Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Starting a cichlid tank, all manner of advice wanted/needed! (

joe1992w 09-01-2010 03:57 PM

Starting a cichlid tank, all manner of advice wanted/needed!
I have just bought a 4ft 216L aquarium. the dimensions are 120cm long x 40cm deep x 45cm high
i would really like to turn it into a Lake Malawi Mbuna tank and so i need lots and lots of advice.

First off i'd like to mention that my water chemistry isn't far off perfect please see the link below
In your area

the ph on there says 7.2 but in practice it's about 7.6 and very hard water as it comes from an aquifer not a resevoir.

So i need advice on a substrate firstly, i have read lots and lots about crushed coral sand and how it can help to buffer your water which sounds all well and good but can it be too much? i've also heard that a light colored substrate increases glare and can stress your fish and also that a black substrate helps to bring out the colors of your fish so advice on this would be great!

Secondly i love the look of "Texas Holey Rock" or "Honeycomb Limestone" or as it seems to be called here in the UK "Ocean Rock" but how much (in Kg if possible) would be a suitable amount for a very nearly 55g mbuna setup? also if another type of rock is more suitable or your opinion looks nicer/more natural i would love suggestions

Also the lighting is a concern, the hood for my tank has 2 lighting tubes so i would love suggestions on how i should light the tank and for how long etc.

also any advice on beginer mbuna i can add to my tank so i don't end up with a baptism of fire.

Thanks alot hope to hear from all of you

joe1992w 09-02-2010 08:50 AM

bump :) please help

beachcire 09-02-2010 10:28 AM

As far as substrate goes, crushed coral is good for buffering but I prefer the look of black sand, especially for an Mbuna tank. The darker the substrate, the more "pop" you get with the fish in my opinion.

As far at the rock goes, I can't really comment on that since I have the cichlid stones in mine, which my fish are very happy with as far as I can tell.

Lighting for an mbuna cichlid tank can be very basic since you are probably not going to be trying to make it a planted tank. I use a solarmax lighting fixture in mine. It has one daylight lamp, one actinic blue light, and 4 led moonlights.

Some of the more gentle mbuna you can get would be Yellow Labs, Yellow Tail Acei's and Rustys. Of course, make sure your male to female ration is about 1:4 and keep in mind that all mbuna cichlids are aggressive and you will see fighting, that is normal.

A couple that I would avoid would be Kenyi and Auratus. They are some of the nastiest ones out there.

Good luck and I hope this info helps. I am by no means an expert so if there are things that need to be corrected, hopefully someone else will jump in.

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