Cichlids of Victoria

CichlidsofVictoria.com is dedicated to the discussion and husbandry of African Cichlids especially the Victorian species
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 Post subject: Hello from Washington State
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:29 am 
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Hello All:

So happy to have found this forum.

New to this forum so just getting my posts rolling. I'm so happy to have found a group that appears to have many experts available to help me on my journey. I am in a couple of other general cichlid forums and had posted up for some input already. I will share my original post with you and hope to get some further input here. I am open to all discussion and suggestions as I really am just beginning to learn about this group of beautiful fish.

I currently have three malawi mbuna tanks and just purchased two used tanks (a 90G and a 125G tank) that my husband and I will be projecting and then setting up. The 125G will probably be the 1st tank ready of the two of them. After some consideration I have decided that I would like to do a Victorian tank. My husband has always been interested in these guys and after some time looking over the various species within the Lake...I am totally smitten.

Some of the reading I've already done seems to indicate that some of these fish would do better in a species tank rather than a Victorian community tank so I would like some input on this topic. I would assume that a 125G is a good size for a community tank but if I was doing a species tank possibly a 55G or 75G might be better. I could always move mbuna up to the 125G if necessary but do prefer the idea of the community tank.

I am interested in the following species:
Paralabidochromis chromogynos
Paralabidochromis sauvagei
Neochromis rufocaudalis (Saa Nane) probably my favorite
Astatotilapia latifasciata

All of these are on the C.A.R.E.S listing in various states of endangerment which is also a goal of mine on this tank setup.

I am looking for input on the above mix of fish as well as recommended stocking ratios (deferring to the experts for help as to who gets along with who and who should not be housed together because of hybridization reasons). Specific recommendations from people who raise certain groups/mixes are always welcome also.

I will spend some time reviewing your aquascaping section for ideas on the tank setup. I have always used gravel in my tanks but for this tank I am going to make the switch to sand.

In addition, are there some sites you would recommend that I visit to read more in detail about Victorians and view possibly their habitat and such. I'm working through various internet searches now but always am happy to have a specific site recommended.

OK...so those are my general questions. Any and all input is welcome and thanks in advance for your help and assistance.

Thanks for having me :)


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Washington State
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:46 am 
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cichlid-gal wrote:
All of these are on the C.A.R.E.S listing in various states of endangerment which is also a goal of mine on this tank setup.


Since you seem to want to keep Victorians as a part of the CARES program, I'm assuming that you intend to breed and distribute them. My personal opinion is that your set-up is less than desirable for this purpose simply due to the difficulty of catching the holding females in a tank that size filled with a bunch of rocks. You've minimized the probability of cross-breeding by choosing species that aren't very similar in color. But even so, I would think a serious breeder would hesitate putting 4 species of Victorians together without some concern about cross-breeding.

When I kept chromogynos, sauvagei and latifasciata they were all only moderately aggressive. My guess is that the rufocauldalis will prove to be the rulers of the tank. And sometimes the boss of the tank gets to breed with whom ever he wants.

As a community tank of Victorians you may very well have a successful set-up since you have a large tank. But I would be very hesitant to ever buy any fish from you.

Kevin

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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Washington State
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:35 am 
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Glad you found the forum. That mix of fish would make and excellent show tank. but as kevin said, with cares you would need to be 100% sure there is no cross breeding. those fish are not that similar but they can still cross breed. you may want to start with one or two groups, breed them for a little while and keep some fry. then maybe switch them out for some other vics and breed them out.

you can add the fry to a large community tank. that way you are breeding for cares and keeping enough fish for a show tank. or you could just set up the show tank and not worry to much about breeding the fish. breeding vics is usually a species only tank. i mix mbuna with my vics as dithers and have not had any crosses.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Washington State
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:13 am 
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Where is the faceslap button...I guess I did not realize that CARES was a breeding program...I thought it was a placement/survival program (more like a rescue program having been in dog breeding for years) for endangered species.

I am just setting up my first fry tank for some Maingano's that I have so I have very little experience raising fry and truly that is not my goal here. I simply want a very nice mixed Victorian tank...I have no interest in selling fish. If I did decide at a later date to breed I would do a lot more research on the matter.

Purpose and Objectives of the ACA C.A.R.E.S. Preservation Program

The purpose of the ACA C.A.R.E.S. Preservation Program is to encourage hobbyists worldwide to devote tank space to one or more species-at-risk, while forming an information network between aquarists, scientists and conservationists.

The ACA C.A.R.E.S. Preservation Program has Four Major Objectives

1. To bring AWARENESS to the critical situation of our fish in nature
2. To RECOGNIZE and ENCOURAGE hobbyists who maintain species-at-risk
3. To SHARE data and experiences through notes, graphing and manuscripts so that others may learn to maintain those same, and similar species
4. To PRESERVE species-at-risk for future generations

I did not realize that someone interested in CARES had to meet all 4 objectives right out of the starting gate but and thought they could possibly be involved in maybe 1 or 2 of those objectives as set forth...of course the 4th step...preserve is what I would call the breeding part I suppose...I really had not read it that way so again...my apologies


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Washington State
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:37 pm 
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With some many hybrids being sold on the market we try our best to keep the CARE lines clean. The guys did not mean to face-slap too hard. We just take keeping the species clean very serous. All they are trying to do is help you as much as possible.

