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Old 08-21-2021, 07:33 PM   #1
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This month I bought a used 50 with a (repainted) stand.

I have not owned an aquarium in 20 years. I'm a widower and becoming crippled that makes my outdoorsy interests behind me and revisiting my aquariu hobby fits an old body's like mine pretty well until my time expires.

Long ago I had a 55, 50, two 29 and two 10's running with nearly all breeding and segregating Mbuna's along side a footlong, pampered, three spotted peacock spiny eel and a couple cats.

My 55 top was all males my 50 bottom with females and a couple juvenile males and the two 29's for mom's holding fry! One 10 wes was just a fry tank and o ten was for quarenteened new, sick or injured fish.

This month I bought a used 50 with a (repainted) stand. After 20 hours of scrubbing and sterilizing (over 5 day period) sloppily applied silicon on an, and questionable, obscure corner. 2 days later, I cautiously started adding water a few gallons an hour untill my confidence it was sound then poured in 60 pounds of new black aquarium sand, 30 pounds of new 2 inch size river rock, and a new Tetra Whisper EX 70 filter, new 500w heater, new programmable led lighting a NOT LEAST the Tetra Wisper AP300 (one of 5 whispers) all of them have been running nearly non stop for over 3 years *(in my
bubbleponic gardens)*.

After running for a week I introduced two Mbuna under 3 inch (I hope are males) and of course I bought a 4 inch baby spiny eel (tiretrack this time).

All have been doing very well However at feeding time AM and PM the Mbuna are so greedy; they keep eating brine until they can't even swallow any more so, I give them flakes just prior to feeding the eel his frozen brine shrimp; in an attempt to get small portions for the eel to eat. The eel (I call Leonardo DiCaprio because he avoided capture for 2 days at the pet store). He has plenty of places to hide along with the ability to disappear under the sand any time he gets harrassed but right now, the Mbuna are too small to be a threat... I always turn off the circulating currents because the eel seems to be lacking vision and can only find the ones he happens across under 3mm from his wanderings. It appears his predation skills are lacking at this stage. After the eel has opportunity to eat for about an hour, I turn the filter and ariation back on (I end up with much, much less filter debris). And my Whisper filter don't need priming because the impeller in inside the tank and below the water level, so "Almost Zero Backwash Syphoning" when whenever I turn it off. I am currently running a Whisper 300 on 2 different 4 inch, flat round air stones (beautiful but maybe a little overkill just 2 stones) but they enjoy dashing back and forth to both bubbly corners and the filter current..

The real issue with the Mbuna's is the neverending digging and building mountains right next to it..

The attachment shows just 24 hours of excavation.
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Old 08-22-2021, 12:47 AM   #2
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Welcome back to the hobby and welcome here!

The best place to check in for these guys would be the Cichlid Discussion, here
https://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums/f100/

Do you think they are happy if they are moving around the substrate?
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Old 08-22-2021, 08:24 AM   #3
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Thanks. I hope to find a patient mentor.

In my past experiences my mouth brooding Mbuna didn't seem to be into this much earth moving except to spawn. It was a pleasing hobby but now I'm realizing how expensive this hobb is getting these days.

It would appear they are happy. They seem to have boundless energy and almost never sit still. I will be adding their habitat as $ becomes available.

I am starting to rethink my choice of sand insted of using gravel.. sand doesn't get dirty like gravel but it is an unstable, shifting substrate, sort of like quicksand for my rock decorations. I'm hoping some live plants, flat slate and driftwood will be more suitable. I also want a find out about what are the smallest and more colorful Mbuna fish so I'll visit the forum you suggested.
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Old 08-22-2021, 11:42 AM   #4
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Good.

Rock work starting on the bottom of the tank for stability. In SW tanks people often use lighting egg crate light box diffuser panels cut to fit the bottom on the glass so rocks have a place to rest on as to not scratch the tank, relieve pointy pressure points of stones against glass, and the grate / little squares help hold points of stone in place. Since often I see slabs used it might still be helpful. In my low iron tank which scratches more easily than standard glass, i used the plastic shelf covers for kitchen / garage metal racking which is heavy wire shelves often looks like shiny chrome or stainless. The sheets come in different colors like opaque white and smoke. Varying lengths and widths. I found mine on amazon. The dollar tree has small cutting board sized ones you could line up. They are easy to cut to fit. Iused the ctting board ons for helping hold up sand in spaces like a retaining wall held in place wil stones.
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Old 08-23-2021, 10:59 AM   #5
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Sorry but I can't picture anything you are describing. Maybe something with a link to a better illustration.

