Can I use drift wood in a cichlid tank? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-31-2012, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Can I use drift wood in a cichlid tank?

Hello, I'm new to the hobby and was wondering if driftwood would be a good idea in a cichlid tank?

Thank you!
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-31-2012, 10:53 PM
You could use Driftwood but the thing you need to be concerned about is tannins. Woods tend to release tannins into the water. Since most cichlids prefer harder water and tannins soften the water you will want to boil your wood and let it soak for a long time with water changes to make sure you don't soften the ph of your tank.
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-31-2012, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Im currently soaking the driftwood and it's been abot a week. Unfortunately the driftwood is too big to boil. Thanks!
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-01-2012, 10:29 AM
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Tannins are harmless to fish, they discolour the water but that's all, and in time this will dissipate.

What type of cichlids? The rift lake cichlids from Africa need hard water (and depending upon the hardness of your tap water the wood may have no effect on this anyway), but the cichlids from Central and South America are soft to medium hard water fish and wood is part of their natural habitat.

Last but not least, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum and to this wonderful hobby.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-01-2012, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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I'm currently soaking the driftwood in a large ice chest because it's so big. As for what kind of cichlids, I like the one from Lake Malawi (but there are soooo many different kinds). Basically I want my tank to be colorful.

1. Any suggestions on what kind of cichlids i should get? (since I'm a newbie)
2. And how many my tank can hold?
3. How many plecos can I get? In not pleco, then what kind of algae eater if any should I get?

Sorry for all the questions. I just want to make sure my fish are happy :)

Here is a picture of my tank.
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File Type: jpg My Boys 1st Tank.jpg (42.9 KB, 20 views)

Last edited by Chinxican1978; 06-01-2012 at 12:04 PM. Reason: Want to add a picture
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post #6 of 9 Old 06-01-2012, 12:53 PM
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Lake Malawi is one of the three African rift lakes, and the fish from those require hard water with a basic (above 7) pH. If this is what you tap water approximates, no issues there.

As for species, we have a few members with considerably more experience in these fish than I have, so hopefully they will be along to offer some guidance. Stocking will have to be very carefully planned, as these fish are feisty to say the least, and some are quite nasty to each other, requiring space.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-05-2012, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Lake Malawi is one of the three African rift lakes, and the fish from those require hard water with a basic (above 7) pH. If this is what you tap water approximates, no issues there.

As for species, we have a few members with considerably more experience in these fish than I have, so hopefully they will be along to offer some guidance. Stocking will have to be very carefully planned, as these fish are feisty to say the least, and some are quite nasty to each other, requiring space.
Thank you Byron!
Currently my pH is at 7.6. If the driftwood brings down the pH, is there anything I can do to bring the pH up? I'm also using crushed coral in my aqua filter.
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post #8 of 9 Old 06-05-2012, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Chinxican1978 View Post
Thank you Byron!
Currently my pH is at 7.6. If the driftwood brings down the pH, is there anything I can do to bring the pH up? I'm also using crushed coral in my aqua filter.
The wood is not likely to have too much impact. But this depends more on the GH and KH of the tap water. You can ascertain these numbers from the water supply people, they may have a website. And the crushed coral will raise pH more than wood will lower it, even in relatively small amounts. But for rift lake cichlids, i would get the pH even higher, up in the 8's is better, and the coral will do this if you add more. But check the GH because that is equally important, if not more so, to provide the mineral the fish require.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-05-2012, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
The wood is not likely to have too much impact. But this depends more on the GH and KH of the tap water. You can ascertain these numbers from the water supply people, they may have a website. And the crushed coral will raise pH more than wood will lower it, even in relatively small amounts. But for rift lake cichlids, i would get the pH even higher, up in the 8's is better, and the coral will do this if you add more. But check the GH because that is equally important, if not more so, to provide the mineral the fish require.
Thanks for your help!!
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