New 55gal tank for X-mas! African cichlid tank questions. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 14 Old 12-06-2010, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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New 55gal tank for X-mas! African cichlid tank questions.

I was able to convince my husband to buy me a 55 gal aquarium kit from Meijer for Christmas this year. I didn't think he would let me, we just bought a 29 gal, but he sees how much I am enjoying it ! I want to set up an African (Lake Malawi) Cichlid tank. I'm going to use the filter that comes with it plus a Marineland Penguin bio-wheel 350b I ordered online. I bought blue quartzite aquarium stone in a 20 lbs kit from e-bay (if it isn't enough I'll be getting more) and I'm pricing the Carib Sea Ecco-Complete Live Freshwater African Cichlid Sand atm. I've heard it is lighter than in the pictures online so I'll probably find some suitable black to go with it. My water is on the harder side of soft but has a ph of about 8.4 this morning and is normally around there. I need to go back up to my lfs again (they know me by voice on the phone and by sight now, lol) to refresh my mind on what cichlids they carry. I love blue so that's what I'm mostly looking for, but I do want a little mix of color too. I want to get at least one breading pair. I read that you should overstock to keep aggression down, providing adequate hiding, about 20-25 (not large) for a 55 gal? I don't know if my lfs will have what I want though. Has anyone bought fish online? I'm nervous about how it will effect the fish and shipping costs are crazy, is it worth it (and if it is, how do I convince my hubby, lol)? Any pointers or suggestions are welcome!! Thanks for reading!
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post #2 of 14 Old 12-06-2010, 06:07 PM
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most Local Fish Stores dont specialize in the african cichlids and usualy just label the as assorted unless there is a specialist present and a large selection then online is a better does cost more but you can get those differnt types that you may be after....and several of the lake cichlids are sexualy dimorphic as in the male is a completly differnt color than the female so maturatycan also be a factor if you are gonna breed and need a pair...just remember that after your first few initial fish you will want to quarintine as it is almost impossible to get out just one sick fish whithout tearing apart the decor umongst 15-30 other fish in the way....

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post #3 of 14 Old 12-06-2010, 08:43 PM
My lfs has about 20 fish tanks dedicated to African Cichlids so its pretty easy getting what you want. Since you like blue, the Red Zebra, Blue Moorii, Electric Blue Hap, Dogtooth Cichlid, Malawi Eyebiter and more would all work. And to mix it up, the Auratus, Livingstoni Cichlid, Ruby Red Peacock (favorite), and the Bumblebee Mouthbrooder and LOTS more. And some Synodontis catfishes would work good.

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post #4 of 14 Old 12-06-2010, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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You make some good points, Bad. I have a 10 gal which is currently home to 2 goldfish, I have been planning to find new homes for them so I can use it as a quarantine tank. My lfs has a variety of Cichlids, but I need to go see what kind now that I've done a little homework on them. I have a feeling that you are right that I will probably find more to my liking online. My husband doesn't sound too against buying them online, as long as we look at the store first. I told him that the pair we decide to breed will need to be from an online source at least, I don't think my lfs know how to identify sexes.
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post #5 of 14 Old 12-06-2010, 09:19 PM
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Sometimes if your lfs dosen't have the fish you want they can order them 4 u and you don't have to pay shipping
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post #6 of 14 Old 12-06-2010, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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I think the first Cichlid I ever saw was the Electric Blue Jack Dempsey, so pretty, lol. I like a lot of your suggestions. I agree the Ruby Red is very pretty. I also saw some pictures of Blue Ruby Reds that are very pretty. Some of the fish you suggest are too big for my tank I think, but a lot of good thoughts here. You're lucky about your lfs, my area doesn't have much of anything let alone a good selection at the lfs. Being that I'm sick it'll be a couple of days before I go to see what's at my lfs, it's driving me nuts, even though I know it'll be a while before I can get any fish, lol.
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post #7 of 14 Old 12-06-2010, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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That would be cool, I'll have to ask them if they do and what they are able to get that way. Skipping a $35 shipping cost would be awesome, more money for other fish/fish items, lol. Thanks!
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post #8 of 14 Old 12-07-2010, 05:19 PM
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Where at in ohio do you live? RMS aquaculture in i think middleburg usually has quite a few cichlids and the stores huge so its definitely worth checkin out if you arent too far. They sold outta demasoni though before i could get this tank set up so that was a huge let down. They usually have quite a big of rocks too.
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post #9 of 14 Old 12-07-2010, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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I wish I was close, but I'm 3hrs 40mins, according to the net, away. I live in Findlay, right by the Pioneer Sugar towers off of I75, lol. There isn't much near me. I think the closest places that might have good selections are at least an hour away....
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post #10 of 14 Old 12-09-2010, 08:03 PM
It is at least an hour from you but Trilby tropicals in Toledo is excellent in my experience. They have a 600 gallon cichlid display tank. You can check them out online.
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