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Old 01-04-2013, 08:33 PM   #1
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The bug has bit me again

Hi,
I just joined and am excited to learn some new things from the other members.
I'm 51 years old and started my first tank when I was 10 years old. I've been in and out of the hobby since. Mostly due to moving for job reasons.
In the past I've done everything from freshwater community, african and american cichlids to fish only marine and reef tanks.
I've never had a tank larger than 55 gallons and the last time I set up a serious tank (saltwater reef) was almost 10 years ago.
Well the bug has bit me again and I just bought a 72 gallon Bowfront on Craigslist and here i go again.
I was originally planning to do a heavily planted freshwater community tank but I'm now thinking more along the lines of african cichlids with many scavengers. I've always loved cats and plecos so I think I'll go this direction.

If anyone out there has any advice please let me know. I already purchased an Eheim 2217 canister filter and I'm planning on using the cichlid substrate with the bacteria already in it.

My tank and stand is used and really dirty so I'll be speding some time just getting it back to fish ready.

I'm thinking about using a 48" T5 for lighting. Any thoughts on what the best lighting system would be to bring out the colors of the tank without building algae quicker than necessary?

As far as rocks I'm thinking of going to a place that sells decorative stones/rocks for building contractors as I'm guessing it may be the least expensive way to go. Any rocks that I should stay away from? I hear that some limestone will help keep the pH up naturally.

Anyhow, I'm thrilled to get started again and welcome any thoughts, tips and good advice.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:43 PM   #2
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There's some good articles here on African Cichlids as many of us here keep them.

Lighting, if you have t5 HO's then if suggest ATI bulbs. You can do super blues, blue special and or purple plus. Those combos will make colors pop.

Now I had a 4 bulb t5 HO fixture with those lights and never had algae issues. BUT... My lights went on at 3:30pm (when I'm about getting home) and off at 9:00pm then moonlights.

Then... I switched to black sand and I felt the light just wasn't the same since I lost the natural gravel. I switched to the marineland double bright led fixture and I gotta say I'm very happy with it.

Here's a few shots of my tank.



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Old 01-04-2013, 08:46 PM   #3
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Here it is with the 4 bulb t5 HO ATI bulbs.




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IMO after having numerous light fixtures on my tank and different bulbs and color configuration. I'm happiest with the marineland DB LED. It just looks more natural and the colors still look good IMO.

Lighting is one of those things. It's in the eye of the beholder.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:59 PM   #4
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Beautiful tank. Both lighting systems look great. What size tank? What are you using for filtration? Did you start with all juveniles? Did you start with scavengers then add the cichlids?
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by king fish head View Post
Beautiful tank. Both lighting systems look great. What size tank? What are you using for filtration? Did you start with all juveniles? Did you start with scavengers then add the cichlids?
It's a 75 gallon. Black Tahitian moon sand. Filtration was a fx5 and a AC110. HATED that filter with a passion! Problems all the time. Leaking, not sealing right, those tie downs kept stripping and it seized up more then twice forcing me to break it down, take it apart and clean the impeller etc... So I tossed it and just added another AC110. No issues. I use poly fill/poly floss/polishing pads whatever you wanna call it, sponge and bio rings. I also use once and while a koralia power head 1025. I have it out at this moment though.

I added everything pretty much as juvies including my plecos, loaches, feather fin and Synodontis.



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My feather fin and Synodontis I only see at lights out


Oh and thanks!! It was hard work and I learned ALOT of lessons when I just threw a whole bunch of different types into one tank!! it was a blood bath, ALOT of re homing and then a bout with columnaris.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:38 PM   #6
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Your gravel looks real clean. Do you vacuum it regularily or is it just maintained by your scavengers?
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:46 PM   #7
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Your gravel looks real clean. Do you vacuum it regularily or is it just maintained by your scavengers?
I do weekly water changes and yes I go about an inch off the sand to get debris. But the power head helps any poop and debris from settling on the sand as well.

I'm sure the loaches and such help as well. I use to have about 20 snails. I forget the name. They were pretty big and soon desert lol.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by king fish head View Post
Hi,
I just joined and am excited to learn some new things from the other members.
I'm 51 years old and started my first tank when I was 10 years old. I've been in and out of the hobby since. Mostly due to moving for job reasons.
In the past I've done everything from freshwater community, african and american cichlids to fish only marine and reef tanks.
I've never had a tank larger than 55 gallons and the last time I set up a serious tank (saltwater reef) was almost 10 years ago.
Well the bug has bit me again and I just bought a 72 gallon Bowfront on Craigslist and here i go again.
I was originally planning to do a heavily planted freshwater community tank but I'm now thinking more along the lines of african cichlids with many scavengers. I've always loved cats and plecos so I think I'll go this direction.
Welcome to AA we are glad to have ya

Quote:
Originally Posted by king fish head View Post
If anyone out there has any advice please let me know. I already purchased an Eheim 2217 canister filter and I'm planning on using the cichlid substrate with the bacteria already in it.
I wouldn't waste my money on the high priced bacteria cichlid sand. You'll still need to cycle the tank and won't do you much good.


Quote:
Originally Posted by king fish head View Post
I'm thinking about using a 48" T5 for lighting. Any thoughts on what the best lighting system would be to bring out the colors of the tank without building algae quicker than necessary?
I use current t5ho with saltwater bulbs and don't have an algae problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by king fish head View Post
As far as rocks I'm thinking of going to a place that sells decorative stones/rocks for building contractors as I'm guessing it may be the least expensive way to go. Any rocks that I should stay away from? I hear that some limestone will help keep the pH up naturally.

I was going to put in a couple articles but for some reason I can't get into it right now. So remind me later please


Edit
This is pictures and all about my tank
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/novemb...alawi-biotope/

Malawi stocking and stuff
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/lake-m...dcor-hardware/


Another that may help out some

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/introd...ecor-aquarium/
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:16 AM   #9
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Andrew, thanks for the help.

If you don't recommend cichlid sand what would you suggest? I would like something fine and either white, black or a mix.

I've also been told of bottled bacteria to quickly cycle a tank. Have you ever heard of or used this product. It's new to me but sounded like it could save a few weeks time.

Have you used the double bright LED lights? I like the idea of avoiding the bulb changes as long as the lighting quality is not compromised.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Andrew, thanks for the help.
No problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by king fish head View Post
If you don't recommend cichlid sand what would you suggest? I would like something fine and either white, black or a mix.
There are many other cheaper options that you'll get more bang for the buck. I'm always for saving a little cash. You can use:
- Blasting sand that is normally black found at some hardware stores like menards or tractor stores like tsc.
- play sand - found at hardware stores and is what I used
- multi purpose sand - found at most hardware stores
- pool filter sand - found at pool stores
- or sand at the lfs




Quote:
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I've also been told of bottled bacteria to quickly cycle a tank. Have you ever heard of or used this product. It's new to me but sounded like it could save a few weeks time.
I've personally never used it I've heard good thongs about Dr Tims the other stuff is like a hit and miss if it works or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by king fish head View Post
Have you used the double bright LED lights? I like the idea of avoiding the bulb changes as long as the lighting quality is not compromised.
I totally agree here I have not used them but I believe that's what convict has and he likes them. And he is real ocd and picky so I'd take his word for it
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