I just finished staining and sealing my stand and canopy for the tank. It is a 70 gallon Glass tank. I bought it used from a guy that has had it for only 6 months. I am planning on doing a malawi cichlid tank starting with about 25 smaller fish. I have purchased 8, assorted sized, resin lace rocks for deco and rock work. I am planing on course sand substrate and some assorted fake plants. The tank came with 2X Penguin 330 bio-wheel filters. The light it came with was shoddy, so i went out and invested in a coral life 90 watt light (the one that has two, blue and white lamps) not sure if its incandescent or fluorescent, although i was told that it can grow plants and coral. In the next week or so i am planning on starting the cycling process. My brother has a 60 gal freshwater with a tiger Oscar, silver arowanna and some green terrors. I am planning on taking about 20-25 gallons of his water to jump start my cycle. I was wondering if it is a good idea to take a couple of his used filter cartridges and squeeze those into my filters and bio-wheels? I am probably going to do the fish food method an top of that to make the process speed up to about a week or so. What do you guys think?
Also, based on the cichlid threads that i have read, i understand that it is good to overstock the malawi cichlids. I am planning on buying 25+ small cichlids, probably one step up from the smallest lf's carry. Am i taking in to consideration, deaths, growth and aggression enough? I have had a mixed cichlid tank before with both malawi and lake T. Cichs in it. I didn't know they were incompatible. Amazingly it was a successful colony with only a few runts. In that tank i had two clown loaches and a plecco. I loved the loaches and how they would stick together, fight each other, and not bother the cichs. Because i am going with a malawi themed tank what are some bottom feeders that will go well with the tank? If there is nothing else i think i may go back to the loaches, maybe 3 or 4, what do you guys think? If i have the loaches, do i even need a plecco?
Will my light be too much for my fish and the tank. One aspect is the heat, i live in North Orange County and even with the central air the place can get up to about 79. Will the light heat the water above desired temp? If it does what do i do? Will the light grow too much algae and bacteria for my tank? Do malawi cichs like a lot of intense light, will they hide all the time? I also splurged on some lace rocks that have blue LED lights built into them for the night lighting. What are your opinions on those?
Thanks for your time...