Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   On the right path for cichlids? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/cichlids/right-path-cichlids-78922/)

Qcdan 08-24-2011 08:01 AM

On the right path for cichlids?
 
Hey guys,
I posted couple days ago to get some advice for my cichlids tank, which helped me a lot. But after several hours of reading the forum (so much information!!) i just feel like i have a thousand more questions. Heres what i got so far;
40g long tank, AC 110 filter, caribsea ivory cichlids substrate and aragonite, lots of rocks, going to get the T5 dual lamp 10k light fixture. My tap water parameters are; Ph around 7.2, hardness barely around 50ppm.

Am i gonna run into some kind of Ph trouble soon or later?!
I wanted a mbunas tank, cause they look awesome, i like the way they act in the tank, and a decor with tons of rocks is very good looking, oh and their aggressivity :). Should i rethink about getting mbunas and go with a specie that will fit more my tap water parameters..?
If not, which mbunas you guys suggest i put in my tank? Since i only have a 40g id rather small ones. Yellow labs, kenyi?!

Thanks for all the help!
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TexasTanker 08-24-2011 08:20 AM

The aragonite and cichlid sand will manage your Ph and Hardness. When I asked how long that'd work, the guy said "Forever or until you take it down."

I don't have any Mbunas yet so I can only tell you what I've learned so far. I was warned off of Kenyii, they're pretty but not so nice. Yellow labs are mellow. 4:1 F:M ratios are ideal are over stock.

Qcdan 08-24-2011 09:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TexasTanker (Post 797449)
The aragonite and cichlid sand will manage your Ph and Hardness. When I asked how long that'd work, the guy said "Forever or until you take it down."

I don't have any Mbunas yet so I can only tell you what I've learned so far. I was warned off of Kenyii, they're pretty but not so nice. Yellow labs are mellow. 4:1 F:M ratios are ideal are over stock.

So basically just with the substrate my Ph will always stay around 8 or so??

What about zebras?! And how many fish i should put in my tank?!
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TexasTanker 08-24-2011 09:35 AM

Yes on the Ph thing.

There are a lot of different "zebras" when it comes to cichlids. I suggest you go to AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor and mess around with the numbers and species. It will let you know if you have maxed out on filtration or if some kinds of fish won't mesh.

rrcoolj 08-24-2011 10:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TexasTanker (Post 797488)
Yes on the Ph thing.

There are a lot of different "zebras" when it comes to cichlids. I suggest you go to AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor and mess around with the numbers and species. It will let you know if you have maxed out on filtration or if some kinds of fish won't mesh.

Although the above link might be good for peaceful cichlids and community fish, cichlids don't follow the same stocking rule as most fish especially mbuna. You have to overstock a mbuna tank to minimize aggression. What are the tank dimensions of your 40? If it a 3ft tank your options will be limited. I think the tank is a little on the small side for red zebras which I am assuming is what you were talking about. You need to select smaller growing/peaceful mbuna.

amberjade 08-24-2011 10:46 AM

I would go with yellow labs and rusties for a 40 gal. They are both on the smaller side, and peaceful for mbuna. I have both species in a 40, and I love them! When the rusties mature, they get the most amazing violet sheen to them. :)

Mine are all male, but I've been lucky. I wouldn't recommend an all male mbuna tank to everyone. It has to be really carefully set up. So, get one male to several females. You will probably end up with more than one male, unless you can vent them - especially the labs. Sub-adult rusties will be showing egg spots if male, although not always the case.

Good luck!
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Qcdan 08-24-2011 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rrcoolj (Post 797552)
Although the above link might be good for peaceful cichlids and community fish, cichlids don't follow the same stocking rule as most fish especially mbuna. You have to overstock a mbuna tank to minimize aggression. What are the tank dimensions of your 40? If it a 3ft tank your options will be limited. I think the tank is a little on the small side for red zebras which I am assuming is what you were talking about. You need to select smaller growing/peaceful mbuna.

Yeah its the 40g long tank. I want yellow labs for sure so what would be best to add with these? And if i go 4:1 ratio am i gonna be able to add a third specie or these two are already enought? Or maybe too much??
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TexasTanker 08-24-2011 01:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rrcoolj (Post 797552)
Although the above link might be good for peaceful cichlids and community fish, cichlids don't follow the same stocking rule as most fish especially mbuna. You have to overstock a mbuna tank to minimize aggression. What are the tank dimensions of your 40? If it a 3ft tank your options will be limited. I think the tank is a little on the small side for red zebras which I am assuming is what you were talking about. You need to select smaller growing/peaceful mbuna.

This site actually accounts for the Mbunas and encourages overstocking in their calculations for filtration and aggression. Additionally, after the info at the bottom it will link to some good starter resources on peaceable mbuna species.

Qcdan 08-24-2011 01:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TexasTanker (Post 797771)
This site actually accounts for the Mbunas and encourages overstocking in their calculations for filtration and aggression. Additionally, after the info at the bottom it will link to some good starter resources on peaceable mbuna species.

So i tried with 5 yellow labs and 5 rustys (adult size) and it says im at 84%, does it make sense? When do i consider my tank is overstocked? At 101+%? and which % of filtration i should aim for?!

TexasTanker 08-24-2011 03:08 PM

You still want 100% filtration. Depending on who I've asked I've heard 120% to 150% stocking capacity as long as the filtration is there. Me, I don't plan on going over 120%.

Website aside, my friend (a cichlid enthusiast) said I could probably manage about 15 or so adults and a pleco in a 55 until I am more experienced.


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