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Old 02-08-2010, 10:25 PM   #41
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Congrats on the progress, cant wait to see this tank full of fish and rocks
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:36 PM   #42
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I read this last paragraph on the fishless cycling article

You might see the levels continue to go up as you will still have more ammonia converting bacteria, but if you watch the nitrAtes you'll know your heading in the right direction. Several members on here have really been done the cycle, but because there was so much nitrIte in the tank they didn't know it! (hint I was one of them....)

which makes me think I should check nitrates again and do a big PWC now? I also read that most test kits convert nitrate to nitrite, so if you have nitrites present, your result gets thrown off. Hmm....

Stocking list - put an ad on MCA website for local cichlids for sale...owner doesn't want to pay LFS prices. He might be more interested in getting a bunch of cheap livebearers from me...and I have a ton. But I still think Cichlids would be more fun, however less sociable. Bigger and more colorful, so I'll try to push him to what he needs for show, not what is easy...
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Old 02-09-2010, 12:38 AM   #43
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might put an ad on craigslist too.. most people around here sell africans for around $2-4 each, of course theyre juvies... As for the test readings, thats interesting, im sure you'll experiment with it and share your results? I'd love to know the answer to that
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:16 AM   #44
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Hi Floyd,

Sorry I've been on vacation the last week and didn't have access to a computer. I'd do a big water change now if possible to get your nitrIte levels down to within a readable range. With the need to dose so much Ammonia daily, you will be hard pressed to get the nitrIte down (and even if you do you'll have much more nitrIte-->nitrAte bacteria than actually needed).

Depending on how you fill the tank (I'm hoping a python or similar!) I'd just drain the tank almost completely and refill. Add your ammonia and carefully monitor for 24-48 hours.

My gut (as mentioned in the article) is that you may already be finished the cycle (or VERY close).

I'm so glad for you that the original hiccup with the wrong ammonia didn't require a teardown!

Goodluck and get those pictures!
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:49 AM   #45
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Thanks 7! Will do!
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:37 PM   #46
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Stocking List

Ok, now that I"m close to the end of the cycle, I posted a want ad on the Midwest Cichlid Association site and came up with a possible stock list, and here's what i'm thinking:

First of all, Malawi Mbuna for the sociability. Second, trying to find ones in the 1" to 1-1/2" range so I can get more for a lower price and really fill the tank. Third, more rock. So here's what I've found locally so far that I think will work:

Yellow Labs, several sources, 1", 2", 3", etc (lots of these) Species Profiles -- Cichlid-Forum
P. Saulosi, 2"+ (one guy has about 18) Species Profiles -- Cichlid-Forum
Yellow Tail P. Acei (about 100 1") Species Profiles -- Cichlid-Forum
P Flavus (about 100 1") Species Profiles -- Cichlid-Forum

One guy from Omaha (who has 2000 gal of Cichlid tanks) is bringing a selection of these on Friday AM:
Metriaclima sp. "zebra long pelvic" Species Profiles -- Cichlid-Forum
Metriaclima sp. "Msobo" Species Profiles -- Cichlid-Forum
Tropheops tropheops (Makokola OB) Species Profiles -- Cichlid-Forum
Metriaclima zebra (Thumbi) Species Profiles -- Cichlid-Forum
Labidochromis sp. "Hongi" Species Profiles -- Cichlid-Forum

Still looking for:

Red/Blue/O/OB Zebra
L. Sprengerae (Rusty Cichlid)

Found one guy with some of these:
Ps Demasoni (Pombo Rocks)
Ps Kingsizei Londo
in addition to some Rustys, Flavus, and Yellow Labs, but they're a group and I only really want the rustys and not the Londo because they dig a lot I read.

If anyone sees any possible conflicts or additions they would make, I can certainly search out some more species.

As for the stock amount, I'm thinking that it's 225g, at 1"/g and max size of 4" avg, that's about 56 fish, so I'm shooting for 60 to 70 to start with, or roughly 6 or 7 from each group, maybe less of some due to # available. I haven't double checked it, but I believe these are all herbivores with a few omnivores, so I can stick to vegetable based food and avoid bloat.

Also I'm going to see a guy tomorrow that apparently has a huge pile of rock that I can take for next to nothing, leftover from old tanks. He currently has 1000 gallons of Cichlid tanks.

And the best news ----- I tested the water today, I put 1 Tbsp of Ammonia in last night, today 0 again, and the best news is that the Nitrites are down to 1 ppm!!! And Nitrates were well over 40, so the cycle is DONE!! I'm going in there tonight to do a huge PWC then will do one more ammoina dose and check it tomorrow, but I expect it will be all good to go for stocking on Friday morning when I pick up the first batch from the guy in Omaha, then I just have to hurry up and get all the rest before they stake a territory.
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:45 PM   #47
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Honestly, i dont know that the 1" per gallon should be used. They're super messy fish and will really put a huge bioload in that tank. I dont know that i would put more than 30-35 in a 225g... Thats just my opinion on that. I dont see any conflicts, especially in that big of a tank. You could start with that many, then once theyre big enough to sex, take out the extra males and any remaining females to get the right amount of fish
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:13 PM   #48
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Actually, in talking with several people from MCA about what I wanted to do, they all said that 60+ Mbuna in that size tank was about right, overstock it and overfilter it. The breeder from Omaha said that the ratio of M to F doesn't matter so much if you're not planning to breed them, and that with so many different species you'll get crossbreeding anyways, but they'll just become food. Which is fine.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:46 AM   #49
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A picture is worth a thousand words

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Old 02-12-2010, 11:09 AM   #50
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Glad you finally got a pic up! Very nice. I love how you hid the lines behind the decorations. Looks pretty hazy though (likely from the sand, no matter how well you wash it it's going to haze up the water). Do you have access to a diatom filter? An hour or so with one and that water would be crystal clear (do it after your large water change obviously).

