40 Gallon Tank Stocking idea for a Cichlid community tank // I have a specific look in mind

OuiBonjour

I have a 40 gallon that is 36" long.

I emptied it a while ago as I wanted to change the substrat from gravels to sand since I wanted to get some Lake Tanganyika shell dwellers. At the moment my tank is empty, but its HOB filter is still running in a 5 gallon with plants, a massimo ball and sometimes some fish food to keep the bacteria alive. Hopefully, when I will refill the 40 gallon and bring its filter back, I won't need to cycle the tank again as the bacteria will still be alive.

I also have a large sponge filter with an electric pump that I also plan on using if necessary.

My plan was to go with Multifasciatus, but them being so small I feel like it would be a waste of a nice 40 gallon when I could get them a 10-15-20 gallon and they'd still have lot of place to create a nice thriving colony. So I still want them, but for my second-to-next project.

So now I'm open to suggestions for my 40 gallon / 36" .

This will be my first Cichlid tank, and even though I read a lot about Multifasciatus, Cyps, and Paracyps and could say I'm starting to know them decently, I am a complete virgin for other Cichlids (African, South American, etc). The closest I've had was a German Blue Ram, which I loved.

Anyways, this time I would like to have cichlids that are bigger than Rams, but not so big that I end up getting only 2 or 3 fish in my tank.

If possible, I'd like a community tank, even though I know it might be complicated in a 36" tank.

I have a specific look that I like with my cichlids, and it's the punk look. So a big and long dorsal fin that is pointing up. I don't like bulky fishes like Oscars or those with a big lump on their head. I'm not a fan of the shape of most juliies neither.

Here are a list of a few fishes that I like their looks (note that I'm sure they all don't fit together, it's just to help you guys help me with your suggestions lol)

- I absolutely love the look of the Caudopunctatus
- I also love the shape of the Multifasciatus (but would like bigger), as well as Similis (same thing, would like them bigger)
- I love shapes and looks of German Blue Rams and Bolivian Rams, but would like something bigger too.
- I love the shape and look of a lot of Apistos too, like the Caucotuoid (even though then I prefer their dorsal fin to be of equal length - while the Caucotuoid has longer in front and back)
- I LOVE the look of Aulonocaras A LOT, like pretty much all of their colors - but know nothing about them
- I love the look of Geophagus Altifrons (who looks like bigger Rams)
- I REAALY like Jewel Cichlids
- I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE LOOK OF THIS FISH (but I'm not sure about the type - The seller said it was a Firefish very rare when pink, and that it was 6 inches, but I cant find others online) :


117592982_870854556657362_8141844512211823741_n.jpg
(edit: I think a mod edited out this picture for copywrite issues, but it's a picture that was posted on Facebook, to which I contacted the guy who posted it for more information about this specie. So if copywrite needs to be written, I'd say that the owner must be the guys who posted the picture on Facebook: Yannick Toutant)




So yeah, I think you pretty much can see the pattern I like. Big and long dorsal fin. No need for them to be electric blue or multicolored or anything, but there's that specific look that I like.

(oh, and besides that specific look, there is also the Pseudotropheus saulosi that I like, even though they dont fit the pattern)

I don't know if they'd fit but some setup I could imagine having would be, I dont know, maybe some Caudopunctus, some Saulosis, and maybe some Similis at the bottom ?

Or maybe one of those pink beauties pictured above, a calvus, and some Caudopunctus.

I don't really know, those are the cichlids I know by names, but I'm open to any suggestion.

If possible I would like to avoid species that you need to buy 6 at first, then wait for a couple, and then sell back the others. I'd like fish to stay with me. I don't need fish that breeds because I know it could cause some agression and my tank is kind of small for fighting.

So yeah, please give me suggestion of stocking. If possible, the amount I should get for each one.

My tap water pH is 7.8, but I have crushed corals, I have some Cichlid buffer and even some Cichlid salt.

I also have a bunch of Escargot shells already bought (about 75) and I'm ready to get my hand on a lot of flat rocks to make caverns (or even make some in styrofoam + cement + let them cure). So yeah, I'm ready for anything, I just need suggestions ! ...as well as discovering new species I might like !

PS : My girlfriend has a little crush on the Pseudotropheus Saulosi, so any combination with them are more than welcome ...but feel free to give me other suggestions, even without Saulosis!

As for me, I have a crush on the pink one I posted, and on Aulonocaras

I know my tank size will limit me a lot and that I might end up with only some species only suggestion, but, let's see !!
 

Nataku

Cichlids can be a blast, but they take some planning and willingness to adapt and change things up when they dont work out. You have a lot of different fish from a lot of different groups here, and in general we don't mix cichlids from different areas due to differing aggression levels and needs for different parameters. So its best to pick one region, and build a tank from there.

Saulosi are lake Malawai cichlids, and that's not a group I play with so I really can't offer you any advice on them. Perhaps someone else on the forum will be able to offer insight on those.

Moving to Lake Tang cichlids, cyprichromis are active open water fish, it is generally agreed not to keep them in anything shorter than a 4' tank. Now paracyprichromis can be kept in a 3' tank - they need rock work that goes up towards the top of the tank though as they like to hang around the upper rocks.
Caudopunktatus will use either shells or will excavate sand under rocks to make little nests. You could keep two pairs of them in a 40 breeder, its enough floor space for them each to have a territory, but you could also just do a single pair and let them raise up some of their fry which would then colonize near their parents.
Keeping multiple shell dwellers in the same tank is asking for a bloody fight, they won't play well together without way more space (ie a 6'+ tank with visual divides) so if you wanted caudopunks, no multis or similis with them.
You could keep a pair of calvus with the caudopunks, you'd need plenty of rockwork for them to explore and have spots in. They're a handsome fish fore sure, just slow to grow. Be aware they are active fry hunters, so if you keep em with caudopunks, be aware they will eat any of the babies they can find and fit in their mouth. To prevent them from taking as many caudopunk fry, deep piles of rocks with crevices the caudopunks can fit in but the calvus can't is an option. Same with a deep stack of shells - the caudpunks will nest either under the shells, or in the shells on the bottom of the pile, using others as shields.
Now, I doubt a 40 breeder has the height to do caudopunks, calvus and paracyps in the same tank. You could do the caudopunks and one of the other two, but not both. Paracyps are much more peaceful compared to calvus, and are not likely to prey on fry.

Now I know you said you don't care about breeding, but just know - that's what the fish care about. They are all wired to follow out those instincts of finding a partner, defending a territory, and raising fry. It is hard to keep lake Tang cichlids that don't pair up or colony breed unless you only keep a single individual of the species in question - but then some of these fish stress out badly in that case, youll rarely see them as they hide all the time, and they may just wither and die.

So my suggestions would be
Caudopunktatus x4 with the aim of getting two pairs
Paracyprichromis nigripinnis x8 (these are peaceful schoolers, you won't need to separate these out)
OR Calvus x6 with the intention of eventually ending up with x2 as they form a pair. Now they take a while to mature and pair off, so you could half 6 for a while. When they put on size though, I've never found it hard to sell off larger calvus.

Another option - have you looked at neolamprologus brichardi? Now these would end up being a single species tank because they are colony breeders, so you'd start of with a pair and they'd fill your tank with more brichardi, the older generations helping the parents rear the younger generations. It's fascinating to watch and they're pretty fish. But, they also usually take over a tank so you can't usually do a community with them. Although, I have seen people keep calvus with brichardi and have it work, but thats only because the calvus were fully grown before they introduced the brichardi and so they could hold their own against them.
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

Cichlids can be a blast, but they take some planning and willingness to adapt and change things up when they dont work out. You have a lot of different fish from a lot of different groups here, and in general we don't mix cichlids from different areas due to differing aggression levels and needs for different parameters. So its best to pick one region, and build a tank from there.

