240g+ community tank stocking ideas

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Post by larry.beck on Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:22 am

Hi all,

I'm an avid mbuna keeper (I have 260g of them at present) and have decided to try a Tang tank. I've been reading the past few months and learning as much about the various species as possible, but I'd like to run my stocking list and build-out plan past the community for input.

First, the tank. I have a spare 55g now that's ready to go. Plan is keep it bare-bottom and on sponge filters and use this for the next 10-12 months as a grow-out. My new house is under construction and once we're moved in I'm have a custom 240-300g tank built. I want to use this year to grow out juvies, balance the population properly, and ensure that I have the proper mix of fish (we all know they're very invidual, as much as we like to stereotype them Smile ).

Now, to the stock list.

Frontosa: I'm building this tank around a group of these gentle giants - I'm thinking 8 (2M:6F) in the end - and planning to go with either moba or kampampa.

Calvus: I love the inkfins and would like to do a pair of them (1M:1F). I also want to do the contrasting pair of white calvus (1M:1F) - as milky as possibly. I'm willing to do bigger harems but want to be cognizant of overstocking the tank.

Tropheus: This is the one that scares me, but my wife really wants to try them and as long as they won't take anything else out with their aggression I'm willing to give it a shot. Here I want to do a colony of moori Moliro and another of kaiser Ikola or another similarly marked sub-species. What are the smallest colonies that I can end up with and please, share your opinions on the likelihood of this working and the outcomes I might expect.

Cyps: I want to get some dithers in a tank this size and am hoping that the non-jumbo cyps will work. I'm thinking a school of leptosoma Kerenge Island, maybe 20 or so.

Shellies: If it will work I'd like to put a few shellies in as well. Open to suggestions on what will work with this mix.

Synodontis: Any suggestions for the subspecies and quantity here?

It's a big list, I know, but it's a big tank as well. I'm thinking of all F1 stock, and planning to start with twice as many as the final list so I can sell off extra males and those who don't play well. Smile I want to get the fronts and the calvus now to grow out together for sure, and thinking of getting the cyps now as well. Should I wait on any of these and introduce them as juvies when I get the 240? And when is the best time to introduce the trophs?

I look forward to hearing your advice!


Thanks!
Larry
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Post by Rift_Lakes_Rule on Tue Jul 20, 2010 5:08 am

Hi Larry, welcome to RLC!!!

The fronts and calvus would definitely work. Considering that fronts feed on cyps in the wild I would think that eventually the fronts would wipe them out. In the wild they wait until night when the cyps are sleeping which makes them easier targets. The shellies might also be a target but they have the advantage of cover with the shells. I haven't tried it myself but I would be hesitant to put them with the fronts especially once the fronts are full grown. The trophs wouldn't likely be a target of the fronts but the hyper nature of these fish might stress the slow moving fronts who are generally very laid back and somewhat shy. Again I don't have experience mixing these fish, just speaking of my experience with their personalities. Hopefully others can share expriences of these fish as tankmates. As for growing out the fish, both the fronts and calvus are slow growers so starting them out now would definitely be a good option. Wink

Good Luck with this tank, it'll be cool seeing it all come together. Hopefully others will chime in with their experiences.

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Post by Aura on Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:13 pm

Wouldn't the diet of the tropheus also be a concern, keeping them with fronts and calvus? (I don't keep any of these, so I'm just wondering.)
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Post by Rift_Lakes_Rule on Tue Jul 20, 2010 4:48 pm

Aura wrote:Wouldn't the diet of the tropheus also be a concern, keeping them with fronts and calvus? (I don't keep any of these, so I'm just wondering.)

Thats a good point Betty, many suggest feeding trophs a "veggie" only diet. I changed my trophs over to nls, it was a slow change but they did just fine. I feed them a mixture of nls and nls Thera A, which is what I feed all of my fish (fry get nls grow formula). There are many troph keepers feeding nls and similiar pellet type foods now a days. My biggest concern would be the fronts getting stressed from their rowdy tankmates. Picture a group of college kids that party hard 24/7 moving into a retirement community... lol!

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Post by larry.beck on Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:12 am

The front/cyp issue is surprising to me - I never realized! I know the fronts are likely to be happy with some dither fish in the tank to calm there and simply went straight to cyps thinking that's really their natural role in the lake. I never realized their other role was to be front-snacks! LOL Interestingly, I know Frank Mueller used to keep cyps in his 240 with frontosa. I might PM him and ask him what his experience was like. All I know for sure was that he did it for several years at least, and probably still is. I'll try to report back on that.

I think the trophs are going to get nixed. I think you're right that frantic activity they would add would just upset the more serene nature of the other fish. Sad, my wife wants them and their colors would have really helped round out the tank.

Any suggestions on shellies that you think would be the most successfuly in this mix? I have occies in a small species tank already and was hoping to try another species.

Thanks for all the feedback so far - keep it coming!
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Post by Aura on Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:01 pm

I checked out fmueller's 240 tank and Wow, it looks nice. I see that he had brevis as the shellie and cyps and comps like you mentioned, as well as leleupi and julies. PMing him to see how it worked out over time would be a good idea. I would have thought the leleupis would be a little nippy. (By the way, I know where you can get a great deal on leleupis. Very Happy )
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