Let us now turn to the growth eaters from Lake Tanganyika. They are characterised by a wide, (mostly) inferior mouth equipped with lots of small teeth. With this "rasping tool", many of the endemic (only living there) cichlids have specialised in grazing the algae growth off the rocks, along with all the micro-organisms living within it. When designing the aquarium, it is advisable not to use sharp-edged rocks, as the cichlids could injure themselves when "scraping" on them.
Goby cichlids (Eretmodini)
The goby cichlids are a very interesting genus of growth eaters. They include the species Eretmodus, Tanganicodus and Spathodus. As an example, let's take a closer look at the species Eretmodus cyanostictus . This species is often also known as the "Tanganyikan clown" or "striped goby cichlid". They are not as keen to swim as some other species from the lake and occasionally linger, supported by their pectoral fins, on rocks or sandy areas. The Tanganyikan clown should be kept either in pairs or in a group of at least six. The tank needs to be well structured and to provide plenty of hiding places. As soon as a pair has found each other, the spectacle of a biparental mouth brooding can be observed. The female usually lays her eggs on smooth stone surfaces. The male then fertilises the eggs and the female takes them back into her mouth for about 10-12 days. Afterwards a swap takes place and the male takes over the mouth brood care for another 10-12 days until the fry have hatched. The males reach a maximum size of 10 cm, whereas the females grow to a maximum of 8 cm. The minimum edge length of the aquarium is 120 cm, also due to the relatively high intra-species aggressiveness.
Tropheus or Brabant cichlids are another genus of growth eaters. As an example, let's look at the species Tropheus duboisi . They are also known as white-spotted cichlids. If you take a look at the young animals, it quickly becomes clear where the name comes from. They are completely black and white spotted. As they age these spots recede and a vertical yellow (or white) stripe appears. Tropheus grow up to 13 cm and are very aggressive within their species and like to swim. Accordingly, they need to be kept in an aquarium with an edge length of at least 150 cm. To enable the animals to stay out of each other’s way, it is advisable to provide plenty of hiding places with stone structures. In contrast to the goby cichlids, only the females engage in mouthbrooding. Please also remember that Tropheus has to be kept in groups of at least eight. The group should, if possible, be together from an early age and not be diversified by adding more fish. Otherwise this can lead to negative consequences, such as a “chase” resulting in the death of individual tank inhabitants.
The right food for growth-feeding cichlids from Lake Tanganyika - JBL PRONOVO MALAWI FLAKES & GRANO M
Since most of the kept cichlids from Lake Malawi are omnivorous, the food for these species is called PRONOVO MALAWI. It is considered the staple food for both Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi cichlids and is available as flakes or granulate ( JBL PRONOVO MALAWI FLAKES M , JBL PRONOVO MALAWI GRANO M ). Both the GRANO M and the FLAKES M have an 18 % content of spirulina algae and are therefore ideal for all growth eaters. PRONOVO MALAWI, like all PRONOVO foods, is also prebiotic and ensures healthy digestion thanks to the dietary fibre contained in the food, which provides nourishment for beneficial intestinal bacteria. Also suitable for growth eaters is the JBL PRONOVO SPIRULINA FLAKES M & JBL PRONOVO SPIRULINA GRANO M .
If predators and growth eaters are kept together in ONE aquarium, it is essential to offer both types of food. This way, each feeding type gets the food which is right for it.
All JBL PRONOVO foods are made from selected, natural raw ingredients and contain no colourings or other artificial additives. In addition, each food is prebiotic, which means that special dietary fibres provide nourishment for the beneficial intestinal bacteria, thus promoting healthy digestion.
Find out more about the diet of Tanganyika cichlids in this video: JBL TV #50: Fish nutrition in the aquarium Part 1 - Cichlids, bottom dwellers & community aquarium
You can read more about Lake Tanganyika here: Lake Tanganyika – a 670 km long aquarium
Click here for the first part: PRONOVO WORLD TRIP - Visiting the cichlids from Lake Tanganyika Part 1