Saulosi are lake Malawai cichlids, and that's not a group I play with so I really can't offer you any advice on them. Perhaps someone else on the forum will be able to offer insight on those.

Moving to Lake Tang cichlids, cyprichromis are active open water fish, it is generally agreed not to keep them in anything shorter than a 4' tank. Now paracyprichromis can be kept in a 3' tank - they need rock work that goes up towards the top of the tank though as they like to hang around the upper rocks.
Caudopunktatus will use either shells or will excavate sand under rocks to make little nests. You could keep two pairs of them in a 40 breeder, its enough floor space for them each to have a territory, but you could also just do a single pair and let them raise up some of their fry which would then colonize near their parents.
Keeping multiple shell dwellers in the same tank is asking for a bloody fight, they won't play well together without way more space (ie a 6'+ tank with visual divides) so if you wanted caudopunks, no multis or similis with them.
You could keep a pair of calvus with the caudopunks, you'd need plenty of rockwork for them to explore and have spots in. They're a handsome fish fore sure, just slow to grow. Be aware they are active fry hunters, so if you keep em with caudopunks, be aware they will eat any of the babies they can find and fit in their mouth. To prevent them from taking as many caudopunk fry, deep piles of rocks with crevices the caudopunks can fit in but the calvus can't is an option. Same with a deep stack of shells - the caudpunks will nest either under the shells, or in the shells on the bottom of the pile, using others as shields.
Now, I doubt a 40 breeder has the height to do caudopunks, calvus and paracyps in the same tank. You could do the caudopunks and one of the other two, but not both. Paracyps are much more peaceful compared to calvus, and are not likely to prey on fry.

Now I know you said you don't care about breeding, but just know - that's what the fish care about. They are all wired to follow out those instincts of finding a partner, defending a territory, and raising fry. It is hard to keep lake Tang cichlids that don't pair up or colony breed unless you only keep a single individual of the species in question - but then some of these fish stress out badly in that case, youll rarely see them as they hide all the time, and they may just wither and die.

So my suggestions would be
Caudopunktatus x4 with the aim of getting two pairs
Paracyprichromis nigripinnis x8 (these are peaceful schoolers, you won't need to separate these out)
OR Calvus x6 with the intention of eventually ending up with x2 as they form a pair. Now they take a while to mature and pair off, so you could half 6 for a while. When they put on size though, I've never found it hard to sell off larger calvus.

Another option - have you looked at neolamprologus brichardi? Now these would end up being a single species tank because they are colony breeders, so you'd start of with a pair and they'd fill your tank with more brichardi, the older generations helping the parents rear the younger generations. It's fascinating to watch and they're pretty fish. But, they also usually take over a tank so you can't usually do a community with them. Although, I have seen people keep calvus with brichardi and have it work, but thats only because the calvus were fully grown before they introduced the brichardi and so they could hold their own against them.

Absolutely agree. Never mix your habitats. It won't work out.
The ideas here are enough for several tanks and also would def. have to be kept in separate tanks.
 
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OuiBonjour

Thank you both! A lot of information in the first tank, so far I like the Idead of Caudopunk with Paracyps. As well as with the Calvus.

But I want to clarify that all the fishes that I listed in my original post, I'm aware they're all from different area/lakes/continent and Im not expecting stocking ideas mixing them togheter.

I only listed them to give the idea of the punk-look that I love, but feel free to suggest me any cochlids that are not on the list ! It's just a plus if they have a similar look

To be honest, I'm pretty open to ANY stocking suggestion and will into them all !

Bont dont worry, I wont be mixing fishes from Tanganyika Lake with some Malawis and some south-american cichlids lol

The first poster gave me a lot for Tanganyka suggestions and I loves them.

I would also love some suggestions for some Lake Malawi stocking ideas, as those are the one I know the less about !
 
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MacZ

I would have written something longer but I was on the way home on the bus.

Maybe something really interesting:

Altolamprologus "sumbu shell". They have the "animals with a mohawk"-look AND are shellies. I would actually do any altos with shellies like the multies, as they do population control. Back in the day I had calvus and a colony each of brichardi and multies in the same tank (500l, I think?). Those Altolamprologus were monsters in the end, as they hunted the smaller fry all the time. Problem: They began to not go for any dried or frozen food. That should be considered.
 
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OuiBonjour

Wow, so they're like Shell Dwellers AND Calvus at the same time haha

I love the idea, but I recently decided I did not want to put shellies in my 40 gallon, as they could be as nice and as thriving in a 10 or 15 or 20. But they're still on my to-do list. I love that the Multies decide how the tank will look, where de sand goes up, where the sand goes down. So you're saying the Altolamprologus "sumbu shell" are shellies too, and could live with Multies as well, except they'd eat a lot fo their fry right ?

Maybe I would not mix them in my own project, because theexciting part for me with Multies will be to get them to colonize like heck, to see all different generations and sizes and all. I might do a 10-15G for multis and maybe a 10-15G for Alto Sumbu Shell to see them both at their maximum productivity hehe

But thanks for the idea

For the others in this thread, I'm still looking for suggestions of stocking ! Please keep them coming
 
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OuiBonjour

Okay, I checked the Cookie Cutter suggestions for 40 gallons (https://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/cookie_cutter_40g.php) for some ideas.

Here's where I stand now !

I love the idea of the Saulosis, but I believe I could get similar colors with Demasoni and Yellow Labs. Would there be a downside ?

Most of the ones I prefer are either Malawi Lake or Malawi/Victoria combo :

- Demasoni
- Yellow Lab / White Lab
- Pundamilia Nyererei
- Latifaciata


However, I also love those from Tanganyika :

- Calvus/Comprisseps
- Neolamprologus buescheri,
- Caudopunks,
- Paracyps
- Papilio Tremwe
- Altolamprologus sumbu shell


I know a lot of people don't want to mix species from different lakes, but can it be done ? I know Tangs prefer higher pH than Malawi, but are there some overlaps ?

If someone is willing to help me here, let's go with 5 questions or requests :

1)
Picking from the Malawi and Malawi/Victoria species that I've put above, what would be a good combination if I'd like to touch as many of these species as possible ?

2) Pretty much the same as question 1, but for the Tanganyka species. I'd like to get as many different species that I could get from those, while keeping my fishes happy.

3) If I could mix the two groups, what combinations could be interesting ? Here too I'd like to get as many different ones as viable.

4) Most Cookie Cutter combination on the ressource page put 1x or 2x Bristlenose Plecos as detritus eaters. I don't like them particularly, and I believe they get kind of big and poop a lot. Could they be changed for another bottom dweller ? Would some Clown Loaches be too big ? Could I get Xenotilapia Papilio instead, even if I go with a group from Malawi/Victoria ?

5) And let's say I don't get any detritus eaters or bottom dwellers, could I put some Shellies in one of the above groups ? I love Multifasciatuses, but I want them for a species only tank. But maybe those shellies that look like Calvus (Altolamprologus sumbu shell) ? Or maybe Similis ?

Anyways, I'm now in peace with the fact that my tank is too small for Peacocks. I'm glad I found some other species I love. However, I love too many of them lol Please help me find a combination that could combine most of them.
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

Okay, I checked the Cookie Cutter suggestions for 40 gallons (Cookie Cutter - 40-gallons) for some ideas.

Here's where I stand now !

I love the idea of the Saulosis, but I believe I could get similar colors with Demasoni and Yellow Labs. Would there be a downside ?

Most of the ones I prefer are either Malawi Lake or Malawi/Victoria combo :

- Demasoni
- Yellow Lab / White Lab
- Pundamilia Nyererei
- Latifaciata


However, I also love those from Tanganyika :

- Calvus/Comprisseps
- Neolamprologus buescheri,
- Caudopunks,
- Paracyps
- Papilio Tremwe
- Altolamprologus sumbu shell


I know a lot of people don't want to mix species from different lakes, but can it be done ? I know Tangs prefer higher pH than Malawi, but are there some overlaps ?

