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Old 01-11-2018, 06:05 PM   #1
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90g Rift Valley Cichlids Stocking

I'm trying to determine which cichlids to stock. I'm trying to decide between Mbuna or Julies. My LFS stocks both. I asked them about the ph a while ago, due to reading that they are sensitive to shocks. My LFS keeps their tanks at a ph of 7.2, but my tap water is 7.6. Would they be okay with that much of a change? Do I need to soften the water a bit? Do I need to put some limestone in instead? I'm currently working to get a pond built this summer, and once I do then the 90g will be converted after the goldfish move to the pond.
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:56 PM   #2
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African Rift Lake Cichlids are usually kept in hard water with a ph of 8.0 or more. Adding Limestone would be a good way to bump up your PH and buffer against a ph crash.
I've kept Africans but I'm no expert. IMO a good 90 gal. Set up would be one with a large limestone reef, Mbuna to occupy the lower level, a mixture of male Peacocks and Haps to inhabit the mid and upper levels. As for specific varieties, that's where research comes into play. Some of my favorites are: Dragon Blood and Red Shoulder Peacocks, Yellow Lab, Yellow Tail Acei, Red Top Hongi and Malawi Eye Biter
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:56 PM   #3
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I've done plenty of research already. I currently don't have any experience with cichlids. Limestone is very easy to get a hold of. My LFS sells Texas Holey Rock. I can easily find a rock on the ground and it will most certainly be limestone. Last summer I began picking some up because I thought that I was going to have Julies, but decided on Apistogramma instead. Though the Apistogramma tank is all setup, the only thing missing is the Apistogramma.
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Old 01-12-2018, 12:32 AM   #4
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It's always a plus when you can harvest your hardscape material for free. I really like Texas Holey Rock, and have over 200 lbs of it. Your LFS likely sells the THR for big bucks. If you decide to buy, check out your local rock yard or landscape company. Much larger selection, much cheaper prices.
With any cichlid setup, it simply a balancing act, trying to figure out how to dilute all the aggression issues. My experience with Africans was successful and rewarding, but in the end just wasn't for me. I've since rehomed my Africans and replaced them with New Worlds and Tetras. I kept the Texas Holey Rock.
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:53 AM   #5
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Yeah, I'd rather not pay for rock when I can literally get it anywhere for free. One of the rocks that I picked up is chalk, natural chalk. Anywhere that I go, if there's been some digging or any exposed rock, I immediately assume that's limestone. I even have one that has a shell fossil in it.
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:09 AM   #6
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I kept Julidochromis in my 135 when I kept tangs..
They are great fish and mine spawned often for me..
Marlieri ,Dickfeldi and Reganni Kipili were what I kept...
I thought they were the coolest of all the cichlids in the tank then..
I would use limestone or crushed coral[even old school dolomite] to help buff the water up..
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:09 PM   #7
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Okay, just got back from my LFS, and saw some of the prettiest little blue fish. Can you keep Melachromis with Yellow Labs? I'm not sure exactly which species, but they are blue ones. I'm not sure if there was any females in with them, they were in a tank with young Yellow Labs along with other African Cichlids.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:12 PM   #8
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I've never kept Melachromis, but I have kept Yellow Labs. If both species were displayed in the same Tank, and no casualties were seen, then they likely can be housed together. With Yellow Labs it's either keep only one, preferably male as to avoid crossbreeding, or a mated pair, or one male and several females.
You'll have to research Melachromis.
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:20 PM   #9
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I've done some research, and found that they are one of two. They are either Johannnii or Maingano. If they were the Johannii then there were no females that I could see, but they have significant differences in the coloration of the genders. The Maingano don't have the coloration differences. They only get to 3". The fully grown Yellow Lab, which my LFS has in one of their display tanks, is big enough to swallow them whole, and the Melanochromis were in with juvenile Yellow Labs. According to what I've read so far, they can be kept with Yellow Labs, just don't have them in with another Melanochromis species, otherwise it could end in death or hybrid fry.
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:26 AM   #10
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I would go with the Julieís/Tanganyikans because that is just what I like better. They arenít kept as commonly, and imo are a whole lot cooler! In a 90 gallon itís possible to have a nice Tanganyikan community, there is plenty of space.
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