Frustrated can't find the fish I want Lake Tanganyika - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Frustrated can't find the fish I want Lake Tanganyika

I'm into planted tanks a little bit and I toy around with low tech from time to time. I've been in the hobby for 25 years. It's really frustrating that I can't find the fish I want. Lake Tanganyika fish are my passion. Quality Tanganyika fish are hard to come by in my area. Most of the fish I find have been bred to the point of being colorless. I have around 30 fish stores in my area and I'm constantly having to drive around looking for Tanganyika cichlids. I tried to ordering online once and I totally got ripped off. I was promised wild fish and they were far from it.

On a side note there is a type of African root wood I like to use in my aquariums. It comes from the Congo and is similar to mopani wood except it don't leach tanins like mopani. In the late 90's and early 2000's it wasn't being imported because of the wars going on in Africa. It was finally being imported a few years ago and the USA put it on the ban list.

I'm just frustrated with the hobby. I can never get the stuff that I want.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 01:17 PM
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 02:11 PM
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I feel the pain and do agree but then it tends to be part of the whole situation, just that we often notice it more when it impacts the small things like hobbies. I was into model railroads but left for a bit and then started again, only to find the hobby had left! The local stores are now computer repair as a sideline and supplies have to be shipped. So I quit!
Currently the wave of passion for African cichlids has passed in my area and I o longer breed and sell as there is simply no demand. Fish which were selling like hotcakes at $45, now get no response at all at $12!
So I am moving on. Sorry for the frustration but it is not just you. We are lucky if it is only a hobby and not a lifelong career? What's a truck driver going to do with self driving trucks coming online?
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 02:38 PM
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I've nearly given up on the local stores for Tanganyikans, and this is in a major Metro area like Chicago. You can find mBuna and some Victorians but stock very few tangs. When they do stock them the prices are exorbitant. Fish I get at a swap for 4 @ $25-30 they want $50-80 per fish for poor blood lines. I actually just got out of Tangs and sold my 4 groups for $30-40 a bag...had a guy drive 4 hrs to get them because he wasn't able to find them anywhere else and said my prices were stupid cheap.

With that, find the local fish clubs, swap meets & conventions. Facebook is great for getting involved on a superficial level to test the waters. Chicago has 2 major clubs, one general aquatic the other more Cichlid specific and you can reap the rewards of others who are gung-ho into the hobby and willing to drop big money on imported fish.

75g that has rolled through various incarnations over the years...
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I've been following aquabid for years. Never actually purchased anything off of there. I'm a bit weary of ordering stuff in the winter online. I bought an anubias snow white for big money last winter and it froze in transit. I have been thinking about buying fish online when it warms up.

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I've nearly given up on the local stores for Tanganyikans, and this is in a major Metro area like Chicago. You can find mBuna and some Victorians but stock very few tangs. When they do stock them the prices are exorbitant. Fish I get at a swap for 4 @ $25-30 they want $50-80 per fish for poor blood lines. I actually just got out of Tangs and sold my 4 groups for $30-40 a bag...had a guy drive 4 hrs to get them because he wasn't able to find them anywhere else and said my prices were stupid cheap.

With that, find the local fish clubs, swap meets & conventions. Facebook is great for getting involved on a superficial level to test the waters. Chicago has 2 major clubs, one general aquatic the other more Cichlid specific and you can reap the rewards of others who are gung-ho into the hobby and willing to drop big money on imported fish.
Yeah the hobby has changed a lot over the years. I'm in Detroit and I've seen some good aquarium stores come and go. It seems as though there just aren't as many people involved with the hobby anymore. Back in the 90's I remember seeing zebra pleco's for $40. There was a lot of cool stuff coming out of the Amazon back then. I have a couple aquarium clubs in my area. I've been to a few auctions but never joined one. I'm working on a small collection of Tanganyikan cichlids. I might joint a club sooner or later.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 03:43 PM
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I have had excellent results with great fish from Aquabid.com. Just like eBay, you have to pay attention to the details and feedback.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 03:47 PM
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I have had excellent results with great fish from Aquabid.com. Just like eBay, you have to pay attention to the details and feedback.
+1 - had some good deals and experiences.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 06:24 PM
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I've had good experiences with getting stuff shipped from wetspot in the past. Tremendous selection.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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I've had good experiences with getting stuff shipped from wetspot in the past. Tremendous selection.

