Maintaining a community tank that successfully houses breeding pairs of multiple species can be done, and it’s not really that difficult. I’ve written about doing so in a previous post.
Your success at having offspring survive past the fry stage in such a community tank is dependent upon numerous factors, not the least of which is the size of the tank, the tank inhabitants, and the number of inhabitants. If you want to maximize fry survivability, move your breeding pairs to a tank by themselves. If you’re experienced with cichlids, especially breeding them, then you know hell hath no fury like the parents of some cichlid species defending eggs or fry. Thus, while keeping a breeding pair in a tank with other cichlid species, especially predatory species, can be a dicey proposition, it can work. However, I would not recommend you try doing so (intentionally) until you become more experienced with cichlids in general.
Now, back to the video above. This is one of my 75g Tanganyikan community tanks. The numerous juveniles you see are Julidochromis marlieri. You can also see the parents hanging out together in the front, which is quite unusual. The female is pretty shy, so she’s typically hidden somewhere. The male is more gregarious, so he roams around a lot.
If you look closely, you’ll probably also spot some Telmatochromis sp. “temporalis shell” juveniles also. There aren’t near as many of them, but there are a few. Just like the J. marlieri there are multiple broods of them, but several are about the same size as the marlieri juveniles. The Telmats are a little more difficult to spot because they’re usually a light tan color until they reach about 3/4″ in length. They’re also more reluctant to venture out in the open.
As you can see from the tank decor, there are numerous ceramic caves, which provide lots of shelter and cover. For this tank, it’s an absolute necessity because there are two breeding pairs of cichlids here and numerous predators. Note the Altolamprologus calvus (there are three adults) and Neolamprologus tretocephalus (two adults). There are other species here, including a single adult Neolamprologus leleupi, which is a bit shy.
The larger, juvenile J. marlieri and Telmats are headed to the LFS this week, if you’re wondering what I intend to do with them.