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Old 01-06-2007, 08:16 PM   #1
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pseudotropheus saulosi?- UPDATE!

Hey, great news! I've been informed that I will be getting another 55 gallon, with stand, for free. Of course, I've been wanting to set up a SW tank for a while, but I would rather do that in at least a 75 gallon. Instead, I got to thinking that I've never kept any African cichlids, and saulosi's immediately came to mind.

What would be the ideal stocking for a 55 gallon ps. saulosi species tank? I know that the ratio should be 1M/3F, but I'm not sure how many fish I can keep. I've heard that with Mbuna it is best to overstock some to cut down on aggression, but I've heard others say that it isn't a good idea, so I just wanted to hear some thoughts about stocking. 8)

If anyone has some other ideas for colorful, active species that would do well in a 55 gallon, I'd love to hear them. I would like to keep a species where both the males and females are colorful, and I'd like to keep a smaller species so I can have more fish in the tank.

If I choose African cichlids (which is looking pretty likely), the tank I set up will have black Tahitian moon sand for the substrate, a painted black background, and Texas Holey rock as the only decor. I think it will be striking.
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:39 PM   #2
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This is just my opinion and from my experience. You will hear many different opinions on this.

I prefer to understock. They are messy fish and cause Nitrates to sky rocket. I used to slightly overstock the 55 gal with Africans. We had to do 50% water changes twice a week to keep the Nitrates at 40. When we transfered the fish to the 150 gal, we added more fish but understocked. I find it easier to maintain and the fish seem happier. We do not have any aggression issues whatsoever. Some people feel that you can safely add 20 Africans to a 55 gal tank, I do not. Start slow and add until you feel the tank is adequately stocked.

Acei's, Labs, and Cobalts are beautiful fish and will work nicely with the saulosi. It will give you a nice color combination.
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:52 PM   #3
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Thanks. If I choose the saulosi I will keep it a species tank. I think it would be really interesting to observe their behavior in a large group, and they have plenty of color for sure! I like the idea of a species tank with whatever I choose, as I have never done that before.
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Old 01-06-2007, 09:23 PM   #4
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I TOTALLY missed that you said a "species tank". Sorry Sev.
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:51 PM   #5
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What about over-filtering? Won't that help? I have seen a 55 g stocked with at least 14 fish (auloncara, labidochromis, and pseudotropheus) and they were running 2 large HOB power filters with an additional canister filter. They (the fish) seemed to do well.
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Old 01-07-2007, 11:27 AM   #6
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I both overstock slightly and over filter heavily for my cichlid tank. The tank you are describing does sound fantastic. With the black substrate and background it would be very striking indeed. The fish's colors would certainly be displayed to their fullest extent.
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Old 01-07-2007, 11:05 PM   #7
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You can get an awesome colony happily into a 55, i'd say 20 is not unreasonable.

I think it sounds awesome as well, can't wait to see it..
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Dimidiochromis compressiceps,
Astatotilapia latifasciata
Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos
Labidochromis caeruleus
Cynotilapia afra 'Cobue'
Pseudotropheus acei 'Msuli Point'
Aulunocara stuartgranti 'chipoka'
Labidochromis freibergi
Oreochromis mossambicus
Etroplus suratensis
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Old 01-07-2007, 11:58 PM   #8
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It'll be a while still, but I'm looking forward to it already. After researching some different species, I'm still thinking I want to choose the saulosi.

Quote:
What about over-filtering? Won't that help?
I ALWAYS overfilter, so it won't be an issue. I'm not on a canister budget, so I'll have to go with 2 large HOBs. I was thinking about using 2 Emperor 400s, but once I did some more reading on the saulosi, I found out that where they originate from in Taiwan Reef has a really strong current. Now I'm thinking about using 2 Aquaclear 110s- that will REALLY move a lot of water. That shouldn't be overkill, right?
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Old 01-08-2007, 12:04 AM   #9
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No I think that the 2 AC 110's would be perfect for them. LOL I have 2 110's on my 33 goldie tank.
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Old 01-08-2007, 12:10 AM   #10
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Cool, I've never used the 110. The largest AC filter I've used is the 70.
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Old 01-08-2007, 02:17 AM   #11
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How about getting the tank drilled before it's filled, and doing a DIY wet/dry in a 5 gallon bucket or something? That could be done for a LOT less than a canister for super cheap, and just as effective...

