Greetings! My name is Jenn, and I'm a long time Aquarium Advice reader, first time poster.
I'm here mainly to get advice (haha). Anywho, next week I'll be on my staycation from work and I plan on remodeling the tank in my living room.
The tank is currently set up for African Cichlids, and was stable for about two years. It currently houses a single Aratus. He's by himself because he decided to assasinate all of his tankmates a couple of months back. My children and I really enjoyed having African Cichlids because they're so personable. They were always interested in anyone standing next to the tank (or sitting on the couch, or standing in the doorway for that matter). Well, everyone except for the husband. They didn't like him and would attack him if he put his hands in the tank. Guess they knew who buttered their bread since I was doing most of the maintenance and feeding and never had that problem
I had the unfortunate experience of stocking my tank prior to finding this forum and other resourses like it. I now know far more about African Cichlids than I did two years ago (no more Aratus with other types of cichlids, EVER). I wouldn't mind getting more African Cichlids, but I'm afraid of having another fish go rogue down the road.
I'm open to any and all ideas since I'm pretty much starting over. Keep in mind that I can't get too carried away with the overhaul since two of my children are still in diapers.
Below is a list of what I currently have going.
36g bow front tank
T8 light fixture (probably going to replace with something plant compatible since I wouldnt mind giving plants a whirl, IF I can find something in my price range)
Aquaclear 50 HOB
Penguin 150 HOB
Playsand/Argonite mix as substrate.
Several chunks of granite
A bunch of fake plants (love the look of plants but you can't really have them with a single t8 bulb and high pH water :-/)
(Take these readings with a grain of salt. I have a hard time differentiating between some of the colors on the chart)
pH 7.5? (pH test says 7.6, high pH test says 7.4)