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Old 11-28-2015, 12:51 PM   #1
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Powerhead or circulation pump or no pumps at all?

I have a 20 gallon high african cichlid tank with 3 yellow labs, 1 kenyi, 1 melanochromis auratus, and a clown pleco. I have 500 gph filtration (Fluval Aquaclear 70, and Marineland Penguin 200) which cycles the entire capacity 25 times per hour. I was considering getting a small powerhead or wavemaker/circulation pump to give them a little current to swim against, but I wasn't sure what my options were. I don't want to stress them out. Any direction would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-28-2015, 02:47 PM   #2
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Lake malawis tend to dislike currents so guess know need for extra circulation. But this is from only what I have read.
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Old 11-28-2015, 04:55 PM   #3
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Well the bigger problem here isn't need of a power head, its the size of the tank being only a 20 high which is totally unfit for these cichlids. The kenyi and auratus are tough tank mates for labs too.

That said I do run a power head in my Malawi tank, good flow isn't an issue for cichlids. But your filtration is already overkill for a 20, over around 10x water volume extra flow is unnecessary, it doesn't make filtration more efficient.
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Old 11-28-2015, 05:05 PM   #4
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My LFS said it would be ok as long as they are introduced at the same time. They're all young. I would get a bigger tank but I don't have the room right now. I keep very good water too.


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Old 11-28-2015, 05:11 PM   #5
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Healthy these fish grow fast and its not just the issue of the size of your fish, its the size territories they claim to themselves. I know a lot about African cichlids, I've been keeping them a long time. It will get ugly quick, probably the auratus who snaps.
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Old 11-28-2015, 05:12 PM   #6
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My ammonia and nitrites are zero. I test right after my weekly water changes and the nitrates are zero too. They seem very happy and get along well. When I first put them in, I didn't have a lenyi or a melanochromis auratus. I had two albino peacocks. They were stressed and started to show early signs of popeye. I took them back and got the kenyi and the auratus. I also got a clown pleco. He loves feeding on driftwood and sinking algae wafers. I gave the cichlids bloodworms thawed in a cup with an inch of tank water. They loved them. I don't want to do something terrible to these fish. My LFS always acts like everything is on the up and up when I go. By the way, I bought the fish at Petco, but I got to an LFS for all my advice. This place only deals with fish and reptiles. They've been around a long time.


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Old 11-28-2015, 05:18 PM   #7
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Hey you can listen or not, there are countless others here who will tell you the same, "you can't keep African mbuna in a 20 high". I assure you I know better than your LFS who advised you this was OK, there's a reason we all here discus how bad LFS advice can be. Its not an issue of water quality now, though it will be soon, its an issue of an aggressive species in a confinement that won't work.
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Old 11-28-2015, 05:42 PM   #8
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Ok. Thank you for the advice. I agree with what you're saying. I just wanted to make sure you had a clear idea of my situation. If I see aggression, I will take them back. Can I keep 1 or 2?


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Old 11-28-2015, 05:56 PM   #9
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If there's anyway you can squeeze in a little bigger tank you can keep them all (auratus temperament depending, personally I find them mostly all killers), a 40 breeder would work, a 29 would be in the right direction with its longer footprint. In the 20 high they will work for a short time but look to the auratus first for aggression, followed by the kenyi. All 3 labs would likely be fine in a 20 for some time, they tend to stay less than 5".
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Old 11-28-2015, 07:24 PM   #10
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Can anyone look at my albums and tell me if my little blue fish is a kenyi? Thanks


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