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Old 04-05-2011, 09:10 PM   #1
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whole set up and everything

I want to start a cichlid tank. What should I get regarding tank, filter, food, water buffer, lighting. and everthing. How I should decorate ( I want to use stones) and possibly real plants. I really want to do this so help would be great.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:27 PM   #2
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Cichlids is a rather broad spectrum, could you narrow it down to central/south american, african, or here in the us. This will decision will impact whether you could have plants since the vast majority will eat, uproot and destroy them.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:33 PM   #3
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I'm not really sure. What are the differences of all them. Or which ones would be the best for a beginner.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:40 PM   #4
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What are the pros and cons of each cichlid and which ones are the easiest for beginners if there is an easier type to have.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:44 PM   #5
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Get the biggest tank you can afford and set up safely as this will also play a part in fish selection. I would start looking on Craiglist for a 75g at the minimum for a cichlid tank. If you can go bigger get a six foot tank like a 180/220g and that will explode the possiblities of fish and could keep just about any cichlid you can find. The bigger the tank the more stable it will be with water conditions. The first step buy the tank then reseach the fish.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich6459
What are the pros and cons of each cichlid and which ones are the easiest for beginners if there is an easier type to have.
Start south American for a beginner. Dwarfs are best. There are keyholes, rams (kind of sensitive), apistos, kribensis, and... That's all I can think if off the top if my head. The bigger the better, but for any pair if these, at least a 30 gallon.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:22 AM   #7
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Interesting thanks guys.
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:32 AM   #8
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I would start with central American convicts. They are extremely easy to keep and they are beautiful.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:30 PM   #9
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I found a 70 gallon tank with everything. I'm pretty excited.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:05 PM   #10
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Thats a great start! Congrats that will give a huge variety of stocking options. Soon it will come to the best part which is buying the fish. Did it come with filters and heaters? The next step after that is what substate you'll go with, whether it's gravel or sand. My vote would would be sand, it's easier to keep clean, more realistic, and many cichlids enjoy digging
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:21 PM   #11
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Ya +1 on the sand it's the best for cichlids.
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:16 PM   #12
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It comes with like everything. And yeah I'm putting sand in. What's a good way of cleaning sand. I have sand in my 20 and it really dirty :/
http://southjersey.craigslist.org/for/2307244903.html
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Old 04-07-2011, 04:39 PM   #13
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Do you mean cleaning it before it's in the tank or after?
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Old 04-07-2011, 04:49 PM   #14
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Well before and after. I want to set up the 70 gallon with washed sand. But I want to the my 20 high clean and have clearer water.
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:26 PM   #15
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Get a 5 gal bucket and fill it about 1/2 full of sand. Then take this outside and start your garden hose and set it in the bucket. Get something like a boom handle or something to stir the sand up. Let the bucket overflow with water while your slowly mixing the sand up in the bucket. The lightest and smallest particles should rise up and flow over the top of the bucket. Do this for like 5 min and then take the hose out of the bucket and gently tip the bucket some to pour out the water till you get down to your sand and keep rinsing till the water coming out is clear. I have also used a pillow case filled with sand then rinse the water till it's clear too.

As far as once it's in the tank just swirl the gravel vac over the sand to stir up the debris, I always have a very little amount sand left in the sink afting using my Python.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:52 AM   #16
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Where can you get the python?
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:16 AM   #17
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The dimensions work out to about 50 gallons, actually the same footprint as a 40 breeder but a little taller. Decent size tank, not a bad deal for the whole setup IMO. Not familiar with the Marineland Magnum canister, I pefer eheims or aquaclear hob filters.
Pool filter sand is best, playsand is much more trouble to rinse and compacts too tightly in the tank. The smaller particle size is also harder to siphon w/out sucking out sand with the dirt. You can buy a python or similar setup at Wal-Mart.
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