If someone is willing to help me here, let's go with 5 questions or requests :

1)
Picking from the Malawi and Malawi/Victoria species that I've put above, what would be a good combination if I'd like to touch as many of these species as possible ?

2) Pretty much the same as question 1, but for the Tanganyka species. I'd like to get as many different species that I could get from those, while keeping my fishes happy.

3) If I could mix the two groups, what combinations could be interesting ? Here too I'd like to get as many different ones as viable.

4) Most Cookie Cutter combination on the ressource page put 1x or 2x Bristlenose Plecos as detritus eaters. I don't like them particularly, and I believe they get kind of big and poop a lot. Could they be changed for another bottom dweller ? Would some Clown Loaches be too big ? Could I get Xenotilapia Papilio instead, even if I go with a group from Malawi/Victoria ?

5) And let's say I don't get any detritus eaters or bottom dwellers, could I put some Shellies in one of the above groups ? I love Multifasciatuses, but I want them for a species only tank. But maybe those shellies that look like Calvus (Altolamprologus sumbu shell) ? Or maybe Similis ?

Anyways, I'm now in peace with the fact that my tank is too small for Peacocks. I'm glad I found some other species I love. However, I love too many of them lol P
- Calvus/Comprisseps
- Neolamprologus buescheri,
- Caudopunks,
- Paracyps
- Papilio Tremwe
- Altolamprologus sumbu shell

lease help me find a combination that could combine most of them

1) Mbuna OR Victoria Haps. Their diets differ too much. Either you'll have permanently bloated Mbuna or permanently too thin haps. Yellow Labs are a "filler" The bread to the steak that is another species usually.

2) Either:
- 5x young calvus or compressiceps
- 5x caudopunctatus
- you could add a group of Julidochromis or brichardi to that in a 40 gallon, provided enough rocks.

or

- 10x paracyprichromis
- 5x sumbu shell


The buescheri I don't think you will find that easy, except you go directly to an importer. The Xenotilapia (written "tembwe", btw) need a bigger tank. They are sandsifters and very easy to startle. Wouldn't keep them in a tank with a footprint of less than 2mx1m

3) No offers on fish soup today. Sorry.

4) Most Cookie Cutter combination on the ressource page put 1x or 2x Bristlenose Plecos as detritus eaters. I don't like them particularly, and I believe they get kind of big and poop a lot. Could they be changed for another bottom dweller ? Would some Clown Loaches be too big ? Could I get Xenotilapia Papilio instead, even if I go with a group from Malawi/Victoria ?r combination on the ressource page put 1x or 2x Bristlenose Plecos as detritus eaters. I don't like them particularly, and I believe they get kind of big and poop a lot. Could they be changed for another bottom dweller ? Would some Clown Loaches be too big ? Could I get Xenotilapia Papilio instead, even if I go with a group from Malawi/Victoria ?

Plecos come frome a totally different biotope and are not detritus eaters at all.
The same applies to clown loaches, which grow to up to 30cm. Not necessary.
Xenotilapia as explained above.

A "detritus eater" isn't necessary at all. I kept Tanganyikans, Malawis and some Victorias on fine sand. If the current is set correctly all detritus should collect in certain areas, making it easy to remove during waterchanges. Don't even need a vacuumer.

5) And let's say I don't get any detritus eaters or bottom dwellers, could I put some Shellies in one of the above groups ? I love Multifasciatuses, but I want them for a species only tank. But maybe those shellies that look like Calvus (Altolamprologus sumbu shell) ? Or maybe Similis ?

With the Tanganyikans of course!
With the others... It can work and the Mbuna ignore them, I've seen that. But if they don't, the shellies will go in total survival mode and not come out of their shells anymore. Not worth the risk.

For bottomdwellers in both tanks (provided there are NO shellies!):
Synodontis lucipinnis (small species, take 10), S. multipunctatus, S. grandiops or S. petricola (Take 5 from one of the other species. And don't mix!) I guess you will love them.
 
Upvote 0

OuiBonjour

1) Mbuna OR Victoria Haps. Their diets differ too much. Either you'll have permanently bloated Mbuna or permanently too thin haps. Yellow Labs are a "filler" The bread to the steak that is another species usually.

2) Either:
- 5x young calvus or compressiceps
- 5x caudopunctatus
- you could add a group of Julidochromis or brichardi to that in a 40 gallon, provided enough rocks.

or

- 10x paracyprichromis
- 5x sumbu shell


The buescheri I don't think you will find that easy, except you go directly to an importer. The Xenotilapia (written "tembwe", btw) need a bigger tank. They are sandsifters and very easy to startle. Wouldn't keep them in a tank with a footprint of less than 2mx1m

3) No offers on fish soup today. Sorry.



Plecos come frome a totally different biotope and are not detritus eaters at all.
The same applies to clown loaches, which grow to up to 30cm. Not necessary.
Xenotilapia as explained above.

A "detritus eater" isn't necessary at all. I kept Tanganyikans, Malawis and some Victorias on fine sand. If the current is set correctly all detritus should collect in certain areas, making it easy to remove during waterchanges. Don't even need a vacuumer.



With the Tanganyikans of course!
With the others... It can work and the Mbuna ignore them, I've seen that. But if they don't, the shellies will go in total survival mode and not come out of their shells anymore. Not worth the risk.

For bottomdwellers in both tanks (provided there are NO shellies!):
Synodontis lucipinnis (small species, take 10), S. multipunctatus, S. grandiops or S. petricola (Take 5 from one of the other species. And don't mix!) I guess you will love them.

Darn, that's a detailed answer. Thanks a lot !

1) Thanks for the info. I didn't know about their differing diet yet and it's a good thing to learn. However, in the list that I provided, I didn't know which ones were Haps and which ones were mBuna. 2 hours of google later, I know a little bit more but I'm still confused as some species are designed as being both Mbuna and Haps (for example the Red Zebra based on its wikipedia page).

I also understand that they shouln't be mixed, but when I look at the Yellow Lab (who might be a Hap based on one of its aliases Blue Streak Haps) they say their best potential tankmates are "other" mbunas. So now they're mbunas too. Haha, anyway, I guess I still have a lot of learning to do here.

This is where you'll help me, well I hope!

From all the above suggestions, my choice would be some Yellow Lab with some other contrasting mBunas.

From what I read, Yellow Labs and Demasoni are a super popular duo, due to their blue/yellow contrast, and their constant comparison with the Saulosi. To be honest, I prefer the yellow of the Yellow Lab over the yellow of the female Saulosi. And I dont really like the look of the Male Saulosi while I love the look of the Demasonis.

However, from what I read, I need to have either just one, or 12+ Demasonis. And I'm not sure I could afford 12 Demasonis and 6 Yellow Labs in a 40 gallon breeder. Or, could I ?

Anyways, so I was looking at alternative tank mates for my Yellow Labs (I dont know man, I love their look), and when I was browsing all possible mbunas and their size and etc, I thought to myself that maybe I could keep a bunch of Yellow Lab with a bunch of White Labs. So two colours, one specie.

- 6x Labidochromis Yellow
- 6x Labidochromis white


As for tankmates, I'd like to go get a contrasting color to their Yellow and White. Blue would be nice. Tank is too small I think for Demasonis, tank is too small for "blue" Yellow Tail Acei, tank is too small for the amazing purple male Tropheuses, and the Pseudotropheus socolofi seems too pale to contrast with the others.

Maybe the Blue Maylandia Zebra ? But they might get big. And apparently they're the most aggressive.

Cobalt Blue Zebras seems perfect in color and in size, but considering I'd need 10 of them to reduce aggression, I might be stuck there too.

To be honest, I don't find anything to put with them. Any suggestion ?

Should I still try the 12 Demasonis anyways ?

