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Discussion Starter #1
Hi!
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 :)
Thanks everyone!!
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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.
 

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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.

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/peacock_corner.php

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
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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.

Venting cichlids
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.

Cichlid-Forum.com
 

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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?
 

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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
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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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But it will be worth it in the end seeing all those stunning peacocks in that tank. Your setup sounds pretty good. I am guessing the trickle is a sump filter? Fill that thing with tons of bio filtration. Pot scrubbies are great and cheap. i would ditch the sponge filter because it isn't great at mechanical filtration. Depending how your sump is set up you can put the mechanical media in there. Can we maybe get pictures of your filtration? I would probably put 12-15 fish in your tank if you can. You may even be able to add more.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
No it's not a sump it's one of those that sit ontop of the tank built into the hood. Its a long tray with media compartments and a spray bar that sprays water in, so that the media isn't always underwater, it's under a constant spray of new water. I think it's also called a wet/dry filter? I will try and upload pics. I've put in double the recommended amount of bio media (I'm using seachem matrix) plus some purigen. Can possibly put some filter wool/pads ontop of the media so that can do a bit of mechanical. Luckily for me I have a friend who can get me pretty cheap fish at about $7-$10 each for about 5cm which are usually starting to colour already. What kind of fish do u think I should use to cycle the tank? Do u recommend the use of products like cycle to speed it up?
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I always let tanks cycle naturally in time. I have never used any of the "jump start" cycle methods so IDK. If you are going to use fish use fish like zebra danios which are very hardy. Your filtration sounds pretty good although I am not too experienced with trickle filters.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Also, is there a way to get it to cycle naturally without fish? I mean, using pure ammonia added to the tank sounds like a good quick option but how do the bacteria get introduced? I always thought the fish did that. Although I do have another tank I could seed from
 

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Then I would do that your tank will cycle quickly. Use some media or substrate from your established tank in like a bag and put it in the filter or aquarium and that should really jump start the cycling process because you are essentially introducing beneficial bacteria to the aquarium.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Oh my gosh, can I just say that the sand I used has so much dust in it!!! I've put the sand in the tank (after rinsing it ALOT) and filled the tank about a quarter. It looks like milk! Can't see more than 1cm. I got some filter pads and put those in, and used some accu clear. Amazingly the tank was crystal clear after about 3 hours. My question now is, Will this 'dust' stay forever? For example if I stir up the sand a little cloudiness returns. I'm just imagining the fish digging around causing the milk to return!!!
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What kind of sand are you using? Most people would suggest pool filter sand because it's cheap and not super dusty. But to answer your question the cloudiness should go away in time. The particles in the sand just have to be filtered out. How long it will take I son't know. Could take 2 days could take a week.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Bugger! Oh well. I'm using a 50/50 (25kg each) of filter sand and aragonite. The filter sand ws great it was super clean. The aragonite however, filthy! It's super fine too so stirs up easily. I'm just being impatient, I want everything fixed and ready so I can get my fish!!
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Lol yea I know how you feel. Best thing to do is just be patient. I am sure the water will clear eventually.
 
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