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Old 04-05-2014, 04:53 PM   #1
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Thinking about a new tank

So I saw that there is a dollar/gallon sale going on at petco for tanks, and I've been heavily considering starting a cichlid tank, but I've only ever raised tropical freshwater fish. What's different? What do I need to know? I know cichlids have to come from the same lakes and that you can't have much else in the tank, but other than that, I don't know where to start.
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Old 04-05-2014, 06:38 PM   #2
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I say go for it😊. I got suckered in by the $1 per gallon sale as well grabbed a 55g. Now I find myself trying to set up yet another tank this weekend lol.

I have only been keeping cichlids for 6mo but I'm addicted. I would say the easiest route is to either go with a peacock and hap tank or go Mbuna. Peacock and Haps take longer to show color so if you are getting them small it takes a while to see their color and then only the males get the vibrant colors. Mbuna however show color right away and most of the females are just as colorful as the males. You might want to check out lfs to see what ones are more readily available in your area. Either way you will pretty much only want to keep african cichlids in the tank because the can get pretty aggressive and are not ok with community fish.
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:59 PM   #3
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The only fish you should put in with cichlids that aren't from the family are bottom feeders. But I rec getting a bottom feeder from those lakes in which the African cichs come from. They have some beautiful ones.

Also I have found mbuna do start off colorful but that color can fade some as they get bigger. Haps are awesome...

Some quick thoughts to your question-
1. You need to make sure your ph is 8.2 to 8.4
2. Make sure you have plenty of space. Anything less than 50 gal on my opinion is unethical... But that's my opinion.
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Old 04-05-2014, 11:04 PM   #4
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3. Study the breeds. I've made the mistake of not doing so.
4. Your male to female ratio is something to seriously consider.
5. Cichlids will eventually kill another cichlid in your tank. It happens
6. Filters are important decisions... Cichlids can be messy boogers and like to gobble as much food as possible and then spit it everywhere.
7. Hiding places and places to swim around when running from aggressive maters.
8. Big space is important as I said but it's suggested you keep quite a few cichlids. Just placing 3 in a tank isn't going to work as they grow and become aggressive. These fish are very good at what they do as snipers.
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Old 04-05-2014, 11:55 PM   #5
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Just a tip

Take precaution in following advice from anyone working at a store where they are trying to sell to you.
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Old 04-06-2014, 06:53 AM   #6
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flame suit on... you can mix haps, peacocks, and mbunas. That's what I have and no serious issues. They are aggressive by nature but mine seem to be fine.
I don't have 2 of the same. it's all male of all kinds.

If you do same species, watch out for male to female ratios.
The PH needs to go high. you could use crushed coral in the filter to help maintain it.
These guys poop A LOT. consider not feeding as much.
get power heads to help with water circulation and to give them a work out. Mine love to get in front of the power head and swim against the current.
good luck
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:51 PM   #7
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You can only do this successfully long term if you are meeting the different dietary needs of all three types, and ensuring that different types don't get the wrong food. If you fail in that, you will likely deal with issues like Malawi bloat and Lateral Line disease down the road.
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Old 04-06-2014, 04:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wy Renegade View Post
You can only do this successfully long term if you are meeting the different dietary needs of all three types, and ensuring that different types don't get the wrong food. If you fail in that, you will likely deal with issues like Malawi bloat and Lateral Line disease down the road.

Wy just wondering your thoughts on the varied diet I have done a lot of research on this and from what I have found is most people say if you keep protein under 40% it is ok for both. I am currently feeding mine a mix of omega one and nls pellets they have 38% and 34% protein respectively. I have not had any issues with bloat but just wondering what your thoughts are.
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Old 04-06-2014, 05:39 PM   #9
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I would keep all males or all females in your tank to prevent cross breeding
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