Advice on setting up an African cichlid tank
Just got a 100gal tank and was thinking of setting up with African cichlids. I know they ave some special requirements in terms of hardness ph and salinity and are aggressive. Starting off, my main questions are
What is the best substrate? I was thinking a crushed coral/aragonite mix although I've heard the colours look better on a drak substrate (Tahitian moon sand?)
What species can u mix together? I don't know too much about African cichlids but like the look of peacocks and malawis
Do they have to have rocks? I don't want to silicone any onto the tank and am worried they will dig up and cause them to topple over. Was thinking of using lighter weight subs like ceramics, ornaments, PVC pipes etc
Is it a bad idea to have all males (of different species) and that's it? They are much prettier and I'm not fussed on breeding them. Although it's awesome to see I'd prefer a fully stocked tank that's bright and colorful!
Any advice would be much appreciated!! I haven't got anything for this tank yet so I'm open to any suggestions i can take on board :)
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You cannot mix different rift lakes. I would buy argonite sand, it looks good, and takes care of the pH and GH problem. Depending on your water paremeters you may need to put crushed coral in the filter but that's if you don't go with the argonite. There is now best soil. They all have pros and cons.
Substrate doesn't really matter. I honestly would reccomend sand because it is easy to clean and fish like to sift through it. Althoug like mentioned crushed coral will help raise pH. What is your pH by the way? Peacocks are from lake malawi. The rocks you use dosen't matter and you don't have to silicone anything. Just make sure you stack the rocks before putting in the subastrate to ensure that the rocks won't move when the fish dig. And make sure you stack the rocks carefully so they won't move around. PVS and ornaments are fine as well. They don't look as nice but the fish won't care as long as they serve their purpose. Provide plenty of caves and hidey holes for your fish. And an all male tank is perfectly fine and a lot of people do it. It sounds as though you want an all male peacock tank. There are tons of options to choose from so I can't help you there but remember you need to overstock(and there fore over filter) to prevent aggression problems, don't chose fish too similar in color, and try to buy all your fish at once. Check out the link below. Scroll to peacocks and looks at the profiles and pick some fish species you like.
Select as many as you want or all of them if you want and I will help you select which species you should keep together. You will need to buy like 6 of each species as juviniles and as they age the males will start to color up. Pick out the males sell the females and hope for the best. Or you can buy subadult males who are already showing color and add them to your tank. All peacocks are dull grey as babies but once the males mature they will start to color up and the females will stay their gray color.
GL with your fish
Wow thanks for all the info! Thats great.
I'm not sure about the sand being easy to clean tho, won't it go straight up the syphon? Also my water is quite neutral ph and soft so I was thinking coral could help keep it at the right level?
I'm really not sure about which species I like them all! In terms of aulonocara. I would like some different colored ones like nyassae and baenschi, I like the 'dragon blood' ones at the lfs too! Another species I really like is cynotilapia afra there are some beauties at my lfs. Also c.moori and electric yellows. I
like them all!!! Eeekkk. Was also thinking maybe some catfish
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In that case crushed coral might be a good idea. I have also had luck with malawi buffers. If you follow the directions it will work fine. Afra are mbuna I would stay away from them because mbuna tend to be more aggressive than peacocks. Moori will do fine as well as yellow labs you just have to make sure they are males. A 100% way to tell is to vent.
Malawi Cichlids, Malawi Species Profiles, African Cichlids, Lake Malawi, Malawi Forum, Tanks, Articles, Books, Videos
Most peacocks have the same aggression level except for a select few so as long as they are males you should be fine. Yellow labs also do great with peacocks because of their more omnivorous diet and their passive nature. Labs are mbuna bt the way. Sand is super easy to clean I use it on my tank. An added bonus to using sand is that and debri will sit on the top were it can be siphoned off easily as opposed to gravel where the debri can sit in-between the gravel for long periods of time unnoticed and can keep the gravel dirty even though it LOOKS clean. Here's a link for how to clean sand.
is it hard to change from gravel to sand?
It can be tricky because gravel holds a lot of beneficial bacteria. it depends. If you have way too many fish for your tank and not enough bio in your filter than you can kill your fish. Are there fish in the tank already? If you have sufficient bio-filtration it should not pose a problem. What kind of filters are you running?
I have 3 yell. labs 4 socolfi 3 jewels and 2 kribs all stll small. i am running 2 aqua clear 70's. its a 75 gallon tank
No fish yet, the tank is still in set up mode. I've just put the substrate, I've decided to go with 50/50 aragonite/inert pool filter sand. The tank has a built in overhead trickle filter, and I'm also going to run an internal power filter (just one of those Otto sponge ones). I'm planning on having an all male tank, and from what I've read and everyones said that it needs to be overstocked to reduce aggression. Although I'm not sure what is considered overstocked! The tank is 100gal.
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that will be one expensive tank to stack
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