My wife and I are fairly new to the hobby so I wanted to give you folks all the information you might need to answer some of my questions. Here's everything I can think of that you could possibly ask. (I hope)
I was wondering why we're having a hard time keeping African Cichlids alive in our tank... They seem to change color from when we get them over a few days, deteriorating in activity until they die in the night.
Two of our cichlids died within 5 minutes of feeding them... They showed signs of Ammonia toxicity, with accelerated breathing and no movement... I checked the levels and everything checked out.
You'll see below that our pH was not really "desirable" when we put the fish in, this was partly my fault for taking some bad advice from a local "big name" pet store and some employees who were apparently not very knowledgable. Anyway, they essentially told me that pH didn't matter at all to fish health.
With that said, I'm trying to get our pH adjusted to 7.0 under the recommendation of the new pet shop I've been relying on.
For the information you'll need, I'll start by saying I cycled this tank from early October to exactly Christmas Day using the fishless cycle because I didn't want to risk any fish.
55 Gallon Tank
2x Penguin 200 Bio-Wheel Filters
Lots of aeration through under gravel air lines
3 large pieces of Driftwood
Lots of plastic plants
2 different types of gravel, moderate sized... Pieces about the size of a fingernail.
2 large slate stones
300w Marineland adjustable heater set to 78 degrees F
2x Marineland powerheads to circulate water and aerate.
2x canopy flourescent lighting.. (Turned on at about 9am, turned off about 10-11pm) Is this too long?
Nitrates: ~50ppm (It's 30ppm outta the tap here for some reason)
3x African Cichlid
If you can shed any light at all on the mysterious (to me) deaths of my Cichlids, it would be MUCH appreciated... Sorry for all the reading... Mark~