30g cichlid tank startup
I'm starting up a cichlid tank my last gourami tank went down hill. Now its been set up for almost a full day. I'm using sand for the first time. It very cloudy still. I did wash out all the sand for about a hour to where once mixed up it settled it self in 10secs most. All decors where washed and rinsed. And i do have to things of air bubbles going. Ive read using something called bio spira to help cycle tank faster. Ive also read putting one fish in there till tank has established it's self. Right now tank is just tap water with tetra water conditioner. Can someone point me in best test kit and what to look out for. Maybe best chemicals and some tips. There so much out there and with my old tank i had alot of them do nothing.
Another thing im looking for a good bottom feeder that will go with African ciclids. Id like to have a algae eater to. Any pointed to good fish for this? Im planing on having about 4 ciclids in the tank at most once established.
Hi walshyfz86! welcome to the forum! now, to answser some of your questions. :D .. what size is your tank? oh...nvm, it's 30 gallons.
you are going to want to grab yourself a good test kit (LIQUID) as the strips aren't as accurate, API is a good one, and you can get them from most any pet store that sells fish. And perhaps even wal-mart carries it...
sand is a great substrate in my opinion, its what I've been using for 2 years now in my Angelfish tank, and I love it. now, you said that you've already rinsed it and set it up IN the tank, and that the tank is cloudy...mnd you, thats probably STILL sand in your water (and some dirt, cause its impossible to get the sand completely clean), and it will take a few days to completely settle. I don't recommend you turning your filter on until its settled, because sand can harm your filter. once your tank is looking pretty clear, then you can turn on the filter.
i dont know what to say about the water conditioner drops, maybe someone else can help you there, i've never needed to use anything but stress-coat b/c i use bottled water in my tank (jugs of spring from wal-mart) but i've heard that those tetra drops aren't good. but like i said, maybe someone else has an opinion on those. although, I DO recommend staying away from any chemicals like bio-spira, or ph up/down, etc. most of what you want to achieve can be done naturally. i cycled my tank with media from a smaller tank that i had set up and with fish, so it cycled relatively fast. (this is where that test kit comes in handy, cuz you won't know if your tank is cycled without it. :) ) if you decide to cycle With fish, make sure you choose a hardy fella like a danio, or perhaps a platy. neons are not good fish to cycle with, and I wouldn't purchase your cichlids until your tank hasbeen established and your water parameters stable.
as far as tank mates for your cichlids, I had a bristlenose pleco in my tank and he took care of any algae that i got, plus he was smaller in size, (5-6 inches) which would probably suit your purposes.
Thanks for the great reply!. Im thinking on purchasing 2 platys till tanks established fully. And i will try out that test kit. And try and stay away from any chemicals. I will be posting levels trough out to see how it looks and someone can help me. Or maybe somewhere i can see what levels will go where and when.
I recommend you read up on these articles,
and familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of cycing your tank. :D It's quite helpful if you know the WHYS of cycling instead of just the hows. And definitely post your parameters here once you get your results. We will be happy to walk you through all the steps of setting up your tank.
oh, and unless you want baby platys in your tank, i suggest purchasing 2 females!! platys are VERY proficient!! LOL :lol:
this thread has a plethora or information on keeping FW tanks too, if you get the chance to read some articles,
Go fishless :D ! It is usually quicker (my 15 cycled in 10 days) easier (no water changes to keep fish alive) nicer (no fish are subjected to ammonia), and you don't have to deal with what to do with your cycling fish once you add your cichlids. All you have to do is set up your tank and add ammonia. Basically add enough ammonia to get the levels in the tank to 5ppm. Then add 5 drops per 10 gallons daily until nitrite spikes, then add half of that amount daily until both ammonia and nitrite are at zero and you have a nitrate reading. Do a large water change and add fish! There are many variations, but that is what worked for me. It's really pretty simple and much kinder to the fish :) . Good luck with your new tank.
I appreciate it so much!. I did to much guest test and revise on the old tank to many fish down the toilet to. Thank you again
I had 2 platys in my old tank. and about a month later a baby was around. tried putting him in his own tank but he died a month later.
whats a good water conditioner? and is it necessary?
i'm actually not sure about water conditioners, as I use spring water, and it isn't necessary for me to treat it. here is a good article that will explain the neccessities of water conditioners if you use tap water: http://www.fishforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=9597
apparently she recommends the Aquasafe by Tetra, and Stress Zyme + Stress Coat (which I use when I do water changes to replace the slime coating on my fishies.)
The water conditioner is necessary unless you're using something other than tap water. I use AquaSafe and have found it to work well. It removes chlorine as well as heavy metals which can be harmful to the fish.
30g is a bit small for an African cichlid setup, so you want to be extra careful with your stocking. Depending on exactly what species you get, I don't think you'll need an algae eater as the cichlids themselves are great at eating algae.
I was told i can have no more then 4 African cichlids since they dont get to big compared to others.
I just got the API master test kit and i found out these readings
NH3/NH4 Ammonia reading
about a .25
PH is about a 7.8
Nitrite is 0ppm
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