Tropheus tank scape, whats best lots or little?

rosslee

Exodon
MFK Member
May 14, 2020
74
87
26
46
Hi All, I am asking this question as I am getting conflicting answers!

I have a standard 75-gallon tank plus 14 Tropheus Black Kiriza (species only) fish that have been in for a week currently, I plan on keeping them in the tank long term (hence only 14) all fish are between 1 and 2 inches in size.

So for the question, should I have massive amounts of rocks evenly spaced over the tank, or just 1 or 2 piles at either for the males to claim. I ask because so many people say: you need loads of rocks and hiding places, but then others say the opposite and less is better!!!

In your humbled opinions, what is best based on my description above?

Many thanks for your replies in advance!
 

mr cichlid

Piranha
MFK Member
Jan 22, 2017
221
281
77
I'm a fan of separate rock structures. There are a few issues. At an inch or two, you have no idea of gender. These colonies work so much better female heavy. So I would buy 20+ if you hope to have a nice 14 count. Back to the question. One long rock structure gives one male the ability to claim it all. He will hammer the other males and the aggression in the tank will trickle down to the females. Don't forget these fish have a short digestive track and bloat with stress. Give them warm high quality moving water and lots of tiny super veggie meals. Don't miss feedings. These fish graze all day every day in the wild. But an other issue I see is normal 75gal aquarium is 48inches correct? Doesn't allow much room for multiple structures. A 6ft tank would be nice and get 3 substantial structures with 3 nice males and the rest female or a couple up and coming males. Any change causes stress so get what you like and try and ride it out. Some advice...when they spawn, catch the brooding female after you turned lights out. Make room total darkness. If you know your fish you'll know where she finds safe rest nightly. Pull her at night towards the end of her incubation period, put her in 20gal long same water and let her do her thing. Reintroduce her the same way at night complete darkness as you want to avoid a hierarchy dispute amongst the females which could happen regardless so make sure she has been fed and fattened up after 3 weeks of not eating. If it was me and I had the money I wouldn't use anything less than a 5ft tank and buy 25 fish to keep 15-17 favorites. 3big and 14small. No runts and no crazy mean oppressors. But nice choice and uploaded pics as available
 
  • Like
Reactions: Stephen St.Clair

mr cichlid

Piranha
MFK Member
Jan 22, 2017
221
281
77
One more thing, even the adults can bloat. It is so much fun watching these fish eat and often we focus on the huge herd flying around like moths at a light bulb. But spend your time looking for the one who is not eating because you have to catch that early to save that fish and potentially the entire colony. This applies always but even more attention is needed when taking out the pregnant female and putting her back in
 

rosslee

Exodon
MFK Member
May 14, 2020
74
87
26
46
I'm a fan of separate rock structures. There are a few issues. At an inch or two, you have no idea of gender. These colonies work so much better female heavy. So I would buy 20+ if you hope to have a nice 14 count. Back to the question. One long rock structure gives one male the ability to claim it all. He will hammer the other males and the aggression in the tank will trickle down to the females. Don't forget these fish have a short digestive track and bloat with stress. Give them warm high quality moving water and lots of tiny super veggie meals. Don't miss feedings. These fish graze all day every day in the wild. But an other issue I see is normal 75gal aquarium is 48inches correct? Doesn't allow much room for multiple structures. A 6ft tank would be nice and get 3 substantial structures with 3 nice males and the rest female or a couple up and coming males. Any change causes stress so get what you like and try and ride it out. Some advice...when they spawn, catch the brooding female after you turned lights out. Make room total darkness. If you know your fish you'll know where she finds safe rest nightly. Pull her at night towards the end of her incubation period, put her in 20gal long same water and let her do her thing. Reintroduce her the same way at night complete darkness as you want to avoid a hierarchy dispute amongst the females which could happen regardless so make sure she has been fed and fattened up after 3 weeks of not eating. If it was me and I had the money I wouldn't use anything less than a 5ft tank and buy 25 fish to keep 15-17 favorites. 3big and 14small. No runts and no crazy mean oppressors. But nice choice and uploaded pics as available
Thanks for the feedback man! I was only able to get 14 fish, I wanted 20-30 ideally smaller than what I got - but these fish are hard to come by where I live. Looking at the tank currently, I can identify probably 5 males based on color and size.

Reference water temp, are you suggesting a slightly higher tank temp will help to prevent future bloat cases? If yes, what temp do you recommend, currently my tank is at 25 Celcius.
 

Stephen St.Clair

Aimara
MFK Member
Jul 2, 2017
963
1,457
134
It's really a matter of taste regarding African Cichlid hardscapes.
Rock dwellers obviously need rocks, Lol.
I've seen beautiful separate multi structure rock scapes, usually in XL tanks & long continuous reefs.
Personally I like the Reef look.
 

rosslee

Exodon
MFK Member
May 14, 2020
74
87
26
46
Was able to get a few more taking it to 21 fish in total. Fish are split into two groups size-wise half are around the two-inch mark and the others one inch and below. From the bigger-sized group, I can see 3 males rest seem to be females. They did get bloat after arriving but after meds they are fine.

20210617_132037.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: Stephen St.Clair

DJRansome

Dovii
MFK Member
Mar 16, 2008
570
488
102
New Jersey
I would add rock.
 

Milingu

Peacock Bass
MFK Member
Jul 19, 2015
478
753
115
I would add rock.
I wouldn't.
In my experience it's best either to use only 2-3 middle sized rocks and maybe some pepples for the fry on both ends of the tank, or you fill the tank to the top with rocks to provide enough hiding spaces and escape routes. Everything in between carries the risk that fish form permanent territories in the middle of the tank and leave no space for the rest of the group.

Since the tank size is definitely on the low end for Tropheus (I would even say it's too small) I would try to provide as much swimming space as possible and try to have only two territories on both ends of the tank leaving the middle for the rest of the group.

Seeing the pictures I normally would suggest to even take out the plant pot in the middle. I just don't suggest it now because the fish already were bloated and every change can cause stress resulting in bloat.
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store