It is apparent the these cichlids are moving the sand so much that the rocks are being buried. The dominant fish has excavated himself a sand quarry making an 8 inch sand mountian.
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Old 08-23-2021, 08:33 PM   #6
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So sorry I didn't have my computer on when I sent that
https://www.walmart.com/ip/HSS-Wire-...PACK/128318785
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Old 08-24-2021, 11:29 AM   #7
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Thanks. I have already installed the substrate and the African hap has established itself as the tank boss. It has excavated a dugout down to the glass bottom and a mountain 6 inches above the normal sand substrate. If I move it back, he just starts over. It's a matter of him wanting to reshape the the tank to his own designs.

I would need to remove my ornamental rocks then some of the sand before the plastic sheets can be inserted. Maybe when I get a holding tank, I can remove the rocks and some of the sand and install the new false bottom. Luckily I only have 2 juvenile Africans and a baby eel so when I can find a quarantine tank, I can start to remodel the aquarium substrate
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Old 09-06-2021, 10:23 PM   #8
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Hi again. I had to change my plans about African Cichlids and I'm going with Discus Cichlids and Tiretrack Eels, along with some small harmless, colorful and active community members in a 50gal.

My discus is 4 inches (similar to the picture) was in the tank for 6 days now and if finally starting to relax and is hiding behind his rock less and less. In fact he likes frozen blood worms so much that he eats them right out of the feeding pipette. The same goes fo my tiretrack eels are eating brine shrimp right out the pipette as well. I have to spoon feed them otherwise the tiny dwarf gouramis eat "everything" in sight..

I plan to get 2 or 3 more discus in Hope's they will be actively moving around in the tank.
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Old 09-06-2021, 11:29 PM   #9
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Those are some big fish for a 50 and discus require higher temperatures than the others. Not to mention pristine water conditions. I don’t see this working long term
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Old 09-07-2021, 05:23 PM   #10
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My big red discus seems happy and spends time in his hideaway as long as the water is moving. When the water stops moving he comes out and is always egar to eat both brine and blood worms but he's trained to eat directly from the 14 inch long pipette (same goes for the eels and brine)...

I am considering trading off those gourme's and glow fish because they present real problems for the eels and discus at feeding times. Just keeping the 3 tiny pleaco. I researched about the 50 gallon and it mentioned no more than 5 discuss but I'm only considering a total of 3. I have temperature at 77° going up to 80/ 82F. My new filter and air supply are Tetra Whisper xl70 and I own 5 Whisper AP air pumps (3 ap 300, 2 ap 150 and 2 Whisper ap 60). My old second filter is working strictly with carbon.

Right now I'm dealing with rust colored tannins leaching into the water because of the mopani wood. I read that it can be okay over time by adding extra activated carbon so I filled 4 nylon stockings with about 6 pounds of just gravel size activated carbon (no filter cotton) Into a second filter. With some luck it'll start to clear up soon. Meanwhile, I'm gonna find a happy compromise about keeping the discus happy.
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Old 09-07-2021, 07:53 PM   #11
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A fish that is constantly hiding is most likely stressed or sick. I don’t see you being able to keep the Paramus clean enough for discus while keeping heavy bio load fish like the eels and plecos. Also you want your temp up closer to 86 for discus which will be to high for the others. Strongly suggest you choose discus or the others, the combos not going to work and discus can be pretty expensive
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Old 09-07-2021, 11:11 PM   #12
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Thanks for the advice and info Big Red. I'll consider all of it. I will probably choose the discus and hope to build on better research. I bought the discus on impulse and the shop didn't advise me about the combination of the discus and the fish he was selling to me and he sold me gourme's and the eels. He saw me coming and I'll avoid him in the future.
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Old 09-08-2021, 12:39 AM   #13
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Yeah, when you don't good advice, it is annoying, and can cost you a decent amount of money.

Just start doing a bunch of research on the main fish you love the most, and see what the general directions are. Basically really warm water, near daily water changes, healthy feeding and keeping their environment as calm with a decent sized group which helps them feel safer. These are some basics I have come away with them needing.

They are some of the most stunning fish with specialized needs. There are lots of people keeping one or 2 of them and maybe they do live, but if you look at the videos, or see them in a tank of well kept fish, they look dazzling, curious, inquisitive, happy to be in a social group, and clearly better than with just a couple, or not kept like the magnificent fish they are. I speak from experience on failing to keep a mated pair in a tank with some busy fish, which stressed them out.

Your Discus is very pretty.

Also think the eel should have a different environment, not with the Discus, stress is a killer.

It's good that you are looking at the better ways to keep these fish you ended up with. Changing the Gourami and I think you said Glofish, will also help calm down the tank.

Probably that eel will grow to want to eat most small to mid sized fish. If they are smaller now they don;'t need a 125G tank but they get bigger and will possibly fight with each other.

https://www.liveaquaria.com/product/1026/?pcatid=1026

A friend of mine keeps some stunning wild Discus if you want to see them look for streamlinedsparkles on IG scroll down to see the Discus. Just amazing.

