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Old 03-30-2013, 10:08 PM   #1
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New 55g Malawi Cichlid tank

Hey there new to the site And i just got a 55g tank that looks to be finished cycling next week. Used some feeder fish to cycle and used some established media that the guy i got the tank from had in it. This is my first cichlid tank and was coming here to see if anyone had any advice on stocking and what a good pH is for them. I've heard stable pH is more important but making sure mine at 7.6 is ok. Any advice would be great. This is my tank I feel like it may need some fake plants in it just seeing what everyone thinks.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:11 PM   #2
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Welcome. With the PH it is best to keep african cichlids in hard water. Between 8.0 and 8.6. You could add fake plants if you want its your tank lol. Good luck.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:23 PM   #3
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Hey there new to the site And i just got a 55g tank that looks to be finished cycling next week. Used some feeder fish to cycle and used some established media that the guy i got the tank from had in it. This is my first cichlid tank and was coming here to see if anyone had any advice on stocking and what a good pH is for them. I've heard stable pH is more important but making sure mine at 7.6 is ok. Any advice would be great. This is my tank I feel like it may need some fake plants in it just seeing what everyone thinks.
My cichlid tank also has a ph of 7.6 I've had it for 5 months now and no problems. I also have hard water. Adding sand will also raise the ph. Driftwood will lower it. Here's my 55
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:24 PM   #4
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pH stability is key. Fluctuation is what will stress or worse. If you can't get your pH up to 8.0 you could try crushed coral, put some in a media bag and put the bag in your filter. But if your pH is stable I wouldn't worry about it.

pH swings are deadly. TRUST me

Here's a video when my tap pH dropped to 6.0. I had it stable at 7.8 for the longest time but the sudden drop wasn't good. Quick thinking and checking parameters saved my tank.


http://youtu.be/cAGb4Fr9K20
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:28 PM   #5
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Wow that's scary I guess I'm lucky so far with my community tank that my water company has pretty much kept a stable pH
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:36 PM   #6
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Wow that's crazy. I'm paranoid now
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:59 PM   #7
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Wow that's scary I guess I'm lucky so far with my community tank that my water company has pretty much kept a stable pH
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Wow that's crazy. I'm paranoid now
Really scary!! But stability is key, take a lesson from me and test your tap every now and again, my tap was on the money and for what ever reason it dropped fast!! You'll be ok... Don't panic just have the knowledge of what could happen.

All I hope is my experiences can help others. If it does then my job here is done.
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:22 PM   #8
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I recommend crushed coral or dolomite to help buffer and harden. The buffering will help you from too drastic of swings. Keep the water changes small and far apart. I skip them all together. The only time I have messed with the water in my tank in the 18 months I have had my currant tank set up is to top off due to evaporation. The more often you change water the more chance you have for ph swing and the more bacteria you remove from the tank. The best thing for a tank is once its established mess with it as little as possible.
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:39 PM   #9
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I recommend crushed coral or dolomite to help buffer and harden. The buffering will help you from too drastic of swings. Keep the water changes small and far apart. I skip them all together. The only time I have messed with the water in my tank in the 18 months I have had my currant tank set up is to top off due to evaporation. The more often you change water the more chance you have for ph swing and the more bacteria you remove from the tank. The best thing for a tank is once its established mess with it as little as possible.
I have to respectfully disagree and I'll do so with as much finesse as possible. To the OP please do your weekly water changes. I strongly disagree with the "not messing with the tank"

Weekly water changes will keep everyone happy and healthy. I NEVER had an issue! The video I posted and the problem I faced was my fault for not keeping track of my tap water parameters (which os a good idea)

My tank is well established and I know by my numbers I can go 2 weeks and my nitrAtes will still be ok.

I think leaving a tank alone and just "topping" off is a poor practice for a beginner to get in to. Your doing the right thing. Also I do agree about the crushed coral as I now use it because my tap water fell off...

Please if you have any questions post them but I'd STRONGLY advise against the just topping method.

Also you will not remove your beneficial bacteria from your tank by doing water changes when I battled ich I was doing 50% water changes every 2 days with now issues and I don't lose a fish!

I think some of the advice given is very poor and I wouldn't recommend it at all...

Do what you will though but I don't see this as a reasonable way to keep and maintain healthy fish.
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:40 PM   #10
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I recommend crushed coral or dolomite to help buffer and harden. The buffering will help you from too drastic of swings. Keep the water changes small and far apart. I skip them all together. The only time I have messed with the water in my tank in the 18 months I have had my currant tank set up is to top off due to evaporation. The more often you change water the more chance you have for ph swing and the more bacteria you remove from the tank. The best thing for a tank is once its established mess with it as little as possible.
Do you test your water?
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:15 PM   #11
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Do maintenance water changes, i highly discourage not changing your water and just topping off for evaporation loss. As far as pH, Cichlids will do fine anywhere from 7.5-8.5, it does not have to be 8+ for them to be fine. Even a pH of 7 is ok as long as you don't allow it to drop beneath this, a fine line in which could hurt your fish though so I would just say aim for 7.5+ to be better off. In regards to stocking, if you go with African cichlids try and stay with other aggressive type cichlids. You don want to do all Africans and stock an angelfish Cichlid in there as well, so to speak. As far as plants make sure you have enough substrate to submerge them in so when the cichlids dig around and "personalize" their territory they won uproot your plants. Plants and cichlids will work though. I've had mine going on a year now. Here's a picture...


