questions about cichlids - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 12 Old 02-24-2009, 07:34 AM
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African tank

In a 55 gal tank with Cichlids native to Lake Malawi your going to want your water parameters to be within the following: ph=7.8 - 8.6, hardness=hard water, and a temperature within 76-82 degrees F. These are general water perameters, but if you're sticking with African Cichlids all native to Lake Malawi, then these parameters will keep your fish thriving. Most tap water will fit these parameters, given you use a water conditioner to remove Chloromins and other potentially harmful chemicals. Just buy some water test strips at you local pet store/Walmart, and test your tap water to find out where you sit. You may not have to do anything to your water.

As far as the fish a concerned, a 55 gal tank is great for adding lava rock the whole length of the tank to add structure for your inhabitants to sort out and argue over territories. Some people are anal about avoiding all cichlid confrentation, but this aggression is a completely natural part of their existance. so don't be afraid to stock you tank with around 5-10 Cichlids. Just make sure you do some research on the specifc fish you intend to buy and avoid mixing fish that vary greatlly in adult size. Always judge your purchases buy adult sizes compared with your tank size, in other words 10, 10-12" fish in a 55 gal tank is ridiculous, but 10 4-6" fish is pretty reasonable. Have fun with it, and good luck.

Andrew Drees
The American Cichlid Guy
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post #12 of 12 Old 02-24-2009, 08:02 AM
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another note

Oh and to comment about the angel fish; they are South American Cichlids, which generally prefer softer water parameters, so in general this is why you wouldn't want to mix them with African Cichlids. They also tend to have much different "styles" of aggression and usually stress each other out. I also find most American (new world) Cichlids are hardier than most (old world) Cichlids, but with American Cichlids you are generally looking at larger fish. Although there are smaller varieties of both, the popular species, found almost anywhere, tend to follow these trends.

Andrew Drees
The American Cichlid Guy
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