Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Cichlid Help! (

BillyVille 02-15-2008 02:16 PM

Cichlid Help!
Im new here and to this, and Im getting ready to buy either a 55 or 75 gallon tank for some african cichlids. My question is whats the list of other fish that I can mix with the cichlids? And please share any helpful info you can about tank setup since im new! Thanks guys

crazy4fish 02-15-2008 02:23 PM

do you already have the cichlids or are you asking what kind we suggest getting? and as for tank setup you want lots of plants or rocks so that they can establish territories.

willow 02-15-2008 02:55 PM

hello and welcome aboard.
go for the biggest you can afford. :)
you will need to cycle your tank,you can do this either
with fish or without.
choose a list of fish that you would like to put together and hopefully
someone here will be able to give you guidence on your choice.
which lake are you wanting to have,Malawi,Tanganyika or Lake Victoria ?
i think that you need to keep to African cichlids,and not mix
them with any other species,as most if not all cichlids will become
very agressive once it comes time to breed.
as to tank set up,if you can say which species you are interested in
we would be able to advise the best set up.
i hope i have been able to help a little.

BillyVille 02-15-2008 03:31 PM

well im not sure which ones I will get yet? I want lots of color, because I really love the salt water fish but cant afford a setup. Im just going to buy a tank by itself so I need some help chosing which filters, heater and all that stuff I need!

willow 02-15-2008 03:37 PM

external filters are good,there are a few to choose from,
i have fluval,Eheim are also a popular make as well,
you can use sand or small gravel,most if not all (i think)
like to dig,so if you are using rocks,then i would advise sinking the rocks
deeply into the substrate,as the fish can cause a rock fall,
and rocks and glass is a fragile world lol :)
heaters,personally i use visi therm and (touch wood) they have never
failed me yet,
hopefully others will pop in and add some helpfull advise.

BillyVille 02-15-2008 03:45 PM

I plan on using pool sand, a dozen or so smaller rocks to stack in the middle, holey rock on each side, with some tall plants here and there, a bubble wall, and I cant decide on a background to wrap the sides and back of the tank with? Maybe just all blue? Iono? Thanks guys so far! This place is awesome!

willow 02-15-2008 04:00 PM

i like the sound of it,i think a black background would look
awsome with the colour of the fish and really show them off.

BillyVille 02-15-2008 04:54 PM

Thanks where can I get the solid black background at?

willow 02-15-2008 04:59 PM

you should be able to get it from a pet store,or on line shop,
failing that some people spray paint the outside back of the tank,
i think there is a post about it in the "DIY" section,
you could always make it yourself,by painting some parcel paper
and sticking it to the back of the tank,i think i have even heard a member
using a black trash bin liner,which gives the same effect.

herefishy 02-15-2008 05:58 PM

Here is what I would do. A 75g tank, the added depth and height will be useful. Substrate would be EcoComplete Cichlid gravel, it will help maintain favorable water pH and KH. I would paint the back of the tank a dark, dark blue, black or dark gray before adding anything to the tank. Leave the sides clear for viewing

For filtration, I would do something that no one else would do. I would use a modified undergravel filter with (2)Marineland 660r reverse flow powerheads, an Emperor 400 power filter, and (2)Fluval 3+ internal powerfilters placed in the corners. I might, I say might, also use a Magnum 350/360 canister filter for good measure. I will explain the modifications to the ugf plate should you decide to use it.

Some may say that I am crazy for using the ugf, as African cichlids are quite the excavators. The modifications to the filter plate take that into consideration. And, like I said I will explain that modification should you decide to use it.

For decorations, if you wish to call it that, I would create a honeycomb of nooks, crannies and caves using lava lace rock. No plants unless they are plastic(ugh). Cichlids are basically herbivores and will eat real plants.

As for selecting fish, I would stay with the "bread and butter" of cichlidom. I would choose from the mbuna. They are easy to care for,colorful, and relatively inexpensive. For tankmates, the venerable synodontis group would be good. These fish also come in a big choice of "flavors". A dwarf giraffe cat would also be a neat tankmate.

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