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Yeah I've seen a lot of stuff from him on there. I'm interested in a couple fish he has.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 07:06 PM
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Bump: Yeah the hobby has changed a lot over the years. I'm in Detroit and I've seen some good aquarium stores come and go. It seems as though there just aren't as many people involved with the hobby anymore. Back in the 90's I remember seeing zebra pleco's for $40. There was a lot of cool stuff coming out of the Amazon back then. I have a couple aquarium clubs in my area. I've been to a few auctions but never joined one. I'm working on a small collection of Tanganyikan cichlids. I might joint a club sooner or later.
Funny that your in Detroit... Buddy wanted to go look at a car up there 2 weeks ago so I took the drive with him, he let me choose lunch (Griffin Claw Brewing) and add a few stops. Went to Fishy Business and found checkerboard cichlids for $7.99 a fish when I've been searching for them in Chicago for 3mo and only found 2 sickly fish for $25 each. Check them out, a bit amature-ish layout but they had some decent fish for pretty good retail prices vs what I see in Chicago.

We had time to waste still, so I figured we'd stop at the 2nd place I was refered to...Cichlid World. Wow, that places is a scum-hole, I think I've been in crack houses that were cleaner.

I know a few breeders who come down from MI to the Chicago swap meets, and vice-versa. Get on the Michigan Cichlid Association and Greater Chicago Cichlid Association and you might just luck out finding something local.
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75g that has rolled through various incarnations over the years...

Last edited by Bratmanxj; 04-19-2018 at 07:13 PM. Reason: format
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 07:07 PM
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Yeah I've seen a lot of stuff from him on there. I'm interested in a couple fish he has.
Sorry I should have been clearer . I was referring to wetspotropicalfish.com

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 07:21 PM
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I went through this very thing about 10 years ago...Tanganyika is such a cool place the fish very unique, but it's *really* difficult to find much. In particular, I always wanted a big school of cyprichromis (sp?) to take up the upper levels of my tank....

Julis were my favorite, I had pairs of several species of them and they had such personality!

Well, take it back, my ultimate favorite were my gold ocellatus shell dwellers. (iirc these were Tanganyikans)... Such unique behavior (want to catch them? pick up their shell! You'd see a tiny tail poking out)...one of mine would come after my hand, the gravel vacuum and anything else that got near his shell...he and another male used to play bluffing games, puffing up then *shooop* back to their own shell they would zip.

Ironically now one of my local stores, that at the time was moving more into reef, has a better selection of cichlids than it used to (still only a couple/few tanks of tanganyikans)...and I'm doing planted community tanks!

At this point I'm more willing to try internet ordering than I was then, that's probably my only suggestion.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 08:30 PM
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I went through this very thing about 10 years ago...Tanganyika is such a cool place the fish very unique, but it's *really* difficult to find much. In particular, I always wanted a big school of cyprichromis (sp?) to take up the upper levels of my tank....
Ohhhh, Cyps and Paracpys are probably the biggest money-loss I've ever experienced in keeping Tanganyikans. I tried both twice, decent size schools, acclimated fine then 3 weeks later just waste away.

75g that has rolled through various incarnations over the years...
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-20-2018, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stokely View Post
I went through this very thing about 10 years ago...Tanganyika is such a cool place the fish very unique, but it's *really* difficult to find much. In particular, I always wanted a big school of cyprichromis (sp?) to take up the upper levels of my tank....

Julis were my favorite, I had pairs of several species of them and they had such personality!

Well, take it back, my ultimate favorite were my gold ocellatus shell dwellers. (iirc these were Tanganyikans)... Such unique behavior (want to catch them? pick up their shell! You'd see a tiny tail poking out)...one of mine would come after my hand, the gravel vacuum and anything else that got near his shell...he and another male used to play bluffing games, puffing up then *shooop* back to their own shell they would zip.

Ironically now one of my local stores, that at the time was moving more into reef, has a better selection of cichlids than it used to (still only a couple/few tanks of tanganyikans)...and I'm doing planted community tanks!

At this point I'm more willing to try internet ordering than I was then, that's probably my only suggestion.
Yeah Julidochromis are one of my favorites. I have a group of Gombe right now. I found a wild pair of Neolamprologus Signatus at one of my local stores a couple months ago. In all my years of keepin fish it's only the second time I've seen Signatus. I've been raising fry from them for a while. I haven't seen Gold Ocellatus in a long time.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-21-2018, 11:36 AM
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I bought some Paracyps, juli's and shellies, from Dave's rare aquarium fish last November. Good quality fish, the paracyps are f1 and are growing and looking awesome, still waiting for either the shellies or paracyps to get to breeding size but I'm very happy with them. Shipping is always expensive but not too bad, also like what's been mentioned aquabid is a good place. Found a person there that went above and beyond making sure that I was satisfied with the shipment I think his name was nomad. Haven't seen him on their for awhile though.


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