Did you end up doing a large water change after your last reply? I'm wondering if the nitrIte went down on its own or whether you got it reasonable with a large water change and then continued dosing.
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:11 PM   #51
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I did 90% on Wednesday, Nitrites were 1 ppm before that, dosed 1 ppm ammonia, it was down to 0 the last night. Nitrates about 25. Water was clear this AM. Only murky because I moved the sand all around the place to put down base rock. Sand had been in there for weeks. Did 25% PWC and sucked about 20% of the sand out and filled, floated the fish, acclimated and released. Pics coming. Lunchtime.
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Old 02-12-2010, 07:26 PM   #52
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Rocked and Stocked

The fish are in!! The last 2 days have sure been busy ones. Thank the good Lord above that I joined the Midwest Cichlid Association website. I have to throw out a ton of props to the members of that site, in a VERY short time, I’m talking about 2 or 3 days, I had narrowed down my full stock list and found all the rock you see in the picture above.

The rock was provided by scottr – all 500 lbs of it (11 5 gallon buckets @ 45 lbs each) at no cost. That’s right, nothing. Scott also has about 1000g of Cichlid tanks, so if you’re looking for anything, look his way. He has some beauties!

About half the fish came from Fremont NE from lmod58 who has about 2000g of cichlid tanks. These are the 5 species listed in the prior post. From him, I got 6 of each and 3 extra of the Thumbi and Msobo (Deep Magunga), and one extra Makokola for a great price. He breeds many, many species.

I got 7 each of the Flavus and Acei from Floppygumboy from Panora, IA, a nice selection of those for a great price also

I got 8 Yellow Labs from shooter50014 here locally in Des Moines, who also has probably 1000g of cichlid tanks, with some rare species, tons of Synodontis, lots of Victorians. Also a great price!

And tomorrow, I will be picking up the last batch of 18 Saulosi from powerskc locally in Ankeny IA. He also breeds a couple types of bristlenose plecos.

So here’s the story of the tank build that started last night. I picked up all the rock from scottr on the east side of Des Moines around 3pm, then put it in the tub with hot water and soaked it to warm it up and rinse it off, then put it in buckets and transported to the restaurant. I started by removing all the rocks that were in there, then I moved the sand to the side to clear off about ¼ of the bottom. The brownish rock is a landscaping paver of sorts, scott got them for free at Rhino Materials in Des Moines – apparently left over from a job. They all have a perfectly flat bottom, so I was able to put a layer of these down on the bottom of the tank, I just worked my way across the tank, moving sand and placing rock like this:



Then I covered those in sand, and started building the exposed layer of rock like this:



And then just kept placing rocks until it looked like the pic above. It took about 2 hours and I pulled about 15-20g out before, and it was about full when I was done.

The fish arrived from Nebraska at 8:30am; he was kind enough to pick up the fish from the guy in Panora on the way (he drove down from Panora and met him @ the interstate) and arrived at the restaurant and got in there about 9:30am, tested the water, started draining the tank, and sucked a bunch of sand out ‘cause there was way too much (I’ll use it in one of my tanks). As soon as I started filling, I floated the bags and cleaned the sump, pads, rinsed the crushed coral bags, etc. I opened each of the bags after 15-20 minutes and put about ½ cup of water in every so often over the course of about 20 minutes, then dumped the bag water, filled & dumped again and released. Here are the ones from lmod58 (Nebraska) floating



And released





And the full tank after all released



They crowded in the corners at first, but by the time I got back with the Yellow Labs, they were adventuring all around their new home. The Labs went in about 3:30. Next step: buy food. I suppose I should have planned that a little better. I bet they’re starving. Off to get some Spirulina flakes!
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:37 PM   #53
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Nicely done!
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:52 PM   #54
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Nice set-up.
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:11 PM   #55
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Looking great, well worth the hassle if you ask me
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:01 PM   #56
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Fed them tonight and 2 dove through the overflow after food. Found out 'cause one was swimming in the sump (lucky jump off the filter pad) and another was stuck in the pad tray but still alive. Guess we'll be shutting off the pump during feeding time for a few weeks.
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:39 PM   #57
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lol
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:48 AM   #58
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200lbs of sand?? ****, I don't know if I'd want to maintain that tank, haha.. I'd probably pay someone to do it for me if the tank is that large!
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:27 AM   #59
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If you read back, thats exactly what Floyd is doing. He restarted it and all as well.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:42 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lake_tuna View Post
I'd probably pay someone to do it for me if the tank is that large!
lol thats what the owner of the tank is doing... paying floyd!
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