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I have been researching on the net on African Cichlids. I currently have a 55 Gallon tank with 4 different African Cichlids with a rock substrate. Does anyone know if sand would be better? If so, would my python suck out the sand when I clean it and do water changes?
 

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there exists a special substrate for cichlids, there is also a special need for certain water conditions for cichlids, "alkaline" it is good to know just where your chiclids are from geographical as they as a family need different conditions.your python should be fine for substrate cleaning.
 

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Sand is a good choice, especially aragonite sand which raises your pH and hardness to levels appreciated by your fish. When using sand substrate, it's important to keep the sand sifted either by doing it yourself on a regular basis or getting something like Malaysian trumpet snails to keep it sifted for you. When doing water changes, you'll have to keep the end of your gravel vac a little higher off the surface of the substrate to avoid sucking it all up.
 
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