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Old 03-24-2014, 11:41 AM   #1
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How to start up a cichlid tank from what I already have?

Ok... Here's the scoop. I just dismantled my 29 gallon freshwater tank and transferred everything to my new 55 gallon tank. My desire is to have an african cichlid tank. I got some large lace rock and slate rock to provide good hiding places. I also went from normal gravel to aragonite sand mixed with a little black sand (I like the look). My other 2 tanks are saltwater so I had nowhere to put my wood and live plants and added those as well. It's only 2 pieces of wood and I doubt ph will be affected, but I've done enough research that my plants might get eaten. I have city water, so it's super hard with a ph of 8.0! My filtration:

Aqua clear 70 hob
306 fluval canister
2x ati sponge filters

I was told before that with this size I should be able to house about 15 cichlids max... The smaller ones of course. But my main question is this:

My current tank has a tetra, a danio, a pictus catfish, a ghost catfish, an albino bristlenose pleco, a convict cichlid, and a red tailed shark. Now I figure it would be most unwise to just start adding african cichlids with my current crew so my question is this, what should I absolutely get rid of? What can I keep? It is a huge desire for me to keep my red tailed shark and convict. Also! I only have enough money to only buy a couple cichlids at a time... Which I hear is another no no. What can I do? I really want cichlids. Thanks and here's a pic of the tank.Click image for larger version

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Old 03-25-2014, 10:32 AM   #2
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Ok... Here's the scoop. I just dismantled my 29 gallon freshwater tank and transferred everything to my new 55 gallon tank. My desire is to have an african cichlid tank. I got some large lace rock and slate rock to provide good hiding places. I also went from normal gravel to aragonite sand mixed with a little black sand (I like the look). My other 2 tanks are saltwater so I had nowhere to put my wood and live plants and added those as well. It's only 2 pieces of wood and I doubt ph will be affected, but I've done enough research that my plants might get eaten. I have city water, so it's super hard with a ph of 8.0! My filtration:

Aqua clear 70 hob
306 fluval canister
2x ati sponge filters

I was told before that with this size I should be able to house about 15 cichlids max... The smaller ones of course. But my main question is this:

My current tank has a tetra, a danio, a pictus catfish, a ghost catfish, an albino bristlenose pleco, a convict cichlid, and a red tailed shark. Now I figure it would be most unwise to just start adding african cichlids with my current crew so my question is this, what should I absolutely get rid of? What can I keep? It is a huge desire for me to keep my red tailed shark and convict. Also! I only have enough money to only buy a couple cichlids at a time... Which I hear is another no no. What can I do? I really want cichlids. Thanks and here's a pic of the tank.Attachment 229867
I'm surprised the tetra and danio have lived this long with the convict! In your new tank you could probably only keep the picture catfish, the bristle nose pleco, and maybe the red tailed shark. Someone else would have to chime in on that. I would add more pictus cats so that you have a total of atleast 6. You really shouldn't keep the convict, there will be problems down the road with him and the Africans.
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:33 AM   #3
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I'd also move those to pump things you have to the back left and right corners of the tank and maybe put some plants infront of then, they're an eye sore other than that I think your aquascape looks very nice.
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Old 03-25-2014, 12:40 PM   #4
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I'd also move those to pump things you have to the back left and right corners of the tank and maybe put some plants infront of then, they're an eye sore other than that I think your aquascape looks very nice.

Ha ha! Yeah, sponge filters are notorious for being aesthetically displeasing. But they provide good aeration and an awesome bio filtration. It surprised me too that the convict leaves all my fish alone, he used to pick on the red tailed shark in the 29 gallon, the he really slowed down after making it clear that he's the alpha of the tank. Since moving them all to the 55. Convict is pretty nice with everyone. But I do guess that would change if I suddenly started adding Africans. Thanks for the feedback
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Old 03-25-2014, 01:20 PM   #5
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No problem! Keep us updated! What type of Africans do you want?
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