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rival81

New 4ft Cichlid tank - confused about which cichlids to get!

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Hi guys,

I got a 4ft x 18inch x 20inch tank on the weekend, and intend to set it up with african cichlids of some sort. I have been keeping a nice 2ft community planted tank with eheim 2213 and co2 for the past year with great success but always wanted a big tank for cichlids!! I'm quite excited to finally have the 4 ft tank.

Filter is an eheim 2217, and possibly another internal if extra water movement is required.

So far i've put 20kg of calcium carbonate and 9kg of eco complete cichlid sand in the tank and have a few mollies in there to help start the bacteria seeding process.

pH is 8.0

Looking for advice on selection of the cichlids... i have been trying to research the lakes malawai, tang and victorian but having trouble deciding which lake i should select species from... or possibly mix. Looking at getting approx 6 - 8 fish. I don't want to overstock the tank. Any general advice would be helpful, i've tried googling but nothing much has come up.

Also, if anyone knows of a good source for structures/caves/rocks that isn't too expensive let me know. Otherwise i will probably end up getting some of the imported limestone rock from my local fish store (but it's $9/kg, so very expensive!)

Thanks in advance!

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hey mate malawis are a good start for the lake cichlids , lake vic cichlids are hard to find , but tangs are really the best out of the lot , u will prob need to over stock u r tank to keep aggression at a min , all depends on what type u want rockdwellers or open water cichlids do some reading and c what suits u the most

Terry

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Mix & match with different sorts of mbunas, thta way you get a mix of colours or brightly coloured fish. You could probably add a fronnie, a calvus or comp for something different. If you do make sure fronnie & alto r slightly bigger.

I have a 6x2x2 set up this way.

Some of the cichlids include a few electric yellows, a electric blue, an albino brichardi, 2 albino pindani, 2 variants of aceii, lab.. chisumule & mbamba, C afra cobue, demasoni, few bristlnose{albino, peppermint & normal}, 10 cuckoo cats, kingsizie, 2 fronnies, 3 different types of altos,puluu point, 2 different tropheus.....

Frenchy :sheep:

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Thanks for the advice guys. How many cichlids approx could i stock in a 4 foot tank? I have fairly good filtration with the eheim 2217 and tank is around 250L (4ft x 18" x 20")

Also i was wondering if anyone knows where i could buy the "egg shell" stuff which some people recommend putting under the substrate as a bit of an insurance against rocks being dug underneath.

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Ahh the eggcrate.

Try your electrical wholesalers like Turks, Ideal and Haymans as it is a light diffuser.

As to how many fish in that size tank you could easily fit 12 - 15 depending on whether or not they are Mbuna (Malawi) or some Tangs.

Dave

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Ahh the eggcrate.

Try your electrical wholesalers like Turks, Ideal and Haymans as it is a light diffuser.

As to how many fish in that size tank you could easily fit 12 - 15 depending on whether or not they are Mbuna (Malawi) or some Tangs.

Dave

How about CNW Dave, shameless plug :lol:

Stocking levels are more to do with filtration, feeding & water changes. You could start with 20, with the goal of cutting back as they get older. Usually you will take a fancy to some & not others.

Frenchy :sheep:

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CNW?

They're an electrical wholesaler same as Haymans, Turks, etc

As for stocking I have the same size tank and I've got 20 demasoni and 12 msobo, all adults... I do also have a sump for filtration though. If you go with mbuna I'd go with 2 groups of around 10-15 otherwise it will look very empty. If you only want 6-8 fish you could try some of the bigger haps such as dimi comp or strigatus, venustus or livingstonii. If you wanted to try tangs a group of leptosoma and some shellies or comps would look sweet!

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I placed a lovely piece of texas holey rock last night in the tank.. it looks fantastic and has a few nice caves. I'm pretty keen to go back and get two more pieces now. It is expensive though at $9/kg it worked out to be $40 - $60 for most of the largish rocks.

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you could possibly stick with lake malawi open water swimmers like red empress & the like & not have any problems with 6-8 fish total ... but as most everyone else in this thread has already said if you get the more aggressive types you do need to keep the numbers up to spread the aggression out. my 4'x18"x20" african tank has the following stock :-

4 electric yellows

1 crimson tide

~8 demasoni

1 johanni

1 exasperatus

1 auratus

1 hongi

1 red zebra

1 acie

1 mbuna i'm not sure what it is :P

4 cuckoo cats

1 eye-biter

there is a lot of aggression... the master is the auratus... but i rarely see any real damage caused except about amongst the demasonis where the 2 largest males often have a scrap n try n tear each others face off. I think i am going to have to remove the eye-biter before too long... he grows so fast & is getting too big for the tank. every time i tried to introduce the more peaceful malawi cichlids like venustus or red empress.. they got hammered & died on the same day they were introduced.

The only real problem now is that because of the overstocking the nitrates rise quite quickly & i need to do weekly water changes to keep the nitrates low.

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Yesterday i picked up:

- clown loach (two in total now)

- elec yellow

- johanni

- blue dolphin

Intend to pick up another blue dolphin this weekend, and a few other species when i go to the specialist cichlid aquarium here in Brisbane.

ph is still 8.0 and no ammonia. eheim is doing it's job it seems the bacteria are handling the bio-load at this stage.

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Went to Smiths this morning and picked up:

Julidochromis Marlieri x 1

Labidachromis Hongi x 3

Labidachromis Mbamba x 3

Pseudotopheus Acei (musuli point) x 1

Pseudotopheus Acei (Tanzania) x 2

Pseudotopheus sp. Kingsizei x 1

Pseudotopheus sp. elongatus chewere x 1

Melanochromis Majongawo x 2

Photos to come...

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Yeh i might get a background when funds permit :)

All up around $250 on fish so far. Picking up about 5 multis tomorrow, i already have a bunch of shells for them. There's 17 cichlids in total in the tank now... i probably can't fit too many more!

I really love the pseudotropheus sp. chewere and pseudotropheus sp. kingsizei

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I'm getting small ammonia readings of 0.25mg/L. Have since added Purigen, and some seeded filter media from an existing eheim filter. Ammonia now back to 0. Nitrites are 0.

Nitrates is at 7.5mg/L, suggesting the nitrogen cycle is well underway.

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I placed a lovely piece of texas holey rock last night in the tank.. it looks fantastic and has a few nice caves. I'm pretty keen to go back and get two more pieces now. It is expensive though at $9/kg it worked out to be $40 - $60 for most of the largish rocks.

You did well...I paid $14 a kilo from Beenleigh Aquariums :gurn:

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I got mine from Petcity at Upper Mount Gravatt. They still had plenty in stock earlier this week. It's normally $10 a kilo but if you're a petcity club member it's $9/kilo.

I probably grabbed most of the best bits though! :)

It really does look nice in the tank... i have 5 pieces in total now.

Readings this morning:

Ammonia: 0

Nitrites: 0

Nitrates: 10mg/L (up slightly despite water change last night)

Seems my tank is in the final phase of cycling. I think the purigen has probably helped a fair bit in keeping levels under control during the cycling phase. I'll have to remove it slowly to allow the bacteria colony to build up.

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How's the tank and fish going? I'm doing the same thing but with a 6x2x2 tank. Got a few nice pieces of volcanic rock from Atlas on Rode rd, good price too. That Texas rock looks good too.

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Going well... after an initial white spot outbreak which i managed to cure early on using salt and heat treatment. Tank is now at full capacity, however i am adding a few more hiding places, rocks etc. Will upload some new photos soon, once i'm happy with the revised layout.

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