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TheDragonLord TheDragonLord
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  • Posted on: 22/7/2007 16:21
Tanganyikan Cichlids #1
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.
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cathie cathie
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  • Posted on: 22/7/2007 17:46
Re: Tanganyikan Cichlids #2
hope you will be ready for barrage of questions when i get back from hols as will be preparing spare tank for a little colony of neolamprologus multifasciatus
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cathie cathie
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  • Posted on: 9/8/2007 20:30
Re: Tanganyikan Cichlids #3
got good excuse to go to big lfs at w/e now, so will start on purchases for new shelldwellers tank .... was thinking maybe fine black sand, will that be ok??
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TheDragonLord TheDragonLord
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  • Posted on: 9/8/2007 21:24
Re: Tanganyikan Cichlids #4
that would be ok as long as you can keep the hardness and pH up some other way would show them up better as well, i still prefer coral sand though, but thats personal preferance
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cathie cathie
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  • Posted on: 10/8/2007 6:38
Re: Tanganyikan Cichlids #5
we are in rift lake territory with our water here already - tap water pH is 7.8 and hard (CaCO3 320 ppm; gH 22.4) - so I was thinking I wouldnt need the substrate to affect it, I just thought black might be nice or i will risk not seeing my little beige fish among their beige shells and beige sand ...
i am a bit worried about nitrates with no plants though
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TheDragonLord TheDragonLord
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  • Posted on: 10/8/2007 7:15
Re: Tanganyikan Cichlids #6
what says you cant use plants? you can see mine in the cyprichromis topic
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cathie cathie
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  • Posted on: 10/8/2007 7:33
Re: Tanganyikan Cichlids #7
it's just i am really crap with plants even in my big tank which has better light and laterite. no harm in trying i suppose!
have you got anything under the sand?
would like to get a few rocks too for decor but a bit worried about balancing them
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TheDragonLord TheDragonLord
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  • Posted on: 10/8/2007 9:25
Re: Tanganyikan Cichlids #8
i would, just make sure they balance on the glass rather than on the sand as they do dig and shift all the sand

as long as your careful with the plants you choose then they'll be ok

nope, my substrate is pure coral sand the H. polysperma at the back is all in its bunches as well, takes a while to settle before it grows though
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cathie cathie
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  • Posted on: 11/8/2007 20:44
Re: Tanganyikan Cichlids #9
went to price my sand today, and by chance Wildwoods had some multies in so had a little look, £8.95 each if you please ...
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TheDragonLord TheDragonLord
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  • Posted on: 14/8/2007 14:52
Re: Tanganyikan Cichlids #10
not too bad a price, were they adults then?
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