Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   starting a cichlid tank (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/cichlids/starting-cichlid-tank-33047/)

tommaso889 11-29-2009 10:18 AM

starting a cichlid tank
 
Hello again i am going to start a cichlid tank and i want to know what ones i could put in 25 litre tank (uk) and any thing else i need to know

molliefan09 11-29-2009 11:02 AM

in order to beable to tell you what fish would be most compatable for you we need to know your ph, gh, kh. after we know that we can help u a bit better

molliefan09 11-29-2009 11:07 AM

now...i did just do the calculations and according to what i found 25 litres is equal to 6.6 us gallons......that is not sufficient for cichlids. i have a 55 gallon that i will be doing an african cichlid tankl and i can only keep very few fish. I may be wrong, but i would not put anything other then a single male betta or small schooling fish in a 6.6 gallon tank

tommaso889 11-29-2009 11:08 AM

i havent acctually set it up so i will do a repost nearer the time

molliefan09 11-29-2009 11:08 AM

we posted at the same time......see post above your last

tommaso889 11-29-2009 11:09 AM

also i have found that th 25 l was aload of crap and it kept braking and i have found 52 litre (uk)

tommaso889 11-29-2009 11:23 AM

also wat size shood i get

andrewr2488 11-29-2009 10:55 PM

Well the bigger the better. 50 US Gallons would be the minimum when doing an African Cichlid tank. Remember, These fish grow to an average of 6" and grow to 8". When planning your tank, First check your water parameters (pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate) then plan your fish around it. There are three major lakes in Africa (Lake Malawi, Lake Victoria, And Lake Tanganyika) Each of them have slightly different water parameters.

Lake Malawi is home to most of the popular aquarium Cichlids. Labidochromis Caeruleus (Electric Yellow Cichlid) is one of the more popular non aggressive Cichlids. Pseudotropheus Acei Is also a more non aggressive Cichlid. When adding them, Add the least aggressive species first as to let them get a territory and have an upper hand on the more aggressive species. Always do your research before adding or buying any fish. Cichlids enjoy alot of Rockwork so that is well encouraged. Most Cichlids you'll see in pet stores are Mbuna which when translated means Rockfish. Try to get a nice stack of rocks with plenty of nooks and crannies for them to call home. Rocks also play a vital part when breaking the line of sight between aggressor and victim. Overstocking is encouraged to spread the aggression, So be sure you have an adequite filtration system.

Substrate options vary slightly but the main idea is to have either a very fine grain gravel or play sand found in playgrounds/childrens sandboxes. When setting up your rocks its best to set them up either directly onto the bottom glass of your aquarium or on egg cartons as cichlids are notorious for digging and could dig under a supporting rock and your formation could come tumbling down onto the fish. I personally used something called Turface Pro-League. Not sure if you can find it in the UK, But here in the states its used as a topsoil for the infield of baseball fields.

Most rocks will do for rockwork, But be sure they aren't going to have an negative effects on your water parameters. Get some white vinegar and put a few drops onto the rocks you plan on using, If they fizz don't use them. "Texas Holey Rock" is a popular rock to use because of its natural holes and cave like sculptures. Sandstone will do but I've heard of it dissolving over a perioud of time (Most say 4-6 years) and some of the dissolved sand getting into the impeller of HOB Filters. I'm going to use Flatrocks for my aquarium, They don't generally look as natural because of the stacking of them, but they do create more places for cichlids to call home. They also create a good place for spawning. When stacking and placing rocks, Be sure you leave adequite swimming room.

Generally aquarist look to fake plants in place of real plants, Most cichlids dig as stated earlier and will dig the roots of natural plants and even tear leafs up. Plants aren't used as much with Cichlids as with other fish. They're quite comfortable with rocks so there's not much need for plants in the aquaria. If planning to spawn them, A ratio of 1M/3F is best.

That covers the basics, Once you post your water parameters and Aquarium size I can further help you on your selections.

Good Luck!!

tommaso889 11-30-2009 10:47 AM

do you want the water parameters with no water conditioner in it ?

andrewr2488 11-30-2009 09:03 PM

Before, Water conditioner wont effect your water parameters. Conditioner basically rids your water of the chlorine and other contaminants. If you can, I'd like to know your pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, GH and KH. That will give me an idea of your water and I can further assist you. When you are ready to buy your fish, See if the fish store your buying from can provide you with the water parameters of the tank in which the fish you plan to purchase is in.

As far as cycling your tank, nobody can really say which is better (Fishless cycle or Fish cycle) as there is no proven record of one being better than another. I'm going to cycle my tank with fish in. Once cycled be careful not to add too many fish at once as it will cause another mini cycle and that could spike your nitrite level thus sickening or even killing some fish. African Cichlids are a hardy fish and can usually deal with most reasonable situations.

pH should be anywhere from 7.8-8.6 but a slightly lower reading won't effect them enough to make a difference. As long as your pH is constant its always better than a fluctuating level. Most rocks you will use in your rockwork will probably raise the pH slightly. Driftwood will lower your pH but I did add 2 small peices and 1 medium peice of Mopani Driftwood. You can also use Crushed Coral to help keep your pH up. That would be the better alternative than using any kind of chemicals, if your water is hard it will buffer the chemicals you add as far as pH aids and that will cause alot of fluctuation which def. isnt good for the fish.

We can continue once you post your parameters. Hopefully I've been of some help to you.


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