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Old 11-20-2005, 12:44 AM   #1
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african cichlids---got 5 with pics (blurry pics)

Ok.. so lately i have been really seriously thinking about an african chichlid tank.... If you look a the fish i have now... what would i have to get rid of in order to have african cichlids? My PH is always high (around 7.8) and i know my water is perfect for cichlids. I love my angelfish but with my water they seem to live about 6 months and then die. I really think they just aren't thriving in my hard alkaline water. I don't have room for another tank in my townhouse (until i buy a house, which won't be for another year at least) and I really want some COLOR in my aquarium.


Ok, i was just thinking over what i have and im thinking if i do convert to africans then I will only be able to keep my rainbow shark, My clown loaches, and my pleco.
Im thinking about buying a small 10 gallon setup for my Otos, cories, guppies and butterfly loach and then taking all the other fish back. (serpae tetras and angelfish) Does this sound like it will work?

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Old 11-20-2005, 01:52 AM   #2
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The Africans would need a tank dedicated to only Africans. There are a few fish that can be kept with them, but caution needs to be taken. Do you have any Cichlids in mind?

If you were really wanting to keep non-Africans in the same tank, go with a peaceful fish. Yellow Labs and Acei's are peaceful and generally do not bother anyone else. I've noticed that our Acei's school together. They tend to stay towards the top of the tank whereas the Labs tend to hang in the mid to lower section. Snow Whites are also peaceful and are a vibrant white coloration with red eyes.
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Old 11-20-2005, 02:01 AM   #3
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well around here they have where you can get "assorted african cichlids" and they are small and cheap. Also I have seen a lot of cichlid tanks with plecos and clown loaches in them which is why i thought they would be ok in the tank.
I was just going to get the small oens out of the assorted tank and i was going to get large rocky structures to go into the tank with my plants kinda wedged in between because i know they like to dig em up.. LOL. Any good place to get some cheap rocks/caves?
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Old 11-20-2005, 02:12 AM   #4
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Hey Back Ashley Nicole.

Quote:
Any good place to get some cheap rocks/caves?

Have about 50 to 60 pounds of zebra rock from the Leesburg Pet Center sitting at my house after I broke my tank down. My assorted africans loved the stuff, but If you want it, its yours.
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Old 11-20-2005, 02:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemonheadmech
Hey Back Ashley Nicole.

Quote:
Any good place to get some cheap rocks/caves?

Have about 50 to 60 pounds of zebra rock from the Leesburg Pet Center sitting at my house after I broke my tank down. My assorted africans loved the stuff, but If you want it, its yours.
ha ha ha you use LPC too??? I don't go in there much anymore with the new Petco in Lady Lake but hey send me a PM to where you live and i will most definitely come pick it up. I live in Lady Lake
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Old 11-20-2005, 02:27 AM   #6
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so ive been thinking and i don't mind starting over if nothing i have is compatible with africans.. but im really attached to Bob.. my common pleco and hes huge.. at least 8 inches... is there anyway i could keep him if nothing else?
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Old 11-20-2005, 04:11 AM   #7
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I dont know what your phlosophy is on fish that will outgrow your tank but I think you know that Bob will be too big for your tank eventually.. IME they do not survive as long as they should in a tank thats too small.. I would estamate up to 5 years lost on life expectancy.. kinda grim when I think about it.

I figure your are refering to other peoples tanks when you've seen loaches and pleco's stocked with ARLC's.. I could go into what I've seen people stock into there tanks.. but I dont think you need to hear it.. :P

Think about it this way.. each rift lake has water peramiters that are FAR diffent then any other waterbody anywere in the world.. and there water peramiters are stable (they dont fluctuate like the amazon does).. to me.. it only makes perfect sense to only stock fish from one of the rift lakes in a tank (Im assuming you are intrested in lake Maliawi)..

also.. the assorted cichlid tanks are murder to try and deteriman which species are contained in them.. I would hesitate to select fish from one even if I had some good books to referance while peering into the tank
I would see if your LFS has a list of fish they can order for this assorted cichlid tank.. they might have a species list (my local LFS does).. this could help you figure out what they stock in the tank.. this could give you a place to start reaserching compatiblility.. sound good?

otherwise there are some high quality online business' that specialize in ARLC's.. this would be the ideal way to go.. most of them have a shop on top of an online presents.. you might want to find out if any of them are in FL.. I remember two of them one was in TX the other was in CA.. I positive I got some links from members in this forum to some of them.. my reaserch has gone far and wide since then and Ive lost my bookmarks in the past month otherwise I would post some of them..

side note.. there is some great reef keepers down there in FL and one of these days Im going to go visit the aquarium in St. Pete.. Ive run into one of the employees on another board.. the aquaculture business down there is exellent as well.. I would think there is alot of fish business down there.. I wouldnt be supprised at all if there were breeders of ARLC's near you.

good luck
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Old 11-20-2005, 04:46 AM   #8
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thanks for the info, I know Bob will eventually outgrow the tank but he's doing excellent right now, I would never buy another common pleco but ive had him for 10 months now... got him before i knew how much he would grow.

