Update On The Tanganyikans!

tomtomtom1230

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Image can be clicked on to enlarge.
 
Soooooo, I bought 4 N. Multifasciatus for my 125l tank and they are the most industrious fish I know of. Alongside ruining my careful aquascape (which I admittedly was prepared for), they've buried my Vallis and tried to bury each others' shells! Now I've had them for a short while, I've noticed the largest fish in there (100% a male) and the smallest fish (100% a female) are starting to share a single shell. I have a mix of escargot and hermit crab shells in there which looks pretty cool. I'll get some more pictures up soon but only after I syphon out the pile of sand that they've dumped at one side of my tank, although it does look quite good, I can only see the tips of what was quite a tall Vallis so I'll have to get that out later on.
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I have noticed that I probably have 3 males to one female, although the largest male is doing a stella job at making sure the other two know their place(s). Should I be thinking about removing these two males or are they OK to stay, provided nobody starts really throwing their weight about the tank? Is it doable to add 2 more females for the 2 extra males I have or should I start with the one pair? my tank footprint is 90cm x 40cm
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I have also noticed that they are only really taking free-floating foods. They wont touch flake until it gets to the point where it starts to sink (which I believe to be the point where all the nutrients have started to leech out?) and they'll only catch pellets if they decide not to hide as soon as I open the tank lid to reach the back, where the paired male and female  have taken up resident. So they'll miss the pellets completely and will simply let them fall to the bottom, only going to eat them once they've turned to mush and the semi-strong current has started to push bits of it around. So, at the moment they're living on frozen foods almost exclusively. I alternate their diet between Daphnia and Malawi Mix (looking into getting it changed to a proper Tanganyikan mix). I'm not sure what else to give them. I've heard some cichlid and bloodworm horror stories; although I do have some bloodworm handy that I can give them, I'm a little reluctant for the aforementioned horror story reason.
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 Oh yeah, some reputable frozen food brands would be of use. My LFS can't get anything I've heard of in. Is it doable to buy online and re-freeze at home?
 
Right now, I have one of my girlfriend's pop socks over the filter intake strainer. Do Fluval make a bit of sponge to go over their 306 canister intakes or am I going to have to improvise with pop socks from now on?
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Sorry if none of this makes sense. It was my friend's 21st last night and suffice to say, I ache everywhere.
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Any other tips that you guys and girls can offer is always welcome.
 
EDIT: Oh yeah, the pellet foods I've tried are Hikari Sinking Cichlid Gold mini pellets and (I think) Nutrafin sinking cichlid mini pellets.
 

eaglesaquarium

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That is a SERIOUSLY high res pic!  When I clicked it, it took me quite some time to find the fish - the image was so big!  WOW
 
 
It looks great.
 
 
 
As for your 'ailment', have a greasy burger and a milkshake.  ;)
 
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tomtomtom1230

tomtomtom1230

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Haha thanks, it was only taken with my iphone 4S but I guess once you know how the camera works, it's all gravy!
 
I have had a sausage sarnie this morning with a very sweet, black coffee which has seen me well so far!
 
Hopefully, when the tank clears up a bit (I've just done a shed load of maintenance on it) and settles and the fish resume their duties, I'll take a picture of the tank as a whole in a dark room. It's not impressive now that the bulldozers of the cichlid world have moved everything around, but they have made themselves comfortable and that's all I care for really! I don't suppose you know if ALFA frozen fish foods are any good? I don't want to order some online for it to go manky and bacteria filled in transit only for me to refreeze it at home, adding the unwanted bacteria to the tank when I feed them!
 
I tried them on pellets again about half an hour ago, making sure every movement I made was slow and fluid so they didn't hide. Well, they didn't hide but they didn't take the pellets either. So they had daphnia instead and they'll get some malawi mix later on. I think a frozen/live food only diet is in order. It's a bit more of a ball ache but those blister packs do last a fair while. Especially since I've only got 4 cichlids right now! :p
 
I think I'll just stock up on Brine Shrimp, Cyclops, Daphnia and Tanganyikan Mix (spelt Tanganika by ALFA... Shame on them...). I'm still divided with the Bloodworm. Anybody have any experience with Multies and bloodworms? I know they're 'micro-predators' (in that I mean that they're small and mostly insectivorous/crustacean-ivorous) in the wild and need high protein diets but as I understand it, they might still be susceptible to cichlid bloat. :(
 
I'm getting a fair amount of brown algal growth on the shells now too actually. I don't mind it if the fish prefer it (I know there's a more than healthy amount of algae in their wild habitat) but I know they're predatory mostly and wont graze like Malawis. I don't fancy moving their shells either, now they're settled so I think I'll stick it out. If I add any shrimp to the tank they'll just be eaten and I'm sure if I added Otos or something, they wouldn't be happy since I'm working with very hard, alkaline water. I dunno, I'll think of something!
 

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