I found the bread, now what should the steak be ? And could we also add some side-condiments ?

Otherwise, I could go with some tangs. I really like the Bricardis and their community vibe. They make me thnk of Multies, but from rocks and caverns instead of shells. I would love them in a species only tank, but would also love to see them with some caudopunks, paracyps, regular calvus or some sumbu shell // but for this tank I'd prefer bigger and more colourful fishes, hence the m'Bunas.

Or, another option would be to go with a Victoria Haps thank. Do you know any combination that could fit with Pundamilia Nyererei ?

I'd go with peacocks as some are super nice and colorful, but I've been told to forget about all peacocks in my tank size.
 
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OuiBonjour

However, if someone tells me I could get some peacocks, I could dream of having a stock similar to those beauties.


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I think I'd be more than happy to only have 6 fish totals, but like, THOSE. Haha. But yeah, let's get back to previous post with accessible fishes.
 
Upvote 0

Frank the Fish guy

You are mixing up aggresive fish with peaceful fish and will result in a blood bath and huge waste of money too.

Demasoni + Yellow Lab = blood bath

Demasoni is an agressive fish. It is territorial and will kill.

In a 40 gallon tank, you have room for only 1 territorial fish. Seriously.

You need to stay away from territorial fish. And if you are new to this, stay away from from lake Malawi. They are not all aggressive, but this is where the aggressive ones are.

One of the fish you like Pseudotropheus Saulosi is from lake Malawi and is not the most aggressive. You could do a tank of just those and try to breed them. But when the males get older they will become territorial and one will kill off the other males very likely.

The only way to keep territorial fish in a 40 gallon is to overstock it all at once. This is very expensive and you need to know what you are doing or you will waste a lot of money. This is a money pit. The other way is to get a breeding pair and raise the babies up together.


If you have never breed cichlids before I suggest you start with a tank of just Jewel cichlids. They are great parents and very intelligent fish. The jewel is the fish many folks start with to learn to breed.

Also the peacock cichlids are from lake Malawi, but happen to be the most peaceful fish. You are free to assemble a peacock only tank. Just don't mix anything else in there that might be aggressive. The peacocks won't breed unless you make it a single species tank.
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

I'm at work now. Will have to say something about the posts of both of you later.
 
Upvote 0

OuiBonjour

You are mixing up aggresive fish with peaceful fish and will result in a blood bath and huge waste of money too.

Demasoni + Yellow Lab = blood bath

Demasoni is an agressive fish. It is territorial and will kill.

In a 40 gallon tank, you have room for only 1 territorial fish. Seriously.

You need to stay away from territorial fish. And if you are new to this, stay away from from lake Malawi. They are not all aggressive, but this is where the aggressive ones are.

One of the fish you like Pseudotropheus Saulosi is from lake Malawi and is not the most aggressive. You could do a tank of just those and try to breed them. But when the males get older they will become territorial and one will kill off the other males very likely.

The only way to keep territorial fish in a 40 gallon is to overstock it all at once. This is very expensive and you need to know what you are doing or you will waste a lot of money. This is a money pit. The other way is to get a breeding pair and raise the babies up together.


If you have never breed cichlids before I suggest you start with a tank of just Jewel cichlids. They are great parents and very intelligent fish. The jewel is the fish many folks start with to learn to breed.

Also the peacock cichlids are from lake Malawi, but happen to be the most peaceful fish. You are free to assemble a peacock only tank. Just don't mix anything else in there that might be aggressive. The peacocks won't breed unless you make it a single species tank.

I've read about the demasoni being super agressive, but in their description it said that one of the only viable tank mates for them would be the yellow lab, since their color is so mich different than theirs that they don't see them as competitors or menace. I even read a lot of stories of people mixing those 2 species without issues, and even them having a preference with those 2 over their Saulosis equivalent.

But they still said to get at least 12 demasonis in order to scatter their aggressivity, so we know they're full of it. I must admit their temper scared me too, this plus the fact that I dont think I have enough space for 12 demasonis.

Which is why I was trying to find another tankmates that would go with the Yellow Labs. Peaceful if possible too!

Buuuuuut......

Now that you say that I could get some peacocks, even in a 40 breeder,it gets interesting : those that I find the nicest are peacocks, and on top of that you say they're peaceful too!

Do you have some suggestion of peacock combinations I could fit in a 40 breeder ?

I like the idea of the Jewel Cichlids, but I like even more the idea of having different peacocks of different colors in my tank.

In the 6 pictures that I posted above, do you think some of them could be of a size and temperament that'd fit my setup ?

It will be my first time dealing with cichlids so I don't know how to calculate how many peacocks of what size I could fit.

And would it be the same as with the agressive fishes, like I would need to buy them all at once to overstock and scatter agression ? Or with Peacocks it would not be required and I could them one by one with a few weeks in between ?

And should I take a certain amount of the same species of Peacocks, or I could get one of this species, one of that species, one of this one, etc ?

Otherwise, the saulosis option could be good too in terms of colors. Are they good parents or do they eat their own fry?

If I make a species only tank, I would want one that make colonies of different generations (for example like Multies or the Bricardies - I've even read that juveniles also protect the fry of their younger brothers and sisters as well, instead of just the parents being protective – that is super nice )

So yeah, for sure I'd like a tank of Brichardies, as well as one of Multies.

But at the moment, the Peacock Only tank option is what I'd love the most. I don't mind if they dont breed, as long as I can have a few different "specimen" that could live togheter im harmony.

Please help me get the information I need to make it possible !
 
Upvote 0

Frank the Fish guy

Demasoni and labs are totally incompatible. But what can happen is that if you have enough territorial fish in one tank (huge money if you buy them rather than raise them) they are unable to establish territory. Some other fish is always there.

What territorial fish do is they actively chase fish away from their rock. They seek ownership and guard (to the death) their territory. Once they chase a fish away and come back to their rock and it is still theirs, they begin to get the blood lust and start chasing everybody. Not just away, but to kill. In a small tank there is nowhere to hide. So 1 dominant territorial fish can kill everybody.

If they never start to establish territory the blood lust never kicks in. So they could live with other fish perhaps if things are crowded enough.

Peacocks are not territorial so you will be OK. I would not mix the Peacocks with the jewels though. The jewels will go after the Peacocks. So, choose one of those two routes. Sounds like you like a tank of Peacocks. That will work. Just don't stray outside of that peaceful group. You could lose all of your fish very easily if you do. And don't mix fish from different regions.

It is very easy, if you don't know what you are doing to create a war zone in a Cichlid tank.
 
Upvote 0

Frank the Fish guy

I breed Brachardis and Daffodil cichlids. They are peaceful and excellent parents. And yes, the cousins will raise the young which is very unusual in the fish world. These are 'sophisticated' fish.

Breeding cichlids is one route. Single species.

The other route is to have a cichlid tank that is a riot of colors and craziness.

And one other option is to chose species from the same lake that compliment each other and get along naturally.
 
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OuiBonjour

Thanks for the explanation on how they deal woth territories. I'll definitely not mix them with labs, or with any fish for that matter.

I'm happy with the Peacock only route. I believe I should only pick one species of Peacock that I like, and get a 1m/3f ratio with lots of caves and hiding, and I should be okay?

Do you have suggestions on a specific Peacock that could work, and the amount and ratio I should get ?

If you have the time, I posted another thread in the "identify this cichlid" sectio where I posted pictures of 6 cichlids I found very beautiful, and the moderator told me that they were mostly all peacocks. If you recognize one in those 6 as a species that could fit my tank size, please let me know!

Otherwise I would go the Brachardis route of it was only for me, but the GF wants bigger fish for this tank, a d colorful ones.

