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Discussion Starter #41
I'm still a bit confused... So I should put the flat holed rocks in egg crates? I don't quite understand...

Unfortunately, I don't have a breeder or grow out tank, only a quarantine, and I don't think its the best idea to put somee there. Got any other ideas on how to get rid of- i mean use it otherwise? :p
 

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You would put the egg crate down like this and then the rocks on top of it going up about 2/3 the height of the tank with plenty of caves / holes, then the sand on top of the egg crate
 

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Discussion Starter #43
ohhh... that makes sense. :)

Ok so the mbunas will be fine with just a bunch of these pretty much 2-D rocks? I dunno... doesn't sound very good to me. There doesn't seem to be much "caves" of sorts, right?
 

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Have a look here for some good cichlid rocks.

I had some and my fish loved them.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
hmm... I'm not sure if my budget allows it...

I saw some replica holey rocks for sale, can i buy them? because my water is quite hard already. And do you know how i could sell the old rocks and gravel I have?
 

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Almost any rocks will work provided they are washed and cleaned thoroughly.

I tended to just throw my old gravel and sand away, never really considered selling it as was cheap anyway.

Haven't had gravel in my tanks for years, so dont know if anywhere / anyone would take it.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
I also read that because they are comprised of mainly calcium carbonate, shells will also increase the pH right?
 

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Discussion Starter #49
all right!

I've started up the cycle with 12 giant danios that the store gave me to start the tank. (they said i could return them for store credit if i give them a sample of good tank water), so yeah, that's going on.

I also browsed through all the fish stores in my area, and i found that none of them had pseudotropheus sp. acei. The clerk at one of them told me that those fish are generally rare in the aquarium business. She also told me that pseudotropheus zebras were very common, and they require similar care. I also liked the zebra look quitea bit, so is this true? can i keep zebras instead of the aceis?

The lady also told me that cynotilapia afras were not very common in the fish trade, either. She said they get them now and then, but the one afra i saw in her tank looked nothing like this: http://http://www.africancichlids.net/gallery/cynotilapia_afra_cobwe1.jpg, more like this: http://http://www.malawiizmir.com/wp-content/uploads/afra-red-dorsal-II.jpg, so i didn't really think it was as cool as before... are afras similar to the first url common or is it some sort of rare color morph? I like the yellow and blue afras a lot more than the drabbish gray and vaguely orange ones.

I did a test and found my water already has a pH of 8.0.. is that enough for mbunas, or should i add some shells or something to make it higher?

I'm also planning on getting some sand from home depot, they sell them in huge 50 lb bags..is that enough? Could you also give me a few tips on how to take care of sand? I remember reading a while ago about like sand creating "anaerobic bacteria" or something.

thanks!
 

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I've started up the cycle with 12 giant danios that the store gave me to start the tank. (they said i could return them for store credit if i give them a sample of good tank water), so yeah, that's going on.
Wow.... personally I wouldn't buy fish from that store. Using fish during the cycling process is extremely detrimental to their health. Even if they survive, their long term health is compromised. For cycling, if a person insists on using fish, you should really only use fish you intend to keep.

I'd really be angry if I found out the fish I bought had been used to cycle someone else's tank:evil:

Here is a good article on how to cycle a tank without fish. A bit late for that... but learning from mistakes is part of life. http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-aquarium/beginners-guide-freshwater-aquarium-cycle-38617/
 

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all right!

