New to cichlids, any help would be great.
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New to cichlids, any help would be great.

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New to cichlids, any help would be great.
Old 04-05-2013, 04:02 AM   #1
 
New to cichlids, any help would be great.

Hello, I am new to cichlids but have had an aquarium in the past. I just purchased a new 60 gallon tank that is 48wx24hx12d in size. I have a Aquaclear 110 (500GPH) HOB filter currently running, and planning on purchasing another and running both along with a DIY moving bed filter using hel-x media to assist with the waste. I'm using pool filter sand as substrate, and have a few fake plants and a large shipwreck (Wife's call) and plan on adding a good amount of rocks for hiding places shortly. I haven't cycled the tank yet, but was planning on using Bio-spira. Everything I have read online seems to be promising, any thoughts on the product??

I'm wanting to keep African Cichlids, either Peacocks, haps, or Mbunas. My problem is i don't know which is best for my tank size and shape. I have read an ideal ratio is 1:4 or 1:5 males to females but would like to avoid breeding if at all possible, although I understand an all male tank is a time consuming project. I also plan on having 1-2 Plecos in the tank along with the cichlids.

I guess my real questions are...

Which type of African Cichlids are best for my situation?

Which fish within that family live well together?

Will Bio-Spira really instant cycle my tank?

Will my X2 Aquaclear 110's with my DIY filter handle the bio load?

besides that any other tips/advice or things to think/worry about would be great.
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:13 AM   #2
 
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Africans would fit fine in that tank I have roughly same dimensions with no issues and Africans. most haps your going to find will defiantely outgrow that tank though some get massive like Oscar size so stay away from those. when stocking with Africans you can cram it full of fish as long as your w/e and filtration is up to par (which by sounds of it it will be) the overstock will reduce aggression but that's something your going to see on a daily basis with Africans. Africans tend to breed like rabbits so go all female maybe?

start with yellow labs, poweder blue cichlids and some aceis. they seem to be less chasey compared to the others and are in my experience "peacefull" Africans
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:45 AM   #3
 
Thanks for the insight. I'm planning on having 10-12 Cichlid by the time I'm done. I wouldn't be opposed to breeding, I just done have a place to house the fish only having 1 60 gallon tank. This is where I always run into an issue. I keep running into contradicting information on the web. I love the look of yellow labs, but I have read that they will outgrow a 60 gallon tank on a few website while others say it will be fine. O well I guess if they get too big ill either have to get another tank or find them a new home. thanks again for the info.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:04 AM   #4
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I can't help with the fish, I don't think the bacteria in a bottle actually cycles the tank but provides some interim ammonia and nitrite oxidization while the real guys reproduce... not a bad thing and can certainly be of benefit. There is one that gets mentioned here often that apparently doe s good job... I don't cycle but use plants so I don't know what the product is off hand.

I am interested in the moving bed filter and thought that you might be doing a sand system... that would rock and do a very good job. It can be set up as self cleaning with some ingenuity. All the plastic "balls" and stuff really are no substitute for a porous stationary media that has the water forced through it.... basically a canister filter. HOBs allow the water to bypass the media as it gets filled with particulates which reduces both their mechanical and biological filtration efficiencies. I might suggest that you could replace the two HOB idea with a decent sized canister and skip the moving media fad. If you have one HOB already, a small canister can be a more cost effective addition.

Jeff.
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:21 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zkessler View Post
Thanks for the insight. I'm planning on having 10-12 Cichlid by the time I'm done. I wouldn't be opposed to breeding, I just done have a place to house the fish only having 1 60 gallon tank. This is where I always run into an issue. I keep running into contradicting information on the web. I love the look of yellow labs, but I have read that they will outgrow a 60 gallon tank on a few website while others say it will be fine. O well I guess if they get too big ill either have to get another tank or find them a new home. thanks again for the info.
your going to run into countless personal experiences and opinions as they are rampant with fish (which is ok!)

I have housed up to 15 various Africans in a 55 gallon before with no issues and the tank was setup for about 3-4 years with same fish. now I did do weekly waterchanges and kept a eye on params. it basically comes down to how many fish you want and the amount of work your willing to put into the tank.
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:37 PM   #6
 
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No one has yet mentioned water parameters. Rift lake cichlids require harder water with a basic (above 7) pH. Do you know the GH (general hardness) and pH of your tap water?

Byron.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:04 PM   #7
 
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No one has yet mentioned water parameters. Rift lake cichlids require harder water with a basic (above 7) pH. Do you know the GH (general hardness) and pH of your tap water?

Byron.
Yes, my tap water is right inside the range I need it to be. All I should have to treat it for is chlorine.

Also, is it possible for my tank to be in a mini cycle prior to adding fish? If I look at it from the front of the tank the water looks clear, but from the side it looks like it has a white cloud in the water. It has gotten better over the past few days but still smoky. Also note I haven't treated the water yet at all after adding it to the tank from my hose. Obviously i'm going to treat before I add any fish, just waiting for payday to buy a water test kit and the appropriate chemicals I need.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:13 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zkessler View Post
Yes, my tap water is right inside the range I need it to be. All I should have to treat it for is chlorine.

Also, is it possible for my tank to be in a mini cycle prior to adding fish? If I look at it from the front of the tank the water looks clear, but from the side it looks like it has a white cloud in the water. It has gotten better over the past few days but still smoky. Also note I haven't treated the water yet at all after adding it to the tank from my hose. Obviously i'm going to treat before I add any fish, just waiting for payday to buy a water test kit and the appropriate chemicals I need.
This cloudiness is a bacterial bloom, common in new tanks. Nothing to worry about; it will clear on its own.

For a test kit, the best is the API Master Combo liquid test kit; it has pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

Do you understand about cycling? As soon as you add a fish, ammonia will appear, and you need to take steps to deal with this.

Byron.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:22 PM   #9
 
Here are a few pics of the tank.

pic 1: Front view currently.
Tank 1.jpg

pic 2: Side view currently
tank 2.jpg

pic 3: Water just added from hose, but prior to my new Aquaclear 110 filter.
tank 3.jpg
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:23 PM   #10
 
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sand substrate - did you wash it? usually takes me about 2 good hours of washing to get it right. more then liley its fine particulate floating around, give it a few hrs and it should settle.

I like that big tree looking thing to the left of the ship
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