But the two filters you describe should be plenty!
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Old 01-08-2007, 12:32 PM   #12
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the picture you painted in the first post was awesome. the orangish-yellow color on black should be striking.
using two AC110's would put you in the range of 1000 gph, which is approx. 18x the tank volume. suggested turnover rates for mbuna are 10x, but they might not feel that uncomfortable.
with that kind of filtration, i'd suggest a colony of 20-25 juvies to start off with. but in case you'd like to understock, as FF mentioned. a group of 10 sub-adults would be fine. remove the sub-dominant male if there are only 2 males in your group. but if its 3+, they should all be fine.

and as usual, i'll direct you to this link -
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/tanks/d...05&group=owner
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Old 01-08-2007, 12:40 PM   #13
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We thought about doing a Saulosi tank, but ended up getting Demasoni instead. For a 55g, I'd get 4M/12F for starters. With that kind of filtration, you might be able to go with 5M/15F as long as you have enough rockwork for them. I think 16 fish in the proper ratios would be perfect. At some point, I'm pretty sure I'm going to do a tank like that. I love the Dems, but I also like the idea of being able to tell the males from the females.
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Old 01-08-2007, 04:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
How about getting the tank drilled before it's filled, and doing a DIY wet/dry in a 5 gallon bucket or something? That could be done for a LOT less than a canister for super cheap, and just as effective...
This is an interesting thought, but it would cost me $50 to have the tank drilled, and probably $50-75 for the Mag pump. It would still be cheaper to use the ACs.

triazole- I'm way ahead of you on that link, LOL! I would really prefer to have more than 2 males so I don't have to remove one. I was thinking about doing the same ratio, 4M/12F, that that person used in the 30 gallon. I'd like to keep 5M/16F, but I noticed reading the tank specs that the person's nitrates stayed between 20-40, so I'm not sure if it's a good idea. I could always find new homes for a few fish if I had trouble keeping nitrates down though, so I may still try. I still have a while to think about it.

maxwell1295- I saw your demasoni thread and I really liked the way your tank looked.
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Old 01-08-2007, 05:15 PM   #15
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You won't have to worry about filtration...not with 2 AC110's on a 55G. As long as you have adequate filtration, which you do, that would be fine. I have that many fish in my 55G and it has not been a problem at all. I do weekly 50% PWC's out of habit rather than necessity. I don't even bother testing for nitrates anymore since I'm always in the 10ppm range after a week. I'm running 2x Eheim 2217 for filtration.

BTW, since you're in Louisville, you should check out Bluegrass Cichlids. I'm sure you've heard of them. That's where my Dems came from. Eddie is a great guy to deal with and he'll probably let you pick out your own fish.
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Old 01-09-2007, 02:37 AM   #16
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Wow... I see it ain't just thoroughbred horses they grow in Kentucky... Those are some NICE fish at that Bluegrass Cichlids site.

As far as tank drilling goes, I have gotten it done for 15 for the first hole and 5 bucks each additional hole. But it's just a suggestion, you really will not need more than what you are getting out of those Aquaclears...

I can't wait to see pics of this tank please, severum mama.
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Old 01-11-2007, 02:45 PM   #17
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Sev, I have a 36G with seven saulosi (started off with 8 back last Summer). They were nearing the end of juvie stage and are now all adults at 4" or so. I originally aimed for a stock ratio of 2 males to 6 females, but the LFS put in an order they thought was right with 4 of each. It turned out they even got THAT wrong, and I've ended up with two females and five males (of which two - the two smallest - hide as females).

They have spawned about three times so far, since they moved from juvie to adult. The first time was their first time and the one holding female swallowed. About a week later she was holding again (talk about fast). In a smaller tank I won't be dealing with 20 odd fry at a time, for sure, but I have successfully kept five fry who are now growing up with the others perfectly fine (they're cute as heck). The third spawn: well, it's current. I've both females holding this time around, and am expecting them to release in a few weeks. I haven't removed the females on any of these occasions (I posted here to ask for advice, and decided against it in the end).

Aggression? None whatsoever. Not even during spawning. My dominant male is a big ***** cat. He will nudge, and remind the others occasionally who is boss by a half hearted effort at chasing them, but it's as if they all just understand so nobody bothers anyone else. I can't guarantee this will be the same in your tank, or in anyone else's, but my experience has been anything but coping with aggression.

