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Old 01-25-2004, 02:14 PM   #1
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Changing to Cichlid tank

Hello.
I have 2 tanks at the moment. One is 33 gallons. It has 3 mollies, 3 clown loaches, a small pleco, 4 neon tetras, 5 cardinal tetras, 5 black phantom tetras and 2 dwarf gouramis. My second tank isn't set up at the moment. I think it is about a 10 to 15 gallon corner tank that I got off a friend. I want to get a Cichlid tank going so here is my idea. I move everything but the pleco and clown loaches into the 10 to 15 gallon tank after setting it up. Then I get some of the smaller varieties of cichlid and put them in my 33 gallon. I read on live aquaria that they go well with pleco's and loaches. here are a few questions

Does anyone think this will work?
What types of cichlid would I be limited to?
Do cichlids need any special water requirements or care?
How do you say Cichlid?

Thanks alot.
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Old 01-25-2004, 02:31 PM   #2
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There are a lot of questions there.

Easiest first, sick-lid is how you pronounce cichlid.

You would want to limit yourself to the smaller sizes I would say up to 4". Cichlids are all territorial to some degree as well so they need a little more 'fin-room' than some other fishes.

There are 100's of species of cichlids available out of 1000's in the wild, so there is no good blanket answer to the rest of your questions.

MOST cichlids like water on the higher side of the Ph scale, some like really high Ph, but some also like low Ph soft water.

I would say that a 10 to 15 gallon tank would be too small for 3 mollies, 4 neon tetras, 5 cardinal tetras, 5 black pahntom tetras and 2 gouramis. That is 19 fish.
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Old 01-25-2004, 03:16 PM   #3
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I am 100% with Enki. I like the idea of converting the larger tank to a cichlid tank, but that smaller tank is too small for what you have. You could turn the smaller tank into a cichlid tank, however, with a pair of kribensis, a pair of rams, some shelldwellers, or other apistos or dwarf cichlids.
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Old 01-25-2004, 04:12 PM   #4
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Hmm.. I'm thinking of buying a new tank about the size as my main 33 gal one and using hte smaller one as a backup. What type of filter would be best to use in it? The one in my main is a Juwel and it has built in everything so I've never had to worry about this
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Old 01-25-2004, 04:40 PM   #5
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I'd get an Emperor filter for I think a 30-55 gal capacity. The one I got on Ebay is on a 29 gallon, and it's great. Extremely quiet. It's got a power bio-wheel on it, which I found out means there's a pump that shoots water onto the wheel to spin it. I'll find the model number and post it...

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Old 01-25-2004, 04:49 PM   #6
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The Emperor is a great one, and I think I would go with the 400. That has 2 Biowheels and is a major improvement over the Penguin 330, which is a similar filter. I have a 400 on my 44-gal, with a supplemental canister filter, but I overfilter! Cichlids are in general a high waste producer so it is good to have a lot of filtration.
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Old 01-26-2004, 03:05 AM   #7
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Wow, so many questions I could easily spend hours on

I'll keep it simple by just telling you what I have. I have a 30 gallon tank with six African cichlids, 3 yellow labs(labidochromis caeruleus) and 3 blue kenyi(pseudotropheus lombardoi). I use a Filstar XP1 canister filter, 150 W heater, and a 20W 6500K bulb in a full hood. I also have an air pump with two air stones. Decor consists of a lot of rockwork and argonite sand substrate (in my gallery), and a blue background. I feed them spirulina flakes, freeze dried bloodworms every few weeks, and skip a day or two a week for health reasons. I change about 5 gallons of water a week, using ro water (about 6 TDS). To each 5 gallons of ro water I add 1 tsp of marine salt, epsom salt, Proper pH 8.2, and CichlidVital.

I think that's everything. Oh, aggressiveness...you get used to seeing them fight. I went from a peaceful schooling tank to cichlids, and was worried after seeing fighting. As long as they don't rip fins or tear skin they are fine. Most cichlids are tough little buggers and are designed to fight for their own. It doesn't hurt to do the best to avoid the fighting, but it is inevitable--there will be an alpha fish and he will chase all the other ones around.
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Old 01-26-2004, 12:36 PM   #8
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Watching the ever-shifting dominance hierarchy is half the fun of having cichlids. Most of the fighting is posing and posturing, someone usually runs for it before any damage is done. What can be dangerous is when a fish that has been alpha for a while is supplanted by another fish. Often that ex-alpha has to be removed as other of fish have 'grudges' they want to pay back

My friend has told me a story a few times of his alpha zebra that got beat up pretty bad, he lost a fight and the whole tank turned on him. My friend pulled him out and put him in the 'hospital' for a few months, 'til he was fat and sleek and healthy.

The zebra finally moved back into the main tank with the others, and the very next morning the 2 main instigators of the original insurrection were gone, never a trace found 8O That fish really held a grudge.

BTW Shawmutt how do you like that xp1? I just ordered one for my new 30, can't wait to start playing with plumbing!
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Old 01-26-2004, 06:54 PM   #9
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Shawmutt thats a nice tank. How did you make the rockwork? I tried sealing some rocks together once but ti didn;t work
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Old 01-27-2004, 07:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
BTW Shawmutt how do you like that xp1? I just ordered one for my new 30, can't wait to start playing with plumbing!
Love the filter, hated the price I paid (speaking of grudges ). The owner of the lfs dropped the price from $150 to $99, and I thought I was getting a great deal--hah!. Concerning the filter itself--It is the easiest thing in the world to hook up and maintain. Filter pads, IMO, should be purchased online to keep costs down. I was in a pinch and bought a pad from my lfs and would up paying almost twice as much for it.

Quote:
Shawmutt thats a nice tank. How did you make the rockwork? I tried sealing some rocks together once but ti didn;t work
I got a "bucket o' rocks" from a plant nursery--about 50 lbs (110 kg) worth, for $25. I got flat rocks of all sizes, and stayed away from the round ones. Round looks more natural, but with the tiny bit of space in a 30 gal, it's not really feasable. I put eggcrate on the bottom of the tank, and put the largest, most flat rocks on the bottom. These serve as the base, so I can move rocks around without worrying about stability. Then I stacked the rest of the rocks, then I added the sand. One tip someone here gave me is the three point rule, as long as they are touching on at least three points they should be stable. I have no adhesive on the rocks--in a cichlid tank the rocks need to be moved often.
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