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Tanganyikan Cichlids

Subject: Tanganyikan Cichlids
by TheDragonLord on 22/7/2007 17:21:54

Tanganyikan Cichlids

These are far less common than Malawi cichlids and are there for more expensive in general, but there is far more variation in feeding, breeding and swimming habits as well as body shape.

Water parameters that these should be kept at or around are:
pH - 8.2
KH - 15
GH - 9-11
NH3 - 0
NO2 - 0
NO3 - as low as possible, but lower than 30ppm ideally or if breeding


There are four main types of breeding styles (plus others I personally haven’t come across):

- Shell Dwellers
- Mouth Brooders
- Cave/Rock Spawners
- Substrate Spawners

The first spawn in shells and also live in the shells as a home all their lives. They hide, sleep, spawn and raise the fry in these shells. The most common type is Neolamprologus multifasiatus.


Mouth Brooders do as they say and look after the babies in their mouths like the Malawi’s do. They basically spawn in mid water or near the substrate and then the female takes the eggs in her mouth and then holds them in there for 2-4 weeks depending on the species, during this period the female wont eat anything. After the female has released the young they are left to fend for themselves, they are usually spat into rock crevices to give them the best possible start and if there is a brooding female of a rock spawning type them they are spat there as the other females presence will put off predators. Most of these are midwater shoaling fish IME.

Cave/rock spawners and substrate spawners are very similar in behaviour apart from that one lays eggs on rocks and the other on the substrate. Once the babies hatch they stay together feeding on their egg sacs for a few days (depending on species) and after that the parents look after the babies and try to keep them all in one place as they start to swim about a lot more, the parents look after them until they are big enough to look after themselves.


Tanganyikan tanks should contain coral sand as a substrate and tend to have ocean rock as decoration but can contain a few hardy plants like anubis, java fern and java moss etc. The temperature should be at 24-25C and the tank should be well filtered as they are very sensitive to ammonia and nitrite.

Here is a link to practical fishkeeping where they set-up a Tanganyikan tank.
http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk ... rticle.php?article_id=143

One final note, tanganyikans should never be over crowded as it doesn’t tone down the aggression like it does with the Malawi.

If anyone has any other questions then please ask as there should always be someone around to answer. I also have a big soft spot for these fish.