I've started up the cycle with 12 giant danios that the store gave me to start the tank. (they said i could return them for store credit if i give them a sample of good tank water), so yeah, that's going on.
FIND ANOTHER FISH STORE...that is worst possible thing they can do. They show no care of the animals they are selling.
I also browsed through all the fish stores in my area, and i found that none of them had pseudotropheus sp. acei. The clerk at one of them told me that those fish are generally rare in the aquarium business. She also told me that pseudotropheus zebras were very common, and they require similar care. I also liked the zebra look quitea bit, so is this true? can i keep zebras instead of the aceis?
Acei are popular, they are peaceful and one of the only mbuna that actually swim at the top of the tank, which is what people like about them. Red Zebra will crossbreed with the yellow labs if you plan on getting them. If you get them, DO NOT sell, trade, giveaway any fry from the tank, they will more likely be hybrids.
The lady also told me that cynotilapia afras were not very common in the fish trade, either. She said they get them now and then, but the one afra i saw in her tank looked nothing like this: http://http://www.africancichlids.net/gallery/cynotilapia_afra_cobwe1.jpg, more like this: http://http://www.malawiizmir.com/wp-content/uploads/afra-red-dorsal-II.jpg, so i didn't really think it was as cool as before... are afras similar to the first url common or is it some sort of rare color morph? I like the yellow and blue afras a lot more than the drabbish gray and vaguely orange ones.
Afras are a bit hit and miss, some stores carry them others not...the cobue which is the first link you post is one of the more popular ones. By the look the second link that is pure afra.
I did a test and found my water already has a pH of 8.0.. is that enough for mbunas, or should i add some shells or something to make it higher?
No need to change it that is perfect for mbuna.
I'm also planning on getting some sand from home depot, they sell them in huge 50 lb bags..is that enough? Could you also give me a few tips on how to take care of sand? I remember reading a while ago about like sand creating "anaerobic bacteria" or something.
Rinse, rinse, rinse and rinse some more, when you have finished, rinse, rinse, rinse again! You would be looking at creating a sand bed around 2", bare in mind though mbuna like to dig, I have a 3" deep bed and more in places in my tank as the fish like to rearrange their territory. A good vacuum once in a while during a water change is all that is needed. Left for a long period of time with no vacuuming then yes it can lead to dead spots and build up of waste.

Keeping mbuna is all about over filtration, overstocking (to a point) and cleaning.

thanks!
Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter #52 (Edited)
@Tazman
I think I'll be fine with keeping zebras. The ones they had at that store were cobalt blues though, will they also crossbreed? I'm actually ok with them breeding; i just don't want to have to care for baby fish, so I'll just let the parents eat them. I know its kinda cruel, but I'd rather that than kill them myself. If I can find some aceis; however, i might put them in.

That's kind of funny, i couldn't see any cobues... do you think they'll have them often? I really like that spectacular coloring.

All right! I'll put my heart and soul into rinsing the sand. :p My only concern was if they got it from the ocean, that might be a problem. I also saw some websites mentioning iron slag, or "black beauty" sand. Is this safe? Black sand seems nice.

@ geomancer

oh..ok. I guess ill do that if i ever have another tank. Thanks geomancer!

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #53
Oh man...
Sorry Taz, I have been AWOL for the past month, guess i was just too busy. And now, generally put, I think I'm screwed..:BIGweepy:

I bought some sand from our local Home Depot, and I did rinse it, but definitely not enough. When I poured into my tank, a HUGE cloud of dirt/clay/sediment flew up and shrouded the tank to an almost opaque gray. I let it settle overnight, and today it's looking a lot better, but it still looks like coconut water. My question is, will this settle? I think I will have a serious issue if it looks like that forever. I'm so sorry for not listening to you. :-( Your advice must have slipped my mind over the past month.

Also, I was looking into how to aquascape the tank. My mom doesn't think I should put much rocks, as she says she wants the fish to always be out in the open where she can see them, kind of like this :http://i984.photobucket.com/albums/ae326/JJ2213/Running/220galMbuna012-1.jpg. On the other hand, I'm going for something like this http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=25871&stc=1&thumb=1&d=1185667990. Which one do you think is best? Finally, I'm not sure how I will be able to clean under the rock structures. Will anaerobic bacteria build up there? That sounds bad.

Thanks so much for your time and consideration!

PS: Sorry to keep you waiting :blueworry: .
 

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Hey, no problem on being around, we all have lives and governments to keep happy by paying taxes which sadly involves work :)

First link you provided is a 3d background and actually a very good one at that...have a look at this video from Lake Malawi to get a feel of what the actual Lake is like...It would really benefit the fish to have a fair amount of rock structure and hiding caves, it will help to keep aggression low.

With regards to the water being cloudy due to sediment, placing a piece of filter floss into the filters should remove it within a short space of time..if it is free floating debris and not an algae bloom.

