2007, 09:53 PM
Post #6
HornPlayer54

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From: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 4,646



OUTSTANDING post Debbie!

I would only add that I'm one of those folks that swears by NLS for tropheus. It has been great for my fish, they eat voraciously (sp?) and have never had any occurances of bloat (knowck on wood). That's just my experience however. YMMV, but do whatever works for you and your fish.

Also, I do keep Synodontis multipunctatus with ym trophs, but that's out of necessity and I have tried to sell them many times with no success. It is not an ideal situation and I would not recommend it, though it is possible for them to coexist and thrive.


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post Aug 7 2007, 12:24 PM
Post #7
Debbie

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Any updates? Have you gotten any new fish?


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post Aug 8 2007, 09:15 PM
Post #8
Heather

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QUOTE(Debbie @ Aug 7 2007, 12:24 PM) *
Any updates? Have you gotten any new fish?



I'm curious also??? icon_mrgreen.gif


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post Feb 26 2008, 01:28 PM
Post #9
Biddy

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Joined: 15-October 07
From: Elkhart, IN, USA
Posts: 426



Can I bump this, out of interest? Any decision/purchases?



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Almost 600 gallons, and adding when 'the boss' lets me!



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post Mar 14 2008, 05:51 AM
Post #10
MNcichliddude

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From: Minneapolis
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Been a while since I visited this forum. Doing WC on 2,000+ gallons tends to take up a lot of a persons free time. My fishroom has tripled in size since I made this post, and I have since aquired quite a few tangs, everything from cyps to fronts, to tropheus, lamps, comps, featherfins, and my latest obsession, Julies.

I now have two groups of Fronts growing out - F1 Burundi's in a 125 with some white calvus, blue flash cyps and F1 leilupi, and F1 Kapampa's in a 150 with some Wild ink fins. I'm hoping to score one more group of Fronts, 7 stripes, when I find some at a good price.

As for tropheus, I have some F1 red moliros and F1 duboisi helmbi growing out in a 125 with a group of Simochromis Diagramma. I am hoping to locate some red rainbows and maybe some Ikola kaisers or Orange bemba's as well to fill up another 125.

The 75's I had originally intended to stock with Tropheus ended up housing some of my Malawi Hap groups, or as grow outs for my future breeders.

Some other tangs Im raising are cyprichromis coloratus, and furcifer foix.

I have a growing collection of Julies which includes Regani Kippili, Regani Chimba, Maleri Karliani orange, Transcriptus Kissi Bemba, Ornatus, Transcriptus Gombi, and Dickfeldi Midnight blue. Most of these are young sub-adults which are just now beginning to pair off. However the Regani Kippili, wild caught Maleri Karliani orange, and Dickfeldi are established adult pairs all of which I recently aquired and am attempting to breed.
These fish frustrate me some because they are shy....so shy that they dont come out to eat when they are supposed to...they don't do a good job of finding the food either when they do come out, they leave a lot of uneaten food which forces me to do way more water changes then I'd like. It has been suggested that I introduce some cyprichromis to their tanks to bring them out more, results from that will remain to be seen. I'm afraid that if the Julies do start to breed, the cyps may be dead meat...either that or julie fry becomes food for cyps. We'll see.


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