Brand Spanking New!
My family and I have just joined the Cichlid world and we are loving it. My question is about the ph in the aquarium...probably a dumb question but I would rather not mess up a good thing. We are using an API tester that is reading 7.6 or higher (7.6 is the last number). Is this ok? The dumb part is, which way is lowering or raising??? The ph numbers start at 6.0 on a vertical card and end at 7.6...what drops do I put in???
The fish seem to doing great. They are all eating well, too well, the kids keep asking to feed them, no we don't them. We have put the smallest cichlid in a breeder box because he was being picked on way to much. We feed them flakes and have given them blood worms, orange slices, and zucchini on different occasions. But im really worried that I have no clue about the ph.....
Help would greatly appreciated!
You would be best not to alter the pH of the water as is you are keeping africians that is absolutely fine for them.
pH lower number is more acidic, higher number is more alkaline.
On the API test kit, use both the pH ranges, high and low if you have the master test kit. I have 3 africian tanks and all of them are at pH 7.4 - 7.6 which is near perfect for them.
what fish do you have and what size is your tank?
Point I forgot to mention, feed bloodworms once every two weeks. With bloodworms, they can cause "Malawi bloat" in cichlids which is almost always lethal to them.
So, now what do I do?
erm Houston we have a major major problem.
Hate to say it but the tank is too small to keep ANY africian cichlids at all :-(
Your only options would be to purchase a larger tank, at least 55g or to return the fish.
Just by the descriptions you give, you have some aggressive fish there, more than capable of killing everything in your tank in a heartbeat. (one yellow with black horizontal line down length of fish - I suspect may be Melanochromis auratus - or one nasty aggressive cichlid)
Tragically, many fish stores are more after your money than providing information which is useful and provides care for your chosen fish.
I totally concur.
BTW, if you stay with just the 20g and return the cichlids (before they die from stress if not physical damage) some good choices would be livebearers in your basic pH water which is also likely medium hard or harder. And there are some other small colourful fish that need this type of water too, you can browse our profiles. Second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page; some species under Livebearers, Cyprinids and a few under Characins. Water parameters are given for each species, along with tank size, minimum numbers for that species (some are shoaling and need a small group), etc.
And welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. Nice to have you with us.:-D
You know the part that really gets me, besides the fact that I should have researched, is that Tazman is right...I asked two people from two different major pet stores how many fish for my tank...both said 10 to 15 should be ok. The crazy part is that I really do love these fish and I realize now that I need to take them back and get the "right" choice. I feel pretty stupid walking back into a pet store with returned fish.
Im just mad...
We all learn in this hobby, unfortunately it is often from our mistakes, and even more unfortunately the fish can suffer for our mistakes.
I am lucky to have true fish stores around me, not just chain stores. One generally gets better advice from staff in a local fish store because they are often hobbyists themselves. But even so, nothing beats advance research.:-)
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