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cyprichromis leptosoma setup


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Hi guys, after talking with the person I get all my fish from he suggested trying cyprichromis leptosoma in my spare 3 foot tank. After reading about the fish its not an ideal size tank but I'm going to give them a try...........if I really have problems down the track I have a tank of 9 T.duboisi (AR980) and my 6 footer with fronties, dolphins etc that they can be moved to.

I'm picturing a layer of rock at one end and coral sand as the base, the rock I'll be using will be rounded river rock if I dont have enough limestone in the garage. The tank is going into the bedroom so noise will be an issue to a point as will budget constraints.

1. I plan on painting the outside back of the tank rather than stick the usual pic to it. Thinking mid range blue color. Is there any specific paint that I should be using?

2. Filtration. My original plan was to use the hang on the side aquaone I use in the 6 footer to help remove tannins, it has the plastic crosshatched panel insert with the bacteria colony on it which will be good. The rest I fill with filter wool and change out every 5 days. I cant remember the flow rate but its either 800 or 1000 litres per hour. I was considering putting ceramic noodles in place of the filter wool for the 3 foot tank. Would this be adequate or should I consider a different type of filter?

3. With 6 to 8 Cyps in there I'm wondering if I should have a clean up crew for anything that gets to the bottom. The usual BN would do a reasonable job with algae control, any suggestions of any bottom dwellers suitable to go in with the cyps? Not necessarily for waste as I figure anything that lives around the bottom will eat the food that drops down if they like it.

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i have a 4ft tank with cyps and on the bottom i have gold occelatus they are working well with each other.... feeding time you see all the occis come to the top and eat and eat and then swim back to there shells :)

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Tx for the suggestion, I've been keeping an eye on the forums and have seen these little guys. In a previous post when I first had the tank spare they were one of the suggestions too, the more I see them the more I think I'd like some :-)

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Firstly, let me say I hate raining on people's parades, particulalry other Tang keepers. I think you'll struggle to keep the cyps in good order let alone breed them in a 3 foot tank. The males are very territorial and I've had dominant males pick apart sub-dominant ones to death. They are also the horniest fish on the plant after guppies and males are relentless chasers of females. I think the minimum foot print you would want is 4 foot at least to have a healthy colony with enough room to breed.

As for your back up of moving them into a tank with frontosa and tropheus, well that's a pretty bad idea. Frontosa's with size will eat other fish, knowing first hand. When I first started out I made the mistake of putting an adult colony of Ectodus decampsii in with 12cm frontosa only to wake up the next morning to find the dominant male ecto missing just about everything. These were fronts that were mixed with smaller tangs from fry, but instincts are instincts and in the wild they will eat other fish including cyps. They will likely get dominated at feeding time by the Tropheus and over time could starve.

If I were you, I would chuck some rock work in the tank at one end and get a nice colony of nigripinnis. They are much less active, the females tend to school in the open and the males will find territories in and around the rocks. You can mix them with shellies with out worry. As for something to clean the tank up, Synodontis petricola are a Tang catfish that doesn't get too big and are great scavengers. They look like cuckoo cats, but are not egg parasites.

Just my 2 bobs worth from experience.

Good luck.


Edited by Jimmy
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I agree with Jimmy.They need A1 water quality and dont tolerate fluctuating water parameters well at all so the bigger the volume the better.The males are always trying to breed so its much better to have 10-12 at least so the aggression is spread around.Subdominant males tend to get bullied so much they waste away.Of all the types Mpulungu is the smallest and least nasty.Having said that my Mpulungus are in a 4x2x2 tank (and are one of my favourite fish)They are definitely better on their own (particularly since they dont eat their fry)I began with 12 Mpulungus and now have 60-70,having done nothing active to breed them except feed them BBS which they love

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I have a colony of Malasa's in a std 3ft tank. Started out with 3m and 7f. I don't think the males are anymore aggressive than other male cichlids that want to breed. I guess I would now have over 50 fry in the tank with them of varying sizes with another 3 girls holding at the moment. I haven't lost any due to aggression. I do need to thin them out once I've got a spare tank available for them.

For the bottom I have a breeding pair of Julidochromis Regani which continue to breed happily in their cave. Occies or Multi's would also be good with these guys.

I wouldn't put cyprochromis with Fronnies as they are fronnie food in the wild. :shock:

This is a picture of the tank just after it was set up.

IPB Image

Best of luck with whatever combo you decide on.

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What Cyps are you looking to keep ?

If it's not a Jumbo then I see no problem with a 3ft tank

I have bred Malasa with no problems in that size set up

the same as Sloany has set up but more planted so the

females had somewhere to hide ... just nice big bunches

of Val worked, started with 2 males and 5 females then

added more female from the fry when they were sexable

if you go Nigripinis then paint the tank black and reduce

the light level to get the best colour from the males

It was much easier to catch the holding females when

they were ready to release in the 3 ft tank

Use a water based paint and put on a couple of coats

make sure you clean the glass with metho first :yes:

I'm not a fan of HOB filters and prefer a cannister like

2213 Eheim but so long as your filter is packed correct

with media any will work

bristlenose will be fine with them and as Sloany has done

have a species for the lower area like Juli's or shell dwellers

Altos will work OK with them so long as you remove any

females before they release fry or it's snack time :yes:


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Thanks for the replies, always appreciated.

