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Old 01-11-2014, 12:08 PM   #1
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Having a dilemma... Should I go Cichlid?

Currently I have a 40 gallon breeder saltwater tank.
We are building a house soon, so eventually I'll be able to upgrade to a much larger tank! I've been checking out all the costs for having a larger saltwater tank and it scares me!
So my question is should I go to cichlids?? I like the idea of being able to use a HOB filter and not having to worry about water spills all over the floor!
I have a 36 inch reefbreeders LED fixture, would this work for cichlids?
Any pros/cons to switching to cichlids? Has anyone else done this? What is my other necessary equipment? Thanks!
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:21 PM   #2
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Cichlids are imo the best fish to keep. Trouble is the group is so diverse you might have a hard time picking one favorite. But no matter what you pick you will find them very rewarding.
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:42 PM   #3
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They seem to have quite the personalities! And the color is unbelievable for freshwater!
The color is what attracted me to salt water in the first place, But I'm not sure if the expenses worth the beauty.
What would a basic equipment list be like for cichlids? Do you need to use RO water?
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Old 01-11-2014, 01:54 PM   #4
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Not having to use RO water is one of the best reasons to go freshwater cichlids.
I can hook my python hose to the faucet, drain water and put fresh water in weekly - its easy enough that its not a chore. There are plenty of colorful fish and you can find some pretty cheap (small ones anyway).

My son has a 75gal saltwater, everyone I have seen always looks messy - whatever that gunk is on the filters and fixtures. He puts more money into it also. A well done reef tank is very cool but I was not willing to spend the time and money to keep it looking good.
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Old 01-11-2014, 02:37 PM   #5
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Yea my fiancé thinks I'm nuts with all the maintenance I do on the tank.
On your cichlid tank is there any algae build up? Can algae eaters go in the tank? It's nice to hear I can use regular water (we have clean well mountain water)
Would my led fixture be ok? (Its dimmable) It's meant for corals, but it cost me $450, I don't want to get rid of it!!
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Old 01-11-2014, 03:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbannie View Post
Yea my fiancé thinks I'm nuts with all the maintenance I do on the tank.
On your cichlid tank is there any algae build up? Can algae eaters go in the tank? It's nice to hear I can use regular water (we have clean well mountain water)
Would my led fixture be ok? (Its dimmable) It's meant for corals, but it cost me $450, I don't want to get rid of it!!
I do have some algae, mainly on the sides and back, not too bad. I have one of those magnetic scraper things that run over once a week or so. I have tried different "algae eaters" but have not found any that do much - I guess there is a type of snail that works better, but I havent tried those.

The light fixture should work great, the colors should really pop. Finding the right amount of time for the lights to be on will be a big factor in controlling algae.
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Old 01-11-2014, 03:52 PM   #7
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If it were me... I would go Tanganyikans, as Long as you clean it really well and bleach an dry your live rock you can use everything including your sand, make sure to rinse and dry your sand a few times as well. But with tangs you get the color and some interesting shapes as well. Plus shell dwellers are tones of fun
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Old 01-11-2014, 06:14 PM   #8
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Algae can easily be wiped off. Your coral lights should work just fine. I use RO water but I have some rarer cichlids that like very soft water. It really depends on what type of cichlids you go with. Their are so many different fish with different colors that I dont find the need to go to saltwater.
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:46 AM   #9
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Agreed. Cichlids are easy as long as you are willing to keep up with ware changes.
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:39 AM   #10
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You need good filtration, a light of your choice, and a heater. With african cichlids you can get super colorful fish in all different shapes and size. Africans usually have to be overstocked to keep the aggressive down and there is no bullying. South Americans cichlids are a less colorful, but just as beautiful and have a little more "personality" then Africans. Some South American tanks can also be more of a community with different types of schooling fish to go along with the cichlids.
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