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Old 02-15-2009, 11:19 AM   #1
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Question Creating A Rift Lake CIchlid Biotope

Hi i have a 30gal tank that i want to turn into a rift lake cichlid biotope. I want to stock it with yellow lab cichlids and blue zebra cichlids i want both of these types to spawn. How many fish should i put in? How should i design it? What kind of substrate should i use? How can i make it look natural as possible????????????????????????

P.S. If you have a riflt lake biotope cichlid aquarium could you senf me some pictures so i can get the idea.
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:29 AM   #2
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I don't really know what the setup should be like just because i've never really looked into the biotope things, but I do know quite a bit about cichlids.

You prob. want maybe 3-4 of each, you want to kind of over-stock it so there is less aggrestion. You should use a sand substrate for the setup. Cichlids prefer sand over any other substrate. You can buy either playsand from lowes or homedepot for 5 bucks for 50lbs. You can also buy very very cool black sand, but not very natural. Looks great though. You should stick with reg sand for a natural setup.

Here are a couple pictures I found that might help you get an idea, I really like the first one the best, but it's all up to you. Most of the time cichlid tanks don't have plants, but it really adds to the tank if you do.

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b4.../recent130.jpg
http://travel.mongabay.com/china/600/china_103-7186.JPG
http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.u...ee_Nuttall.jpg
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:35 AM   #3
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Just an add in, since you will want to over-stock a bit to get the fighting to go down, make sure you have strong filtration.
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:36 AM   #4
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I like the first one too do you like this one. I like it like this it looks really natural.





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Old 02-15-2009, 11:38 AM   #5
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I have a 30 gallon tank and a aquaclear 300 it gives a strong current
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Old 02-15-2009, 12:25 PM   #6
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You don't really got to worry about the current really, just make sure you have strong filtration.
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Old 02-15-2009, 02:46 PM   #7
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well it is a strong filter you wouldn't believe how many neons i lost because of it
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Old 02-15-2009, 05:57 PM   #8
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Sorry about the quality of the pic (pretty poor), but was taking it for something else, and its the only one I have available right now.



Rock is a mixture of flagstone and shale, tank is 100 gallon, and substrate is calcium carbonate and gravel mixed. Fish are Red-topped Zebras and they reproduce like crazy. HTH
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Old 02-15-2009, 08:33 PM   #9
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Thanks for the pics they're really helpful.
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Old 02-15-2009, 09:28 PM   #10
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IMO you should not house these fish in a 30 gal. For africans I recommend a 55 gal min. 30 gals will be too small when they reach breeding age.
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
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IMO you should not house these fish in a 30 gal. For africans I recommend a 55 gal min. 30 gals will be too small when they reach breeding age.
oh really? what would be an easy cichlid to breed in a 30 gal tank and what environment/biotope would they need?
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:25 PM   #12
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If you wanted some small, easy breeding cichlids. I suggest you looking into dwarf cichlids. Like German Blue Rams or any kind of ram. Or any kind of apisto.

Visit this link, they have tons of diff. sp. to look at, plus tons of info.

Apistogramma and Dwarf Cichlids in Aquarium
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:27 PM   #13
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Thanks you guys have been so helpful. are rams mouthbrooders?
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:29 PM   #14
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All the rocks in the pic you like look most natural to their habitat in the wild. They like crevices in their natural habitat to hide from predators.
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:38 PM   #15
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Most dwarf cichlids will do very well in a 30 gal, I have several apistogramma, GBR's and bolivian rams. You can also do a planted tank for those cichlids, they really do thrive with live plants. They can do just fine with silk plants too if live plants are not something you want to do.
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Most dwarf cichlids will do very well in a 30 gal, I have several apistogramma, GBR's and bolivian rams. You can also do a planted tank for those cichlids, they really do thrive with live plants. They can do just fine with silk plants too if live plants are not something you want to do.
What water conditions do they need? should they have a amazon biotope like thie picture. Whats the easiest dwarf cichlid to breed?

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Old 02-15-2009, 11:17 PM   #17
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I would say the most common/easiest dwarf cichlid bred is either the krib, or the GBR.

GBRs come from the rivers of Columbia and Venezuela. So you'll want more of an amazon setup.

Kribs come from africa, so you'll want more of that type of setup.
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
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IMO you should not house these fish in a 30 gal. For africans I recommend a 55 gal min. 30 gals will be too small when they reach breeding age.
Good call Zagz, I tried to edit my post to tell him just that, but it died in the edit Mod. I've never been able raise even the "non aggressive Electric Yellows to adulthood in a 30 gallon long, let alone the blue Zebras.
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:23 PM   #19
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Bolivian rams are very easy to breed IMO. GBR's, apistos and bolivian rams would love a tank like the picture.
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:40 PM   #20
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are bolivian rams mouthbrooders?
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