Altolamprologus compression is considered one of the most popular and attractive aquarium fish from Lake Tanganyika. The color of this fish is not famous for its outstanding colors, but the shape of the body makes the aquarist look at this inhabitant of the depths. The head has an elongated shape with a steep forehead, the body is compressed at the sides.
In view of some difficulties of keeping altolamprologus, compressioceps is not a frequent visitor in aquariums of local amateurs.
It is recommended to settle into a home aquarium in groups, the minimum reservoir volume should be at least 100 liters. In the process of fish life, it is not recommended to move to other aquariums, because altolamprologists rather conservative comrades in terms of habitat, and any migration to another aquarium provokes stress in the fish.
A good company for a bevy of young Altolamprologus is considered to be several viviparous (swordtails, mollies, petilles), who will calmly swim in the company of cichlids and will serve as a kind of sedative. To maintain cleanliness in the aquarium, it is recommended to settle a couple of common ancistrus.
As neighbors for lamprologusov can use the “princesses” of Burundi, yulidochromisov. What is interesting, the bigger and more diverse the company, the better the pets will feel.
However, gradually you will have to move all fellow travelers to other aquariums.
For A.compressiceps it is advisable to prepare a hygienic aquarium. It is better to use drainage pipes, flower pots and grottoes made of marble or limestone as shelters.
Shelters are best placed in the aquarium groups in which you want to include a large rapana shell, in which the fish will spawn. Shells are placed in such a way that they can not be seen from the first cursory inspection of the aquarium, but not closed to observation.
Shelters can also be located on small islands of the aquarium soil, as clearing the area will further stimulate sexual activity in fish. From aquarium plants it is best to use Javanese moss, which is located above the shelters: a bunch of Javanese will cause a sense of security in fish.
But, for some reason, which we will discuss below, it is advisable to remove excess moss from the aquarium and use it only as green caps on fish shelters.
Altomprologus is a thermophilic inhabitant of an aquarium, which must be maintained at an ambient temperature of 25 – 27 degrees. If the fish’s health has deteriorated, the temperature will be up to 30 degrees.
Aeration should work smoothly with the filter, because the fish love clean water. The cichlid jar should be tightly covered with a lid or cover glass, as altolamprologists like to jump out of the aquarium.
There were cases when small fish jumped out into a 5 mm gap between the glass and the lid.
I would like to dwell separately on the problems associated with the hydrochemical parameters of aquarium water. In view of the isolated habitat of the Tanganyik cichlids, the composition of the lake severely limits its inhabitants in terms of environmental plasticity.
Altolamprologus, as well as other Tanganyik cichlids, feel fine with a narrow indicator of the active response of the environment. The reason is that the water in the lake has a slight shift in pH towards the alkaline environment and this indicator stably stays in the range of 8.5 – 9.2 pH. You must take this moment into account when you prepare the water for your tsikhlidnik.
But the water hardness for this fish does not play a key role.
If you need to increase the pH level in the direction of an alkaline environment, baking soda is added to the aquarium in the ratio of 1 hour per bucket of water, and to achieve a consistently high water hardness, you need to use aquarium soil and shelters made of carbonate species — marble, limestone or dolomite. To determine the suitability of the soil or stone can be using hydrochloric acid, in which the rock is immersed.
The presence of carbonates will manifest itself by boiling acid.
Such preparation of aquarium water significantly increases its mineralization, respectively, in the second case there is no need to add sea or table salt to the water. If the general condition of the fish has worsened, then in this case it is recommended to resort to salting the water using iodine and increasing the temperature of the water in the aquarium.
Make sure that the cichlid aquarium does not contain bacterial debris and algae. The presence of organic pollution is also not welcome, because fish love clear and clean water without a humus shade.
Such purity can be achieved with the help of biological filtration, however, it will be easier for you to replace the water in the aquarium several times a week in the amount of 10% of the total volume, just do not forget to prepare the water properly before the replacement.
Like other lamprologists, A.compressiceps prefers animal feed. The main types of food that fish feed on are small crustaceans and larvae of small insects.
As an option, you can successfully feed tubelamp lamprologists, previously well washed from the dirt. I would like to note that lamprologists prefer large types of food more.
Hydrobionts are not inclined to overeating, but it is not advisable to fatten the fish from the belly before turning off the lighting in the aquarium.
In some aquarium sources, you can find the conviction that pets should eat only live food, but this is not entirely true. Of course, trying to fool fish with dry food, you are unlikely to increase your karma in the face of your pets, but you can include frozen bloodworms, lean fish and shrimp meat in the diet of lamprologists.
At first, the fish can show off and without any particular desire to eat the proposed delicacy, but over time they get used and begin to eat the new proposed feeds.
If you are trying to transfer lamprologists to new types of food, be careful not to overfeed. In this moment there are many incomprehensible features.
Well, for example, in fish, the state of health may deteriorate for no apparent reason, bug-eyed or clouding of the cornea may appear, in the worst case, bloating of the belly and death. It is hard to understand where these symptoms come from, either because of intoxication, or because of the speed of transfer of fish to new types of food.
However, it is not necessary to hurry with the medical treatment of pets, because the body of lamprologists very sensitively reacts to any unusual stimulus.
Lamprologists grow very slowly and reach sexual maturity by the age of one and a half years. Therefore, if you want to get offspring from fish, it is recommended to buy a flock of 10 to 15 individuals.
An adult male can be up to 10 – 12 centimeters in length, the females are more modest in size. As the fish grows up in the flock, a male leader appears who will chase the rest of the males.
It is better to plant such fish from the aquarium without disturbing the order in the home. Similarly, females are removed from the aquarium, to which the leading male does not show any attention.
In the end, after all these rebirths, you will have a group of fish, including one large male and several females.
In the chosen area, the male pushes the female, fully ready for breeding, into the rapana shell. The fish swim in the sink in such a way that they are practically not visible there.
The process of spawning itself is hidden from the eyes of an aquarist. The fact that it is over can be understood by the changed behavior of the male, who rises to patrol the territory near the nest.
If the female leaves the shelter for a long time with caviar, the male immediately pushes her back. If necessary, you can move the shell with caviar and the female to another aquarium, and when the larvae become blurred, they are returned back.
Eggs from lamprologists are quite large and they develop very slowly. The first hatching of fry occurs 2 – 3 weeks after spawning. In case of urgent need, caring parents can transfer their offspring to a new shelter.
After spreading, the boys already independently are able to swim and eat, and the parents no longer take care of them. A case of cannibalism in this type of lamprology was not observed.
In this way, you can get several generations, at the end of which the parents stop breeding until you remove all the fry from the aquarium. Starter feed for fry lamprologists – small cyclops.
In the first months of life, it is desirable to feed the fry with live food.