Hope to help.
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Old 09-10-2021, 03:08 PM   #14
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I have been gradually raising the temperature from 78°f to 84°f and now the discus is spending most of his time roaming and hunting all over the tank. He is also realizing he is safe and he's the biggest fish in the pond.

I feel he is much happier and will be better off but I read that to the higher temperatures will not harm the 2 spiny eels at 82°. I just saw one eel trying to swim upstream into the power filter.

Many years ago I kept a "Peacock spiny eel" in a 55 gal along with about 20 Mbuna cichlids and it didn't seem to be bothered by the cichlids.

After I study more about the discus breeds, I might get 2 or 3 more. My community fish (gouramis, blowfish and silver dollars) will be given away or surrendered. I can't believe that 2 dwarf gouramies can eat half of their own body weight with each feeding; Greedy doesn't describe the feeding frenzy of the community fish's regardless of the food meanwhile the discus and the eels don't have time gather up a good meal.
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Old 09-10-2021, 03:30 PM   #15
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Not personally familiar specifically with keeping the Eels but the temp info for them says 82F so it is pretty close. Maybe a new thread for that question specifically.
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Old 09-11-2021, 09:03 PM   #16
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I have the temperature at 83 and "everyone" seems happy, active and eating very well...

I know the temperature is at the high side of the eel tolerance but think they are comfortable and are actively hunting at feeding time. The discus is asserting his dominance and is even nibbling at the flakes I give the guppy size fishs.

I'm feeding alternating frozen brine, frozen blood worms and some flakes as long as I still the water and dim the lights while everyone eats (30/40 minutes).. I'm happier too now I don't need to spoon feed the discus and the eels. I am still wanting to rehome the smaller fishes.

I do have a line on getting two 30 gallon w/stand, fully loaded with lights, heaters, filters and other goodies.

Besides my rotten car breakdowns and trying to keep the bills paid, and help my granddaughter in her first semester in college, maybe I can enjoy my aquarium hobby the way I should in my retirement years.

I'm planning to do a 10% water changes every few days.
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Old 09-12-2021, 02:20 AM   #17
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The possible new tanks sound great!

It would be a good idea to monitor closely the water parameters, and may need more frequent water changes.

Also since the temp is higher watch for signs of O2 being low as fish are less able to get the O2 out of the warmer water, so need good aeration.
Hoping everything works out.
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Old 09-12-2021, 11:19 AM   #18
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I am grateful for the advice but I am old, handicapped and alone. My aquarium duties is a hobby not a vocation, occupation or business. I cannot be dedicating 20 or 40 hours a week just stressing over having the most perfect aquariums in the industry. As my experience grows, my attention to details is gonna improve but as long as they are eating well and coexisting peacefully, I am content. I have my cats, my hydroponic cannabis plants and by myself, I can't be as physically active or strained like you are suggesting. I don't have a helpful child or partner to help get things done. I can't so much as cut my own grass any more. As soon as I can MAGUIVER a better way to drain and refill the water without and carrying carrying 5 gallon buckets, I can do it more frequently.

My aquarium is 50 gallons equipped with a Tetra Whisper AP 150 pushing through a 4in, round, flat, air stone so the column of air is exemplary and with my Tetra Whisper XL70 filter, the water is clear and clean (except for the brownish stained water caused by the large Mopani wood tree trunks, and a 300 watt heater and finished off with a 32/38 inch programmable led lighting system.
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Old 09-12-2021, 11:29 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warezaholic View Post
I am grateful for the advice but I am old, handicapped and alone. My aquarium duties is a hobby not a vocation, occupation or business. I cannot be dedicating 20 or 40 hours a week just stressing over having the most perfect aquariums in the industry. As my experience grows, my attention to details is gonna improve but as long as they are eating well and coexisting peacefully, I am content. I have my cats, my hydroponic pants and by myself, I can't be as physically active or strained like you are suggesting. I don't have a helpful child or partner to get things done.



My aquarium is 50 gallons equipped with a Tetra Whisper AP 150 pushing through a 4in, round, flat, air stone so the column of air is exemplary and with my Tetra Whisper XL70 filter, the water is clear and clean (except for the redish stained water caused by the large Mopani wood tree trunks, and a 300 watt heater and finished off with a 32/38 inch programmable led lighting system.


You say all that yet you seem determined to keep the most demanding type of fish in terms of maintenance and then add to it by adding improper tank mates which will make maintaining the levels even more difficult. But good luck to you, and please don’t get any more discus.
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Old 09-12-2021, 12:07 PM   #20
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Thumbs down I'm out!

I'm tapping out!

I can't continue a conversation where I will be continuously talked down too. Thanks but I'm out...
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