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75 Gallon Tanganyikan Setup

HookedOnFish_MI

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Michigan, USA
I’m going to be rescaping my 75 gallon in the near future for a Lake Tanganyikan setup, and was wondering from the experts how many different species I could successfully keep together. I will for sure have Neolamprologus Multifasciatus since I have 5 in another tank. The few others below are my top additional choices:

Neolamprologus Brichardi - this may be another ‘must have’ due to being mid water swimmers (not a fan of cyprichromis)
Julidochromis Transcriptus
Neolamprologus Caudopunctatus
Neolamprologus Leleupi

Open to others as well. I feel like 3 species in total should be feasible. Appreciate any thoughts/experience anyone can share though.
 

MacZ

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As somebody who bred and sold Tanganyikans for over a decade:
Neolamprologus Brichardi
They form colonies and tolerate no other fish in the tank. I have seen them push fish 3x their size into a corner, keeping them from moving and feeding until they died of stress. If it's this species it's a species only tank.
this may be another ‘must have’ due to being mid water swimmers (not a fan of cyprichromis)
They're not really. In a properly structured tank you will probably see half the colony at once during feeding.

Julidochromis Transcriptus
Neolamprologus Leleupi
Same for those, with the difference they won't kill anything outright.

Neolamprologus Caudopunctatus
It's one shell dweller species only. You'd need a bigger tank to combine two species of shell dwellers.

If you do it right you can combine the shell dwellers with the Julidochromis. That's it.
And a few warnings:
- Tanganyikans of the Lamprologini tribe are almost all colony dwellers. They reproduce like rabbits and you hardly find people that take them. It's possible if a pair starts reproducing properly, your tank is overcrowded within a year.
- There are no predators that can keep the population under control, that will survive longer than 3 months before the colony pushes them back.
- You can AT BEST combine a colony of shelldwellers with a colony of rock dwellers in one tank. Provided there are DOZENS of snail shells and rockworks build up to the surface.
- Whatever species you choose: You'll have to start with a group of unsexed juveniles and once a pair forms you'll have to remove all the others.

Three species would be possible if you forgo on colony breeders.

If you go with a species of Altolamprologus and a species of Julidochromis this will be the easiest to maintain.
 

HookedOnFish_MI

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Location
Michigan, USA
Wow, thank you very much for taking the time to provide this detailed response. The intensity of theses species’ aggression was not mentioned in a lot of the species profiles I watched from breeders on YouTube. Although, there were a lot of species only tanks.

Three species would be possible if you forgo on colony breeders.

If you go with a species of Altolamprologus and a species of Julidochromis this will be the easiest to maintain.

Would this exclude putting the multis with Altolamprologus and Julidochromis? If not, do you have any suggestions for that 3rd species?

I do like the idea of having Calvus for population control, but can also afford to manage some fry . I have additional established aquariums to raise fry (if I can catch them), and Julidochromis are actually quite uncommon in my area at LFSs.
 

MacZ

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Location
Germany
The intensity of theses species’ aggression was not mentioned in a lot of the species profiles I watched from breeders on YouTube. Although, there were a lot of species only tanks.
That's the point. Species only tanks or 1000+ Liter tanks. In a 250 Liter tank of 120cm length there's not much you can do.

Would this exclude putting the multis with Altolamprologus and Julidochromis?
Yes, because Altolamprologus and Julidochromis are rockdwellers and require the tank completely filled with rockwork.

I do like the idea of having Calvus for population control, but can also afford to manage some fry
I did not recommend Altolamprologus for population control. I don't endorse the concept of using one species to control the other's reproduction. I have never seen this work out. Either the predatory species got lazy eating the same stuff the others get, or started exterminating the other species completely.

I have additional established aquariums to raise fry (if I can catch them), and Julidochromis are actually quite uncommon in my area at LFSs.
You shouldn't put them in a growout. Once a colony is established you can simply catch out sizeable specimens directly from the colony. That way they will also at one point slow down the reproduction.
 

HookedOnFish_MI

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- There are no predators that can keep the population under control, that will survive longer than 3 months before the colony pushes them back.
Thank you for the reply and additional information. I put this part (above) with your reference to Altolamprologus thinking this would be that predator.