So my brachardies, Multies, and Caudopunks projects will have to wait a while lol
 
Upvote 0

OuiBonjour

In fact, scratch my previous question. I realized that with my tank size, I could not have more than one species of Peacock (unless I could get 4-5 males of different species, no female?) , so if I end up only with one species of Peacock, I would have only one colourful fish in my tank, with 3-4-5 grayish females.

So I think my best bet would be the Pseudotropheus Saulosi .

With those, all fishes would be colourful, I'd even have 2 different color patterns, and with the correct ratio I could even get small yellow fry all around. Question is : How many in total, and what M/F ratio ?

Someone on another forum said that he would not even put Saulosi in a 40G/36" as it would be cruel to keep them in that small tank once they get to adult size. I understand he could be right and I could be wrong, but I feel like at 3-4" adult size, they're not that big and I don't feel like they'd be tight in there, unless there's too many of them. But correct me if I'm wrong, if it's indeed cruel I would like to know.

But saying that 3-4" fishes would be tight in a 40G-Breeder, while a lot of experienced cichlid owners will voluntarily overcrowd their tank with m'bunas to reduce agression, I feel like it's contradictory. I'm pretty sure that six 3-4" inches Saulosis would feel less tight in a species-only 40B tank than ten to fifteen 5" mbunas would in a super crowded 55 gallons. But hey, this is just my feeling on that, I'm not experienced so I might be wrong.

That being said, if Saulosis in a 40g/Br tank is not cruel, how many should I get ? Whatwould be the best ratio ? How tall, deep and large should the "caverns" in the rocks should be ? And how many caverns"per habitant" should I have minimum ?

I thought about piling some slate flat rocks all around and pile them the highest I could safely do. I thought I could even make some fake rocks with some flat styrofoam I have, where I could add some cement and gravel on them and let them cure. I could then pile them very hight without risking breaking the glass or being to heavy.

Otherwise, I thought maybe some paving stones ? Some have a nice reddish color and it could be nice with the white sand and the yellow +black/blue colors of the fish. Could it work ? My other guess would be asphalt, as it's easy to find flat slates. Could it work ? If its effect on PH would be to high, I have some krylon clear paint that I've used in the past on some rocks to prevent them from raising the PH in a tropical tank (and it worked).

Also, I'm pretty sure no tankmates would work with Saulosis in a 40g, but I though maybe some dither fish could make them feel more safe ? Any ideas on that ?

Thanks again!
 
Upvote 0

Frank the Fish guy

It's not just the size of the fish that matters for the tank size.

Pseudotropheus Saulosi (this is NOT a Peacock, but an aggressive territorial cichlid) dominant male will chase the females relentlessly. So you you need a big enough tank (and enough fish) that the females can hide. In a small tank, if they can't hide, they will die from stress.

This fish will swim a million miles an hour chasing each other and they need room to get up enough speed and hide, and stuff like that.

In the size tank you describe, it is quite possible that a dominant male will establish himself and then chase the females to their death if they can't get away.

The question is how big does the tank have to be so that the male feels he has chased everybody away far enough. How big is his territory? These are territorial fish.

This is why you need peaceful fish like Peacocks in a tank this size. They sit there and swim and stuff. They are not territorial. Key difference.

These are hard lessons to learn over the internet. You have to try and experience it yourself to really understand. So if you try to set up the tank you describe, you need a backup plan on what to do when the blood bath starts. But then you will understand these fish better too. And you will be the guy trying to explain it to someone else!
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

Frank the Fish guy , just a sidenote: The saulosi and demasoni are no longer in the Pseudotropheus genus, but have been moved to Chindongo. That may vary a bit among authors, but it seems generally most accepted over the past few years.

I also would like to add, it's not always going to be a "blood bath". I mean, I know for sure Mbuna in general are little monsters and pretty aggressive, as I bred Malawis and Tanganyikans for the greater part of the Nineties. But tone it down a notch. I mean no disrespect, as I'm not saying you're totally wrong, but you dramatize it a bit.

I still want to give advice to OuiBonjour : Never - and I mean it - NEVER underestimate Mbuna and cichlids in general. But don't always expect it to work out. You need a good eye and a good understanding of the behaviour, so you can do something about the aggression in time, and nobofy gets hurt too badly.

The reason why people like A201, chromedome52 and me are repeating it over and over again here in the forum, that a Malawi tank needs to be (relatively) BIG and A LOT of rockworks with nooks and crannies and hiding spots, is what Frank is describing. One can actually do a lot about the aggression with carefully planned stocking and similarily carefully planned and decorated tank.

I only experienced aggression overkill in tanks that lacked that carefull planning.
 
Upvote 0

Frank the Fish guy

Saulosi in a 40G/36" is not going to work. The OP has heard this from others he says. I second the opinion that such an arrangement would be cruel. Not because of the size of the fish, but because the females will be chased to death.
 
Upvote 0

OuiBonjour

Hi guys! I wont be able to give an elaborate answer because I'm in camping, but I read all comments and I must admit you all had good points and convinced me away from getting mbunas and Saulosis in my 36".

So far I'm pretty sure I'll go with a Tanganyka tank. My main focus will be Brichardis, ut I'd like to incorpore Paracyps in this and MAYBE a Calvus or who know maybe some mini-Calvus shellies ?

I'll get back to you guys in a couple of days with morwe questions and details, but I wanted to let you guys know I opted out of Saulosis. Not for the size, but for the constant chasing between male and females and the stress and desparatiom that might occur.

Tangs will be the main choice. BRICHADIS the main one. The rest is open to discussion and suggestions!

Will be right back once back from camping!

I dont have time to elaborate, but all of your comments got to me and and I want to do it right. Ill get back to you soon with more questions, but Brichardis plus Paracyps would be my best starting point for now!
 
Upvote 0

OuiBonjour

Hey guys, me again!

So now I'm decided I wont be doing any Malawi tank in my 36" long.

I'll go with Tanganyikans. However, I still want to keep the shell dwellers for a later time, so not in this tank.

Could you suggest me some interesting combinations of the following fishes ?

Neo Buesheri Kamakonde
Neo Longior Kekese (the dark orange ones with blue bottom fins)
Neo Longior (any all yellow variant)
Neo helianthus
Neo Mustax
Neo Falcicula Magara
Any Leleupi
Paracips Nigripinis (any variant)
Any Calvus
Any Comprissep
Any Caudopunks

Please tell me how many I should get of each.

One thing for sure, is I would like a stocking that includes Paracyps.

One example I've been given (but would like more) :

- 2 Calvus (buy 6, rehome 4)
- 6 Caudopunks and/or 6 multis and/or 6 similis
- 6 Paracyps

I also like Brichardis, but from what I read they're better in species only tank and they will try to kill everyone when it's time for having fry. I'd prefer having 3 species than a species only tank.

If you have suggestions with other Tangs that are not in my list, try me!
 
Upvote 0

Frank the Fish guy

If you keep some of these as singles or maybe pairs, and do 3 or 4 species, it might work out well.

I keep Neolamprologus Brachardis as a pair along with a pair of lamprologus-ocellatus, and one julidochromus (Julies tend to kill each other to get down to one fish in a small tank). They get along very well and have their own rocks to hide in.

These small Tang fish fish tend to be aggressive with their own species but seem to be happy as singletons or pairs in a community Tang tank. If you want more of them, better to do a single species tank perhaps.
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

Some of the Neolamprologus you list are really hard to get. I'd stick to more common species.

For Julies I'd go for a small group of J. transcriptus, never had problems with them showing any aggression beyond display behaviour and an occasional fin nip. I'd start with 3 or 5 and remove leftover males.
 
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OuiBonjour

Okay, thanks! I think I will stay away from Julies for now, as well as Bracardis.

If I go with those :

- 2 Calvus (buy 6, rehome 4)
- 6 Caudopunks
- 6 Paracyps

I will have some questions.