Welcome to the forum.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Washington State
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:46 pm 
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Thanks Jim and everyone and I didn't take offense as I totally understand what you are saying about these special fish. If and when I ever look at breeding I would seek input and follow any recommendations that come my way...i.e. set up a species only tank as recommended by your group. I just totally misunderstood the purpose of CARES and was a little taken aback by the fact it was a "breeders" group.

With dogs you can be a part of the AKC organization and own a purebred but not chose to breed it. There are many factors that come in to play with them also...behavior, genetics, health issues, etc. etc. We bred Papillions for over five(5) years and each puppy I sold went with a contract...either a show contract or a spay contract (no breeding allowed). Members of course had expectations. I was lucky enough to have a wonderful mentor that helped me learn how to do things the right way without quashing my spirit for charging ahead..haha.

I only thought that being a part of the CARES program meant that as a species owner you agreed to house and care for the fish in the best way possible, you agreed to educate yourself on the species and their plight, you agreed to share and discuss any knowledge you came across or learned through owning the species with others and discuss it. I misunderstood that breeding was a part of the program as I just didn't read things well enough. Now that I know that...I guess I will have to drop the CARES program idea.

I am not experienced as a breeder so not sure if I want to be put into that position. As has been said, there is quite a responsibility to that. And again...I am not looking to "sell" fish and Kevin ... even if I became a "great" breeder I would never "sell" you one (slapped back)..just kidding...I'm a good sport with a great sense of humor and like I said...I totally understand your groups protectiveness...I was the same way with my Papillions.

I'm looking for that middle ground...the place that will allow me to learn and enjoy these beautiful fish, allow me to commit to raising the ones I purchase, to educating myself about them...but not necessarily committing to breeding them (although I know I have NOTHING to do with that...fish are fish are fish) at this time.

So keep the suggestions coming...I have a lot of tanks...I can switch some things up I guess but if I do, it is hard to switch them back and I had this vision in my minds eye of this beautiful large Victorian tank.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Washington State
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:10 pm 
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What you could probably do is have a all male show tank. I think people have extra males around. It dose not hurt to ask. I know Kevin has a great all male Victorian show tank.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Washington State
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:49 am 
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In an all male show tank....do the males display full color without females in the tank? Are their behaviors more or less aggressive or about the same as when females are in the tank?

I understand from my readings in my other forum that all male mbuna tanks can be tricky to manage until you get the right mix and it is often recommended to have other tanks available to move problematic males into...would that be the case with a Victorian all male tank also? I currently do not have other Victorian tanks available for "problem" males so that might be an issue.

How many species would you recommend in a 125G male only tank? And which ones?


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Washington State
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:50 am 
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Kevin can answer this question. All I have are breeding tanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Washington State
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:45 am 
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cichlid-gal wrote:
In an all male show tank....do the males display full color without females in the tank? Are their behaviors more or less aggressive or about the same as when females are in the tank?


I do indeed throw my excess male vics into a catch-all 180 gallon tank.
The dominant male A. alluaudi shows great color subdominants look pretty bad
The dominant male Hap "blue obliquidens" shows great color (better than my dom male in the breeder tank.) subdominants pretty bland
The one and only N. omnicaeruleus looks fantastic
The 2 P "salmon" both look dull
The one Hap "fire" shows a tiny bit of color
When I had A nubila in there they alternated looking good some days and incredibly ugly others

Kevin

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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Washington State
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:35 pm 
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OK...I will take whats been shared and then decide how I will proceed. Thanks for the input everyone.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Washington State
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:39 pm 
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Welcome to the group. Where in Washington are you? I'm in Pomeroy.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Washington State
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:13 pm 
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Thanks Bassetman...I've been in the Pomeroy area before .. we camped down at Lyons Ferry and Lewis and Clark State Park and have gone through Dayton too...pretty area. I live in Ephrata....just a little drive to the coulees and lakes. I see you are having temps like us...100's. Hot hot hot.

I saw another member post...from Walla Walla. So there are a few eastern Washingtonians. Maybe we should do a "tank tour" some time. Would be fun (of course the wineries in Walla Walla might be a slight distraction) :lol:

Anyway, nice to meet you and happy summer 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Washington State
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:53 am 
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Finally made a decision....going to use my 125G for my Metriaclima Zebra/another species as yet undetermined or my Maingano/Cyno group...not sure which yet and going to use a 75G as a species tank for the Paralabidochromis chromogynos which were my 2nd favorite to the Neochromis rufocaudalis Saa Nane (as I understand that those are very hard to come by)...wish me luck...fish order going in tomorrow and new guys will hang in my 20G holding tank until the 125G is ready and changes/rehomes/switches to tanks are made

I'm always excited about new ventures and have been considering a species only tank for one of my mbuna species but seems this might be the best choice as recommendations are to do the Victorians in species tanks.

Still no plans to do a breeding program but at least this way when the fishes do what comes naturally if there are survivors we know what they are.

Thanks all :)


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Washington State
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:24 pm 
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Neochromis rufocaudalis Saa Nane are not hard to come by, it's just to hot for me to ship any. I have two people I have to take care of first but I have over 60 fry growing out. I'm hoping it cools down next week, but it's not looking like it's going too. I might have to wait tell September to start shipping again.

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