I also keep two petricola and a multipunctatus (who was supposed to be a petricola but as a baby was mis-ID'd by the LFS -> yes, they're useless lol!). Again, these were babies when I got them at about 1" and they are now 4". The multipunctatus is still growing.

I also have an LDA08 gold marble BN plec with them. He's still a baby.

The point: all of these fish are cohabiting without ANY problems whatsoever.

I use an external canister on the tank (Tetratec EX700), and until recently also used an internal power filter.

So, your 55G would be perfectly fine for a group of 15 or so even, I would say. On the Cichlid-Forum.com, a member won tank of the month back in August last year for his saulosi setup in which he had 16 in a 30G, again without any problems. Here is the link to his tank:
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/tanks/d...le=1&tank=2205

One final note: I wonder if the low aggression levels in my tank are due to the large amount of lava rock I have used (it's stacked across the whole tank right to the top, so plenty of territory and hiding places). I can actually look at my tank and not see a single fish in sight (well, apart from the plec who is always out and about munching on algae)...despite the fact that there's about 10 fish in there at 4" or so...

I would recommend adding as much territory space as you can, whatever stock levels you go for.

Some pictures of my tank:

A female observes the two petricola (who follow each other, as they should):


Two females (left and centre) and a male hiding as a female (right):


Female hiding in her cave (she picked the one and only cave, lol):


One of the fry (still there, growing fast!) from the last spawn, with a male in the background who is the sub dominant:
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Old 01-13-2007, 08:02 PM   #18
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Nice pics, CMUK! As I mentioned, I plan to go for the holey rock decor, which should afford my future fish plenty of hiding spots. I'm picking up the tank next weekend, so as I mentioned, I still have a ways to go before I even think about buying the fish.

Quote:
I originally aimed for a stock ratio of 2 males to 6 females, but the LFS put in an order they thought was right with 4 of each. It turned out they even got THAT wrong, and I've ended up with two females and five males (of which two - the two smallest - hide as females).
I'd like to avoid this, if possible, by buying subadults or adults. It'll cost me, unless I can hook up with a cichlid guy I know here in town. Otherwise, I'll probably get in touch with Bluegrass Cichlids- they seem kinda pricey, but the stock looks excellent.

I'm aiming to stock more heavily on the cichlids that you, as I don't want to have any bottom feeders or other species at all. I think the tank will look great, but I'll have to be patient- I'm low on funds ATM, and as we all know, a free tank, stand, and light is only half the battle! I have to say, I really like the mulitpunctatus, though.

Quote:
On the Cichlid-Forum.com, a member won tank of the month back in August last year for his saulosi setup in which he had 16 in a 30G, again without any problems.
I saw that link. It was rockin'. That's what makes me think I MAY be able to get away with 5M/15F, but the guy's nitrates did seem kinda high, so I'm still on the fence about that one.
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Old 04-05-2007, 12:24 PM   #19
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Great news- I FINALLY picked up the free tank over the weekend. I was surprised to find that it is not a 55 gallon, as I was told, but is instead somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 gallons. I haven't measured the height yet, but the tank is definitely 48"x18", and the height appears to be a little shorter than a standard 55 or 75 gallon. I think the tank is pretty old, as it doesn't have a center brace. Looks like a great size for stacking up some rock work! The guy also included 2 AC 300 filters, 2 light strips, and a hood.

I don't have the stand yet, but I've seen it. The finish looks pretty rough, so I think I'll paint it. I'll try to keep you all updated, maybe start one of those tank diary threads. I am SO looking forward to this!
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Old 04-10-2007, 07:22 PM   #20
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I have 12 adults, 5 adolescents, and about 12 1.5" fry in my 55 gallon tank (I'm trying to get rid of the fry). I don't have any problem keeping my nitrates below 40ppm with 1 40% pwc per week. I filter the tank with 2 Aquaclear 70s.

On overfiltering: People who say you can't overfilter are flat out wrong. There's really no debate to be had here. You can overfilter. Overfiltering is when you have filtration capacity beyond what is useful. Your ammonia and nitirite levels aren't going to drop below 0 no matter how many filters you stick on your tank. And your nitrate levels aren't going to be affected either presuming your ammonia and nitrite is being taken care of. If your filters are handling the debris and are sustaining the biological (and perhaps chemical) filtration you need, anything beyond that is nothing more than additional circulation -- not filtration.
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