As long as they are all african cichlids i was under the impression they could coexist? Im not going into alll that of ordering special.. etc. And they have the older ones in separate tanks but are expensive. They are like $1 apiece for the assorted african babies.

Also... about keeping other fish. I figure as long as they get along.. not kill or hurt each other.. then i will be ok. I understand that they come from different water parameters, but my clown loaches and pleco have adapted to my water, which is steadily hard and alkaline. Angelfish only last about 6 months before they die and i fear my water is causing their premature deaths and i figurd that cichlids would thrive. If all else fails my friend has a 55 that i can give the loaches to, but I figure i can watch and see if it works or not.
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Old 11-20-2005, 05:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmaji
I would see if your LFS has a list of fish they can order for this assorted cichlid tank.. they might have a species list (my local LFS does).. this could help you figure out what they stock in the tank.. this could give you a place to start reaserching compatiblility.. sound good?
If you want to order out of the assorted tank give this a try ok?

as far as all ARLC's being ok with the same water peramiters.. try looking up the composition of the rift lakes, look at the numbers and give it some thought.. there are a few minerals that are extreamly diffent and salinity is kinda high for one of them. that and lake Tang's rift is still volcanicly active 8O 8O 8O 8O Its water peramiters are WAY diffent then the others..
But.. no worries.. the vast majority of the fish in the "assorted" cichlid tanks are from lake Malawi.. though not all of lake Malawi's resedents should be housed together once they are adults.. even amoung mumba's there are some that are too agressive for others..
HTH
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Old 11-20-2005, 05:14 AM   #10
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have you checked out the cookie cutter for the 55 yet?
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/article...cutter_55g.php

browsed the library?
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/

are you registered and have you asked these questions at the cichlid-fourm?
link to the board..
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/
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Old 11-20-2005, 05:18 AM   #11
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Thanks for the awesome links... gives me some great research to look into. This isn't something im going to do RIGHT NOW.. I have to get a another tank set up and cycled for all my small fish first. Also I don't like other forum boards for the most part. I LOVE AA... i have visited other forms for snakes, betta's, cats, etc but i find that most of them are filled with rude people who think they "know it all" and i just don't like the overall attitude of some of the people. I have been at AA for a while and i enjoy it here, get better information, and the advisors really know what they are talking about.
But i will read on that site and do research there.. so much to learn!!!
Cichlids don't NEED salt.. do they?
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Old 11-20-2005, 05:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AshleyNicole
I understand that they come from different water parameters, but my clown loaches and pleco have adapted to my water, which is steadily hard and alkaline.
I did answer this above but let me explain further...

the rift lakes of africa do seditarty compared to the amazon and marshes of asia.. water can pool and evaporate in a river/marsh enviroment and it does and it has for thousands of years making the species of fish to be geneticly forced to be able to acclimate themselves to cary on there genes.. the rift lakes on the other hand are some of the biggest lakes in the world.. and the depths of these lakes are not measured in feet its measured in MILES... these lakes were formed by platonic movement a very very long time ago and they are home to most of the known species of cichlids in the world from being isolated from all other bodys of water.. including eachother.. Im not saying that your water has to perfectly emulate the lake your keeping fish from.. the fact of the matter is we could try to domesicate these fish untill our nation is disolved and there would still be a chance that we wouldnt be able to selectively breed any change in these fish.. this of course is just my form of common sence.. some of this is actually JMO..
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Old 11-20-2005, 05:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AshleyNicole
Cichlids don't NEED salt.. do they?
I cant remember wich one it is but one of the lakes has an unually high salintiy for fresh water (its not brackish by any means its just kinda high) Im sure the peps over on cichlid- fourm would know this off the top of there head..lol

I do understand AA being your fav.. but Ive leared that its a great backbone to reasearch.. there are specitized forums for some areas of the hobby that would become very cumbersome for one froum to be able to handle it all IMO.. maybe AA will become brawder in breath of knolege some day but to be honest with you.. I dont know anywere near as much as alot of the people on that froum about this subject and I feel like I do know more then the average.. The experaince is there.. I have kept some ARLC's but back then mumba, haps and peacocks were not even on the retail market to the best of my knolege.. at least not were I lived..
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Old 11-20-2005, 06:22 AM   #14
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My cichlids are just fine, happy as can be. The Ph in their tank is 8.4, no salt or anything added. Cichlids are great as long as they like each other, otherwise there will be harrassment and eventual death. I have a common Pleco and two Cory cats (who I think could live in the sewer systems) in the tank with them, and they seem happy too!

