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If you're talking about the African Rift Lake cichlids, you're going to have trouble finding an appropriate bottom feeder that will fit in a 30g tank. Loaches are a bad mix because they require softer, more acidic water than the rift lake fish. 30 gallons is a really limited amount of space for rift lake cichlids, unless you're getting some of the smaller shelldweller species. Keep in mind that there are tons of different species of African cichlids, including some riverine cichlids from West Africa that have totally different care requirements. I urge you to research the exact species of cichlids you want before buying them, as some of them are far more aggressive than others and many will get much too large for a 30g tank. This site sells fish, but it also has a pretty decent selection of African cichlids. Notice that with many of them, you need multiple females for each male or else you can get fighting (and I mean serious, fish-killing fights). Some people solve this problem by only getting male fish. Here's the link:

http://liveaquaria.com/product/aquarium-fish-supplies.cfm?c=830+831&s=ts&count=24&start=1&page_num=1
 

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i've been told that regular cleaning and maintenance is good for your filter, but I'm assuming this means take it apart and wipe it down, rinse grunge off of it, every couple of months, or as neccessary. if you are using a standard HOB filter, it should have a carbon (black) pad, and a bio filter (white) pad. the black one can be changed monthly. the white one is where the bacteria live, and should never be changed, or rinsed in anything but tank water. you won't need to do any immediate maintenance to your filter once it's cycled.

hope i answered your question.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
iamntbatman said:
If you're talking about the African Rift Lake cichlids, you're going to have trouble finding an appropriate bottom feeder that will fit in a 30g tank. Loaches are a bad mix because they require softer, more acidic water than the rift lake fish. 30 gallons is a really limited amount of space for rift lake cichlids, unless you're getting some of the smaller shelldweller species. Keep in mind that there are tons of different species of African cichlids, including some riverine cichlids from West Africa that have totally different care requirements. I urge you to research the exact species of cichlids you want before buying them, as some of them are far more aggressive than others and many will get much too large for a 30g tank. This site sells fish, but it also has a pretty decent selection of African cichlids. Notice that with many of them, you need multiple females for each male or else you can get fighting (and I mean serious, fish-killing fights). Some people solve this problem by only getting male fish. Here's the link:

http://liveaquaria.com/product/aquarium-fish-supplies.cfm?c=830+831&s=ts&count=24&start=1&page_num=1

The cichlid i was looking at are electric yellow? as far as i no there farm raised in Thailand. What would be a good mix with them. or maybe point me in the right direction. and maybe other sites i can buy fish online.
 

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I don't generally clean my filters out. That gunk is an important part of your biological filtration. If you do clean the filter, make sure to do just one part at a time- clean the uptake one week, the impeller the next etc. Just don't clean a lot at once.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Just got some crazy spikes some one help me here




Nitite 1.0
Nitrate 20
ammonia .50


is it time for a waterchange?
 

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I'd leave it until the ammonia goes up a little more. These numbers are good, it means your tank is well on it's way to being cycled. No need to slow it down if the fish are doing OK.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
thank you. Once the ammonia goes up. should be time for water change. i dont want to change it to early or to late.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
ok some changes

ph 7.6
Nitrite 2.0
nitrate 20
ammonia .50 still

The nitrate and nitrite seem to be spiking more every day.
 
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