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Old 06-03-2011, 11:36 PM   #1
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New cichlid tank

Just bought a new 55 gal tank that we're going to dedicate to cichlids. We have it cycling fish less right now. Have black gravel with some blue gravel highlights. Any suggestions on rock for the tank? I know we have to have a lot of big rocks for them to claim. Just wanting some cool or unique ideas for it. Anything would be great!

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Old 06-04-2011, 12:12 AM   #2
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Fair size tank for small-medium SA or CA cichlids, or you could fit some Tanganykians in there, but a bit small for most Malawi mbuna or peacocks.
Do you want a single spawning pair to raise fry, or a mixed community with other types of fish?
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:14 AM   #3
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I think we want only cichlids in there. We have a dedicated tropical tank and a dedicated goldfish tank. I'm. Ore curious what kind of decor ideas. Although I'm kind of in love with the peacock cichlids
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:53 AM   #4
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Sand substrate is best, some rocks for cover, but not a whole tankful like a mbuna setup.
You really should use a 75 or larger for peacocks, though there are a couple smaller species that will work in a 55. I have a couple breeding groups of ruby reds and some fry growing out if you're interested in those. You'll only be able to keep one male, even in a 75 the dominant male eventually killed his rival.
You can also do an all-male tank of different peacock species, but again it should be larger, and they won't show their colors as well w/out any females to impress.
Ruby red group looks like this, females are the grey ones:


You can also keep some Synodontis multi's with the peacocks, and occaisonally you'll get a few wee catfish instead of cichlid fry.


About 1 month later (they grow fast when they're small):
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:58 AM   #5
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Just about any rock will work, best thing is a trip to the local landscape supply as they'll have hundreds of options for pennies on the lbs. Where the LFS sells for $5-7lbs. Take them home and give them a light scrubbing and a bath, then they're ready for the tank.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:59 AM   #6
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That's what I was thinking. Going to like home depot or something and getting like gardening stones or something.
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Old 06-04-2011, 01:05 AM   #7
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That's what I was thinking. Going to like home depot or something and getting like gardening stones or something.
But the stuff the landscape places have like slate, texas holey rock, and different limestones, you'll more pleased with the larger selection and lower prices!

The other thing my son and I enjoy is walking around creaks, rivers, and some quarry's and finding our own rocks for free. It's a nice day walking with your fishing pole catching fish and hunting rocks.
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:01 PM   #8
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If I was to use sand as a substrate is there a certain kind I should get?? And I'm having trouble finding the perfect rocks for them.
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:36 AM   #9
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Pool filter sand is easier to work with than play sand, it doesn't compact tightly and the larger particle size makes it easier to siphon.
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