The species of fish I'm not really sure on as I didnt write it down ( I should know better!), if its any help its something bay.

Did some further reading and while my fronties arent big now they will be and I wouldnt want the cyps to be snacks. If it comes down to it I can return the fish to the lfs without any hassles.

The hang on filter might just be used as an initial filter rather than the sole filter. I have a new Heto 301 cannister filter that was going to go on my ar980 to replace the powerhead, then it was going to replace the hang on as backup on the fronties tank so might as well go with a 3rd change and use it on the 3 footer :-). Its rated at 780 litres an hour, hopefully the poor fish wont be stuck up against the wall!

Lighting will only be on at night till I go to bed as the room is quite bright without any direct sun falling on the tank, not sure how it will do with live plants but will think on it.

P. nigripinnis is also 1 of the fish I had previously looked at so will bring it up a s a possiblility when I take my P. saulosi from the 980 tank into the shop on the weekend.

As always I want the best for my fish so thanks again for the comments and suggestions!

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Still unsure on the tankmates for the 3 footer but I've got the tank in place, background on and rock piles in place. I'm going to add coral sand once I'm sure I have the rocks right. As I'm getting some sort of bottom dweller that digs I've placed the rocks first to limit any movement from their excavations.

IPB Image

Comments appreciated!


Edited by Priscacara
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The species of fish I'm not really sure on as I didnt write it down

What Cyps are you looking to keep ?

As Chris points out, the type of Cyprichromis you intend to keep is CRITICAL to your tank size decision.

That is; is it a jumbo variety or is it not? Simple as that.

Jumbos can be incredibly aggressive, if the tank is big enough this will be interesting behavior. If it is not it will be dead fish.

Go back and find out the fish you are interested in, and tell us their name.

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I suspect that you mean that the variant of cyps is "Utinta bay" which is not ajumbo to the best of knowledge. I have been after utinta's for years. I got so desperate that I recently tried to import some tank breds (WC are too exe for me) from Germany through an importer, but they weren't available at the time of the shipment :cryblow: . Maybe once my room is setup it will one of the species will keep.

But If were you I would look at getting malasa as they are more readily available from breeders so your inital outlay won't be as much and less temperamental.



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Tx Craig and Rosco, I cant find out the actual fish that were reccomended to me as the person only works on Saturdays. I'm just in the process of setting up the tank, its the only one I'm using so for sure the fish species will be critical. The parameters should be the same though and the rocks and coral sand will work for any that I will get just the placement of rocks etc.

I get well looked after at the lfs by Paul when it comes to fish so I'm never in a rush to stock a tank till I work out everything that I can think of then let him know I'm ready. I'm writing down all these suggestions to take with me when I see him, the mem just isnt what it used to be.

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If Rosco is correct, then you should have no more issues with them than with Malasa.

Let us know how you go on Saturday with the name, and if it is Utinta Bay, you might want to get some for Rosco and myself :B

I understand your tank size constraints, but if the fish turn out to be some variety of Jumbos, don't buy them, a three footer will be too small.

As a side point, it was something I discovered with my big tank, that the aggressiveness with fish, which can be so detrimental and cause injury and death in a too small tank, in a bigger tank, that aggressiveness is just a fantastic and interesting behaviour, as the sub dominant fish will just move off = end of conflict. I don't know if this is a characteristic with all aggressive fish if the tank is big enough (I imagine it is), but it was certainly true with my Kitumba in 2000 litres.

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Bit of a follow up post. The tank has been up and running since last Thursday with the mature hang on side filter and Heto 301 canister filter. I'm having a few minor issues requiring a bit of tweaking though. The cyps ARE Utinta Bay variety so looking forward to having them in the tank they should look great.

Heating is an aquaone 300w almost brand new that I had in my 4x2x2, I have had to keep adjusting it down which is the opposite to what I've found with all my aquaone heaters. The norm seems to be +2 degrees more than you want to get it right. The fact that its 120 or so litres and not a giant tank will be contributing too, atm its set at 26 and temp is 24.5 to 25 which is about what I want for it.

The spray bar for the cannister wont fit at the end to allow lengthways spray, I didnt want to risk damaging it by cutting. It works well but not sure if there will be movement throughout the tank when the hang on is removed in about 6 to 8 weeks.

The first inhabitant is an 8cm orange spot gibbiceps. It hasnt eaten any of the algae wafer I put in but its still settling and given the amount of waste its dropped so far its not going to be starving any time soon.

Kh is still a little low from what I've read, 180 ppm at the moment.

All starting to come together thanks to all the help I've recieved!

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