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MFF last won the day on April 10 2019

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About MFF

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    600L Mixed Malawi
    600L Discus
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  1. I agree a school of Neon or Cardinal tetras looks awesome in a tank like that. 17 gallons is near enough 80 liters, which is the size of my breeding/grow out tank. In the past, I've had other things in here: - harlequin rasboras (NOT $20 each!!) and these school extremely well and stay small - rummynose tetras - killifish - just the common ones Other livebearers would be good also, things like mickey mouse platies. Or a school of tiger barbs if you like more movement.
  2. My mixed malawi/tanganyika tank is at 8.3 and it has BN catfish and also Syn Petricola. Peppermints might be OK also, but I prefer the common BN (definitely not longfin, not albino) for the African tank. They're a bit hardier. The peppermints would look very similar to commons once they get older anyway. I do have peppermints in with the discus.
  3. Beautiful tank. Sometimes I wish I could get my plants to grow like that, but then I'd have to get rid of half my fish, especially the silver dollars!!
  4. Yup, my (mostly) Malawi tank gets either frozen Brine Shrimp OR Mysis Shrimp (depending on which I've got on hand), once a week normally. I've got Peacocks, Mbuna and various haps in there as well as Tropheus from Tanganyika. MOST of the diet is spirulina flake though, and hikari algae wafers. A different tank that is mostly other things, but also has a few Peacocks and (excess) Mbuna in it, gets a lot more than that. No bloodworms, but either shrimp or frozen chopped krill up to 3-4 times a week. Again spirulina flake is the staple. So they certainly can thrive with a little bit of protein in this form. I wouldn't feed them any of the other things my discus get, but the 3 things mentioned above are fine.
  5. Ouch. Looks nasty. No idea what it is, so can only make all the standard suggestions - separate in a different tank, with some salt and possibly the general anti-bacterial treatments like Melafix. However, if you figure out what it is specifically, you may get more specific advice.
  6. Double Prime is OK, calculated based on the amount of new water, not the total volume of the tank. Your summary of the process is correct. There are always a few of the bacteria around, so the issue is to get them to grow. To do that - give them food. Normally, one or two hardy fish provide the ammonia, and then the bacteria grow. In some places, people are keen on "fishless cycle" where they introduce measured amounts of pure ammonia to the tank. Personally not a fan, I prefer the slow and natural approach. The number and range of fish you've tried is a bit suspicious. There could be something else contaminating the water. I had a similar experience with one of my tanks when I started it. Turned out the light fitting was not properly waterproof and was dripping corrosion into the tank. The fish were dying from heavy metal poisoning, nothing to do with the usual cycling issues. The other 4 tanks I have all cycled no problem. Obviously I changed this light fitting as soon as I discovered this issue, and the next fish in the tank were fine. So I'd also urge you to check everything carefully - including inside any filters, to see if there is any evidence of rust or soap or anything else that might contaminate the water.
  7. You have a heater in there, which I assume is set to something in the 24-26 range. Plants are all plastic, by the look of it. Your water chemistry is showing ammonia, but no conversion to the next steps. So for some reason, your nitrogen cycle is not getting started even. Do you have a mate with an established tank? If so, I'd suggest borrowing a filter sponge, or some filter media with him, WITHOUT cleaning it, and basically squeeze all the gunk and crap from his filter media into your tank. That might kick start the process by introducing some necessary bacteria. What you want to see is the ammonia spike and then drop to zero, similarly with nitrIte, and the nitrAte slowly build up over time. Once you have 0/0/some positive number, then you can introduce fish. The other thing is - have you tested your tap water, or whatever water you use for the water changes? Sometimes the tap water is not what you expect. The water changes you're doing should be fine, 30% per week, that's more than most of us do. Use an appropriate amount of dechlorinator (Prime or something else) to remove the chloramines. Don't worry about the cloudiness - that will eventually disappear once there are fish. It does suggest there may be a source of other nutrients leading to a bloom of something. I assume everything in the tank is suitable for aquaria, properly washed/rinsed, not leaching anything? No rocks from the back yard for instance?
  8. Sounds like you need a siphon hose as well. I have 3 tanks, 600 L each, in the study (on carpet). I have a 220 L barrel that I put on a furniture dolly to move around, and siphon water in, pump it out using an underwater pump. Still a pain in the rear, but no carrying buckets for me.
  9. The tanks are still cycling, or have just finished cycling. You need to be patient. During the cycling process, lots of ammonia is produced, which eventually gets converted to nitrate. This needs big water changes initially to get rid of the buildup. Once the ammonia and nitrite get to zero, the nitrates shouldn't increase that quickly any more. So a few decent water changes will bring down the level to where you want it, and after that you can revert to "normal" water changes. Normal recommendation is 25% per week - although many of us don't quite achieve that. I personally do 30% every 10 days at the moment, and plan to reduce that to 30% every fortnight longer term.
  10. Hi Brian, Can't answer your question directly, as I have no experience with NoPox. However - can you clarify what you mean by "massive water changes"? What sort of water changes do you normally do? Michael
  11. Good luck Mick, hope he pulls through.
  12. Better to get several smaller heaters (if you can call 400 W a small aquarium heater!) and spread them out a bit in the tank/sump. Two main reasons I know of are a) would help to get more even heating, better chance of avoiding hot/cool spots, and b) in the event of a heater failure, less likely to have issues especially considering that most heaters fail in the "ON" position, i.e. permanently on. A tank that size could probably cope with one 400W heater on permanently, give you plenty of time to notice there's an issue.
  13. I agree Mick, cardinals are cool. But if OP wants the blue rams to be the centrepiece, then I'd go with rummynose or - my other suggestion - harlequin rasboras. They school very nicely, probably better than tetras in the absence of a predator.
  14. This is what Africans do. Lombardoi are also quite aggro fish. Your tank would be a narrow 4 ft? I think the size is fine, although the Venustus gets a bit big for that tank. One issue I would expect is not having enough of the Lombardoi. You want a group with 1 male and maybe 4-5 females. Then you also need plenty of hiding spaces for the females, rocks and such, so that the aggression from the male is "shared" among the females. The other issue is whether the male Lombardoi (being Yellow) has a problem with Electric Yellows (which are also Yellow). Not sure, I've never kept these together, but sometimes they have issues with different fish with a similar colour/patterning. If you wanted to swap the Lombardoi for something else, you could look at Demasoni, a group of 6-8, which would fit nicely in your tank (instead of the Lombardoi - don't try these together!).
  15. Also - if the exit point of the hose is significantly lower than the (descending) water level in the tank, it will also go faster. A siphon is sucked through proportional to the height difference between inflow and outflow. Doesn't matter how high the hose reaches in between - although this will have an impact on how easy/difficult it is to get the siphon started. What's a "big tank" for you? My tanks are 600 L, and they drain by 30% (the size of my water changes) in about 12 minutes using a pretty small diameter hose. This gives me time to suction the gravel/sand as well - too fast, and you can't clean the surface of the substrate.
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