Cleaning under rock structures, I usually do when I am doing a big vacuum usually once a month...try not to rearrange the tank too much though as this can actually lead to aggression issues as fish vie for new territory.

Mbuna will be more than happy with plenty of flow in the tank, I have 2 maxijet 1200's running in circulation mode in both my 75g and 180g tank (well 4 in the 180g), fish play in the current and if setup with a little trial and error, you can get the flow so debris never settles onto the bottom of the tank and goes into the filter intakes.

Hope this helps.

Video
 

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Discussion Starter #55
Hey, no problem on being around, we all have lives and governments to keep happy by paying taxes which sadly involves work :)

First link you provided is a 3d background and actually a very good one at that...have a look at this video from Lake Malawi to get a feel of what the actual Lake is like...It would really benefit the fish to have a fair amount of rock structure and hiding caves, it will help to keep aggression low.

With regards to the water being cloudy due to sediment, placing a piece of filter floss into the filters should remove it within a short space of time..if it is free floating debris and not an algae bloom. Unfortunately, I don't have filter floss. What is it? Also, where can I get it and how dp I use it? (To tell the truth , I've never heard of filter floss before).

Cleaning under rock structures, I usually do when I am doing a big vacuum usually once a month...try not to rearrange the tank too much though as this can actually lead to aggression issues as fish vie for new territory.All right. Actually, I read in a few places that rearranging lets underdog fishes grab a higher spot. Well ok then. I trust you more :)

Mbuna will be more than happy with plenty of flow in the tank, I have 2 maxijet 1200's running in circulation mode in both my 75g and 180g tank (well 4 in the 180g), fish play in the current and if setup with a little trial and error, you can get the flow so debris never settles onto the bottom of the tank and goes into the filter intakes. I probably wasn't clear enough here. I don't want debris floating around. The clearer, the better. How do I achieve this?

Hope this helps.

Video A Visit to Malawi Lake (Africa) - YouTube The bottom of Malawi is pretty rocky, yes. But will it do if I just place large boulders like this? http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=100003&d=1248408838&thumb=1 I don't see any real hiding spots or caves for the fish to hide in this setup, nor did I see them under Malawi. Which setup would you suggest, the boulders or the slate I showed in the previous post?
Thanks so much!
 

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OK, that text color is horrible to read.. :)

Your local fish store should have filter floss or a walmart should carry pillow stuffing material, same thing really. Filter floss is usually sold in big rolls, like this, add it to the filter before the filter cartridges and just throw it out when it gets dirty. It will help clear the water, which I actually think over time will clear itself when you perform water changes as well.

Structure wise, combination of rocks from the 2 links you provided would be sufficient, as long as there is structure to allow fish to have a retreat if needed or give them something to explore.

Rearranging can work both ways, if you have fairly aggressive fish, in can turn them into terrors as they vie for new territory they want as their own. Done too often and it will lead to aggression issues, I usually do mine about every 3 months or so, gives the fish a change and has only once lead to aggression, which calmed down quick.
 

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Discussion Starter #57
Sorry about the text...It was the first one I chose. :p

About the filter floss, I don't think I'll need it. This morning, I saw it was completely clear. I think my filter was good enough to take it all out.

Ok... Since I'll have to buy one or the other from Home Depot, I'll just go with the rocky cave setup, like how you set up your 127 gallon tank.

Finally, are the mbunas I chose fairly aggressive? I probably won't mess around with the rocks regardless. Even if I do, how will I move heavy rock structures around?

Thanks,
krish
 

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Remind me again which ones you decided to get? (fish that is)
 

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Discussion Starter #59
Im going for:
Labidochromis caerulus
Cynotilapia afra
and also Pseudotropheus sp. acei, or if i can't find it, i will use zebras.
 

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Discussion Starter #60
oh and a few more questions...

do i have to like glue/nail/anchor every rock piece i have together? they say this prevents the rocks from falling oveer and cracking the glass. however, if i do this, how can i rearrange the tank in the future?

Also, is there any specific order in which i should introduce the fish? will this help reduce aggression if like the most aggressive fish ar introduced last so they will be at the bottom of the hierarchy?

Thanks for your cooperation.
 
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