Establishing Tropheus Colonies - an Idea
As others on this forum may have found, finding a wide selection of Tropheus in BC is not easy. Ontario seems to have a thriving Tropheus breeding community but not here. Therefore, when I started to get interested in Tropheus a couple years ago I reached out to as many folks locally as I could find, many helpful comments and suggestions - thanks to BCA. I also started making connections with folks in the US as well. A great on-line community if you want to check it out is Trpoheus & more ...
One thing about this genus is you have to keep them in large-ish groups (12 + and 20 + is better) otherwise their aggression leads to significant morality. It's also tricky to introduce new full adults to an established colony without throwing the internal dynamics all out of whack, which usually translates into more morality. Given these parameters and a limited access to Tropheus if I was going to establish viable colonies how could I proceed? A great contact in the Seattle area with way more Tropheus experience than I said he had recently had great success introducing juveniles into an existing colony with little or no problem. He had noticed, as had I, in established colonies you quite often have juveniles in the same tank with little or no issue. We also noticed that juvenile Tropheus look quite different from adults - in this way signalling territorial adults that they are no threat. So, with my friend's recommendation and these ideas/observations in mind, combined with my search for more T. duboisi to build up a second colony I bought some juvenile T. duboisi and traded some of my J. ornatus with a local BCA breeder. All together between the sale and the trade I acquired 20 juvenile T. duboisi. This video link shows the early results.
Based on this early success my next introduction will be 17 Chimba juveniles with 5 adult Chimba I already have in the tank. I acquired these from Live Fish Direct and my friend in Washington State is acclimatizing them until I visit for pick-up and a visit.
PS: I will provide more updates as to how things progress ... stay tuned