I’ll do some thinking on if I’d like to go with the Multis/Transcriptus or Calvus/Transcriptus. As much as I want a true biotope setup, the 75 gallon is a tall tank and I would enjoy something in the top level of the tank as well. From what I understand, there aren’t any options from Lake Tanganyika besides Cyrichromis. Do you see any issues with something like zebra danios, or live bearers like swordtails along with the 2 Tanganyikan species?
 

MacZ

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Location
Germany
Do you see any issues with something like zebra danios, or live bearers like swordtails along with the 2 Tanganyikan species?
Yes, the fact that they will be treated by the cichlids just as any other potential danger to the fry. And in contrast to other cichlids, these fish would be easy pickings. I have had a customer that wanted to keep N. pulcher with an established colony of Mollies in a 160cm tank. I reluctantly sold them a small group of the cichlids. Went well for 2 months, then they came back with the cichlids (which were by then breeding and had risen in numbers). The Neolamprologus basically had eradicated the livebearers within 2 weeks after the first spawn.

There are many other open water dwellers from Lake Tanganyika but they need room. E.g. Tropheus, Petrochromis, Ophthalmotilapia... all of which require 150cm or more. Or the infamous Tanganyika killifish Lamprichthys. Biut those would need 2.5 meters to really shine.
 

MacZ

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Germany
My pleasure. And another word of advice: The wellbeing of the fish is always first priority, if that collides with the wishes of the fishkeeper, it takes precedence. If this is not possible, keep other fish. Simple as that.
 

HookedOnFish_MI

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Location
Michigan, USA
My pleasure. And another word of advice: The wellbeing of the fish is always first priority, if that collides with the wishes of the fishkeeper, it takes precedence. If this is not possible, keep other fish. Simple as that.
Agree 100%, taking advantage of resources like this to ensure I have everything right before starting this new setup.
 

HookedOnFish_MI

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Location
Michigan, USA
@MacZ if you don’t mind me asking your opinion once more…what are your thoughts on keeping a single Brichardi and a single Calvus with J. Transcriptus? Could these 2 single species also work with J. Transcriptus and Multis together? Or perhaps 1 single species with both? Your advice is appreciated.
 

MacZ

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Location
Germany
As N. brichardi (and related species) are really colony dwellers it would probably not be good for that fish. A single A. calvus... Might work.

Shellies and Julidochromis... I personally wouldn't do it in that tank. Thinking about the footprint this will be cozy, but not the good kind of cozy.
 

HookedOnFish_MI

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150
Location
Michigan, USA
As N. brichardi (and related species) are really colony dwellers it would probably not be good for that fish. A single A. calvus... Might work.

Shellies and Julidochromis... I personally wouldn't do it in that tank. Thinking about the footprint this will be cozy, but not the good kind of cozy.
Ok, thank you very much for the response.
 

HookedOnFish_MI

Active Member
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Location
Michigan, USA
Any feedback on the new scape? 75 gallon aquarium - 48” x 18” footprint.

IMG_8587.jpeg
 

MacZ

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3,198
Location
Germany
Can you build the rocks higher? At leas 2/3 of the tank as average?
In any case: great choice of rocks. Many people still use holey rock which is unsuitable on so many levels.
And double to triple the shells.
 

HookedOnFish_MI

Active Member
Messages
150
Location
Michigan, USA
Can you build the rocks higher? At leas 2/3 of the tank as average?
In any case: great choice of rocks. Many people still use holey rock which is unsuitable on so many levels.
And double to triple the shells.
I will try to stack them higher and get more shells. Will stacking them higher make it hard for Calvus to use them (assuming the openings will get smaller)? I’ll be ordering more shells too. I have 25 in there now, and it’s just a male and his 4 growing juveniles. The female got lodged into a shell not too long ago.
 

MacZ

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Location
Germany
Will stacking them higher make it hard for Calvus to use them (assuming the openings will get smaller)?
Completely dependend on how you do this.
and it’s just a male and his 4 growing juveniles. The female got lodged into a shell not too long ago.
If one of them is a female you will be glad to have that many shells and even if it comes to males only this will be good.
 

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