1. Will I absolutely have to rehome 4 calvus and just keep a pair, or it's possible they cohabit nicely ? Also, if I keep only one pair and they breed and their fry becomes bigger, can I keep them, or I should always rehome to keep only 2 ? Should I get them juvies or adults ? And when will I know I need to rehome some ?

2. I'd like the Calvus to be a contrasting colors compared to the Caudapunks and Paracyps. Parfacyps are salmon, yellowish-white and blue, and Caudopunks are white and yellow. What variant of Calvus or Compresseps could make a good contrast in your opinion ?

3. Any tips on how to setup territories ? I know they all need some kind of caves, but not the same kind. Like Paracyps like vertical stones that goes high with a overhang, but I'm not sure about the others. How big should the crevisses be for the Calvus, what kind of rocks for the Caudopunks, should I scatter all these types of caverns and rocks all around, or a certain style on one end, another on the other ?

4. I read alot about paracyps male needing a overhang to chill under. I have difficulties picturing this in my mind. Do you have any picture of setups that have a overhang ? Or tips on how to build them ?

5. Should I add them in a specific order ? or all at once ? Let's say I dont have the money to buy them all at once, which ones should go first ? And next ?

6. With my hands in the tank, can I get bitten by adult calvus ? And does it hurt ?

Thanks!
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

1. Will I absolutely have to rehome 4 calvus and just keep a pair, or it's possible they cohabit nicely ? Also, if I keep only one pair and they breed and their fry becomes bigger, can I keep them, or I should always rehome to keep only 2 ? Should I get them juvies or adults ? And when will I know I need to rehome some ?

As Altolamprologus grow reeeeeaaaallyyyyy slooooooow, buy them as juveniles, so you have a group for at least a year. It also takes ages until they pair up und they don't stay paired, so this is not something you have to clear now.

2. I'd like the Calvus to be a contrasting colors compared to the Caudapunks and Paracyps. Parfacyps are salmon, yellowish-white and blue, and Caudopunks are white and yellow. What variant of Calvus or Compresseps could make a good contrast in your opinion ?

Go definitely with calvus, as the compressiceps also have a lot of yellow. Black Zaire would look great.

3. Any tips on how to setup territories ? I know they all need some kind of caves, but not the same kind. Like Paracyps like vertical stones that goes high with a overhang, but I'm not sure about the others. How big should the crevisses be for the Calvus, what kind of rocks for the Caudopunks, should I scatter all these types of caverns and rocks all around, or a certain style on one end, another on the other ?

Just build a rockreef. Altolamprologus like to just hover over the rocks in open water where they can dive between the rocks easily and same goes for the caudopunctatus with their shells. None of these species is territorial outside of breedeing season.

4. I read alot about paracyps male needing a overhang to chill under. I have difficulties picturing this in my mind. Do you have any picture of setups that have a overhang ? Or tips on how to build them ?

Overhang is new to me and actually almost only possible to realize with a fake rock background. I never heard they need this. Just put in some vertical rocks.

5. Should I add them in a specific order ? or all at once ? Let's say I dont have the money to buy them all at once, which ones should go first ? And next ?

No specific order, but in batches because of the bioload.

6. With my hands in the tank, can I get bitten by adult calvus ? And does it hurt ?

Never happened to me, but once to my dad, scratch from a cat is worse.
 
Upvote 0

OuiBonjour

As Altolamprologus grow reeeeeaaaallyyyyy slooooooow, buy them as juveniles, so you have a group for at least a year. It also takes ages until they pair up und they don't stay paired, so this is not something you have to clear now.



Go definitely with calvus, as the compressiceps also have a lot of yellow. Black Zaire would look great.



Just build a rockreef. Altolamprologus like to just hover over the rocks in open water where they can dive between the rocks easily and same goes for the caudopunctatus with their shells. None of these species is territorial outside of breedeing season.



Overhang is new to me and actually almost only possible to realize with a fake rock background. I never heard they need this. Just put in some vertical rocks.



No specific order, but in batches because of the bioload.



Never happened to me, but once to my dad, scratch from a cat is worse.

1. That's some good news. I'm glad that I'll be able to keep them all for a while.

2. The Black Zaire indeed looks great. I know I said I wanted contrast but the yellow/black Compress is looking great too.

3. Great ! I wasn't sure if Caudopunks prefered some kind of rocks or shells. I could also do both I guess. I bought 75 Large Escargot shells when I wanted to go with a Multifasciatus tank, they might come handy.

4. I always read vertical rocks for paracyps, but I never seem to find pictures. Like, is it the pile of rocks that needs to be vertical, or the rock themselves that are placed vertically ? If placed vertically, should they lean over each others on their top, or should they be vertical but "no roof" like open air valleys ? Do you have any picture you could show me as example ?
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

4. I always read vertical rocks for paracyps, but I never seem to find pictures. Like, is it the pile of rocks that needs to be vertical, or the rock themselves that are placed vertically ? If placed vertically, should they lean over each others on their top, or should they be vertical but "no roof" like open air valleys ? Do you have any picture you could show me as example ?

You research thoroughly, but you take too much stuff as a must. You build that tank, you decide how you decorate it. Just take some inspiration from underwaterfootage of the lake and other people's tanks.

You really can't find anything? Just type "Paracyprichromis tank" into google picture search. I get a lot of hits.

Like this one:

 
Upvote 0

OuiBonjour

Thanks! For some reason, I was getting results that didn't help me. Searching on Google Photos almost only got me close ups of the Paracyps and searching on Youtube got me only videos of them with other species and no vertical rocks haha

I think I might have overthought keywords like Paracyprichromis Aquascape, Paracyprichromis vertical rocks, Paracyprichromis rock piles, Paracyprichromis slates, etc..... but overlooked the simple Paracyprichromis Tank
 
Upvote 0

Nataku

1. Will I absolutely have to rehome 4 calvus and just keep a pair, or it's possible they cohabit nicely ? Also, if I keep only one pair and they breed and their fry becomes bigger, can I keep them, or I should always rehome to keep only 2 ? Should I get them juvies or adults ? And when will I know I need to rehome some ?
You'll usually find calvus for sale at 1" to 1.5" and they are slow (so slow!) to grow. They won't be sexually mature from that size for 1.5-2 years. They still may not pair off at that time. So you have time to watch a group grow, and depending upon how much space they feel they have, they may still tolerate other calvus in the tank during breeding. Or they may not, and may kill them. Its hard to say, so the safe bet is removing them when you start seeing breeding activity but I've seen people do it both ways.

2. I'd like the Calvus to be a contrasting colors compared to the Caudapunks and Paracyps. Parfacyps are salmon, yellowish-white and blue, and Caudopunks are white and yellow. What variant of Calvus or Compresseps could make a good contrast in your opinion ?
Like MacZ, I highly recommend the Black Zaire as there is something really wonderful about just how stunningly black they are. Black Congo is another variant, sometimes I wonder if these two aren't the same. Still a gorgeous choice.
Now in compresiceps, if you can get these type localities they tend to have a lot of blue in them which are quite stunning and a good contrast: kekese, kipili, kiku. Trick is getting ahold of them. Most are very uncommon in the hobby.

3. Any tips on how to setup territories ? I know they all need some kind of caves, but not the same kind. Like Paracyps like vertical stones that goes high with a overhang, but I'm not sure about the others. How big should the crevisses be for the Calvus, what kind of rocks for the Caudopunks, should I scatter all these types of caverns and rocks all around, or a certain style on one end, another on the other ?
4. I read alot about paracyps male needing a overhang to chill under. I have difficulties picturing this in my mind. Do you have any picture of setups that have a overhang ? Or tips on how to build them ?
Paracyps like having vertical surfaces near the top of the tank but will wander into the mid level as well. Overhangs often become favorites of a male but aren't necessary. How to make an over hang with your rocks? Watch this video. Its great.
Now, male paracyps will also use the 'roof' of a fairly open, flat cave as an 'overhang'. But the reason they want that vertical/near vertical rock is because when they breed, they breed against that rock. The male above the female, releasing milt as she releases eggs. The eggs roll down the rock face and she then grabs them up into her mouth to brood them.

