red tailed shark ? - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 14 Old 08-10-2010, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Byron
I decided to go with the cichlids because I have 7.8 ph and hardness in my water right from the faucet. I would only be putting 3 or 4 cichlids in each tank. I also plan on using texas holey rock, limestone, coral sand, or a combination of those to raise the hardness without adding a lot of chemicals. In the event of any babies, the mother will go to the 10 gallon quarantine tank just to be safe. What's your opinion on using the Seachem cichlid lake salt for them ? Some sites recommend it while others say not to use it or they never use it. It would make sense to me that if it's in their natural enviroment , they need it in the tank.... but on the other hand most of these fish are tank raised and you don't know what was added to the water.
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post #12 of 14 Old 08-10-2010, 01:00 PM
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Back when I did have a tank of rift lake cichlids, it was in the days when special salts were not available. I used dolomite as the substrate. I certainly agree that your idea along similar lines will be good. Having calcareous rock/gravel in the tank will raise hardness and pH naturally and be fine.

Hard water is hard because of calcium and magnesium, two minerals found in limestone, dolomite, marble, lava rock, and coral (calcium in the latter). Whether or not you want to spend money additionally on these salts is up to you; perhaps others who have used them can comment on their usefulness.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #13 of 14 Old 08-17-2010, 04:26 PM
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Your PH is fine for the two cichlid species you selected. I would not recommend using salts unless you have a fish with injuries. The Texas Holey rock and coral substrate will also help to buffer the ph levels. Make sure you have plenty of hiding spaces for your fish as mbuna cichlids are rock dwelling fish and will need places to escape when they are getting picked on. Expect aggression, that is normal with these species. Just keep an eye out to make sure there are no injuries to the eyes or mouths.

Something else to keep in mind is that they will eat and eat and eat and will still appear to be hungry. Make sure you feed them a vegetarian diet and skip at least one day a week to allow them to clean out their system. They are great fish to have and I am sure you will enjoy them very much. It's a blast watching them follow you along the front of the tank when you walk by.

If possible, I would look at putting them in something larger when that becomes a possibility.
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post #14 of 14 Old 08-17-2010, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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hey beachcire...... thanks a lot for your help. All my fish get Spectrum food and once a week they get either zucchini, peas , lettuce, brine shrimp, shrimp pellets, or spirulina flakes. I noticed a big color difference in the 3 serpae tetras I bought a couple of weeks ago in comparison with the one I've had for almost a year. The new ones color was a pinkish orange and the other is dark red orange. So I do believe the Spectrum food brings out the color in fish. My 2 cardinal tetras are beautiful and so are my 4 German blue Rams. My cherry barbs are really dark red.
My only other option is to divide the peaceful community fish between the 2 29 gallon tanks or in the 40 gallon tank then put all 8 cichlids in the 55 gallon tank and hope for the best. I really don't have room or money for a bigger tank. I love having my tank in the living room where I can see it. I do have lots of rocks to make caves with and two big tree stump decorations with holes in them.
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