Put in plenty of caves, have a good size tank, higher ph and I think you're in business.
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Old 11-20-2005, 10:43 AM   #15
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Lake Malawi Cichlids do not need salt in their tanks. And I agree with you Ashley, I don't like to go to other forums and post because that's what AA is for. We are a forum designed to help just like they are. We have plenty of members that have African Cichlid tanks that can offer advice, no reason to go somewhere else. There are a few instances where I would recommend it, like for IDing rare Africans, but even then I'd jump over to www.malawimayhem.com. That forum is amazing at IDing Africans and they can spot a "mutt" in an instant.

It is a common misconception that all Africans can be kept together as long as they are from the same lake. But it is basically trial and error. Africans have a personality all in their own. You may find a really mean yellow lab, but for the most part they are pretty docile. The Auratus is the most aggressive African Cichlid, but I had a female and it was bullied by my labs. There is no sure fire stocking list because Africans just are not predictible. For a 55 gal tank I'd go with Mbunas because they stay smaller and for the most part you will have more options available for you. Most places stock Mbunas and few haps (female Haps are generally NOT attractive). When you go to the lfs, do not purchase any Mbunas that are spotted, it is normally an indication of cross breeding. If you decide on yellow labs, do not gets labs that have verticle stripes or a dirty look to their body or face. This is caused by inbreeding between siblings. They will eventually be dull in coloration and will always have the "coal miners" look no matter what you feed and how pristine the water conditions are. As long as they have almost uniform stripes or they are a full coloration, you should be ok. That's not to say that they won't be a "mutt" but the chances are lowered significantly.

You can keep the Pleco, but you'll need to increase the water changes. Africans are messy fish and so are large Plecos. We currently do two 30% pwcs each week. That's just to keep up with the poop. Nitrates will be higher also.

When I vacationed in Florida I came across a few excellent fish stores, one jumps out at me as being a great Malawi source. I can't remember the name of it but we were in Pompano Beach. It was somewhere in that area. LOL Ok, so I'm a little vague, it was several years ago.

Also, if you are running a hob, make sure you have at least 10x filtration. Canisters would be better, but if you currently have a hob, no reason to toss it.
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Old 11-20-2005, 01:44 PM   #16
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I still cant see were getting a second oppion about it would be bad..
the advice might be wildly diffent but at least you would get a different way of looking at it..
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Old 11-29-2005, 12:48 AM   #17
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ok.. wow, for some reason i didn't get notification for my replies since my last post on this thread but i just wanted to say that ive got my 10 gallon (you can see it here http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=66526) and ive decided to go with Lake Malawi Cichlids in my 55 gallon if i can find them in the area.. do Mbuna's come from this lake as well?

Ok Fishyfanatic, i already do a 50% water change on a weekly basis and i have 2 aquaclear 70's to run on the tank.. .they filter 300gph. (one of them is on the 10 gallon temporarily, it will be replaced with a smaller filter sometime this week) Also.. florida is a pretty big state and i don't drive to the beaches but about once a year.. LOL... i stick to a pretty small radius for my shopping.

Anyway my pH is usually around 7.8... is this high enough for African's? Or should i add something.. some sort of rock to keep it up a bit higher. I have not bought any rock yet or anytihg.. this is going ot be a slow process, im talking a few rocks one week, one or two fish or a few rocks each week after that. And im going to buy the fish small and was wondering how fast they grow.

Now that i am actually able to get started on this, any more advice?
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Old 11-29-2005, 04:26 AM   #18
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the amazing colourful and assorted african tanks you see are usually all male tanks, where the breeding instinct is taken away so they can all get along together.
55gal you could get a nice size colony of some sort of mbuna and maybe leave the pleco in for the time being. six months time the colony will probly have doubled in size.
Like said the high salinity needed for the rift lakes may have an effect on the scaleless loaches so maybe give them a pass?

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Old 11-29-2005, 09:20 AM   #19
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Mbuna's do come from Lake Malawi. Your pH sounds perfect. Mine is actually 7.6 and they are spawning like crazy. Mbunas are pretty much all colorful. I don't think I've seen a pure specie Mbuna that wasn't beautiful. The female Mbunas have coloration, the female haps tend not to. So you should be safe in regards to color as long as you stick with Mbunas. I would also buy them small. They are alot cheaper and you will see the color transformations from juvi to adult. It's pretty cool to see a Juvi that is gray turn into an orange coloration over time.
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Old 11-29-2005, 06:56 PM   #20
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ok.. well i just got back from the fish store.. they just got a shipment in of baby africans for 1.99 each and i couldn't resist.. and they were 10 percent off so i got 5!!!
They are all babies and I was pointed out the adults that they would become but ive already forgot the names I should've wrote it down, i will next time... but here's what they look like...
Two are Yellow Labs
Two are bright blue with verticle dark blue stripes
and one is white with horizontal black stripes.
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