Aside from the paracyp semantics, you'll want plenty of rock stacked to provide plenty of different cave and crevices of different sizes. The paracyps want to be near the top, the caudpunctatus like the bottom and mid level so long as its near rocks or their shells, and the calvus will wander everywhere checking out every bit of the rocks and shells they can fit into - its their hunting method in the wild, explore nooks and crevices for fry and crustaceans to eat.
I'd build up a taller stacked pile along the back, and then have a smaller stack either in the middle foreground, or at each end of the tank. Sand of course on the bottom (add it after you've put the rocks in so they can't dig under the rocks and tumble them) with shells scattered around for the caudopunks. Be aware that calvus are opportunistic spawners, they have been recorded spawning both in caves or large shells, as well as in clay pots on their side. Oh and get some cryptocoryne (crypts) growing in there around the base of the rocks. These species are not super bad at digging so you should be able to grow them just fine. The calvus and the Caudopunks will explore the plants, the paracyps will appreciate the extra water cleaning and stability they provide.

5. Should I add them in a specific order ? or all at once ? Let's say I dont have the money to buy them all at once, which ones should go first ? And next ?
Add the crypts first xD let them get established while the tank is cycling.
Make sure the tank is cycled and well established first as no lake Tang fish really like big changes in parameters. The paracyps are the most gentle and least violent of the group, I'd add them first but honestly it's personal preference. You aren't getting calvus as adults (the only time I'd be worried about them trying to stake out a territory) so it shouldn't matter which group you put in first. The caudpunks and the paracyps will probably never acknowledge each other's existence.

6. With my hands in the tank, can I get bitten by adult calvus ? And does it hurt ?

Thanks!
I've never had a calvus bite me but it can't be any worse than an mbuna or an aulonocara taking shots at my fingers. Its not painful at all. Just a dull, weak pinching. They're nothing like a dovii getting ahold of you.
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

You'll usually find calvus for sale at 1" to 1.5" and they are slow (so slow!) to grow. They won't be sexually mature from that size for 1.5-2 years. They still may not pair off at that time. So you have time to watch a group grow, and depending upon how much space they feel they have, they may still tolerate other calvus in the tank during breeding. Or they may not, and may kill them. Its hard to say, so the safe bet is removing them when you start seeing breeding activity but I've seen people do it both ways.


Like MacZ, I highly recommend the Black Zaire as there is something really wonderful about just how stunningly black they are. Black Congo is another variant, sometimes I wonder if these two aren't the same. Still a gorgeous choice.
Now in compresiceps, if you can get these type localities they tend to have a lot of blue in them which are quite stunning and a good contrast: kekese, kipili, kiku. Trick is getting ahold of them. Most are very uncommon in the hobby.


Paracyps like having vertical surfaces near the top of the tank but will wander into the mid level as well. Overhangs often become favorites of a male but aren't necessary. How to make an over hang with your rocks? Watch this video. Its great.
Now, male paracyps will also use the 'roof' of a fairly open, flat cave as an 'overhang'. But the reason they want that vertical/near vertical rock is because when they breed, they breed against that rock. The male above the female, releasing milt as she releases eggs. The eggs roll down the rock face and she then grabs them up into her mouth to brood them.

Aside from the paracyp semantics, you'll want plenty of rock stacked to provide plenty of different cave and crevices of different sizes. The paracyps want to be near the top, the caudpunctatus like the bottom and mid level so long as its near rocks or their shells, and the calvus will wander everywhere checking out every bit of the rocks and shells they can fit into - its their hunting method in the wild, explore nooks and crevices for fry and crustaceans to eat.
I'd build up a taller stacked pile along the back, and then have a smaller stack either in the middle foreground, or at each end of the tank. Sand of course on the bottom (add it after you've put the rocks in so they can't dig under the rocks and tumble them) with shells scattered around for the caudopunks. Be aware that calvus are opportunistic spawners, they have been recorded spawning both in caves or large shells, as well as in clay pots on their side. Oh and get some cryptocoryne (crypts) growing in there around the base of the rocks. These species are not super bad at digging so you should be able to grow them just fine. The calvus and the Caudopunks will explore the plants, the paracyps will appreciate the extra water cleaning and stability they provide.


Add the crypts first xD let them get established while the tank is cycling.https://www.speisekarte.de/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/%C3%9Cbersicht_Koffeingehalt_in_verschiedenen_Lebensmitteln.png
Make sure the tank is cycled and well established first as no lake Tang fish really like big changes in parameters. The paracyps are the most gentle and least violent of the group, I'd add them first but honestly it's personal preference. You aren't getting calvus as adults (the only time I'd be worried about them trying to stake out a territory) so it shouldn't matter which group you put in first. The caudpunks and the paracyps will probably never acknowledge each other's existence.


I've never had a calvus bite me but it can't be any worse than an mbuna or an aulonocara taking shots at my fingers. Its not painful at all. Just a dull, weak pinching. They're nothing like a dovii getting ahold of you.

Black Zaire and Black Congo are the same. I think only the renaming of the country has had influence on the renaming of the fish.

Otherwise greatly agree, though instead of crypts I'd go with middle sized vallisneria as those occure naturally in the lake and would make it look more natural.
 
Upvote 0

Nataku

Black Zaire and Black Congo are the same. I think only the renaming of the country has had influence on the renaming of the fish.

Otherwise greatly agree, though instead of crypts I'd go with middle sized vallisneria as those occure naturally in the lake and would make it look more natural.
Ah that would make so much sense. I never really thought about the political associations with the names. Not something I usually think much about in the fish hobby.

Valisneria is a great option too. I suppose its a matter of how tall you want the plants to be? I think I didn't like the vals in my last lake Tang tank because of where I put the plants vs the water flow. The vals always ended up pushed into and tangled in the rock caves. Probably my own fault and I should have moved the plants to locations that worked better with the flow.
I found crypts didn't have that issue as they didn't get as tall and their leaves didn't get pushed around as much in the current.

When in doubt, plant both? You can't have too many plants.
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

Ah that would make so much sense. I never really thought about the political associations with the names. Not something I usually think much about in the fish hobby.

Valisneria is a great option too. I suppose its a matter of how tall you want the plants to be? I think I didn't like the vals in my last lake Tang tank because of where I put the plants vs the water flow. The vals always ended up pushed into and tangled in the rock caves. Probably my own fault and I should have moved the plants to locations that worked better with the flow.
I found crypts didn't have that issue as they didn't get as tall and their leaves didn't get pushed around as much in the current.

When in doubt, plant both? You can't have too many plants.

You used Vallisneria gigantea, right? There are shorter species. I would look into them.
 
Upvote 0

OuiBonjour

Thanks to both of you, that's a lot of information and I appreciate it a lot !

Nataku : The video about overhangs is perfect for me as I struggled in the past when trying to glue rocks together, or even glueing plants to rocks, as it never seemed to actually hold, even using superglue or even aquarium-silicon. The trick with the liquid glue and the cigarette filter seems so rapid and solid !

For the colors of the Calvus, I realy like the Congo/Zaire Black, but I must say I felt in love with the all yellow ones. Well, yellow and black. But the one I found said Yellow Calvus, but when I try to find more by googling, it seems like it's mostly the compressiceps that are this color. Is there a difference between a Yellow Calvus and Yellow Compressiceps ? (beside the elongated snout)

Speaking of which, when I look online it seems to say that Compressiceps get a little bit bigger than Calvus. Is this true, and if so would it still work in my setup ? Do they have the same behavior and requirements as the Calvus ?