Good luck!
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:00 PM   #12
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All I was saying was that with a good amount of substrate and proper care I have found that water changes aren't needed as often as many people say. Back and plants help break down as long as you watch your bio load and don't over feed. I have heard countless stories of people crashing tanks by improper water changes. From improper decloranaotion to temperature and ph swings. Always be mindful of your water chemistry but don't get to the point you can't see the forest for the trees.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:57 PM   #13
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All I was saying was that with a good amount of substrate and proper care I have found that water changes aren't needed as often as many people say. Back and plants help break down as long as you watch your bio load and don't over feed. I have heard countless stories of people crashing tanks by improper water changes. From improper decloranaotion to temperature and ph swings. Always be mindful of your water chemistry but don't get to the point you can't see the forest for the trees.
Now that makes more sense then your previous post and I tend to agree with this more then the other.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:01 AM   #14
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Hey there new to the site And i just got a 55g tank that looks to be finished cycling next week. Used some feeder fish to cycle and used some established media that the guy i got the tank from had in it. This is my first cichlid tank and was coming here to see if anyone had any advice on stocking and what a good pH is for them. I've heard stable pH is more important but making sure mine at 7.6 is ok. Any advice would be great. This is my tank I feel like it may need some fake plants in it just seeing what everyone thinks.
Welcome to AA! We hope ha enjoy

Your ph sits at a good number for about any type of cichlid. I'm not going to try and push you one way or another. Ill just let you look around to see what you like. Here is a stocking list for your size tank.
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/article...cutter_55g.php



Let us know what your interested in and we can go from there.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:34 AM   #15
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Thanks and after looking through the list judging by the looks of them I think my LFS carries the mbuna cichlids so that is probably the way to go. How would I be able to tell if they're male or female?? Also looks like the tank has finished cycling so I'm most likely going to pick up 4 or 5 of them today. My wife is a little upset about the feeder fish because she has gotten attached to them. I tried to explain to her that it's all nature ha
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:26 PM   #16
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Throughout the years I have done both weekly water changes and also I have done when ever I felt like water changes. Doing them every week is defiantly way better
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:29 PM   #17
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Thanks and after looking through the list judging by the looks of them I think my LFS carries the mbuna cichlids so that is probably the way to go. How would I be able to tell if they're male or female?? Also looks like the tank has finished cycling so I'm most likely going to pick up 4 or 5 of them today. My wife is a little upset about the feeder fish because she has gotten attached to them. I tried to explain to her that it's all nature ha
In a 55 gallon you'll have to watch the ones you buy to make sure it will work. Some get big and some stay small. You're going to need to do a little research on what ones your lfs carry's and go from there. Most fish shops carry a big mix and most of the common ones get huge. This link should help you as far as stocking and maybe a few other questions so check it out.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/lake-m...dcor-hardware/

As for the water changes doing one once a week is better then doing one every couple weeks at 50%. Some like to break it up and do two water changes a week at 25%. Either way it works for you is all that matters. They need to be done to remove toxins in the water. By just adding water (without a water change) to top off does just about nothing, the toxins don't leave the water till a water change when you remove them. Waiting to do them only causes more problems. A good routine schedule every week will go much further than letting the nitrates build up. Once they build its harder to get them down.

Hope this helps

Andy
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:55 PM   #18
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Just got back and I got a lab and three peacocks. So far they have been fine and each looks like it has already set up its territories. I fed them just shrimp pellets because that's all I had on me and the fish store said today is feeding day and they have not been fed yet. How do I tell the difference between male and female??
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:57 PM   #19
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Oh and I plan on doing weekly PWC I already do it on my 20g community tank so I figure doing the 50g won't be too bad. Also I have sand in the 50 and gravel in the 20 when putting the sand in the bag said not to put the vacuum down in the sand like I would with gravel so do I just let the pump pump out the water and don't worry about the sand??
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:02 PM   #20
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Oh and I plan on doing weekly PWC I already do it on my 20g community tank so I figure doing the 50g won't be too bad. Also I have sand in the 50 and gravel in the 20 when putting the sand in the bag said not to put the vacuum down in the sand like I would with gravel so do I just let the pump pump out the water and don't worry about the sand??
Yes don't use your vacuum thing or it will suck the sand up. I stir mine up during water changes with a cut up broom handle
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