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FAQs on Cyprichromis

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Cyprichromis, stkg.   10/11/08
Hello all and thanks in advance for your help. Wondering if you could tell me how many Cyprichromis Tri-color I could put in a 90 gallon. They will be the only fish in the tank. Thank you very much. Phil
<Mmm, I would try one (or two) male/s and a handful of females, allowing room for growth and reproduction here. Much more to be perused of worth by inserting the string: "stocking density for Cyprichromis" in your search tool/s. Bob Fenner>

Re: Cyprichromis, stkg., sys.    10/14/08
Sir, I did enter the search string but did not come up with the information regarding stocking level. I believe I have done this correctly. An additional question. What algae eating species would be appropriate with Cyprichromis. I am looking just to keep algae off Texas holey rock. Thanks much. Phil
<Hi Phil. Cyprichromis are open water, sardine-like fish so the watchword here is "space". Apart from a few Vallisneria around the edges of the tank, they don't really need much by way of decoration. So choose the biggest tank you can get, or more specifically, the longest tank, so they have ample swimming room. The size of the school is critical because the males can be bullies even though they're also a schooling species that becomes nervous when kept in too small a group. It is widely recommended you keep groups of 8 or more specimens, with more females than males, ideally 2-3 females per male. A school of eight 12 cm Cyprichromis leptosoma for example will need a tank upwards of 300 litres (80 or so gallons). There are some smaller and/or less feisty species that might not need *quite* so much space, but don't try and wedge these fish into substantially smaller tanks. Do also remember to offer lots of water movement, ideally using filters and/or powerheads so that the water turnover rate is upwards of 8x the volume of the tank, ideally 10x. In other words, if the tank is 300 litres in size, use a filter (or filters) delivering turnover around 2400 to 3000 litres per hour. When choosing algae eaters for any Rift Valley tank, a lot depends on the other species in the aquarium. Assuming all you were keeping was Cyprichromis, then Nerite snails, Ancistrus catfish, and perhaps even Amano shrimps would all be viable (the shrimps might be eaten, but are cheap and so would be worth a shot). But other cichlids may be more or less hostile to such algae eaters, either viewing them as food or competing with them for space in the rocks. I'd perhaps grab some Nerite snails and see how they worked; a couple of dozen or so should keep a 300-400 litre tank nice and clean. They will thrive in the hard, well oxygenated water your Cyprichromis desire. Cheers, Neale.><<Outstanding! B>>

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