Also, I looked quickly for a rough idea of prices of Calvus, and it looked like they are around 50$ online (I dont remember if it was USD or CAD but it's similar) , is it an average price or we usually find them for less expensive through breeders when you by 6 ? Because 300$ in one shot is a lot with my budget lol Especially with the other 2 species hehe Or could I buy 2 Calvus one month, then 2 another month, and so one ?

As for my tank, it is already cycled for a while , but empty. I keep it running and I sometimes feed ammonia sources and keep testing the water regularly to make sure bacteries are still alive!

I was also wondering : if in the future I'd decide to rehome all Caudopunks, would that allow me to keep more Calvus in my tank ? Could I end up with 2 couples, and/or would they end up forming a colony ? I know they eat fry, but I'm not sure if they eat theirs. Also I'm not sure if my tank would be big enough for them to all get their territory.

Also, to avoid the agression of a pair forming, could I keep more (or avoid having to rehome 4) if I'd get only females ? Or all males with no female to impress ?

And lastly (for now lol), when choosing my 6 Calvus, could I take them from different variant ? Like 3 Zaire Black and 3 Yellow ones ?

Same with the Paracyps, could I get 3 Nigrinnis and 3 Brienni for example, or they wouldn't school togheter and I'd end up needing 6 of eachthus lacking space ?

Thanks again to everyone who takes time to answer me!
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

For the colors of the Calvus, I realy like the Congo/Zaire Black, but I must say I felt in love with the all yellow ones. Well, yellow and black. But the one I found said Yellow Calvus, but when I try to find more by googling, it seems like it's mostly the compressiceps that are this color. Is there a difference between a Yellow Calvus and Yellow Compressiceps ? (beside the elongated snout)

Yellow Calvus? Never heard, misnomer for the compressiceps I presume?

Speaking of which, when I look online it seems to say that Compressiceps get a little bit bigger than Calvus. Is this true, and if so would it still work in my setup ? Do they have the same behavior and requirements as the Calvus ?

They are almost same size. Difference of 2cm at best. The compressiceps are a bit shorter but higher build than the calvus.

Also, I looked quickly for a rough idea of prices of Calvus, and it looked like they are around 50$ online (I dont remember if it was USD or CAD but it's similar) , is it an average price or we usually find them for less expensive through breeders when you by 6 ? Because 300$ in one shot is a lot with my budget lol Especially with the other 2 species hehe Or could I buy 2 Calvus one month, then 2 another month, and so one ?

I remember having sold a breeding pair for what would today be about 1200€ and saw wild caught fully grown calvus for 80€ a piece lately.
Don't buy them separately. You have a taste in fish, and that taste is not cheap. But you can first get the others and add them later. Otherwise you might have to either save up for them or maybe settle for a more common variety.

I was also wondering : if in the future I'd decide to rehome all Caudopunks, would that allow me to keep more Calvus in my tank ? Could I end up with 2 couples, and/or would they end up forming a colony ? I know they eat fry, but I'm not sure if they eat theirs. Also I'm not sure if my tank would be big enough for them to all get their territory.

Pairs are not fixed monogamous in Altolamprologus and it may well be they never pair up, so don't worry about that yet.

Also, to avoid the agression of a pair forming, could I keep more (or avoid having to rehome 4) if I'd get only females ? Or all males with no female to impress ?

The problem is you can almost not sex them unless you vent tham and even that is not 100% sure, untiil they are grown quite large.

And lastly (for now lol), when choosing my 6 Calvus, could I take them from different variant ? Like 3 Zaire Black and 3 Yellow ones ?

Don't choose fish by colour alone.

Same with the Paracyps, could I get 3 Nigrinnis and 3 Brienni for example, or they wouldn't school togheter and I'd end up needing 6 of eachthus lacking space ?

Do yourself a favour and don't. Especially not when that could mean different species this would. You wouldn't put 3 cardinals, 3 neons and 3 green neons together, right?
 
Upvote 0

OuiBonjour

Yellow Calvus? Never heard, misnomer for the compressiceps I presume?



They are almost same size. Difference of 2cm at best. The compressiceps are a bit shorter but higher build than the calvus.



I remember having sold a breeding pair for what would today be about 1200€ and saw wild caught fully grown calvus for 80€ a piece lately.
Don't buy them separately. You have a taste in fish, and that taste is not cheap. But you can first get the others and add them later. Otherwise you might have to either save up for them or maybe settle for a more common variety.



Pairs are not fixed monogamous in Altolamprologus and it may well be they never pair up, so don't worry about that yet.



The problem is you can almost not sex them unless you vent tham and even that is not 100% sure, untiil they are grown quite large.



Don't choose fish by colour alone.



Do yourself a favour and don't. Especially not when that could mean different species this would. You wouldn't put 3 cardinals, 3 neons and 3 green neons together, right?

For the Yellow Calvus, I think the same as you. I was googling Calvus Variants and I saw a yellow one that had the caption Yellow Calvus, and then googled Yellow Calvus and got a fet guys on Google Image.

However I too believe it might gave been an error and might be a Compressicep. I wanted to ask to make sure though.

As for the advice of not choosing a calvus on color alone, what do you mean exactly ? That I shouldnt mix colors or that colors shouldnt be my only criteria ? If its the latter and all other criterias are met could I mix colors or its like the Paracyps and they'd be considered different species ?

As for Nigrinnis and Brienni, your comparisson makes sebse. I was not sure if it was different species or different variants.
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

For the Yellow Calvus, I think the same as you. I was googling Calvus Variants and I saw a yellow one that had the caption Yellow Calvus, and then googled Yellow Calvus and got a fet guys on Google Image.

However I too believe it might gave been an error and might be a Compressicep. I wanted to ask to make sure though.

Makes sense.

As for the advice of not choosing a calvus on color alone, what do you mean exactly ? That I shouldnt mix colors or that colors shouldnt be my only criteria ? If its the latter and all other criterias are met could I mix colors or its like the Paracyps and they'd be considered different species ?

Colours shouldn't be the criteria and actually many colour variants could count as subspecies. Problem is, the scientific community is still not sure about that. I wouldn't mix them until this is cleared, otherwise it's like mixing Bengal tigers and siberian tigers.

As for Nigrinnis and Brienni, your comparisson makes sebse. I was not sure if it was different species or different variants.

If the name is latin/greek be sure it's a species.
 
Upvote 0

OuiBonjour

Thanks! Do you have some specific criterias that could help me find a good breeder for healthy Yellow Compressiceps ? What should I look for ?
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

Thanks! Do you have some specific criterias that could help me find a good breeder for healthy Yellow Compressiceps ? What should I look for ?

Variety in rather rare species, subspecies and colour variants. If they have two colours of calvus, 1 or 2 Julies, Multies, 2-3 Neolamprologus and maybe a Tropheus species... well... That's not what you're looking for.
Several wild caught breeding pairs of different species, rarities and F1 or F2 generation juveniles is a better hit.

I think there is a specialist for african cichlids in Quebec, I think I remember seeing a channel on youtube.

Here we go: QuebecCichlides

As I am on a totally different continent that's the best I can do.
 
Upvote 0

OuiBonjour

Variety in rather rare species, subspecies and colour variants. If they have two colours of calvus, 1 or 2 Julies, Multies, 2-3 Neolamprologus and maybe a Tropheus species... well... That's not what you're looking for.
Several wild caught breeding pairs of different species, rarities and F1 or F2 generation juveniles is a better hit.

I think there is a specialist for african cichlids in Quebec, I think I remember seeing a channel on youtube.

Here we go: QuebecCichlides

As I am on a totally different continent that's the best I can do.

Thanks! I saw their channel but will watch more of their videos.

I found a breeder that had multis, one variant of cyps, and I know he had some other Tangs but I'm not sure which.

I remember he had very low price for multis (6 CAD$) and thought about hitting him for my other needs, but I think I'll be best with different breeders that specialize in one species instead of one that seems to have everything, correct ?
 
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