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Old 10-07-2006, 12:55 AM   #1
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Anybody keeping Lake Victorian cichlids?

My 55 is begging for something new. I just finished the curing on my artificial background, and I am looking at the Lake Vic cichlids. I like some of the Lake Tangs too, but am just not that enamored with their lack of colors (compared to the Malawi cichlids that is). Anyone with suggestions? I really like the Haps from Lake Vic, but WHERE DO I BUY THEM?
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Old 10-07-2006, 07:09 AM   #2
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I've kept a few Vic species in the past, although I don't currently have any. Got all of mine from breeders; the ACA is probably your best bet to track some down. I went to one of the conventions several years back and picked mine up from a couple of different breeders while there.
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Old 10-12-2006, 05:06 AM   #3
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Lake Vics are rare and you would be best to start with some easy-to-keep Malawians until you get the hang of things. Zebras would do well in a 55G as long as you get a good male and a few females. They are also quite colorful and active. Just avoid overstocking them and/or placing too many males in the same tank.
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Old 10-12-2006, 11:21 AM   #4
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i had previously bought from eddie at www.bluegrasscichlids.com , but was disappointed to see his vic-selection.
but armke's has a better collection. www.davesfish.com/ . these fish usually ship well, but the costs on shipping can be really huge. i have done it once and won't do so again.
my lfs does stock some zebras, but that's all i have seen around. maybe you could coax your lfs to bring in some neyerei's and zebra haps??
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Old 10-12-2006, 11:35 AM   #5
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Lake Victorian cichlids are extremely rare and are dangerously close to extinction. Many species are quickly fading from the hobby due to a vastly diminishing population as a result of ecological issues and deterioration of the natural habitat of many of these fish in Africa. How sad, that an entire region of fish is so quickly disappearing from existence.

Most true Lake Victorians that are still found in the hobby are basically being kept by serious conservationists who physically collect specimens directly from Lake Victoria in Africa and bring them back to the United States for the sole intent of replenishing the population. Because of the concentrated care and work that is being done by these collectors/conservationists, when these fish are requested from one of these individuals, there is usually a screening process that occurs to insure that these extremely valuable and rare fish go to the best possible homes, with the agreement that their name will be registered in a directory for future sourcing of these Cichlids and in order to circulating breeding mates and fry.

There is MUCH work being done to bring these fish back from extinction and the decision to keep Lake Victorians is one to be taken seriously with the absolute understanding of their importance to the Cichlid world and with the intent and agreement to work with other keepers of these fish in breeding programs to help bring them back from endangerment. If you or anyone else is willing to make such a commitment, I agree the best starting point would be to contact the ACA for more information and to be connected with a conservationist who is currently keeping Lake Victorians in your area.

Conversely, Lake Tanganyikan cichlids are plentiful and there are hundreds of species to choose from. They are interesting and colorful fish that I have enjoyed keeping for years ! A 55g is the perfect sized tank for most any Tang. Do you have your eye on any one in particular ?
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Old 10-14-2006, 05:37 PM   #6
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Thanks guys, all very helpful...

Travis: What makes them harder to keep? This is the first I've been told of that. Are they as hard to keep as Tropheus? I devote alot of time to my fish, and I take pride in doing the research neccessary on whatever I am keeping to make sure I do right by them. Thats why I was not going to put Malawi mbuna in the 55. I am going to put them in a much larger system. I thought the 55 would be better suited to the smallish Lake Tang/Lake Vic fish.

Triazole: Thanks much for the links! Thats what I was looking for.

Cindy: I've been looking around. I love the Malawi mbuna due to their colors, they are beautiful fish, and I have only seen a few from the other lakes that I like as much, and if my attention is not being held I am afraid I will neglect their tank. I really want sexually dimorphic species to get a variety of color, my desired stocking list would include some dark bronze/brown/blackish fish, some solid yellow/orange fish, and something with a striped pattern like the Julidochromis... . I really like Neolamprologus, or Lepidiolamprologus. Can they be housed together in system like mine? What would be the requirements? I plan on having alot of rock, with a sandy bottom and a few plants like Valisneria with the roots protected by the rocks to guard against diggers. Will they eat plants like Java fern, or Java Moss? As far as Lake Vic species go, I love the Astatotilapia, and the Lake Vic Haplochrimines are gorgeous looking fish... Pundamilia (spelling?) are beautiful too, but like I said, finding these fish for sale is hard around here< and I am not sure of compatability.

Thanks guys
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Old 10-15-2006, 07:25 AM   #7
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I never found the Lake Vic species to be any harder to keep than the Tang species are.

The introduction of the Nile Perch back in the 1950s has been the biggest contributing factor to the demise of so many Vic species (some idiots thought the perch would boost the local sport fishing economy and introduced them into the lake).

Although Vics are hard to find in shops, they aren't that hard to find from local breeders. I got mine from a couple of guys in the Nashville area; check around in your area, or with the ACA, because I'm sure there's someone fairly close to you that could help out.
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Old 10-21-2006, 04:45 PM   #8
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Very considerate that you take the time to read and resond to all input...

Vics are definitly few and far between but I wanted to address a tang tank. You are right in that they do not seem to be the most colorful fish in the store but their odd shapes (As in Calvus) and unbelievable amount of character and intelligence supercedes the lack.

Me for example, I have been in the hobby for 15 years and thought the pinnacle was reef keeping. I did it for 3-4 years until 6 months ago when I decided to downsize and start with a whole new setup with new technology. I tossed the pain in the neck and over priced protein skimmers and ordered an awsome filstar cannister.

I decided to go Tropheus after reading and recalling some of the amazing setups that I have seen and the vast community of support just dedicated to this one species. I have a small colony of 8 Tropheus Duboisi Mswa in a 40 gallon acrylic and their personalities and ease of keeping are fantastic.

I have found that feeding often and in small amounts and keeping up on the python water changes every few days ensures a healthy colony for breeding potential...

Not hard to keep at all...

Good luck!
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Old 10-24-2006, 12:54 AM   #9
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Thanks Eco, welcome aboard! I have thought about tropheus (they are awesome looking fish, one of the BEST looking species IMO) plus I have at lest seen them for sale locally, but I have been put off by the stories of how difficult they are to keep (specifically keeping bloat at bay).
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