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Discussion Starter #21
Your entirely welcome, actually if you collect some rocks, slate is also a good stone to use in tanks just try to make sure edges arent to sharp, you could get some 100% silicone and use it to glue some rocks together to create your own formations, or just arange them in the tank and try to create small hiding spots
I ordered a bunch of rocks off ebay (too lazy to find my own) lol and some aquarium silicone.
So far I have
60g Tank and stand with lights
Fluval 406 canister filter
Penguin 400 HOB filter
2 250W heaters
120 ponds of Cichlid sand
test kit/ ammonium/ live nitrifying bacteria (to cycle my aquarium) and other chemicals
net
thermometer
air pump
Is there anything I'm missing besides fish and food?
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Can Otopharnx Lithobates and Xystichromis phytophagus coexist in a tank with either Metriaclima estherae or Labidochromis caeruleus?
 

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Can Otopharnx Lithobates and Xystichromis phytophagus coexist in a tank with either Metriaclima estherae or Labidochromis caeruleus?
They can but it would not be advisable. The Lithobates may potentially nip at them when older. They also do well in a swamp like tank which the other cichlids would not like. The Red Zebra
is a little on the rough side and sometimes will chase even a fully grown Otopharynx.

Metriaclima estherae (Red Zebra) and Labidochromis caeruleus (Yellow Labs) are very prone to crossbreeding, so if you have this combination in your tank, DO NOT sell, trade, giveaway any fry they produce. This will keep the blood line pure (well as pure as it can be in the hobby).
 
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Discussion Starter #26
Thank you Tazman for all your help. I'm trying to find the right combination. Would the Xystichromis phytophagus, Cynotilapia Afra and Labidochromis caeruleus work? Sorry for all the questions.
 

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To be honest I would stay away from the Xystichromis phytophagus and concentrate on the mbuna. The mbuna can be sometime too rough on them. They are also crazy diggers so plants are best avoided unless secured very well or floating. The mbuna though will eat the floating plants.

No problem with the Afras and yellow labs together. Look at the Rusty Cichlid as well.
 
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Discussion Starter #28
Hi, I finally have everything in my aquarium setup. I'm using Eco-Complete Cichlid sand. The package said do not rinse so I just poured in the bag, water and all. I filled the tank up and it was instantly cloudy. You can't see anything in the tank. It cleared up a little over night but when I moved a rock it became just as cloudy again. Is there something I can use to get rid of the cloudiness? Will it be like this every time I more something or is it just because it's new? I started the cycling process last night using One & Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria. Should I avoid adding anything until it's fully cycled? Thank you for all your help.
 

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DO NOT add anything to the tank until the cycle is complete. You risk killing the fish or at least shortening their lifespan. The ammonia and Nitrite which WILL come are extremely toxic for fish.

I would also not be too concerned about the sand, I would however, check your canister and make sure not too much sand has been sucked into it. The airstone you mentioned is not really necessary, more your personal choice. The HOB Penguin will provide enough surface agitation for oxygen exchange.

I would also NOT test for Nitrate until you see a large amount of Nitrite, the presence of Nitrite can make the Nitrate test invalid.

The cloudiness may take a few days to settle.

What fish have you chosen?
 
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Discussion Starter #30
Hi Tazman, I meant should I wait to add anything (chemicals) to clear up the water before the cycle is complete. I don't plan on adding any fish until it's cycled. I want to get Labidochromis caeruleus, Cynotilapia Afra. (does it matter which ones) and most likely Acei. I'm not sold on the Acei or Rusty but don't know what other fish to add. Thank you for all your help.
 

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Glad to see your up and running, I wouldnt add anything to clear up the water, let the cycling process and filters take care of that, and they will eventually clear up just fine. IMO dont add unecessary chemicals at all ever, the best thing is a cycled tank and proper water changes to keep water pristine. keep us updated.
 

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Hi Tazman, I meant should I wait to add anything (chemicals) to clear up the water before the cycle is complete. I don't plan on adding any fish until it's cycled. I want to get Labidochromis caeruleus, Cynotilapia Afra. (does it matter which ones) and most likely Acei. I'm not sold on the Acei or Rusty but don't know what other fish to add. Thank you for all your help.
No need to add chemicals to clear the water, it will clear up in a few days to a week.

Yellow labs, Afra and Acei would give you a nice color variation. Afra it does not really matter which ones you get, get 1 male to 4 female for ALL species and they will be happy.

Rusty are very nice fish but can be a bit of a bully at times. They have a nice purple coloration to them as they grow older.

Here is a picture of my 4 year old Rusty in my 75g tank.
 

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Wow, nice looking rusty!
Kudos to you, OP, for getting everything you need BEFORE you start!
I have a problem with that. >.<
 

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Honestly, people reccomend you spread it out, but ive never done that, and never had any problems with it. Just make sure they are the same size or close to the same size, just dont forget to acclimate the temperatures so it doesnt cause much stress
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Great looking Rusty, Tazman. It's one of the nicer ones I've seen. Just wondering if I have enough rocks or if I should add more. They looked much bigger outside the tank. lol I'm not sure if it's allowed or not but can anyone recommend an online store to buy fish? I've read all the reviews but none of them really seem to stand out. The LFS by me has a horrible selection.
 

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What fish did you decide on in the end?

I would personally add a lot more rocks, the natural bottom of Lake Malawi is full of boulders and rock structure.

Where are you located as well? I can offer places to get good quality cichlids from.
 

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Some other small Malawian Mbuna species I would recommend are Pseudotropheus Saulosi and P. Polit. Synodontis Petricola or S. Multipunctatus work well with Malawians.
 

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Some other small Malawian Mbuna species I would recommend are Pseudotropheus Saulosi and P. Polit. Synodontis Petricola or S. Multipunctatus work well with Malawians.
Agree on Synodontis working well with the fish you intend on getting. Saulosi though I would NOT recommend because of the yellow labs. Saulosi can get quite aggressive and will go after the yellow labs, simply because they look similar in color.

If you decide on getting a bottom feeder such as Multipunctus or a BN pleco, them you will need to get a piece of driftwood for them to graze on at night.

The rocks you can make quite high piles of them, 2/3 of the way up the tank and create caves. Keep in mind though, that mbuna DIG into sand and will likely at some point rearrange the bottom of your tank. Rocks ideally should be placed directly onto the bottom of the glass, some people use eggcrate (light diffusion panels) under the sand to prevent the rocks from potentially falling and cracking the glass.

Here is a link to a well respected site for purchasing cichlids. The quality of the fish is excellent and if they dont have what you require, they will order them for you. I can guarantee though they will have what you are wanting in stock. I got my rusty(pictured) from them, as well as all my stock I had in my 180g tank.
 
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tanks looking nice, I actually just ordered that same background from ebay, did you ask your LFS for certain fish? sometimes they are more than happy to order you special fish. Sorry i dont have enough chiclid knowledge to advise on those but Tazman has you covered there. also while thinking of adding fish read up on drip acclimation. it does better than floating the bags,
 
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